by Toks Ero
Only a few will disagree that Nigeria deserves a country and sector wide national declaration of state of emergency.
Nigeria being a developing country is an emergency situation; especially being the most populous black nation in a world where other races are considered superior not just because of skin color but because of their attaining first world status as developed nations. Our evident abundant human and natural resources juxtaposed with our present circumstances indicates that we are a most eligible candidate for a national declaration of a state of emergency.
Boko Haram continues to re-delineate the border lines of Nigeria’s territory and geography with impunity. One would have thought that Boko Haram should be easily defeated having resorted to conventional forms of battle by operating overtly and claiming territory. This is an absolute indication of the state of decay and rust of the Nigerian Armed Forces.
Indeed, governance, security, health, infrastructure, education all deserve emergency attention and results. We live in a world where many nations have achieved advanced levels of growth and development. While these nations continue to strive for even more advanced stages of growth, development and better life for their citizens, the rulers of our beloved Nigeria have failed to realize that we must keep pace, if not strive to surpass the achievements of these notable nations.
We proved with our handling of the Ebola crisis that if we are willing, we can begin to see noticeable results in all sectors of our national life. I am of the opinion that Nigeria handled the Ebola crisis well because our leaders know that the disease is one that could easily affect them directly if not tackled. The current state of Nigeria is allowed to fester because it is directly beneficial to the ruling class. Except for such emergency situations, we do not see real activity from our rulers. Some are quick to argue that our democracy is young; but that does not mean our rulers should exhibit delinquent tendencies.
An all-inclusive government of leaders inspiring followers – especially the youth population to action and performance would work wonders for Nigeria. Indeed, we do not need expatriates or external consultants to govern Nigeria. Our ruling class need to substitute their craze for pecuniary gains with visionary and purposeful leadership. Nigeria deserves a leadership that can evolve a unified local, state and national blueprint to guarantee even the least Nigerian access to the benefits of good governance. Monetary and power gains by the ruling class at the expense of the peace and prosperity of Nigerians must not be tolerated. Annual appropriation has become a perennial victim of corruption and misappropriation while Nigerians lack access to critical infrastructure and services. “Honorable” Legislators have abandoned their counter-balancing roles by actively conniving with the executive to spirit away our collective wealth.
While our situation may seem precarious as the average Nigerian feels helpless, Nigerians cannot afford to give up on Nigeria. We must continue to contribute our individual efforts to the actualization of a desirable Nigeria. We must not succumb to the temptation that our individual effort is insignificant and of little or no impact. It is the responsibility of every Nigerian to determine and play their own role as patriotic citizens of this nation. It is the singular actions of individuals that determine the fortunes and image of nations.
Nigerian youths must rise to the occasion by evolving personal short, medium and long term goals effectively keyed into a chosen sector of our national life such as business/economy, development, advocacy, politics/governance, sports, etc. We must all work towards the attainment of the Nigeria of our dreams. The Nigerian Hall of Fame is filled with empty spaces waiting to be occupied by young Nigerians who will play their roles to advance our national fortunes.
While our rulers may be more concerned about re-election bids for personal or group gains, Nigerians too must actively participate in the electioneering process. Electing credible leaders is perhaps the fastest route to the positive change we cry for. While one may not be able to absolutely determine the kind of leaders that are elected; especially as our political parties continue to field candidates that cannot be distinctively distinguished from predecessors in terms of character and pedigree, we must use our participation and votes to make it difficult for bad rulers to get re-elected.
Indeed, Nigeria is in a state of emergency and an emergency situation deserves emergency attention and action.