Op ed

The way out for Nigeria

Nigeria President, Goodluck JonathanWHEN I saw the Failed State Index done by the United States Think-Thank Fund for Peace and which ranked Nigeria as 14th under the alert section, I was overwhelmed with sadness as this shouldn’t be so for the giant of Africa. Under the surge of emotion I was prompted to write this little piece on what I feel should be the best  way out of Nigeria’s challenges.

Prominent and most troubling of these challenges is the Boko Haram terrorism presently afflicting the nation. The activities of this extremist Islamist sect have seriously undermined the peace and tranquillity of this great nation and it is my belief that if nothing is done urgently, we shall soon see the rise of more terrorist groups. Not only is terrorism threatening the continued existence of  the nation, the rate of robbery and other violent crimes  is on the increase. We can’t go about our business without the fear of our lives.

It is obvious that we need good leaders who have a different set of values. We need leaders of impeccable character and integrity. Enough is enough of leaders using what belongs to the nation for their personal use. One thing that is prominently lacking in Nigeria is integrity.

Our leaders have failed to show and exhibit this quality, so the citizens have no choice but to follow the examples of those leading them. That is the reason for the increase in fraud cases.

Everybody now wants to have a share of the “national cake” and this should not be so. We need leaders who will deliver their agenda for the nation and not just use it for campaign purposes only. Until our leaders begin to live in transparency and integrity, true democracy can never be practised.

God said whoever desires to be great must first learn to serve. Greatness is not about how much wealth you can amass for yourself but in how much you can give out. That is another thing we are missing in this nation.

Everybody wants to amass wealth but very few people are willing to live for the betterment of others. I believe very strongly that if the mind-set of the youth is changed toward true service to the nation and her people, Nigeria would be out of the turmoil in no time.

This mind-set will help reduce the stink of corruption as public servants will no longer occupy offices just for their own benefit, but will use every opportunity to empower their followers in every way. Let us not forget that Jesus washed the feet of His disciples. We need to learn that being the president or governor doesn’t make you the number one citizen but the number one servant. Service is one of the fundamental keys to greatness and a nation built on service to its people will always prosper.

Also, I believe that the issue of amnesty being given to terror groups shouldn’t be one up for debate. Amnesty giving will only lead to more terror groups who have seen that being a terrorist will only lead to wealth with little or no consequences.

I believe that the state should carry out her responsibility properly and secure its citizens and fish out those who are responsible for the violence within. I believe that the Boko Haram violence was influenced by the perceived reward accorded the militant group MEND whose members went scot free after killing so many innocent citizens.

The best this nation can do for the innocent that have been lost is to let justice prevail by jailing every identified and arrested member of the group. The security agencies should be empowered to carry out their job diligently and end this nightmare of terrorism in this nation.

Nigeria should never negotiate with terrorists as doing so can only but encourage more terror groups to spring up.

Lastly, we are all Nigerians and as such everyone should be charged with the responsibility of looking out for the other. If we do not create language barriers or geographical barriers, we would be on our way to becoming the giant of the world. Let us not dim the potential that we have in this nation with unnecessary ethnic and religious battles.

Every Nigerian should be viewed as a brother and in our entire endeavour let us work towards making Nigeria as a better place to live in. We should develop love toward one another, as love covers a multitude of sins. Just like our anthem says, “peace and unity” remain the basis for moving Nigeria forward. God bless Nigeria!!!

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