AS far as the historic destiny of Nigeria is concerned and its present locale in No Man’s Land, even the most optimistic observer will agree that we are a long way from home and sadly drifting farther astray.
Anyone may ask, “Where is the desired HOME for Nigeria?” It is clearly stated in the second stanza of Nigeria’s National Anthem: “… A nation where peace and justice shall reign.” Both are not mutually exclusive, they are interdependent: one guarantees the other. With justice reigning supreme, peace is guaranteed along with all the other supplications in that anthem – “great lofty heights attained…” “One nation bound in freedom, peace and unity…”
The primal task of interrogating our gloomy location and asking the hard question of how we find ourselves so far from “a nation where peace and justice shall reign” belongs to the people. Sadly, the people have left both questions and answers to the very architects of our misadventure, the political elites: majority by far of who do not think beyond their private and clique interests.
A casual glance at the affairs of the political elites, their actions and inactions, their conducts among themselves, within and between their various gangs labelled political parties, is sufficient for any rational citizen to begin rethinking, reacting and acting. That, however, is not the case.
There is an astonishing capacity for “suffering and smiling” typical of the average Nigerian, whereas those who are upset have largely embraced the most negative and socially destructive self-help solutions.
Nigeria is not the first nation to go through a history of social damnation. Many nations did. Some perished, most vegetate endlessly therein, and some rose like phoenix and become shining examples of nationhood; and we don’t need to go a long way overseas to find example for each. For the last mentioned happy batch of overcomers, Rwanda is a close by example, under the leadership of Paul Kagame and his crew.
Societal redemption and re-engineering is not the task of the entire citizens of a nation, whereas the majority of the citizens need to key into it at a certain stage. Its commencement is the task of only a few focussed, disciplined and highly organised patriots. The history of nations prove so; from the story of the founding fathers of America, to European nations, to contemporary “Asian Tigers.” What anyone will wonder about Nigeria is that: are there no men and women anymore in the largest black country on earth (fortuitously put together by divine providence) that are capable of coming together as patriots to do the needful, in a land once traversed by Ahmadu Bello, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Obafemi Awolowo, Aminu Kano, Balarabe Musa, Tai Solarin, Ola Oni, Eskor Toyo, Ken Saro Wiwa, Gani Fawehinmi and creative masters like Chinua Achebe, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, and others too many to mention for lack of space.
Election is the least of Nigeria’s humongous problems and certainly not an all-in-all bringer of solutions. If it is a problem or solution at all, it is only a problem and a solution for the elite – for the attainment of only God-knows-what for them! ASUU and tertiary education, like security and economic productivity, like corruption and “authority stealing,” like electrification and local refinement of crude, like many other tribulations, do not need a new Presidency and National Assembly to resolve. They all require a new order, a new system!
Just like a people produce the kind of government they deserve, let us hope our disposition as a people is not too woefully damned to produce the kind of patriots that we deserve, and in time, for an end to this dastardly motion without movement (other than into the abyss).