Just some weeks ago, I was privileged to anchor a forum, and one of the issues that came up was why so many young people are jetting out of the country at every available opportunity. Today, while thinking about what to write, I stumbled on the Facebook post of a revered friend who simply said, ‘Huh! Sometimes I just look around, pause and ponder on what this great country can get right!‘
I understand that comments like this can come up in the wake of renewed attacks on innocent citizens and the government is busy facing the opposition rather than attacking the issues on ground. It seems clear that things like this will come up when all citizens provide their own security and their own electricity. Some Community Development Associations are the ones even creating their own roads and providing basic social amenities for the citizens, yet the government will take over those things and collect money from them.
My response to his post was everything. We can get everything right when we stop thinking that election results are predetermined, and that the electioneering process is a charade. We can get everything right when we have the guts to remove sentiments and kick non-performing leaders out. We will get it right when we answer questions thrown at our leaders in form of challenges rather than give everything the colouration of the oppositions effort to discredit the incumbent.
For years we have been arguing if a country deserves the kind of leaders that it gets. For once I think we truly deserve the ones we have been getting because many of those who think right and who know what is right in this country hardly vote. They say they already know who will win so there is no point voting.
Sometimes when I listen to some suppossedly intelligent people talk about politics, I just start wondering where the thoughts came from. We are not helpless as far as the leaders we have are concerned. We, and that means majority, made a choice so we have to live with the consequence of our decisions. Our only choice is to ensure that the next opportunity to take a decision regarding leaders is well maximised.
I still see those who think that everyone going into politics is a thief. I am not to speak for their intentions as I do not know their minds. But if we continue to see politics as dirty and the participants as thieves, they will continue to stain our international image since politics is dirty and always still what belongs to us. How come we know something is dirty and those in it are thieves yet we just fold our arms and watch them?
We can get things right in this country and the way to get it right is to start from those of us who are citizens. Until we wake up,things will not change. I believe it was a former US president who said in his inaugural address that there is nothing wrong with America that cannot be fixed by what is right with America. Permit me to turn that around and say there is nothing wrong with Nigeria that cannot be fixed by what is right with Nigeria.
The sentiments that have beclouded our judgements have to be taken away. Leadership does not come right just because someone is a Christian at least there is someone out there proving us wrong consistently in the last few years. To lead effectively and get things right in this nation has nothing to do with religion.
You will be surprised that the only unfortunate thing is the mess we are in as a nation will continue until the citizens truly get tired, stand up and fix things. Here is what I think we can do:
Not many of the citizens who have been pointing accusing fingers can boast that they have been doing things right in their offices, homes and on the roads when there is no law enforcement officer. Let us start with ourselves and do things right always even without anyone watching us. There are so many people stealing from their offices and they are shouting about the government stealing money. We need to get it right first.
We have to be good models for all the young people around us. There are people watching you in your little space, but the question is ‘have been providing the right example for them?’
It’s important for us to be law abiding citizens ourselves without giving any excuse for moral failures or justifying the law breaking moments.
You have a franchise and it’s your right. Go about exercising it the right way. Don’t sell your birth right for a morsel of bread.
Remove the scales of religion and don’t force your religion into the space of other people.
If we don’t get things right first, we may not be able to get it right as a nation. We have to do our part first. Once ours is cleared we can begin to talk about what other people and the government needs to do.
How well are you playing your own part in the building process of this nation? If you don’t get it right then we as a nation cant get it right because it begins with you and I.
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