At 57: Nigeria is yet to get it right

Gabriel Osu

There is a growing state of despair across the country. One can feel it across board. From offices, churches, motor parks to our educational institutions, the message is the same: austerity. Even now that the government is saying we are getting out of recession, the average man on the street is yet to feel the difference. All we hear each day is news of trillions of naira that have been looted by past leaders. Such news bombard us every second, every minute and almost stifling our very breaths. Meanwhile, the economy is left to drift about the sea of uncertainty. We are in a delicate situation indeed.

In my opinion, if there is an entity that urgently needs to return to the drawing board, with the intent to rebuild, that entity is Nigeria. A country immensely blessed with human and material resources yet walloping in retrogression, is it not time we realise that things have truly gone haywire? Is it until people begin to drop dead on the streets in droves that it will occur to us that many are facing turbulence? Is it until we experience bloody mass protests across the country that it would occur to our leaders that Nigerians are suffering and need quick palliative? A common saying has it that when you fail to plan, you plan to fail. For years, we have been running like cars on autopilot, galloping about with no direction, without any viable road map, and we have since seen the result.

At 57, we are still far from the Promised Land our founders envisaged. It is now clear to all that we need a new lease of life. That was why this government was elected in the first place. But from the look of things, it appears we are not getting desired results. All time and resources appear to be expended on arresting those believed to have stolen our wealth, with little time left to develop other aspects of national life. More than two years have gone and we are still yet to feel the impact of good governance. Agitations, hate speeches and acrimony now reign supreme and it appears nothing is being done to calm frayed nerves.

Four years may appear a long time, but it is really not enough for any government wishing to tackle corruption to a standstill. It should be a continuous battle, even after this administration. It should not be seen as a Buhari agenda alone, but one that we all have agreed to pursue. It also requires a holistic approach, so that everyone will see it as his or her own responsibility. Unfortunately, this will not come easy, considering that we have been so divided across ethnic and religious lines. But we have a reference with the last national conference, which made several far-reaching recommendations on the way forward. Without sounding political, I want to call President Buhari and his team to summon the courage to pick up the document and see areas that can be incorporated as soon as possible.

It will also save everyone unnecessary time and resources.

• Very Rev. Msgr. Osu, Director, Social Communications, Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos.

In this article:
Gabriel Osu


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