As we continue to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Normandy landings, I ask how can Nigeria master the discipline that pulling off such an operation required

Ayo Akinfe

[1] World War Two is one of my greatest passions ever. I forever marvel at the way it transformed industrial production, unleashed an unprecedented wave of human ingenuity, led to the integration of women into the global workforce and mechanised virtually everything we do

[2] From time immemorial, conflicts and trying times have always unleashed this kind of spirit. For instance, superstition more or less ended in Europe when the continent got hit with the Bubonic Plague in 1665. From that point on, Europeans accepted that medicine and not religious faith is the solution to ailments. Health and pharmacy were no longer considered heresy and doctors became more respected than priests

[3] We recently had the Covid-19 pandemic and as we have seen with the growth of developments like Zoom, man has come out of it stronger. It has lead to new production methods, fresh advances in medicine and alterations to the way we trade, live and produce goods, just as World War Two did. As the saying goes: “The darker the night, the brighter the dawn.”

[4] For me, Winston Churchill really came into his element in the run-up to D-Day when the maverick in him came out. He created a special directorate to manufacture all sorts of equipment to facilitate the landing on the Normandy beaches. These included floating battle tanks, mechanised minesweepers, barbed wire cutting vehicles, etc. Known as Hobart's Funnies because the directorate was headed by a gentlemen known as Percy Hobart, the directorate ensured D-Day was roaring success

[5] Many members of the defence establishment did not approve of Churchill’s crazy initiative, so rather than report to military headquarters, the unit reported directly to the prime minister’s office at 10 Downing Street. As we all know, this directorate ensured D-Day caught the Germans unawares. Do you know that Britain even laid an oil pipeline connecting the Isle of Wight with France under 24 hours?

[6] We are faced with an economic crisis in Nigeria and now is the time for us to stand up and be counted in the community of nations

[7] Do you know that during Covid for instance, South Korea increased. Then the Korean government monitored sales through a computerised system, to prevent people from buying more than their share

[8] In Japan, electronics maker Sharp, begun making surgical masks, becoming the first domestic company outside the health industry to do so in response to a government call of increased production. It received a 30 million yen subsidy from the Japanese government for its efforts

[9] My heart bled at the fact that during the pandemic Nigeria did not establish a Covid directorate with production targets for facemasks, ventilators, testing kits, etc just like everyone else. It was a clear symbol of our production malaise

[10] For too long now, the world has carried Nigeria on its back and it is time for this nonsense to end. Enough is enough. Let us use this D-Day anniversary as the time to start pulling our weight and cease to be a parasitic leach on the rest of humanity