The simple secret to Nigeria’s wellbeing
Some years ago, precisely the year 2001, I became disillusioned with the nation Nigeria to the point that I was praying for the peaceful separation of Nigeria. I was shocked when the Lord spoke to my heart quite simply and quietly that the breaking up of Nigeria is not the solution to our problem in Nigeria. He explained to me that, in our diversity lies our strength, if we could muster the talent of each Nigerian, each State and each Zone to the wellbeing of all. He said Nigeria has all it takes to be a great nation. We are endowed with natural resources to the point that every state in Nigeria has a mineral deposit. We have good soil and a beautiful tropical climate. Nigeria is brimming with brains and talents.
The Lord told me that the problem of Nigeria is simply lack of consideration for our fellow men in our different spheres of existence. He said to me that it is that lack of consideration that makes someone steal what belongs to one person, a group of people or the Nation as a whole. It is that lack of consideration that would make someone import expired or substandard goods or drugs with the aim of profiting from it. It is the lack of consideration that would make someone construct a substandard building or road not minding the fact that it could lead to loss of lives. It is the lack of consideration that would cause someone to put someone else at a disadvantage just to favour a friend or family member.
It is this lack of consideration that breeds what is referred to as a developing nation or as it was once called an underdeveloped nation. The lack of consideration for small details that makes a difference is what is greatly deficient in our day to day living. We have a substandard healthcare system, substandard Education system and substandard physical infrastructure. The lack of consideration for our fellow men is why we could justify not equipping our hospitals or equipping with substandard and inadequate instruments. It is the same reason that a businessman imports substandard equipment to sell in Nigeria. This lack of consideration is why the staff handling those instruments do not place adequate importance on handling and cleaning them so that they don’t damage unnecessarily. This lack of consideration for our fellow men is the reason we don’t even have life-saving equipment such as dialysis, ventilators, CT Scanners and MRI Scanners as minimum standards in all our General Hospitals. This lack of consideration for our fellow men means that even when these instruments are purchased, they are sometimes left at the port or uninstalled.
Our lack of consideration for our fellow men is the reason we have properties rotting away across the length and breadth of our nation including schools. It is the lack of consideration that would make successive governments abandon the projects of their predecessors not caring that the project was commenced with the commonwealth of the state. It is this same reason that Contractors do shoddy jobs when they are asked to build or renovate buildings just to maximize profit. If we would pause for a minute and think about the repercussions of our actions, there would be no buildings collapsing and killing school children. It is this lack of consideration that makes someone scratch your car in a traffic jam. Someone behind you would like to get ahead of you not minding what it cost the other person or even the vehicle they are driving. It is that lack of consideration that would make someone leave their own lane to face an oncoming vehicle without caring about the safety of the other person. It is this lack of consideration that enables a law enforcement officer the latitude to collect bribe in order to pervert justice, not minding the implications on the life and well being of an innocent victim in the process. This lack of consideration as a culture in my country is so mind-boggling, to say the least.
The problem is everywhere you look. Just think about it. It is the simple reason someone would keep people in their waiting room at work to derive a sense of importance about himself not caring about wasting people’s time. This lack of consideration is why people seek inducement to render the services that they are being paid for or the jobs that they are employed to do. This lack of consideration is why some medical personnel think they are doing their patients a favour by their attitude when patients need care from them. This lack of consideration is why people will mix two different types of food to sell as the more expensive brand.
The lack of consideration cuts across every sector of our existence in Nigeria: from the young to the old, from the boy to the girl, from the Man to the Woman, from the North to the South, from the East to the West, from the Muslim to the Christian, from the able to the vulnerable, from the leaders to the led, we are all culpable. Let us pause, reset and restart. A GREATER NIGERIA IS POSSIBLE.
A Nigeria that is fair to all.
A Nigeria that provides basic amenities such as housing, water, light, electricity, good healthcare and motor-able roads for all.
A Nigeria without bribery and corruption.
A Nigeria where every Nigerian child is educated.
A Nigeria that considers its elderly population
A Nigeria that provides for the physically challenged
A Nigeria that enables its citizens to think, create and prosper.
A Nigeria that looks out for its citizens through thick or thin.
A Nigeria that celebrates meritocracy above mediocrity.
A Nigeria that upholds discipline above lawlessness.
A Nigeria that breeds Nigerians with character and integrity.
A Nigerian that considers the implications or repercussions of his or her actions on other Nigerians.
I will consider you before I act, please consider me before you act. I will consider you before I speak, please consider me before you speak. I will think of the past, I will consider the present and contemplate the implications for our collective future. Fellow Nigerians, the simple solution to our many challenges in Nigeria is CONSIDERATION FOR ONE ANOTHER. THINK OF ME, I WILL THINK OF YOU.
Dr Ajayi, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to Hungary, wrote from Budapest.