Nigeria: A Country On Auto-pilot! By

Fellow Nigerians, as the year is gradually winding down and what a year it has been! Sincerely, we don’t need esoteric revelation to know that the Nigerian ship is sailing speedily more than ever before towards a destructive massive iceberg.While extrapolations from recent events in our beloved country is leaving both the oppressors and the oppressed perpetually perplexed while others stand akimbo in utter confusion. Double tragedy!

Where we are today as a people didn’t fall on our laps as a cluster of cherries,we had remote and negative indications of this abyss but we were nonchalantly busy and wishful.There are gargantuan challenges to tackle, ranging from institutionalized and classified corruption both in low and exalted places, evil twins of ignorance and poverty, widespread insecurity, high rate of unemployment, inefficient power supply, massive human rights abuse, miscarriage of justice and outright disregard for the rule of law, electoral frauds, religious crisis, inter-tribal clashes to mention but just a few.

Really, we are all aware of these unfavourable forces contending against the peace and progress of this country but what has eluded and left us all in bewilderment is the permanent way out of this ugly mess we have been dragged into.

Let it also be clear that it is wasteful and sheer irresponsibility to outsource the solutions to our numerous challenges to expatriates, where do we really start from? No expatriate can move our aboriginal mountains for us. It falls on us as citizens to roll up our sleeves and get down in the trenches to do the dirty work! Although responsibility rises and falls on the shoulders of leadership of any community, institution and country who keeps custody of vast resources, it is pertinent therefore, that the leaders and the followers form working partnership for a sustainable progress and development.

The incessant and singular prayer on the lips of majority of the citizens and international observers is; is there any functional government in Nigeria? It is as if our dear country is currently on self-destruct auto-pilot. Or what do you make out a country where corruption and corrupt practices are condoned and celebrated in the broad day light and medals are given to the top three positions as if in athletic games? Where the judiciary convicts the innocent and discharges and acquits proven offenders! A country where millions of her youths roam the streets as result of ever rising rate of unemployment after many years of graduation. Where thousands of companies have folded up or moved their operation bases to neighboring countries, where hundreds of thousands of people lose their lives yearly as a result of bad road networks and negligence of the road management authority. A country where the highest authority in the aviation industry is more interested in self-serving N255m worth of bullet-proof cars for personal convenience at the expense of enforcing regulatory policies that should ensure safety of our airspace. A country that promotes the marriage of the minors and ignores their rights to universal basic education. A country where democracy has since become unattractive and unsustainable. A geographical entity threatened daily by home-bred terrorists (due to combined forces of ignorance and poverty).

At this juncture, if you are a Nigerian and you are still in doubt of the auto-pilot reality of the Nigerian ship, it is either you have since taken asylum in another country with limited or no access to a reliable information communication network or you are simply living in denial in which case is worse.

Fellow compatriots don’t be deceived God isn’t mocked, year 2014 and beyond might not be any better or different if we keep mute and just wish our way out this current quagmire into a choice haven. It doesn’t happen that way! We are a religious country with rich cultural heritages; these two factors have belied and kept us in fantasy seizure. The time has finally come to slap ourselves out of this prolonged slumber and brace up to our responsibility as agents of nation building. Let us stop deluding ourselves with a “all is well” when all isn’t really well as reflected by the stark reality of our country.

The first step to rescue the Nigerian ship from this auto-pilot condition is to stop living in denial of the Nigerian state and face the reality no matter how ugly. Let’s stop the blame game, our leaders emerged from us to steer the wheels of the Nigerian vehicle. We are our leaders and our leaders are part of us!

The second step is citizenship responsibility and participation awareness. The mass of the people possess the mighty weapon called a ‘vote’. With our votes we can remove or install a government that has failed to deliver on its manifestos and promises or return a government with a pass mark respectively. It becomes so worrisome when the electorates mortgage the future of their children for a slice of bread and mug of tea. Men and women of proven and tested characters and with potentials and intellects to catalyze and lead the reactions of the desired change in the system should be voted in at all level of representation in government without any unreasonable bias along the divide of ethnic,religion or gender.Meritocracy should be promoted and supported at all times.

Also our democratic structures and institutions should be strengthened at all fronts.

Corruption and financial scams should attract death penalty to dissuade others and let’s make public service unattractive to accidental politicians.Human capacity development should be promoted with massive industrialization for massive employment drive while creating entrepreneurship alternatives and easy access to short and medium term loan facilities to correct the imbalance in income distribution and reduce poverty to the barest minimum.Our infrastuctures should also be improved upon in both rural and urban cities to check rural-urban migration malady.

Penultimately, universal basic education is a third world mentality, Nigeria and the rest of Africa should move beyond that and provide qualitative education from primary to tertiary level.

Olanrewaju Daodu

Regional Representative(Nigeria)

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In the beginning...Let there be Light

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