A Christmas gift to all Nigerians
May our road not be crooked or rough again. May we have a mind of imagination for the possibility of a great Nigeria. The Late Dr. Tai Solarin’s historic greetings to Nigeria at Christmas or New Year, decades ago, were greeted with admixture of criticisms and welcoming applause. Decades after, his satirical exposition is still very relevant in our clime. This time, as the end of the year approaches, I am admonishing us to remain optimistic and be hopeful for a better Nigeria.
Nigeria is an exceptional country. It is also potentially a great country but her exceptionalism is being threatened. It is also being altered by the political and religious cabals in her midst. President Buhari is at a Crossroads. He needs to alleviate the sufferings of the people before his famished compatriots revolt. We blame him now for not immediately meeting his campaign promises in his more than one year in office. Rationally, it is easy to dismantle a house (embattled Nigeria), but to rebuild a lasting structure (new Nigeria), a re-engineering is important for the house (new Nigeria) to stand the test of time.
My honest admonition to President Buhari is to have a one-term presidency. The proposed one-term should be used to build a corruption-free template that his successors will build upon. Consequently, Nigerians will support him in search of an honest individual, a vibrant, intelligent and corruption-free Nigerian to be his successor.
Nigeria has aplenty, honest and resourceful individuals with impeccable character. They should be encouraged to participate in the politics of a new Nigeria and not the current penkelemeesi (peculiar mess) type of politics.
The next political dispensation needs a thoroughbred and a vibrant young individual in Aso Rock. A nationalist, incorruptible, untribalised, aspiritual and apolitical Nigerian who will be fearless, firm, fair and consistent in his/her approach to governance. The Nigerian youths should collectively rise up to say NO to these tired but politicians who have wasted their generation. This is the time to go back to the drawing board to plan on how to build a new youthful and purposeful leadership. Any leader who has whimsically by commission or omission contributed to this generation’s woes should be democratically ostracised from our polity and made to shamefully go to permanent retirement.
The utilisation of America’s richness in diversity, its unfettered imagination has made her a prosperous nation in the world. Just like America, anything that comes out of Nigeria changes the world. No country can underrate our resourcefulness.
As an incurable optimist of a great Nigeria, every single day, living here in America is a dream for prosperity, unity, peace and progress for my dear country, Nigeria.
Meanwhile, what makes America great is all embedded in our human and natural endowments in Nigeria. What we urgently need now is to unlock these with imagination and possibility for sustainable growth and development of Nigeria.
The entrepreneurship of some Nigerians and Nigeria as a hub for trade and investment are enviable to the global community. Our intelligence or our people, brimming with ideas, which are not yet explored or tapped can change the world. But the decades of misrule and mismanagement have turned Nigeria to a wasteland, making the Diaspora-Nigerians seek greener pastures.
Leadership is a reflection of the society and her people. Leadership and followership in Nigeria have a symbiotic
relationship and presently, both are in a state of confusion.
In a nutshell, the Diaspora-Nigerians must not give up all hope on Nigeria. Home is home. The youth should also jettison divisiveness, resentment and corrupt practices. They should avoid being willing tools in the hands of expired politicians. These are the honest prescriptions for reclaiming the lost glory of Nigeria.
If Israelites could wander in the wilderness for 40 years, and still got to the promised land, Nigeria’s lost identity and glory are realisable. All we need is a genuine sense of imagination and possibility to bring back peace and progress to our country. We need to restructure our minds by reordering our religious values and not being ungodly religious. The current leadership in the country is the reminiscent of the biblical story of the prodigal son. Our prodigal leaders collectively need to come back to us in repentance and declare to Nigerians that they had sinned against heaven and before us; that they are no longer worthy to be our leaders, but request Nigerians to treat them as some of their hired and repentant servants.
If Nigerians could elect their president in 2015 general election with determination, and no drop of blood in spite of tension and expectations of war, there’s still hope for a better Nigeria.
This administration must not fail. Yes! It must not fail! It must begin to wear a human face by providing succour in cushion the effects of hunger in the land. The plebeians are helpless and hungry in the midst of plenty. Henceforth, every citizen should defend Nigerian’s unity, and seek to restore her lost honour and glory.
Nigeria can be a great country if we jettison divisiveness, cultural and ethnic biases and other religious differences.
There should be no Igbo-Nigerian, Hausa-Nigerian and Yoruba-Nigerian but a United States of Nigeria. Surely, Nigeria must rise and be great again!
Balogun writes from Arizona, USA.