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[Article] Pivot(s) For Social Transformation and Development In Nigeria

Ofere Hannah Omolola
New Movement Nigeria
11th July 2018

We all complain of bad governance. We are all to quick to put blame on our leaders. We all swear that, if given the mantle of leadership, we would come out with wonderful performances. Some even go as far as saying that "if i were given power the power to rule today, i would create a new Nigeria in less than the stipulated four years of governance". Wow! Easier to be said than carried out. But even while governed upon, while given the utmost power of choosing our system of leadership, while the political decision is being placed into our hands, what do we do with it? Do we participate in electoral processes? Do we come out to cast our votes without bias and prejudice? Do we see the truth and choose not to go with falsehood? Do we allow ourselves not to be manipulated for political gains even when we know it would be at the detriment of our future? And even after all the whole electoral processes have been done and new leadership have been made, do we carry out the little social responsibilities given to us with all honesty, zeal and a sense of patriotism? Responsibilities like payment of taxes, keeping our roads and environments clean, being alert to security issues and so on. Do we carry them all out?

Although social transformation and national development might seem like an herculean task, it is so achievable. We must all put hands together and work towards putting an incredible permanent stop to this menace. Creating a new Nigeria isn't just about the government alone, it has to do with all citizens and at such, we all must join hands together to achieve total transformation for our country; Nigeria.

As at the 28th-29th March 2015 General Election, statistics shows that of the over 183 million Nigerians of which over 150 million were 18 years and above, only about 69 million came out to exercise their voting rights. Leaving about 81 million Nigerians who didn't come out to cast their votes.

Of these remaining 81 million Nigerians, 21 million were very old people who could no longer walk nor come out of their homes. Therefore, leaving about 60 million Nigerians who were eligible but decided to show political apathy. Including i who is writing. So many of us are guilty of this charge and ironically, it is in this our group of people that we find the political critics. So saddening! Do we know the power in the number of people who refused to participate? That number added to the numbers of people who participated in the electoral processes is enough to make things politically right in this country.

Let me quickly call our attentions to the damage that we do to ourselves and to this country as a whole by refusing to participate in electoral activities.

Poverty: so many Nigerian homes are plagued with poverty and only few could boast of a three square meal per day. Many are homeless, many live on the streets and so many sleep under bridges. So many young ones do not have access to quality education because they cannot afford it. So many of our brothers and sisters die on a daily basis because they don't have access to adequate health facilities. Do we talk about the number of our youths who have taken to Internet fraud as a full time business and even asking for its legalization, thereby defacing this nation both home and abroad? All these are as a result of poverty. It has eaten too deep into our economic system and many of us who are more privileged see it as a normal phenomenon.

Let us think of it this way. What if we are the ones who are homeless? What if we are the ones who can not afford to eat daily? What if we are the ones who have no good and quality education(would we able to write nor read this piece)? What if we are the ones who have no access to good health plans? What if we are the ones with future uncertainties? Would we then say that poverty is normal? Let us have a rethink and put an end to this monster living amongst us by choosing to participate in electoral processes.

Bad roads: we all complain of everyday mortality on our major roads. We all say "this government is bad. Why are they not doing anything to repair these roads?" When we choose to put the wrong people in power, or when we choose not to participate in putting the right people into power, then these kind of occurrences would be inevitable. Right minds do right things. Let's choose to make things right.

Unstable power supply: we now live in a country where power outage is the order of the day. We can not boast of a five hour power supply in a day. Whereas, we give this power supply to other neighbouring countries. Can one give what one do not have? We have it and that is why we give it. Then why suffer for what we have and equally give out? The minister for power, in person of Mr fashola already promised us a stable power supply this coming 2019. But for this to be achievable, we need to play our part by voting in the right people who will be motivations for him. As one tree cannot make a forest.

