The last time I saw Zik, he was despondent

Enyinnaya Appolos
They are not happy. The patriotic nationalists that fought for Nigeria’s independence are forlorn about things going on here. The last time I saw Zik, he was despondent. I understand his despondency. Goings-on in Nigeria, a country he was passionate about its unity and development, made him crestfallen. A country he laboured for her freedom. A country he had lofty dreams for. It’s a pity things have fallen apart.
He was cheerless because their labours, our heroes past, have become in vain. Everything has gone bad. Patriotism which he and his colleagues exhibited in service to fatherland has taken a flight. There is no longer national loyalty or national consciousness.
Quality of education they provided and championed for the Nigeria child has become a national joke. Infrastructural developments they provided have all collapsed. Everything has just gone bad. The brave Zik is dispirited.
Zik is in a funk about the slaughtering of innocent Nigerians in the north. He was particularly funereal and low about the Mubi massacre. He has been at sea over the bombing of churches. He is irked at the inflammable comments of some blood-tasty democrats.
What do we call the Mubi madness? A blood birthday gift to Nigeria at 52? Or a sacrifice for the unity of Nigeria? How can this madness of slaughtering be justified? Is this also part of the war against western education that is haram?
I can’t understand why life has become so cheap up north. How do we explain this? That innocent and oppressed students were slaughtered in cold blood?
Spare me this rhetorics from the government. Is this the first time we watch our brothers and sisters slaughtered by some ‘unknown gunmen’? Unknown gunmen indeed!
I am sure Nigerians are not interested in the government’s usual chorus: ‘we will get to the root of the matter. The culprits will not go unpunished
‘. Which culprit? Root of which matter? When? Nigerians are used to this balderdash.
Zik is disappointed and aghast about the corruption that has eaten deep into the fabric and marrow of the nation. He is angry about the oil theft in the Niger Delta. He is not happy about state of roads in the southeast. Will anyone blame him for being this way? Come to think of it, why would any right thinking person expect him to be happy in face of all that is happening.
Am sure you can see why Zik is not happy. Zik also fees taken-down that Nigeria has not only forgotten his contributions to national development, but has abandoned him. Yes, he has been abandoned. If you want to know how, visit the famous Onosi Onira Retreat in Onitsha, Anambra State, and see how Nigeria abandoned the Great Zik of Africa.
I am a regular visitor at the Zik palace in Onitsha. Each time I visit, one question I ask is: does it worth it serving Nigeria? Same question some pensioners ask. On each visit to Zik’s palace, after normal father-and-son discussion with Owelle Chukwuma Azikiwe, (Zik’s eldest son) we usually end our discussion at the mausoleum, the resting place of Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe.
If you have not visited the mausoleum, find time to do so. I enjoy going there, it’s a place of pride for me. I get inspiration each time I am at the mausoleum.
It is a disappointment that the mausoleum is neglected and abandoned, and indeed the Zik’s compound that was razed by some sponsored thugs sometime in 2005.
I have never stop wondering what Zik must have done to the today Nigerian leaders to get such ill-treatment from the government.
You can imagine my joy last Wednesday when the news came that the Federal Executive Council has approved the sum of N1.496 billion for the completion of the mausoleum in Onitsha, 16years after the first contract was awarded.
To be candid, I have fears about this development. My fear is based on the fact that this is not the first time such approval has been made. In fact, after Zik’s burial, government took over the Zik palace, and awarded contract for the construction of the mausoleum and upkeep of the Zik compound, but the contractors and those in charge abandoned the project.
President Jonathan, we didn’t know you were named Azikiwe, after the foremost Nigerian president. But you told us about it during your electioneering campaigns before the 2011 election. Prove it now. Insist that the mausoleum is not abandoned again.
I’m happy the Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Ms. Ama Pepple, described the mausoleum as a national project, that must be completed before the country’s centenary celebration in 2014. We can’t wait to see that happen.
Again, I make bold to say that, since the government has remembered the mausoleum and have promised to complete it, something should be done about the Onitsha-Enugu express way which is in a sorry state.
For years, the federal government abandoned the Onitsha-Enugu expressway that passes the compound of Zik of Africa. The roundabout in front of the compound, which is supposed to be a recreation park, has become the abode of mad people in the commercial city. An eyesore.
Since the federal government has remembered the mausoleum, the road should not be left in its current state. Am sure Mr. Peter Obi, governor of Anambra State is reading. He has refused to associate himself with anything Zik, except when he collected a Zik Leadership award from some Igbo Lagos base merchants.
In most countries, the monuments of their past leaders are prime tourist attractions and the state even earn revenue from revellers that troop there for sightseeing.
On national days like October 1of every year, I expect the governor of Anambra to lead his counterparts in the southeast, and other Nigerians to Zik’s resting place as a mark of honor. Mr. President, over to you.