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Nigeria needs help

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Friends who have globe-trotted invited me for a three course meal in a popular hotel in Port Harcourt.

All three friends chose their courses with ease including wines. When the beautiful waitress approached me, I noticed that all names for food and drinks in the a la carte menu were in a language I didn’t understand.

See! There was no point in giving her a politician’s smile. 

Before university education, I worked for a hospitality outfit in Kaduna as an administrative staff. The director was also amongst the Board of Directors of another company called Quarter House Nigeria Limited. They were into imported wines.

On that wine list in that hotel I couldn’t see Bordeaux Blanc, Beaujolais Blanc, Chardonnay, Sauvignon blanc which I could faintly remember in my pre-university days.

All names were as alien as the food on the menu. I made sure my friends weren’t listening. I told the lady, “I don’t know anything on this menu.

But I trust your judgment. Give me something nice to eat.” It was humbling to her and she made sure, I got something decent to eat.

The old woman in the boat prayed to The Lord to protect them on their seafaring journey. Midway into the journey and without warning, the boat’s engine stopped propelling and needed to be repaired.

Same woman, who was earlier on a servant of The Lord, touched the water body and shouted “Woyeghgi/ Wayingi,” “I am your daughter, please save me.”

A classic case of serving two masters, The Lord and a water goddess. We ask for help for its sake.

The country needs real help. After all, a country can only be built when people from all divides are engaged and their strength leveraged for the benefit of others.

The country needs to be peopled with folks not afraid to take risks, make mistakes, and reward failure to learn and not only to celebrate success.

Nigeria needs to envision the future. Many people need to be convinced about oneness so they can coach others and lead them in a new direction.

Empowerment of people should be total so as to enable them focus on the right things, be thick-skinned when men of straw with no history come calling, and have a high sense of duty to fatherland.

These agent-provocateurs are driven by self-interest, which of course, is the “first law of ambition in nature” why help them achieve their ambition? Allow them to glory in the phantasm that they are important. We know they aren’t.

As soon as politicians end their tour-of-duty in Nigeria, they suddenly remember all of the solutions to Nigeria’s problems, not before. They become statesmen. They do not challenge the status quo in office but after.

Never frown at receiving perquisites such as security votes in office but after.

Outside office they try to micro-manage their successors and may not see eyeball-to-eyeball on state matters. This is one of the major problems of Nigeria which hinders growth and development. Administrators everywhere anoint successors to carol for their interests and not those of the polity.

How might we therefore save state funds? In a country where personality cult reigns in politics, where economic standards are abysmally low? Only a handful of governors today have broken free from being micro-managed by predecessors.

America was built by few persons and not discovered as a rich country.

Some of the few visioners who built America included John D. Rockefeller, JP Morgan, Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford, Cornelius Vanderbilt – Thomas Edison etc without venturing to her political leaders for space constraint.

Theirs (the people mentioned above) were cases of from rags to riches occasioned by ingenuity and the need to grow polity for the common good.

These men couldn’t have developed America if there were Boko Haram fighters next door, demagogues elsewhere, with militants blowing oil pipelines, irredentists movement, and man-eaters, terrorists pretending to be animal herders, kidnappers and ritualist on deathly prowl. And Instead of helping to address these security challenges before calls for investors, we are forever in denial.

This country needs many men of integrity and honour (“Mensch”), to build great institutions and greater men to run these institutions. Because there is no guarantee that weak leaders (Mensch) wouldn’t dismantle the great institutions that they inherit. Bigots will always remain bigots.

Trying to help bigots reform and love all persons without borders is akin to shutting the stable door after the horse had bolted.

Thoughtful leadership by members of the political class and government to deradicalise the minds of people aspiring in the footsteps of felons is necessary. Well groomed politicians do not grope for stones to cross the democratic river.

One way to avoid electoral violence is to promote an inclusive society and shun the endless twaddle that some states are states for particular political parties by default.

Such statement by folks who love to idealize political correctness forcing such stereotypes on people is out of order as some followers, may not be sharp enough and others with abbreviated intelligence may accept such generalisation literally.

It makes people who hold on to the directorial beliefs of other parties to be seen as ‘our enemies.’ We must step up efforts to stop the tide of violent extremism.

Why should people visit the polling booths again in 2019, when politicians haven’t been able to reign in these marauding punks called herdsmen.

Imagine one sycophantic governor blaming traditional rulers for cracks in security, promising to hold them accountable, as if Nigeria practices a Triarchy. Traditional rulers only influence social process.

They don’t wield power and do not have a standing army. How can we hope for any change in this dispensation when Nigerians work at cross purposes?

Political awareness is a gift that’s rare in Nigeria. For this reason, folks enjoy discussing drivel for its own sake and keep themselves amused by fustians in the name of activism.

Great countries are built when people are great in their ways but greater out of their ways to give latitude to people not like them.


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