Dependency on foreign aids and leadership: it is a big slap on our faces when we have to rely on other countries for most of our basic needs. We import all kinds of goods ranging from matches to diapers. We even go as far as seeking help from them for our system of leadership. Fine, no nation is an autarky but that doesn't mean we should throw all rights away by depending on other countries for help as minimal as importing chewing sticks. We run to them at the slightest threat of war and ask them to help keep our country stable. With this kind of attitude from our nation, when and why would they not take advantage of us? Why would they not try to take over our country be establishing companies in their names and also seeking monopoly? President muhammadu Buhari being sensitive to this kind of dilemma, promised to establish some industries in our names but they are yet to be realized. He may have tried to fulfill this promise but how much can he do when he is invariably surrounded with the wrong set of cabinets who are only after their own pockets? It is high time we rose up to the challenge to vote in credible leaders who would not only see our needs but actualize them.

Inequality: sentiments and tribalism have taken over the nation. Where ever we go, all we hear is "he is my brother" "she is my sister" "oh! the president's daughter is my niece". How ridiculous! No one is saying one shouldn't familiarize with friends and family, but when this now become the yardstick for currying favours, getting employments, recommendations and appointments, then it is a big problem.

I read sometimes ago in the dailies that, the governor of Imo state in person of Mr Rochas Okorocha wants his son in-law to take over the governing seat immediately after he leaves office. I was stunned! His son in-law may be of a worthy character and credibility to take over the position but then, why not give others the chance. Do we now say that the democratic system of leadership has turned into into the royalty system of leadership where positions are being passed from parents to offspring as a matter of right? This kind of behavior leaves one perplexed. It is something that should be revisited and given a proper restructuring and reevaluation. Favouritism should be shunned at all levels in order for the country to move forward. Or are they trying to say those of us who have no family representatives in positions of power should go and hang? For the progress of this country, we need to do away with nepotism.

Let us do away with money, tribal and partisan politics. The day we elect the right people into positions of power and authority, also, the day we forgo political apathy is the day all things will fall into place and start working well. The person, party or people governing us will no longer matter because we would all enjoy peace and stability. Our people must also be reorientated on the need for money. When people think the only thing in politics is money, then there is a big problem. They must be made to know that politics is not about money alone but also about good morals and accountability. The Holy book says "seek ye first the kingdom of God and all other things shall follow". In the same vein i say, "seek ye first the transformation and development of Nigeria and all other things shall follow". Think of money as a reward for your zeal, honesty and hardwork towards the growth of your country and not as a bedrock for your ruling.

The habit of selfless service should also be inculcated. It should not be all about monetary rewards alone, the joy of being a part and parcel of a new Nigeria should be a great motivator. Leaders who do not think of money alone usually end up performing well. If Nelson Mandela during his life time had fought for his people because of monetary gain, his nation and Africa has a whole would not have enjoyed the benefits accrued from the nobility of his patriotic service. A good name and a peaceful nation is more profitable than silver and gold. The progress of this nation should be our reasons for service and not all the affluence that will not stand the test of time. Let us lead with the right mindsets. Let us not think of ourselves and our families alone. Let our services be full of goodwill and selfless acts. This will really go a long way as a single leadership mind can either make or mar the the nation's growth because leadership is the exercise of influence.

All these woes are avertibe if we all choose to do it right this coming 2019 General Election. We would no longer have to face all these difficulties if we all come out to cast our votes. We can only be right when we have chosen to do the right thing. Let us not leave our collective decisions to some few individuals. It is our callings to make and one which we must make well. Our destinies lie in our hands.

The future of our children and those yet unborn lie in our hands. Let us shun political apathy. Let us shun political prejudice. Let us shun political irresponsibilities. Let us register, collect and make use of our permanent voter's cards. It is not for us to decorate our wallets, dressers and wardrobes with. Rather, it is for us to use as a powerful tool for the transformation and development of our dear country Nigeria. It is never too late to make amends, never too late to make the right choice, never too late for national development and of course, never too late for a new and better Nigeria. Another opportunity is here, let us make it a new era. Come General Election 2019, let us all come out to exercise our voting rights. It is our duties and we must all obey for the betterment of our nation. As we all obey, may our country be forever transformed.

I am on my way to collect my permanent voter's card. So that i also can practice what i preach. New Nigeria, new mindsets!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing this. I hope nigerians would take their time to read and act on


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