‘From crisis to sustainable development,’ a World Bank publication in 1989 asserts that “underlying the litany of Africa’s development is the crisis of governance.” Governance here means the exercise of political powers to manage the affairs of the nation’s affairs. Therefore, one can say very correctly that the basic setback or hitch of this nation is bad governance. Bad governance is the end product of bad leadership and the consequence of this is a suffering nation. Little wonder the bible says in Prov. 29:2 “When the righteous is on throne the people rejoice, but when the wicked rule, the people suffer.” Again, Prov.28:15 “Like a roaring lion or a charging bear is a wicked ruler over a poor people.” The experience we are having in this nation is a direct reflection of these eternal lines.
The expectation since the attainment of independence is that an independent Nigeria will assure security and present equal opportunities of economic, social and cultural advancement of the people; but a critical analysis of the indices of development points to the fact that these expected benefits have been undermined by successive Nigerian leaders. For this reason Olosegun Oladipo once noted that Nigeria is still in search of independence, for him while one phase of independence has been achieved the other basic phase suffers. That is, while there is national liberation; social libration is yet to be activated. This is another way of saying that we are yet to fulfill the promise of independence, which consisted in the hope and belief that with political independence we would now be in position to use political power and the resources of our country for the benefit of our people.
So talking about crossroad; in 1960 this nation made an important decision for independence and as a matter of fact they took the right road. But having gone into the road of independence we have lost confidence because of road hog and so clouded in anxiety and confusion. Based on this we are yelling for a way forward. Therefore, we shall briefly discuss these issues and suggest the way forward.
This nation today is said to be at the verge of collapse simply because of the political, socio-cultural, economic and security crisis. These collapsing structures are borne out of a system influenced by bad or ineffective leadership. Attempts in the past years through various policies and programmes of successive government have proven abortive as provision of basic facilities and services like good roads, water, health, education and security only juggled for a while and faded.
Democracy that allows the masses to elect individuals into certain offices would have been a perfect healing in this regard. However, what we have in these pass years of democracy are leaders who lack the temerity, will power, and patriotism to provide effective leadership to the people. Therefore, our focus is to reclaim Nigeria through various ways that are not far from the beautiful lines rendered in the past.
Unity: This is a weapon with which we can dislodge this present crop of leaders. Our elites capitalize on our ethnic and religious difference but if we swipe off our differences, we will conquer. If they can unite to steal our wealth, why won’t we unite also to change policies and programmes of selfish government and vote in competent and credible leaders.
Active participation in governance: Active participation is a secret to successful result in any field of life. Democracy is about the people’s participation therefore we should make this meaning true. Some persons are almost indifferent about political issues in as much as they can have their daily bread. With our genuine active participation we can drive some political and social views to conclusion either through protest of pressure groups.
Education and awareness programmes: Around the nation we may claim that many people are aware of what is going but how many people can actually interpret what they read on papers. For instance how many Nigerians know the strength of 20 billion dollars? How many can relate well with the Nigeria budget system or Nigeria stock exchange or weekly market report? How many can truly understand certain political concepts and how they are employed? People who have the resources should engage in massive educational programmes (through rallies, discussions, books, newspapers, leaflets and the social media) otherwise these questions may be endless.
Prayer: There is the need for us to embark on intercessory prayers for the nation. Prayer is an essential ingredient for success. It is the motivation that is used to seek for divine gift. So we must have faith in God and seek for his face so that we can break the mountains of horrors placed before us by our leaders. The strength of prayer is seen in those eternal lines of scripture that says: if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and turn away from their wicked ways of life, I will heal their land and grant them their heart desires. (2Chron7:14)
Conclusively, the challenges noted here are just quick touches on the basic headlines that trouble the peace of this country by shaking its basic structures right from the foundation. Again, the ways forward enumerated are just some of the pillars that can stabilize this nation from collapsing. Therefore, we can continue build on these as we remain optimistic.