I appeal to all Nigerians to see ourselves as one in humanity. We all need to work together to save our nation before it is too late to do so. A careful examination of our historical origins established high levels of interactions and interconnections amongst Nigerian ethnic groups.
In fact the confirmation of the ethnic identity of individuals in the absence of biological determination of ancestral origin is difficult (if not impossible). There was no group in Nigeria that was completely alien to the other in the pre-colonial days. The problems we have cut across all ethnic or tribal groups, faiths or ‘non-faiths’, states and regions of the nation. The problems were caused by all. The solutions have to come from all.
We should as an issue of moral necessity question how our ‘brothers and sisters’ have fared with our resources and developmental growth as appointed or elected public officers at local government, state or national level. Our problems are not ethnic or tribal, religious or irreligious. The problems we have can be argued as class-based (the masses versus the ruling elites) and not ethnic or tribal based. The problems were not caused by Hausa-Fulani, Kanuri, Igbo, Ijaw or Yoruba leaders.
Our problems are caused by the followers who individually and collectively embrace a culture of impunity in their daily lives. The followers who ensured their wards pass W.A.E.C. or make ‘progress’ in their endeavours through fraud and then expect the youth to bring up a sane society where things work. The followers who demand or offer bribes for jobs that should be done. The followers who honour individuals of dubious means while consciously or otherwise dishonour individuals of mentoring qualities because they are of little means. The followers who have forgotten that our leaders emerged from the same culture of impunity they enthroned, and those leaders cannot establish a better society. The followers who are ready to lose their lives for their predators: the same individuals who enthroned poverty and infrastructural deficiency in the polity.
The problems we have were caused by professionals, educated or otherwise, who failed to live by the ethics of their professions. Our problems are caused by staff members of public agencies and institutions such as the Judiciary, ICPC, EFCC, Investigative and Disciplinary Panels who cover ups acts of impunity and ensure no deterrence is served. Our problems are caused by law makers who become law-breakers.
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The problems we have are caused by leaders who enthrone the culture of parochialism, patronage and ethnic bigotry. The leaders who ensure employments and jobs are secured because of who you know and not because of your qualities to deliver the goals. The leaders who after mismanaging the regular federal allocations which they did not work for, go ahead to obtain loans for further mismanagement and indebtedness of living and unborn generations. The leaders who when called to account for their stewardship recruit youths or ‘elders’ who they deliberately impoverished to fight for their ‘self-acclaimed ethnic, tribal or religious saviour’.
Clearly, the nation is faced with problems of endemic poverty and infrastructural deficiency across the states and zones of the nation. Youth unemployment is of great challenge. Oil prices are at the lowest level in recent times. No one is sure of when oil prices will be up again, and for how long.
Elections have been held and leaders have emerged. We should now put the pre-election campaigns behind us. The opposition should engage in constructive criticism of the governments’ policies at all levels and help the government to move the nation forward. The government should focus on delivering campaign promises, fight against impunity which breeds corruption and engage all on the way forward.
The nation at this crucial moment needs us the citizens wherever we may be to proffer solutions to our problems. We need to bring up the best of creativity in us to enthrone ethical values individually and collectively, establish systemic reforms, bring up our educational system to a productive standard which can resolve our societal problems, diversify the economy, rein in the pervasive impunity in the polity, and ensure probity and accountability in governance. We all need one another. We do not need fragmented non-workable entities. We need a united Nigeria where justice and peace reign. Let us be united in diversity to drive the progress and development of Nigeria.
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