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WHICH WAY NIGERIA?

In erat urna, tincidunt nec pulvinar

I never knew how disappointed other nationals were on the “Project Nigeria” until I engaged a close friend from Benin Republic, who is a catholic priest in his early 40s. He told me emphatically that the white teachers who taught them back in his primary school days told them that Nigeria will be "Pride of Africa" by the year 2020. That Nigeria will be like the likes of Japan, Singapore, Canada, U.S.A etc. by the year 2020.

The prophetic year is just three (3) years away and still Nigeria is nowhere compared to the emerging Asia tigers, let alone to the developed worlds. The case of Nigeria is like that of a shoemaker’s wife walking bare footed. The scarcity in the midst of plenty, the farmers-herdsmen clashes, the attack on oil installation, non payment of salaries despite windfall of Paris Club Refund to State Governors, poor health administration (meningitis and cholera hold sway) and low standard of education is a pointer to dearth of good leadership by the past and present administrations. Our leaders have made us look like a palace jesters among our equals. No nation is taking Nigeria serious due to the fact that the government is a non continuum. New government, new policies, new strategic plans if there is even any.

Nigeria is where the accused is being found guilty even before charging him or her to competent court of jurisdiction.  Cases are prosecuted and won on pages of print and electronic -media and public opinion court. It is only In Nigeria where our leaders use our collective patrimony to live a luxurious lifestyle at the expense of the common citizens. It is only in Nigeria price of goods and services increase without falling, it's in Nigeria a Governor of a state will blame outbreak of meningitis on the sins of his followers, its only in Nigeria, another state Governor will denounce the over 3 million street children in his state as citizen of Nigeria. The list goes on and on.

Nigerians are their own government because they forced to cater for themselves from safe water (borehole), electricity (generator), security (private guard).

Life almost worth less than a liter of petroleum. Innocent lives are wasted on a daily basis as a result of the handy work of Bokoharam, killer herdsmen, army against the shiite muslim sect (more than 600 souls wasted), soldiers against Biafra agitators, cult clashes, the badoo cult, preventable road clashes as a result of bad roads. Despite all these bloodletting, our leaders are clueless on finding a lasting solution to these national plagues. The hypocrisy of our leaders  stinks to high heaven. The Nigerian army has been given all the needed support to bring the cattle rustlers  to their knees. Yet, the killer herdsmen are moving freely with their weapon in villages and towns   without the fear of apprehension from same military empowered to dislodge the enemies of the state like Niger delta avengers, cattle rustlers and Biafra agitators.

The face-off between the Executive and the Legislative arms of the Government leaves more to be desired for. One does not need to be a political scientist to realize that it is a "Battle of Ego" but what bothers like-minded Nigerians like myself is, how long will our leaders continue to allow personal interest to superintends over issues of national importance? We don't care about who wins, all we care about is how the interest of common citizens will win over all their tetchy fights.

Undoubtedly, four years term is never a century in life of any nation. The day you took the oath of office should be the day you should consider writing your handover speech if truly you understand transient nature of power. Our leaders are easily carried away by the euphoria of the office they are occupying. Know that you are not the first and certainly you will not be the last to occupy that position you are currently holding. So, I beseech you to write your name in sand of history before you wish you could turn back of hands of time.

As a youth advocate, I cannot dare drop my pen without imploring us to take full control of our today and future. Aren't we tired of being used and dumped after elections?  Note this, election is just a "one day event" what happens to us after election? We cannot leave it to our fate. We have the numerical power to decide our collective future but we easily squander it due to our individual selfishness and other primordial sentiments that are abound.

I join my voice with other nationalists like Atiku Abubakar, Pastor Tunde Bakare, Emeka Anyaoku among others to call for total restructuring of this country if we must make progress as a nation and one people under one God.