May our roads 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.
Ironically, all concerned writers on the state of dystopia in Nigeria are now being viewed as “delusional” but I call them incurable optimists. The literary doctors and pharmacists that proffer prescriptions and cares/cures for national malaise are amusingly being seen as psycho/patients. Concerned citizens “never feel certain of any truth but truth from a clear perception of its beauty”. We will continue to talk and write until we see Nigeria of our dreams. We pray at the end of of the day, our dreams for a great country shall never be wet dreams.
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 crossroads, he needs to alleviate the sufferings of the people before his famished compatriots revolt. We blame him now (for our want of immediacies) 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. President Buhari is envisioned for a better Nigeria, but his loyalty to party and the understandable impatience of Nigerians is impeding his efforts for acceptable results.
The internal wrangling in his party and the president’s loyalty for members’ political expediency came to fore recently from the first lady Aisha Buhari, i.e. his wife when she couldn’t stomach the shenanigans in her husband’s party. She was smart enough to have voiced out her concerns for her beloved husband, and for the plebeians who voted Gen. Buhari to power. Characteristically of Nigerians, the bedroom tango or boogie down of his wife “belonging to the other room” was a political comedy or misnomer for some weeks before it fizzled out to Nigerian political archive. Nigeria is currently a stunning theater of the absurd.
My honest admonition to president Buhari is to have a one-term presidency. His frail-looking-stance and incorruptible mind should be encouraged in his first four years-probably the last term of his one-term administration to curb corruption. The proposed one-term should be used to build a corrupt-free template that his successors will build upon. Consequently, Nigerian people will support him in search of a honest individual; a vibrant, intelligent and corrupt-free Nigerian to be his successor.
Nigeria has aplenty, honest and resourceful individuals with impeccable characters. They should be encouraged to participate in the politics of a new Nigeria not the current penkelemeesi (peculiar mess) type of politics. The next political dispensation needs a thoroughbred and a vibrant young individual in the Aso Rock. A nationalist, incorruptible, detribalized, 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 circumlocuted and tired but unretired politicians who have wasted their generation. This is the time to go back to the drawing board to plan on how to incubate a new youthful and purposeful leadership. Any leader who has whimsically by commission or omission contributed to this generation’s woes should be democratically ostracized from our polity, and made to shamefully go to permanent retirement.
America is a diverse country with so many possibilities. The utilization of her 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. Nigerian intellectual acuity and business acumen are absolutely undeniable. 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 a dear country-Nigeria.
Meanwhile, the templates that make America great are all embedded in our human and natural endowments in Nigeria. What we urgently need now is to untap these nuances with imagination and possibility for sustainable growth and development of Nigeria.
Our rich cultural heritage and thick diversity give Nigeria unparalleled status as potentially a giant country, not only in Africa but in the world. Our human capital and the nature given potentials are second to none among Nigerians’ contemporaries. The entrepreneurship of some Nigerians and Nigeria as a hub for trade and investment are enviable to the global community. Our intelligence-power-house brimming with ideas, which are not yet explored or tapped can change the world. But the decades of misrules and mismanagement have turned Nigeria to a wasteland, making the Diaspora-Nigerians to seek greener pastures.
The bane of leadership to using what we have to get what we want with our intelligence is our misplaced priority. This has been the usual norm through bad leadership and bad followership. Good leadership engenders good followership; bad followership encourages bad leadership, as the two are not mutually exclusive. Leadership is a reflection of the society and her people. Leadership and followership in Nigeria have symbiotic relationships, presently, they’re in a state of confusion. The two have destroyed the fabric of a beleaguered society. This is the time these two groups revolutionized their minds, the dreams of a better Nigeria must be attained.
In a nutshell, the Diaspora-Nigerians must not give up all hope on Nigeria. Home is home. Though, it is evident that the current Nigeria is a circumstantial child in search of her mother’s true identity, but provident has a place for her in the comity of nations if she gets her acts together through unity and peaceful coexistence. We need to mass mobilize and educate ourselves so we can facilitate her progress through collective efforts. The youth should also jettison divisiveness, resentment and corrupt practices. They should avoid being the willing tools in the hands of these expired politicians. These are the honest prescriptions for recouping the lost glory and veer away from Hobbesian state. This is honestly a difficult period for Nigeria. There should be a collective and national urgency for Nigeria’s revival and the youth’s reconnaissance.
If Isrealites could wander with thousands of journey in the wilderness for forty years, and still got to the promised land, Nigeria with her tumultuous and unending journey in finding her lost identity and glory is realizable. All we need is a genuine sense of imagination and possibility to bring back peace and progress for 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 a reminiscent of the biblical story of the prodigal son. Our prodigal leaders collectively need to come back to us in repentance, and declared to Nigerians that they have sinned against heaven and before us; that they are no longer worthy to be our leaders, but they should 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 for war, and the just concluded Ondo State’s gubernatorial election, and with little or no skirmishes, in the midst of hopelessness, there’s still unblemished hope for a better Nigeria.
All we need now is to unleash our imagination for unending possibilities for all Nigerians. This administration must not fail. Yes! It must not fail! It must begin to wear a human face by providing succor to cushion the multiplier effects of hunger in the land. The plebeians are helpless and hungry in the midst of plenty. We must all be watchdogs and stakeholders to contribute our individual efforts for a collective and realizable goals we have in sight. Henceforth, every citizen should defend Nigerian bruised unity, and uphold her lost honour and glory; be hardworking with common purpose. So shall God help us to attain our dreams of progress and tranquility.
Our nonexistent lost identity is imbued and hidden in the unity of common purpose. We are yet to rediscover ourselves. If America can be a prosperous country with its diversity and her various nationalities, Nigeria can be a great country if we jettison divisiveness, cultural and ethnic biases and other religious idiosyncrasies. To borrow President Barack Obama’s etiquette on America, there should be no Ibo-Nigerian, Hausa-Nigerian and Yoruba-Nigerian in our political lexicon, but a collective clamor for a United States of Nigeria. Nigeria is in the midnight of her life, we are yearning for the dawn of a new era, an era where we will all have tomorrow in it, when her tomorrow becomes real.
Surely, Nigeria must rise and be great again!