American Thanksgiving: A Reflection for Nigeria

by Yahaya Balogun
nigeria america

The best way to predict the future is to create it” – Peter Drucker

“Good leaders don’t care about getting credit for good intentions but they’re envisioned by the courage of their convictions.” – Yahaya Balogun

Every time you go out of your comfort zone or house here in the United States or travel to other States of the Union, it’s a sad reminder of the sorry state of our roads in Nigeria. It’s like our leaders are under a spell. How do you expect leaders to rehabilitate the roads when they have not even rehabilitated their own mindfulness? A state of anomie in the Banana republic of Nigeria? No! The reverse should be the case in a nation flowing with milk and honey in the households of her handlers. On a thanksgiving day in America, every American counts his/her blessings in various forms. Millions of Americans will be on the roads transiting from coast to coast.

Interestingly, no =N=20 police checkpoints or anticipation of armed robbery on the roads. It is more splendid or splendor traveling on the road than by air in the US with your family, most especially on long-distance travel. Prices of basic household goods and other essential consumables come down deliberately for the yuletide—-and they are within the reach of the ordinary man in Arizona or California or Texas or other states of the federation. It is an organized society with the rule of law and compassion. In Africa, nay Nigeria, the situation is a replica of a Hobbesian state where life is short, brutish, and nasty. Nigerian leaders don’t care except for their immediate families and acolytes. Spiritual leaders are motivated by the selfish levies on their gullible and ignorant followers. Political cronies expectedly rely on the crumbs from the political tables of the politicians. The periods of (what I call ‘embers’) ending September, October, November, and December are fearful periods for Nigerian travelers because of bad roads. These ‘ember’ periods in Nigeria are not different from the ‘ember’ periods in America or Europe. Nigerian people are fixated on the superstition of ember periods for spiritual escapism.

Sadly, life has been short, brutish, and nasty for a long time in Nigeria. Nigeria is going through spiritual and political anomie. The ugly picture and daily news from Nigeria are very concerning. Confusion is everywhere. Hunger, pangs, pains, diseases, religious deceits, and hopelessness dotted everywhere. Judiciary is full of corruptible judges with graveyards of currencies in their backyards and bedrooms, the Executive is ineffective and corrupt. The legislature is an association of corrupt people and NASTY noisemakers, the plebeians are helpless and nonchalant in helping themselves. It is all “confusion breaks the bones” in a “Yeepa” nation we call our own country. The current state of Nigeria is a state of dystopia. Friends do not want other friends to succeed or grow. To have most Nigerians as friends, you better don’t crave for enemies. In Nigeria, the man next door is not your neighbor if he doesn’t share your political or religious beliefs. All he needs is to do rankadede and get crumbs from the sociopaths next door who is a politician at the center. The height of hypocrisy, resentment, selfishness, and hate amongst the people continue to grow unabated. How does a nation thrive under that conceited nature?

There is an urgent need to convocation a national conversation where everyone will be a stakeholder. The challenges are daunting! Restructuring of Nigeria is inevitable if we’re to see developmental changes. Every geopolitical zone in Nigeria is aggrieved with the center. Young and old people, religious leaders, political elites, students, farmers, market women, artisans, veterans, and other assemblages of people should come together to truly discuss Nigeria going forward. Let’s use the zuckerville and the media to revolutionize the consciousness and conscience of a bruised nation.

The potency of social media is grossly being underutilized in Nigeria. The efforts of some Nigerians at home, and in the Diaspora must be commended for mobilizing the Diaspora-Nigerians to be more involved in building a viable and egalitarian society. Nigerians do well in other organized countries because of the conducive templates in place in these advanced countries. Kudos must be given unrepentantly to resourceful and emerging young entrepreneurs in Nigeria. Nigeria is an unusual place to habitat or transacts honest business without compromising your ethics and values. Nigerian entrepreneurs who are thriving with honesty in their various businesses in our corrupt clime must be commended and appreciated. The naughtiness of all Nigerians is becoming a recurrent national tragedy. Something needs to be done fast to redirect the travelers on this famished road to perfidy.

There seem not to be savoir-faire or any tact on how to tackle our gloomy economy and other mundane problems in Nigeria. President Buhari’s nepotism and deliberate muteness are his burdens. President Buhari should henceforth reconsider walking a fine line and bring corruption to its knees. Alas! Buhari seems to be cluelessly failing with abysmal in this direction. All Buhari’s government needs is a sacred cow as a deterrent to potential other corrupt individuals. But his conscience, to me, will be very reluctant to go to equity. President Muhammadu Buhari has got his hands marred with the malfeasance of the Nigerian system. Posterity may not allow him to escape entirely from the responsibility of his recalcitrant hands.

The circumlocution of politicians and men of ‘yesterday’ will continue to clog his intention to change the corrupt values of all Nigerians. Buhari should take heed of these political associates; come not near any government in power (AGIP), have an eye with men of yesterday, they love thee not! Buhari loves thyself not, too. Buhari’s body language when he came to power seems to have been neutralized by the mighty power of corruption and nepotism. He seems helpless with his fragility and septuagenarian status now. Auspiciously, the president must be seen to have fought corruption to a standstill to etch or imprint his name and legacy for posterity. Whoever will take over from him must recalibrate his envisioned legacy running into visionless. Good leaders don’t care about getting credit for good intentions but they’re more envisioned by the courage of their convictions. Though Buhari has his SWOT (shortcomings, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats), those of us who can read beyond parochialism have seen his dreams and vision for Nigeria, but he’s failing his people miserably. We are taking the opportunity from his SWOT to support his government to overcome his shortcomings, weaknesses, and threats around him. But is the President helping himself?

The threats (corrupt people and their children) around him are not resting in their corruptible oars to derail his administration. Buhari’s recalcitrant postures will fail his good intentions.

This writer unrepentantly still bonds and stands by/with a leader yearning to rewrite our ugly history. If Buhari fails in his one-man battalion of fighting corruption, this “wasted generation” of Nigerians and Buhari’s complacency may not be pardoned by the next coming generation of Nigerians. Like I have said in another medium, our midnight or graveyard can still be turned to the dawn of a new era in Nigeria. The recommended national panacea is to come together like a united country and collectively rebuild the rich but moribund country for the common good of all. We can do it!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends, colleagues in America.

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