Calling on All Nigerians of All Walks of Life, Tribe and Religion to Rise Up
The Nigerian nation has existed as independent entity for 6 decades now. We have much to be grateful for in terms of human and infrastructural development. We have grown from 45 million people at independence in 1960 to over 200 million in population today. Our political structures have increased from 12 states to 36 states as of today and a bourgeoning Federal Capital that is fast becoming one of the finest cosmopolitan capitals of the world.
The Nigerian economy has experienced growth over this 60 years of self-government from the colonial domination of the Great Britain. Indeed there is much to thank the heavens for as far as our national journey is concerned.
However, most Nigerians today will say that is where the story ends. They will say beyond the shift in colonialism to self-rule, there isn’t much else to talk about. The simple reason being that ordinarily, the country should have been a true giant of Africa by now. That Nigeria should be standing among comity of nations today as a force and a voice to reckon with and a country of note on the African continent.
But that is not the story and reverse is said to be the case here. Most Nigerians today and those who are interested in the progress of the country have pointed out that the nation is richly blessed with natural resources including the black gold (crude oil) but it is ravaged by a level of poverty described as unparalleled in the 21st century world. It has the largest human population on the continent but it is incapable of harnessing it for optimal national development. Nigeria has the biggest economy in black Africa, but imports virtually everything including tooth pick.
The political development of the country had been truncated by military rule soon after independence. The period of militarism could simply be considered as a water-shed in the history of the country. The political structures have not been allowed to evolved under military rule, rather, they have been masticated and suppressed until the turn of the 21st century. When civil leadership was restore in the country on May, 29th, 1999, the people heaved a sigh of relief from cocking militarism. Hope of a better leadership and a better country was restored. Nigerians looked forward to their country rising from the ashes of the past and advancing in the direction of growth and development, of freedom and prosperity. They looked forward to a cutting edge leadership elected by them and for them. They wanted a country where there will be fairness, justice, peace and equity. A country where they and their children can reach optimal self-actualization in which they attain the good life and happiness.
Over 2 decades down the line
It is already over 2 decades down the line and our hopes are still hanging in the balance. Elections and re-elections have taken place. But our hopes remained dashed. Nigerians are still hungry. The country remains sick and lacking in all indices of development. Poverty, unemployment, poor health care system, embattled educational system, dead-traps roads, poor housing system, high level of insecurity, lack of press freedom, human rights violations, low minimum wage, low power supply and ceaseless bloodletting. The list is ad infinitum. The country is presently bedeviled by all kinds of ills. The internal pressures are pushing it towards implosion. Nigeria is at the cross roads. Nigeria is at the precipice. Nigeria requires urgent leadership intervention without which it faces doom of break down or break up.
As a people we are therefore in search of a credible, capable, reliable, honest, responsible and godly leader to steer the Nigerian ship away from the rocks. We need a national leader who is dispassionate, level-headed, patriotic and zealous about the welfare of the people and the progress of the country. The search for such a person transcends tribe and religious affiliation. The search for Nigeria’s saviour must involve all of us; Hausas, Igbos, Yorubas, all other tribes and Muslims, Christians and traditional worshippers. The country belongs to all of us and to our children and children’s’ children. For once, and for the benefit of all of us, we must bury our differences and deploy our diversity to achieve the good of the country. For once, let tribe, sectionalism, ethnicity and religion give way to a collective unity for the growth and development of Nigeria. We have no other place to call home, but Nigeria.