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Time to move the nation forward

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Gabriel Osu

When you see a promising young man, who is supposed to be a source of joy to his parents begins to behave like a thug, you’ll conclude that perhaps he is under some kind of diabolic curses.

Why this illustration? I believe that our country is suffering from some kind of spell. And this has its origin from our early interaction with the colonial masters, the British.

This is an old story, no doubt, knowing full well that most of us are quite familiar with the role the British played in harnessing the human and natural resources of our land for their selfish purpose.

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Not satisfied, through Lord Lugard, they brought the Northern and Southern protectorate together in a forced marriage of convenience and planted ‘land mines’ in the form of political manipulations to ensure the country continues to grope in the dark for direction.

Many years after, precisely 105 years into that forceful amalgamation, the entity called Nigeria still crawls like an infant. Now you see why I say we are under a spell!

Is it not shameful that twenty years into uninterrupted civil rule, we are still unable to conduct what can be adjudged a truly free and fair election without colossal loss? How can one explain that in this time and age, when technology is at everyone’s grasp, it took us over four days to announce the winners of an election; four days of suspense and intrigues while the whole world sneer at us! Is this the best we have to offer?

An unexamined life, says St Augustine, is not worth living. I think we have reached a point where we need to sit down and ask ourselves why things are the way they are, especially politically.

Incidentally, we do much better in the private sector. We have highly qualified and dedicated human resources that are exceptional brilliant and able to do exceedingly well in the private sector. But when it comes to governance, it is another kettle of fish altogether. We continue to drag our feet like incompetent lots. I believe this should not be the case.

It is time we began to rewrite our narratives as a nation and demand for better values, for purposeful leadership and better amenities of life for our people.

We need to educate our people to look beyond ethnic and religious dynamics that are often hauled at us by the political class and understand that in the long run, all that matters is our humanity. And so, I say, Nigeria rise and break the spell of ignorance, of backwardness, of timidity and of complacency. Take up the bold steps to be all that you are truly destined to be: a great nation.

• Very Rev. Msgr. Osu, Director, Social Communications, Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos.


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