Change – The Urgency For Now!

Nigerian Insight

 

Nigeria is one of the countries cobbled together from different ethnic, religious, cultural and political traditions, as a fiat of European adventurism and greed in various parts of the world. Nigeria has been very lucky in various ways, even with the perennial scourge of primitive leadership which has all but destroyed the fabric of national existence. Indeed no one would have expected the “peculiar mess” that Nigeria is today; even our worst enemies would have thought we would have done better with our independence and our great wealth. For individuals with short span of life, change may be too late, but for countries, change for the better may always be possible, as long as there is a cadre of determined, enlightened, visionary and committed leadership.

Probably the fact that Nigerians did not fight from the guerilla trenches a protracted independence struggle has accounted for the failure of the inheritors of state power to understand the value of freedom. But Nigeria had a 30 month civil war which dissipated the human, material and spiritual resources of the country unnecessarily. Could it be that because the war was unnecessary, therefore there was no appreciation of the value of the unity that was forged with the blood and humanity of the Nigerians who died to keep Nigeria one?

Probably the fact that Nigeria is abundantly and unusually blessed with enviable material, natural and human resources, which needed very little investment in labour, technical or financial capital to tap and earn income from has accounted for the profligate, prodigal and irresponsible manner in which the resources are squandered, instead of being utilized to generate wealth and prosperity for Nigerians. But lessons of Nigeria’s short history show that any bounty not harnessed for good use means nothing, nor does such bounty help the beneficiary of such providence. We have been shown that international environment is not friendly, as those who colonized, oppressed and enslaved you and your ancestors can never wish you well. Hence, we have witnessed various devices used to impoverish Nigeria from the international agencies, who extract maximum wealth, leaving little or nothing for the indigenous owners of the wealth.

Nigeria has missed many opportunities while there have been spats of sanity which have attracted the support of a cross section of the population. Examples of such unifying efforts and occasions have been the NYSC, the WAI, Operation Feed the Nation, Federal Mortgage Bank, etc. So, why does Nigeria need to face the urgency of “Change”?

This is necessitated by the failure of the central establishment under President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to perform the basic functions of state for which he was elected. All across Nigeria today, regardless of tongue, creed, or economic status, the basic human needs remain the same: nourishing food, habitable and decent shelter, access to decent drinking water, access to health care facilities, security to life and property, access to empowering education, transportation system for ease of movement, and uninterrupted energy to power every aspect of modern life. These are not rocket science inventions beyond the reach of Nigeria and Nigerians. These are things which Nigerians used to take for granted to some extent in the not too distant past. These are things which many African countries, with a lot less natural and human resources, are able to take for granted to varying degrees even now. But instead of Nigeria advancing and under the leadership of vagabonds, primitive, greedy and intellectually barren charlatans, what has happened has been decay in all aspects of our national existence – even mobile telephony networks are caricatures of what they are in many African countries which used to look up to Nigeria.

Yet, these sets of leaders are hell bent on continuing in office in spite of the fact that they have failed and the citizenry are crying for CHANGE. There is a way in which populations respond to responsible, accountable, visionary leadership. This happened in Nigeria in the past. However, there is also a way in which mediocrity, hooliganism, kleptocracy and mendicancy becomes endemic in social, cultural and intellectual psyche of a people. Instead of ensuring that Nigeria is the best, we undervalue what we have, import substandard human power from people who never wish us well, and export our collective wealth to safe havens for sequestration, at the expense of our own collective economic, social, cultural, intellectual and spiritual development. Then we wonder why all of a sudden we are faced with the scourge of armed robbery, kidnapping, larceny of public resources on grand scale, religious terrorism (Boko Haram), economic sabotage of plans and general decline in the quality of life of all members of society.

Any society where individuals have to provide their own water, generate energy, security, run to other countries to educate their children, for medical check-up and treatment, and to seek solutions to domestic problems is definitely a terminally sick society. These are the symptoms of failed states. Can you imagine Barak Obama going for medical check-up in Spain, or Jacob Zuma being hospitalized in Moscow? Without realizing it the sickness of the present Nigerian leadership has become virally infectious, devouring every little ounce of common sense and decency left in us. Actually, the more insane our destructive tendencies have become, the more adulation we tend to receive in some sick quarters – with parties being thrown to receive jail-birds and criminals, church service to canonize demented miscreants and investitures of traditional chieftaincy titles and honorary degrees being conducted for pariahs.

To fix this sickness, all persons of decency must come together, regardless of ethnicity, political persuasion or economic resources to say that Nigeria is the only country we have and to which we do not have to queue up at any embassy for visa to enter. We must recognize that March 28th is an opportunity for Nigerians to effect the change we all desire for a better, united, prosperous Nigeria under a new leadership. We must not feel intimidated by the antics of the PDP who are planning to cause mayhem in states like Bauchi, Kaduna, Kano, Lagos and Sokoto all five states under the leadership of the opposition All Progressives Congress governors. Nor should the plan to involve the Military in election duties scare us of a repeat performance of the Ekiti rigging spree. Though a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos Monday barred the federal government from deploying soldiers for the conduct of the 2015 general elections, saying it is unconstitutional. It is our hope that Aso Rock has heard this message loud and clear.

We equally frown at plans being put together by some serving Commissioners, Board Chairmen, local government Chairmen and Directors of Admin and Finance in the service of Kaduna State government to aid disturbances during the fourth coming elections through the use of societal malcontents. The alternatives they are thinking of are not worth contemplating because they are terrible destruction and chaos for Nigeria not even Kaduna state. We wish they know that it is always more expensive to run a corrupt system of government while the curse that seem to currently condemn Nigeria to doom would be lifted once and for all if we all agree to work together to deliver Nigeria for Change.

Anyone who dares to take a keen look at the innocent trusting face of any infant today would know that this is the least that we owe future generations. We cannot continue to be ruled by people with this type of mind set who at best can be better described as a “wasted, wasting and clueless” generation, when among us there are decent, talented persons who can make our own motherland a great place to live, raise children and attain happiness practicing our different faiths without let or hindrance to any. This is why all persons of good will from every clime, tongue and faith must determine that the time is now, that the change is urgent and that the only option for Nigeria is change – in our own interest, in the interest of our children, and in the interest of generations yet unborn. This is what INSIGHT Newspaper stands for!

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