By Ayo Akinfe
(1) Today is January 12. On this day in 1957, the Southern Christian Leadership Council was founded with Martin Luther King Jr as its leader at Ebenezer Church in Atlanta
(2) On January 12 1948, Mahatma Gandhi began his final fast in the quest for Indian independence
(3) It was on January 12 1933 that the US Congress recognised the Philippines’ independence. The Philippines later went to hell and back during World War Two in the hands of the Japanese
(4) It was on January 12 1959 that the American record company Motown was founded by Berry Gordy Jr as Tamla Records. We enjoy the music but lack the spirit behind the founding of Motown. Berry Gordy started out selling tapes from the back of a truck
(5) On January 12 1962 Operation Ranch Hand began with a US Air Force operation that sprayed South Vietnamese forests with defoliants such as Agent Orange. Maybe it is no wonder that the Vietnamese are so resilient today
(6) Do you know that on January 12 1974 Libya and Tunisia announced that they are merging to form the Islamic Arab Republic. I wonder why that nation never too off. It would have been a formidable Arab nation
(7) On January 12 1990, civil rights activist Reverend Al Sharpton was stabbed at Bensonhurst, Brooklyn in New York. He has been a true veteran. I have lost count of how many assassination attempts he has survived
(8) It may also interest you to know that it was on January 12 1583 that Holland began using the Gregorian calendar which we take for granted today. Since then, the January to December 12 month calendar has become an international standard
(9) My point here is simple. Nations do not just get better overnight because of “good leaders.” It is the indefatigable spirit of its people that forges a viable, prosperous and stable nation state at ease with itself. In Nigeria, even if a leader emerges who wants to be an honest man, will you let him be an honest man?
(10) I laugh when I see how my people reason. They think they can go on being eternal consumers, enjoying Owambe every weekend, attending churches and mosques religiously seven days a week, importing SUVs, showing off in Gucci and Luis Vuitton designer clothes, amassing chieftaincy titles and producing nothing, yet become a prosperous nation at ease with itself.