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Nigeria at 58, not yet Uhuru

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The warmth of the sun caressed the face of the land in the early hours of October 1, 1960.

The smug smile across the faces of Nigerians disappeared; there were great ecstasies across the land.

The symbolic lowering and hoisting of flags meant a new nation was born with a bright future for its citizens.

Yes, Nigeria has sailed through many turbulent storms in its 58 years of existence as a political entity; our leaders have failed to rescue us from the squall staring us in the face.

To say that Nigeria has what it takes to be a highly developed nation is to beg the issue, a country with rich and abundant resources’ still engulfed with terrorism, war, poverty, corruption and underdevelopment.

One would expect a python that swallowed its prey to be contented but no, a more existential threat sprang up from the Fulani herdsmen viciously destroying lives and properties.

Consequently, the masses’ have laid the culpability of past misgovernance on the door steps of our past leaders.

From independent till now, few leaders have emerged; we have had Sir Ahmadu Bello from the North whose selfless service was obvious in his commitment to the aspirations of the people he led.

We have had Dr. Azikiwe Nnamdi from the East, a man of peace, who switched allegiance back to Nigeria during the war and publicly appealed to Chief Emeka Ojukwu to stop the war in order to stop the bloodbath.

We have had Chief Obafemi Awolowo from the West, a man of visions and dynamic administrator.

His introduction of free primary education for all in the western region endeared him to many people.

It should also be reminded that he used the resources from the western region to establish the first television service in Africa in 1959.

They all had played their role in the leadership of this great country and leaving a stage at a time.

At the moment, we seem to have deviated from the values and beliefs of our great leaders.

The question is, can a true leader emerge from about 200 million people who will catapult us from the economic doldrums?

The concern citizens are therefore requesting for:

A leader who will place his personal, political and monetary interests ahead of the people.

A leader who will be devoid of manipulation and intimidation of opponents and people he serves.
A leader who will be held accountable, not offering flimsy excuses for non-performance and failures.
A Leader with intellect and righteous stubborn-less whose legacy will be an example for generations unborn.
A leader who will banish inequality and poverty into the ocean of forgetfulness.
A leader who is alert to development and dynamics of the external global environment.
A leader who is innovative and strives to attain greater heights and accomplishment that supersede the expectations of its people.
A leader who is talented and farsighted.
A leader who is resourceful and willing to mobilise Nigeria’s resources to fund Nigeria and not rely on foreign donor.
A leader who will call the kettle black because he knows the pot is matching.
A leader who cannot be caged by whatever spirit.
A leader who will repair our dysfunction.

A leader like Oliver Cromwell, who served as Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland from 1653 until his death, for him failure was not an option, he risk everything including his life, liberty and limb.
A leader who will fight for democracy and the rule of law.
A leader who will change our behavioural DNA to positive, in all ramifications.
A leader who is fearless and valiant in defense of what he believe in, a man of great heart and strength.
A leader who will bring good out of evil and hope out of fear.
A leader whose just, anger shall be feared and revered
A leader who will be the hunter of monsters and will fall the beast called corruption.
A leader who the masses will love and trust absolutely to do their bidding.

And ultimately, the emergence of this leader will:
Put broad smiles on the faces of ordinary Nigerians.
Put in the front burner the welfare of the citizens.
Put a roof over the homeless and make building materials affordable to the citizen.
Provide a glass of water that will quench our thirst.
Provide food that will pacify our hunger.
Put past darkness behind us and provide light that beacons knowledge and hope.
Access bridge to those who have been locked out.
Lift our nation from the quick sands of racial chauvinism to the solid rock of brotherhood.
Bring certainty into an uncertain world and make all trail his footsteps.
We must all begin to believe in real democracy as opposed to the demonstration of crazy we have all witnessed in our economy policies for decades – a seismic shift away from the norms is what we desire.

Nigerians needs a leader among leaders, a leader once proclaimed as the winner of an election, the chicken will begin to dance on the rope, the dog will begin to twitch its tail in celebration, the waves will start to lap and dance, the gulls will start to mew in festivity while the tress will bow down euphorically to its maker and the streets will be thrown into jubilant moods.

The emergence of a true leader can surface right from our midst but at the moment it is not yet uhuru.

•Anjorin wrote from Lagos.


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