The political wind of change that started blowing in Nigeria when the motley opposition parties woke up from their naivety and slumber and decided to form a common front against the ruling PDP has, as expected by many observers, metamorphosed into a full blown political Tsunami. The once political divides which were hitherto regarded as ‘traditional’ and cannot be transcended have collapsed and given way to new democratic anchors. Regional, religious and primordial parochialisms have been substantially relegated to the background in the face of the most urgent yearnings by Nigerians for change and fixing the unprecedented challenges that this country has faced during the sixteen years of PDP misrule and particularly in the last six years of President Jonathans’ captive regime in which ultra-corruption, ethno-religious bigotry, sectionalism and monumental abuse of public service procedures and ethics became the rule of the day. There is no gainsaying that Nigeria has now been ushered into a new dispensation and it should be an object of universal celebration both by the citizens and their well-wishers worldwide.
The leaders of the legacy parties that cobbled the victorious APC which showed the allegedly invincible PDP the way out of power and their dogged followers must be congratulated for their uncommon courage in the face of every threat to their lives, property and liberty for daring to confront the monstrous political cabal.
The March 28th 2015 Presidential and National Assembly elections have proven the resilience of Nigerians and their willingness and ability to surmount all artificial problems that have been created for them by irresponsible leadership and which have been hampering their progress and development for nearly two decades. The manifestations of this national retardation is common knowledge and any average Nigerian can on the slightest provocation instinctively narrate them to anybody who cares to listen. These include moribund infrastructure (roads, railways, inland water ways); perpetual power failure which has hamstrung every sector of the economy and froze employment opportunity for both young and old across the country even as various sources of energy are staring us in the face ( hydro, thermal, solar, gas ,petroleum, and even uranium for atomic energy); paralysed health and educational sectors which reduced the Nigerian middle class to medical and educational tourists across the globe and the poor masses to a reduction of their life span to less than fifty years; corrupted public administration which created room for the development of heinous crimes like robberies, banditry, cattle rustling, commercial kidnapping, breaking of law and order and public morality and above all the rise of brutal and heretic insurgency which the Nigerian Armed Forces cannot even confront not to say contain except with the assistance of small neighbouring countries.
The great expectations of Nigerians is that the APC government should solve all these problems and many more even in the face of dwindling revenues in the oil sector which successive governments have allowed to be the mainstay of the National economy as the major export earner. The citizens are not in the mood to listen to excuses for non-performance and hence the new government should be highly focused, selective in the appointment of public functionaries who can deliver and look inwards for the development of the economy by maximising the exploitation of our natural resources for the supply of energy, raw materials and the human capital for running the various sectors of the economy and public institutions.
No country can thrive in an environment characterised by insecurity to lives and property. The level of insecurity in Nigeria today does not only jeopardise the survival of the country but is even a disgrace in view of its claim to African and black leadership. The entire armed forces of this country must be overhauled to restore their integrity and professional competence which have been undermined over the years by ethno-religious, sectional bigotry and godfatherism. Merit should be the watch word right from the point of recruitment to subsequent advancement in the services and this should not be compromised under any circumstances. Otherwise any small country can subdue and overrun Nigeria anytime it feels like doing so, and internal security would continue to elude us. The welfare of the armed forces should be drastically improved upon to eliminate corrupt tendencies, abuse of human rights and restore morale. The same should apply to the Department of State Services whose spoke person Marilyn Ogah has reduced its ranking before the reasonable estimation of the Nigerian public.
A situation where thousands of lives and millions of cattle and other animals are constantly lost to well-known bandits and marauders who have systematically reduced rural Northern Nigeria to a theatre of war can no longer be tolerated. The haulage of these proceeds of banditry and robberies by registered trucks that ply Nigerian highways can be arrested by reviewing our highway and traffic regulations and licensing of cattle and commodity traders to shut out receivers and conveyers of stolen animals and other goods. Special armed squads equipped with helicopter gunships should patrol the areas that are known to be safe havens for the bandits. Their protectors and barons should be identified and prosecuted and special arrangements should be made with neighbouring countries to prevent cross-border operations.
The ruinous oil theft in the Niger Delta is thriving because of the involvement of high profile security officers, politicians, business men and foreign oil traders and shippers. This menace can be curtailed if appropriate measures are taken against them and their foot soldiers by the deployment of marine commandos and 24 hour air patrol of oil pipelines and installations. Sophisticated satellite surveillance mechanisms can also be deployed in the oil producing areas to detect any tampering with pipelines. A situation where ex-militants and bandits are given huge contracts to safeguard oil pipelines and installations is like putting a thief in charge of stores. All these so called contracts should be terminated with immediate effect and marine commandos be deployed in their place.
The external image of Nigeria has also been jeopardised by irresponsible violations of our long standing foreign policy posture. There is urgent need for immediate redemption and restoration of the confidence of the comity of nations in us by repairing all the damages that have been suffered in this regard. There is no doubt that if the manifesto of the APC is implemented as expected, the party can leave a legacy that will be remembered for long. We wish the new government every success and Allah’s guidance in its endeavour to move Nigeria forward.