It is obvious that, our nation Nigeria has we have come to know it, is in the doldrums of anguish, unbridled inter regional bitterness, intractable security challenges, gnawing poverty, impoverished populace, and mass exodus of people in search of greener pastures.
This coming election will be a great decider for many people… on whether to hope for a new nation or lament, there was once a nation. This election will test the grit and the tenacity of everyday Nigerians if the labors of our heroes past has been in vain or if it had been worthwhile. The question to be answered is, withal the future of Nigeria?
As a young kid growing up in Ibadan, listening or watching NTA or BCOS or Radio Nigeria, I hear Evi Edna Ogholi’s song, “Nigeria go survive…Africa go survive… my people go survive o…” I recall Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey’s classic… “Nigeria yi si ma dun…” and I marvel now at the situation of things then and now…and many more songs of patriotic Nigerians who believe in Nigeria. I recall the maxim, “Youths are the future of tomorrow “… heard this way back in primary school, I am now a father of two and in my 40s and it seems the Youth are yet to see that future so painted and spoken about in the 80s, 90s and the 2000s… for the same people that spoke it are still very much occupying the corridors of power and does who happen to be there now… are encumbered with the sheer magnitude of the present hence unable to attempt to think of tomorrow. And the question again is, withal the future of Nigeria?
It would not make any sense to rehash nor flog the dead horse issue of the numerous challenges our nation Nigeria is confronted with…It has become a sad reality and people yearn for a release…a new dawn albeit fleeting it may be in the horizon.
The political parties are already conducting their primaries, the opposition parties already have their flagbearer to contest in the upcoming election and everyone waits with bated breath for the screening exercise of APC to be concluded and a flag bearer to emerge. But the crucial question is, who will lead us out of this wilderness to the promise land amongst all these flag bearers?
First, what is the promise land we are looking forward to? A land flowing with milk and honey? Abundance and safety? Now let’s get optimistic…let’s ask ourselves, what do we hope to see that would give us the confidence to stay put and believe in the Nigerian dream? I have a few of my own…
- Equity and Justice across the land.
- Peace and Progress in the Nation.
- Prosperity and Abundance in the Land.
- Growth and Equal Opportunity Development for all Nigerians.
These sort of sums it up for me….and it would require a scrutiny of the agenda and manifesto of all the contenders to see who has the best interest of Nigeria at heart.
This is not a time for storytelling bling castles in the air as it had been in the past. This is pragmatic solutions based on a clear vision of the enormous possibilities of the people of Nigeria and the nation of Nigeria itself.
I see a country, where we all can stand tall and proud in the community of nations and not be ashamed of been called Nigerians. I see a country where the least Nigerian is greater than the highest citizen of any prior first world country. I see a nation, where the people are one, in thoughts, deeds and action and they make a collective force to influence nations and be a force to reckon with.
Am I overly optimistic? People who know me would disagree that I am overly optimistic. But I just have a knowing within me that this election, would determine the fate of our nation, and the kind of leader we elect, would influence the course of this nation for the next decade and beyond. So, the question is, who is the idea candidate amongst all the people jostling for the seat of the number 1 citizen of this nation?
I have my preferred candidate, but you need to decide who you want your next president to be, devoid of sentiments, tribal jingoism, and political acrimony. Rather, choose based on antecedents, pedigree, personal and public accomplishments, personal integrity, and goodwill with all men.
The time as come, for Josiah Holland’s prayer to be answered in our nation Nigeria,
GOD, give us men!
A time like this demands
Strong minds, great hearts, true faith and ready hands;
Men whom the lust of office does not kill;
Men whom the spoils of office can not buy;
Men who possess opinions and a will;
Men who have honor; men who will not lie;
Men who can stand before a demagogue
And damn his treacherous flatteries without winking!
Tall men, sun-crowned, who live above the fog
In public duty, and in private thinking;
For while the rabble, with their thumb-worn creeds,
Their large professions and their little deeds,
Mingle in selfish strife, lo! Freedom weeps,
Wrong rules the land and waiting Justice sleeps.Josiah Gilbert Holland (24 July 1819 – 12 October 1881)
And only one man can fit this description without any ambiguity and rancor…