Saving Nigeria: By Opeyemi Farinde

By on October 10, 2016

 

As a Nigerian, I think daily on the myriads of problems facing our nation, and as years roll by, the situations just keep getting messier. Sometimes, I am scared if Nigeria really has a future; and sometimes, I feel so depressed not sure if Nigeria can work again. But when I remember the smiling faces I see daily despite the hardship, I become really hopeful.

In 1914, we inherited a Nigeria that was not ours. We received a nation built by fear, strife, hatred, and selfishness.

In the past 100 years we have shared a single dream of a united Nigeria. But none of our efforts have been able to realise this dream. We keep struggling, and we keep failing. The rage between our founding fathers has been passed to us and it keeps growing stronger now.

We have been frustrated to go through a civil war when the bond between us became so weak that only a war appeared could hold it longer. The bond was never that of love for each other, neither was it for peace. It was one that existed mainly to exploit the others of resources that should have benefited all.

War is never an option in building stronger union, and we made that mistake.

The immediate consequences were the loss of innocent lives and properties; the far reaching consequence is the greater division that still frustrates most efforts at national unity. We no longer trust each other and we have become savages. We have lost our humanity while terrorism, civil unrest, poor economy and poverty became visible signs of our national struggle.

Fifty-six years after independence, majority of our people are still wallowing in poverty and without access to good roads, electricity, healthcare and clean environment. We are led by a political class that is selfish, blind and irresponsive. And we the people keep failing to realise we actually give power to the few that continue to impoverish our lives instead of improving it.

We the people are the power; we are the future of Nigeria. If we do nothing, these people would do nothing. If we do not act positively in the direction of the great change we desire, these people would not act but only talk. We no longer want politicians not driven by their responsibilities to their people.

We have to make these people we empower become more accountable to the roles and responsibilities we entrusted in them.

These politicians are not different from us because they are from within us. Their seats of power make no difference, but their responsiveness to the duties we called them to.

If we continue waiting on them, nothing will happen. We will remain at the same spot and die. They will keep enriching their lives with public funds and still watch us die.

We have been lied to in the past and we are still being lied to today. In 2015, millions of Nigerian Masses hoped winners at the general election would drive the Nigerian dream, but the opposite has been the case. Nigeria has become further divided along ethnic and religion lines, and performance ratings have dropped lower than any period in the last decade.

These politicians are only leading Nigeria but not the people. They only talk about development and not actively working it, and this is the reason for their continued lack of vision and respect for the people.

We the people of Nigeria make Nigeria and not these politicians we gave power to represent us. We need new names we can risk trusting; and we need people who respect and are accountable to the Masses.

As 2019 draws nearer, we need to start looking at how to save Nigerians from these politicians that have lied to us serially. We need to start looking at how to save Nigeria from intellectuals that are paid mouthpieces for these rogue politicians. We need to start exercising the powers we have as citizens of Nigeria to determine those that lead us and those we discontinue from leading us when they fail to deliver.

We must be unified against these politicians because our national development is more important than our individual ethnic goal. If Nigeria is developed, we will all benefit. We should stop allowing these politicians cause division within us. If we continue fighting each other basis of our ethnic or religious affiliations, we can’t have a united voice to demand for the change we truly desire.

Short and long term sustainable solutions that will address the Nigerian problems should focus on immediate areas of need like agriculture, renewable energy, security, rural and urban development, small medium enterprise, community healthcare, internally displaced, education, social welfare etc. People we should trust with our votes in 2019 are those who have gained good knowledge of the problems in Nigeria and have developed citizens-centred solutions for Nigeria.

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