A catalogue of what Nigeria should do to get out of the vicious cycle of the past.
By GODWIN ALEKE
In theÂ midst of our presentÂ chaos, the hopelessness in the land, theÂ skepticisms and fear that pervades our national psyche,Â the next 365 days offer a chance that we join hands together and restore theÂ trust that is much needed between our people andÂ government.
These days offer an opportunity for the people of my generation to stand and be counted among the heroes of the modern day Nigeria that beckons on the horizon, waiting for us to grab; demanding that some of us will recognize the need for us to say enough of the old rotten ways, enough of the directionless-ness of our time.
It demands that we forgo the temporary gains in pursuit ofÂ parochial interests, and rise to make the sacrifices required to secure a government of our land, by our people and for the interest of our people; it demands that we go beyond our lineage cleavages, our inhibiting tribal undertakings, our selfishness and greed; that we break out of our present circle of mutual suspicion, mutual recriminations and mutual pull-down syndrome built on ethnicity; and come to the true realization that we â€“ all Nigerians â€“ share a common destiny; that our challenges are the same, that we face the same denials and most importantly that we all are sons of God Almighty.
It also demands that we recognize that what we can achieve as a group in togetherness is far beyond the sum total of what can be achieved individually; that we as citizens of Nigeria can either survive as a group or perish in our individual anarchist pursuit of temporary gains.
Our challenges demand that our people, the middle class and the masses â€“ the poor and the denied in our midst â€“ who bear the brunt of the mis-governance in our land, come to theÂ understanding of who our real enemies are. That we came to realize that the wealthÂ being displayed by the few bankrupt politicians in our midstÂ isÂ part of our collective heritage looted. It demands that we understand that the lack of basic electricity from the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, the numerous deaths of our loved ones in the hospital as a result of lack ofÂ medicines and equipment, the accidents and deaths on our bad roads, are all the result ofÂ irresponsible successive governments.
We know that we are more intelligent than a government that lacks the basic ideas of job creation at a time when majority of our youths are without basic jobs. We know we are more advanced that the cheap lies originating from the circle of our governance, the cheap excuses they have always given as a reason for our backwardness.
These are a direct result of the resulting impact of the mis-governance in our lands, for which we must hold every of our corrupt politicianÂ responsible. We must insist that the old breeds that have wastedÂ fifty years of our nationâ€™s existence be given theÂ boot fromÂ public offices. We must as a group of people riseÂ to hold them accountable for the wasted years;Â the wasted opportunities, the wasted oil boomÂ of the 1970s and that of the early 2000s. We must make them less relevant in the scheme of things in our land. We must confront civilian scavengersÂ and their military apologists.
The next 365 days demand that we realize that there is no free meal anywhere,Â that even the Manna of the days ofÂ old was given after days in the desert by IsraelitiesÂ under a most capable leader called Moses. The present lootersÂ of our resources lackÂ the ability to pray to God for the Manna of our time as Moses didÂ on behalf of his people; they lack intelligenceÂ Â to articulate our vision as Moses did for his people; they lack the morality to communicate with God to be able to guide us out of our numerous problems as a people. As a consequence, the days demand that my generation must prepare to cross our Red Sea of cynicism and selfishness that lies between us and our Promised Land of good government; that we recognize that there are no short cuts to the land of honey and milk than the road through the desert.
We must say no to the recycling of the same old hands that haveÂ failed us severalÂ times in the past; the old,Â corrupt and inept leaders that lackÂ any genuineness in their promises. The progressives from the north, the progressives from the east and those from theÂ west must unite and come together to confront the looters of our resources.
We mustÂ wake up to the realities of our time. With this comes the honest demand for usÂ to harness our hydrocarbons and dams to powerÂ ourÂ industries. It is our time to harness the savannah in the north and the games therein to drive hunger away from our land. It is time to groom our scientistsÂ to harness the massive and intense sunshine in our land to heat up the solar panelsÂ to light up ourÂ cities and villages. It is our timeÂ to harness the limestone that abounds along the Benue basin to produce the cementÂ needed to build up our cities; the steel company must be fixed to provideÂ cheap steel worksÂ to reinforce the concretes.
It is our time to begin to refine our crude oil to produce the fuelÂ needed to powerÂ our automobiles and the coal tarsÂ toÂ fix our bad roads. It is our time to fund the researches in our universities needed to awaken our innovativeness and inventiveness. It is our time to involve our scientists and the industries to begin to process the numerous fruits and vegetable that aboundÂ in our land, and develop better ways of preserving them. They must be made to yield enough income for our farmers and the industries. They must also provide reasonable paying jobs for our youths. They mustÂ yield enough foreign exchange for ourÂ Â comatose economy, providing the much needed alternative to petroleum-dependent economy.
The next 365 days provideÂ an opportunity for us as a people to wake up and become serious as a group. It provides an opportunity for us to elect leaders that will begin to plan our economy; that can govern in such ways that can attract the industries and entrepreneurs needed to stimulateÂ local production. We can elect leaders that can govern andÂ restore trust among businesses, among our people and also instill transparency in our country.
We must elect leaders that can run a true government of our people, by our people and for our people. Such government will show Africa the way towards fulfilling the great biblical prophesy of Isaiah 19: 18-25; for the new promised Egypt signifies the modern African societies that is about to evolve.
Wake up my generation and let us take our destiny by our hands.
* Aleke is ofÂ Awodiora Estate, Lagos,email: Godwin.firstname.lastname@example.org