Arise O Compatriots: A Defining Moment in our Nation’s History

People who live in difficult circumstances need to know that happy endings are possible” – U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Sonia Sotomayor.

This message is being sent to fellow Citizens and Compatriots of Nigeria at home and in the Diaspora. We have come this far!!!  We are a nation whose journey has been very rough and odious. In law enforcement parlance, there is what we call deliberate indifference; it is a criminal neglect of the vulnerable individual or people in a precarious situation.  Our leaders are guilty of this criminal negligence. Nigeria is blessed with abundant human and material resources. An entity castrated by corruption, nepotism, graft and hedonism. A nation whose leaders celebrate mediocrity in place of meritocracy. Our history has been very repetitious with avoidable misfortune and self-inflicted crisis.

In retrospect, when we were campaigning for the U.S. president Obama back in 2008, the US economy was free for all in recession. Americans lost thousands of dollars in their investments and jobs. The stock market nosedived to unmitigated level of less than 8,000 Dow Jones Industrial Average. Americans were economically distressed and depressed.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average has now sauntered to more 18,000 as the time of writing this article. When Obama came to the spotlight, his cool composure and antecedents gave us hope and we believed in him.

lagosWe were called names just like the Jonathanians are doing right now. We never wavered because we could see lights at the end of our dark tunnel. Today, one cannot through this medium elucidate the gains of Obama’s administration. Americans have not only recouped their lost investment, but everyone is smiling to their banks. He promised American less dependent on foreign oil, today America is not only getting to energy independence, its oil is very clean and the country is fast becoming a renewable energy producer. Pump prices of gas (petrol) are coming down with much for Americans to save as we celebrate Christmas and New Year. Unemployment was near 10% in 2008, now it’s less than 6% in 2014. The American government works for its people not against them.

The price of Nigerian oil which is the only source of income of the PDP government continues to plummet in the global market. We are a prodigal and corrupt nation who has never saved for the rainy days, the reality is now steering us in the face. To maintain the status quo is to keep the things the way they presently are. Folks, this is unsustainable. The world is a global village as we should be cognizant of lies and shenanigans being peddled around by the selfish people, the ignoramus Jonathanians amongst us. Jonathan’s government has succeeded in using religion and ethnicity to expose itself and help Buhari’s image to fore.

You can deceive people every time but you cannot deceive fertile and objective minds all the time. When you do not have records to run on, you start to demonize your opponent. Nigerians are not fools, they are only helpless of the hopeless situations in Nigeria. Disadvantageously, one thinks with the state apparatus in this government’s hands, they are fast reaching the bus stop. Nigeria is a secular state, no one in his state of mind can serially Sharialize Nigeria as it will be an exercise in futility and unmitigated disaster. This writer is a Muslim and has never thought of that about Buhari. We are all intertwined as brothers and sisters in Nigeria, Christians and Muslims, Ibo, Yoruba and Hausa, we all enjoyed the spirit of brotherhood and togetherness before our sociopath leaders introduced religious and ethnic sentiments into our political lexicon.

In this 21st century, it is a big shame as a versed country, with people of knowledge and intelligentsia to use religion in our political affairs to divide ourselves. Religion should not be a mean to an end in our polity but an end to itself. Let’s take a lesson as plebeians from American experience and change our country to path of prosperous nation. We have the manpower and resources but lack credible leadership to realize these laudable goals.

Today, as I write to you my dear Compatriots, Enough, this moment! APC, PDP and Nigerians,  this is the time to break the yoke of corruption and graft; this is the time to banish poverty and hopelessness from our land; today we are collectively coming together to use our ugly past to shape our glamorous future. We are a better people whose industry and resilience have brought us together in spite of the divisiveness of our leaders. Our collective sense of unity should ignite and energize our collective sense of imagination to land us in that state of utopia. It is doable.

The last half of a century of Nigerian nationhood has been abysmal failures of our leadership to bring government to the door steps of the impoverished people of Nigeria. Instead, it has been government of nepotism only to benefit the few individuals who keep recycling their corruption inflicted personae at the expense of the poor masses.
Our nation has been bedeviled with the man-made crisis. The fate of Nigeria rests squarely on our collective sense of unity; unity of purpose devoid of the naughtiness and wedge being used by our leaders to divide us.

The successive leadership of this great nation from the inception of nationhood has rule us cannily and conceitedly. To rule a nation with deceit and chicanery successfully, the leader must make the people poor, impoverished and hapless, this will enable him to use their minds to his own advantage; when he whips them today, he gives them carrots tomorrow. When national wealth is stolen, the wrongly wired plebeians are appeased and “rewarded” with few naira notes and bags of rice. Their sense of foresight is beclouded and they are sauntered into a self conundrum to mortgage their own future and that of their children. This sociopath leader congregates the best brains, intelligent and selfish individuals amongst them to sell his whimsical and waggish agenda. He will then be the king with unfettered authority. This has been the bane of our underdevelopment as a nation, and the time has come to emancipate ourselves from this self-inflicted bondage.

Our country is endowed with massive untapped natural and intellectual resources, but those entrusted with the exploration and exploitation of these resources have exploited them to their own advantage. The hapless people of this great nation have been at the receiving ends, they continually wanton in abject poverty and squalor as a result of the insensitivity of their leaders.

February 14, 2015 general election will be yet another opportunity and a defining moment in our nation’s history. We will be faced with a moment of decision again in our nation history and national destiny. The cynics and cavilers among us will discourage us, we will be called names and we will respect their freedom of expression,  but we will be defiant and veer our ways out of the famished road we are threading, and collectively embark on a journey on a new road to prosperity and tranquility. This write is an incurable optimist of a new Nigeria. He feels and dreams of a nation where we all have a collective tomorrow, when tomorrow becomes real.

With the unexplored and clean template already in place, we need a leader with unblemished sense of probity, discipline and inclusiveness to re-engineer our conscience and consciousness. We need a proactive leader not reactionary leader without any sense of direction.  A leader who can face the threats of the future, not a leader who will keep basking in the ideas of the past; a leader who will shape our economy to reward dignity of work and equal opportunity; a leader who will meet our 21st century challenges with imaginative ideas and jettison the 20th century bureaucracy.

We desperately yearn for a leader who will create a thriving and competitive business environment by constructing good roads, build state of the art hospitals with modern equipment, provide uninterrupted power supply, provide clean energy and security of lives and property. Nigerians, we should not settle for Nigeria where every child does not have equal opportunity to education and jobs. All these are doable with responsible leadership.

The successive governments of Nigeria including the 16years nothingness of People Democratic Party of Nigeria-PDP, the biggest-for-nothing-party of Africa have squandered the legacy of our past heroes and heroines. A party that subsumed in self-aggrandizement and sees corruption as not stealing. Now is the time to rebuild our nation to meet the challenges of the future. We have no time to waste as the change we need is hovering over us, its impending touchdown will usher in Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, a man with the mind of a leader, a man with impeccable credentials, unstoppable and a no-nonsense persona as the president of this great nation. His government will not only bring change to Abuja, change will come to Nigeria.

Happy New Year. God bless you and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

IMAGE: Zouzou Wizman

Written by
Yahaya Balogun
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