By Kunle Rotimi
Nigeria’s birth circumstances, being unnatural and not carefully thought out in 1914 have constituted a plethora of crises facing the growing nation! From independence in 1960, series of socio-political, religious, cultural and economic ailments or upheavals have afflicted the great country, thereby threatening its existential stability.
Now at 52, Nigeria has had its own fair share of teething challenges that growing nations face! Instead of running fast in national adulthood, our beloved country still toddles at old age, trying to find its feet! Yet there is hope and we can overcome. But those who are charged with leadership responsibility of guiding the national growth-path have since independence become selfish, power-drunk, steeped in inordinate ambition with insatiable lust for perpetual occupation of public offices without commensurate productivity!
Most citizens too are frustrated, disillusioned, unpatriotic and needlessly sinister in demonstrating their collective aspirations. Instead of promoting success and supporting rapid development through their concerted and individual efforts, some of them have unwittingly waged emotional wars against Nigeria, venting their personal frustration and failure of their selfish expectations on general sensibility.
The negative disposition and caustic tongue of some over-critical Nigerians, coupled with calamitous leadership deficiency, needless coup d’état and opportunism since independence, have drawn back the nation, behind global clock of fast-tracked development! Some public office holders have had full cups of their nuisance values, when the quality and quantum of their efforts have only shown gyrating activities with no measurable productivity.
At 52, Nigeria needs men and women with better patriotic zeal and intestinal fortitude to contribute their spadework in building a stronger nation, where every citizen will be free to live anywhere, will think first of national progress, public interest and general economic prosperity, instead of the pervasive parochial leaning on tribal sentiments or religious bigotry! Most of those who parade themselves as ‘leaders’ have chequered history of retrogression in civil or military administration; they appear to me more like demagogues, with no clear conscience, vision or sense of urgency in terms of generating necessary wherewithal for moving our nation forward. We have seen cases where some leaders with poor past records are still oiling war machinery and beating disheartening drums of instability; conscripting hoodlums to make Nigeria ungovernable! This is unfortunate!
The time is now, for every Nigerian citizen and all our foreign partners-in-progress, to set free our collective aspirations, thinking better and doing only those things that can make the nation excel. We can start this by consciously subscribing our meaningful quotas and positive dispositions towards cultivating virile democratic culture, where responsible followership will beget responsible leadership. We must promote success in our own respective spheres of influence, to leave behind enviable legacies of distinguished citizenship!
God bless Nigeria. God bless our leaders. God bless all Nigerians!