You and I are called to affirm our positive values in the world. We are called to be a part of a community of people and a part of humanity. Your positive values have something to offer and if you don’t have a place that has positive reinforcement, you will not perform very well. When you are in a place where you are affirmed and are appreciated, you will excel. We need positive reinforcement to continue to be, work and make impact in the world. If you are a Nigerian you can help to change some parts of the structural thinking that do not accommodate togetherness that would lead to development or positive thoughts of each other. Positive thoughts of each other make a good country or community.
We are not in this world to allow ourselves to be consumed by prejudices and perpetual struggle for power and not allowing each other to be near power. We are all unique and we must allow others occupy their spaces to contribute towards the development of our country. I have my space; you have your space. If you want to take my space and add to your space, you are creating crisis and confusion. We are called to build the nation and even to extend to the world community. If we leave what we should be alone and create another persona, we have lost who we should be, the meaning and purpose of life. Me and you are called to give hope to humanity and build a just and sustainable society.
Nigeria has what it takes to build a just and sustainable society but those in power do not know why they are there but they miss what it means to carry their people along and make them partners in Development by empowering them to be masters of their destinies. Teaching them how to fish instead of giving them fish should be the ultimate. Dr. Fasheun; an Afenifere Chieftain, said that Nigeria should stick together to help shape Africa. He Encouraged leaders to work harmoniously with each other to create a better Nigeria instead of creating a bleak future for Nigeria. He said there is hope for Nigeria. Many Nigerians today want to get things faster without working hard for it.
The regular clampdown on ‘Yahoo boys’ by security Agencies and recently arrested Nigerian Dubai based Hushpuppy are typical examples. He is yet to know his fate in the American system. This gives a dent to Nigeria’s image abroad. If we are not Nigeria-centric, there is no way we can promote development. When we are full of negativity about Nigeria and say we don’t believe in one Nigeria, how can people believe in our ambition to contest and become the president of Nigeria? Who are we fooling? Many of our leaders lack a sense of sacrifice and we create an appetite for getting money abroad through borrowing and paying later. It drags the country down. Imagine borrowing to pay after 50years.
This is a new form of slavery and not legacy driven! This jeopardizes the incoming leader because he would focus more of his time on debt clearance and may not be able to do anything before this tenure elapses. The worrisome issue is that the majority of the loans are used on white elephant projects while many are diverted to private pockets and squandered. Dependency has become a problem in Nigerian polity. Those who lend us have known our weakness. This is why they scheme to keep us in perpetual financial slavery. We need strong voices to help us be who we are supposed to be. You and I symbolize Nigerians working in various sectors of life who can build Nigeria-centric.
We can disband lopsided appointments that create divisiveness by speaking to powers in one strong voice that re-echoes. In Nigeria, extreme views tied into the system dislocate our oneness. Nigeria is believed to be a secular society where the constitution and rule of Law reign supreme but religious extremism and different draconian laws are drifting Nigeria apart. We are suffering from a monopoly of power which plunges us into political chaos and makes development to stand still. It has taken Nigeria very long to build a sustainable economy and technology but bribery and corruption have been a big obstacle. Nigeria was ambitious in creating more states without considering how self-sustaining they could be.
They are now cost centres (liabilities) rather than revenue centres (assets). Despite regular Federal allocations, some don’t have strategies for Internally Generated Revenues to sustain them without depending on the Federal government. Most of the revenues are generated by few states and are used for allocation to the “redundant” states that contribute nothing in the value chain. Their survivability is now slim. The Nigerian oil has made Nigeria to survive for many years but the Government is secretive about Gold and other minerals mined in other parts of the country. Despite the unaccounted revenues, they are crying out to the federal government for a bailout! How can this bring development! Shared oil revenue that has been a part of Nigerian culture is not applicable in some states now where they don’t account from their own mineral resources.
All are kept secret. This is not a way of bringing development holistically. Government of today should be politically broad minded to distribute what belongs to all or what comes from Nigeria’s soil to every state of the Federation because governance is all about development and caring for the people. All we need now are detribalized Nigerians to occupy leadership positions so as to sincerely forge ahead to the development of the people with a strong voice. In the United States and other climes, Scientists and Professors are consulted for critical views for solutions but down here they are not supported to full potential. Due to poverty caused by corruption, the academicians are manipulated and sometimes used to rig elections.
Intellectualism becomes continuously ridiculed which makes many to jet out of the country once given any mouthwatering offer outside because it is recognized and celebrated there. Few days ago, a Nigerian was appointed the Attorney General of Alberta, Canada. One may ask “Could he have attained such feat with various tribal and religious discrimination in Nigeria?” Many other Nigerians are regularly appointed in other countries and are contributing greatly because meritocracy reigns supreme there. This massive recurrent brain drain draws our dear country back. You and I have great responsibilities to create civil space to interact so that we can find out what has delayed our political, social and economic growth and be on the same ship and wave length of thoughts to solve them. We all owe our great nation the responsibility to help right the wrongs and participate in the Nation building and repositioning.
Very Rev. Monsignor Livinus Ukah is a Catholic Priest, an Author of many books and Advocate of Social Justice and Peace