This is the question her neighbours would ask if Nigeria were a lady of 49 years plus, nearly 50, who started off life so full of promise but ended up with children as thieves, fraudsters, looters in high places as well as terrorists. How else can you explain something that started so beautifully turning into such a mess? Let's look at things from the beginning: From 1914 - 47, British have the bright idea of educating and training 1 section of Nigeria as administrators, teachers and civil servants, while governing the other section indirectly through Emirs.A small elite cultivated to become feudal rulers with great privilege.
In 1947 thousands of graduates in the southern region with political activism throughNigerian owned newspapers like Tribune and West African Pilot. In the north, nothing of the sort. In 1947, when Shagari said the north should go its own way, and Awo as pragmatist said oil and water can't mix, Zik naively said there should be one Nigeria, and as bad luck would have it, his view prevailed. In 1959, when elections happened to get ready for independence, the British decided they'd rather have their own tame and docile northerners in charge, instead of the intellectual Awo and this (threatening to the British) policy of free education for all. NCNC should have stood firm with the rest of the south, but as bad luck would have it, decided to go into coalition with NPC, with the resulting mess.
In 1966, after the chaos of the late '64 elections and operation wetie in most of '65, a luckier country would have had people calling for re-elections and by-elections, instead we had the stupid coup.
Instead of having the coup as a genuine revolution, it was twisted into tribal warfare. Why kill the northern premier as well as Akintola while forgetting Zik and Okpara? Ideally, all former political leaders should have been placed in jail instead of being killed.
In July '66, when the northerners wished to secede, the British got involved with their teacher's pets in the north and told them to stay as they'd lose out on the oil wealth to come. Lots of Igbos in the north killed as people there were too daft to realise that their neighbours since the 19th century were not aware of plots going on in army officers' mess and barracks.
Ojukwu as administrator of Eastern region should have sought reparations for Igbos killed and gradually agitate and involve the rest of the south in eventual separation from the north. Instead, we had the economic risk of Biafra. When Biafrans resourcefully started to make resources that would have matched them equally with the federal troops, Harold Wilson's Labour government intervened and heavily armed the federal side. Egyptians and Russians shamefully intervened to bomb Biafrans.
After the war, oil boom. Corruption really took off. Every tribe started having owambes and competing to spend money on the most useless and fleeting objects and fashions. Murtala Mohammed came and tried to help us join the civillized band of nations. Then 6 months later, Buka Suka Dimka thought we didn't deserve the good life and put a stop to development.
Then Obasanjo and 2nd republic happened.
UPN was the only party with a genuine programme. But Nigerians decided to vote along tribal lines and threw that chance of development away.
Then Buhari tried to lift the curse on New Year's Eve 1984. A genuine war against corruption started and that fizzled out in August 1985 when the worst atrocity posing as a government took over Nigeria. A nightmare made up of the bombing of Dele Giwa, the Naira becoming toilet paper and the greatest brain drain started.
Then the greatest calamity. Nigerians voted for policy for the 1st time and forgot tribe. And the curse in the shape of Baba & Mama ngida cancelled the election, after foreign governments had congratulated the winner. Nigeria became the joke of the world.
Then the 3rd republic and Obasanjo and the calamity of PDP happened.
Just as Nigeria was ready to start dealing with climate change, commence environmental campaigns that could clean up the Delta and seriously address agriculture, al quaeda arrived in the shape of Muttallab.
In a normal country not under a curse, Mutallab would have used his wealth to campaign for his ideals. Start a charity for disadvantaged children perhaps? Start sports groups in Katsina or Lagos where he was born. Or launch a religious movement preaching against materialistic excess. Or start a website like this one campaigning against corruption, using his religion as a standpoint. But no, he had to throw it all away and try to commit mass murder as well as suicide, while launching Nigeria on the road to Somalia.