Written by Chizoba Steve Chiakwelu
I SEE A NEW NIGERIA coming
- When brotherhood as a nation will no longer be on the basis of tribe, tongue and religion but by unity of purpose to have Nigeria succeed as a nation to the benefit and pride of all.
- When the application of citizens’ rights will be equity, fairness, and justice driven.
- When indeed the welfare and protection of life and property of all citizens will be the main business of the Government.
- When citizens will wholeheartedly and voluntarily carry out civic responsibilities without coercion.
- When citizens irrespective of tribe, tongue and religion will appreciate one another and consistently seek to promote love and tolerance for the unity and progress of the country.
However, the above rebirth will not come by mere wish or chance; it has to be predicated on our collective resolve to put in place good governance that is founded on meritocratic standard. In a constitutional democracy, elections give citizens opportunity to either vote for (elect/retain) or vote against (reject/remove) leaders or their parties based on their performances. We must therefore come together and stand united as a people to take our destiny in our hands by ensuring that our votes count, hence all eligible citizens from 18 years and above should register and have their PVCs, and vote only competent and credible candidates into positions come 2023 election, if we want our narrative as a nation to change. Leaders, who not only have passion for rebuilding of the country but also the mental and physical fitness necessary for the herculean task ahead.
As a nation, the bane of our development has been and still remains leadership failure. If we have been doing the same thing and kept failing, it is now time to make a paradigm shift in our political landscape. If we truly realise that we are being confronted with worsening security challenges, institutional corruption, battered economy with overreached foreign debt, stifling interest payment obligations on the meagre foreign exchange earnings from sale of oil, with little or nothing left to share among the states; consumption driven economy with double digits interest rate, galloping inflation, acute unemployment, underemployment crises and exorbitant cost associated with the running of the 2 tiers of government ( Executive and Legislature), It will be incumbent on us to elect leaders with track record of integrity, competence; financial frugality and accountability come 2023 election. The truth is that things will begin to work out good and fine in this country for the generality of the people the time we vote in the right candidates that have the competence, not square pegs in round holes due to parochial interest, stomach infrastructure and cash and buy votes.
A background check on the antecedences of all the presidential contestants will help us appraise and foretell the direction our economy – sources and uses of funds with special attention to borrowing, investment and consumption, corruption perceptions index, education, health, security, social justice, law and order will go when we vote any of them in power. So what will shape our choice for them should be merit driven. Peter Obi together with Yusuf Datti Ahmed by his antecedence, vision for a new detribalized Nigeria and of course no shishi to waste disposition has shown that if given mandate, he will apply administrative competence, probity and financial discipline against wastefulness, to resuscitate our ailing economy by setting priorities that will drive his government to delivering Nigerians out of the current economic regression and security despondency. Interestingly, Yusuf Datti Ahmed is a young distinguished, academician, refined politician with excellent track record of achievements both in politics and private business. By all standards, if Nigeria will move forward, hardworking young achievers like him are supposed to be elected and groomed for country’s top leadership roles. With Obi/Yusuf election in 2023, youths’ participation in the running of affairs of this country will take a front burner.
Peter Obi’s Anambra State exploits through ANIDS’ achievements as Governor in Economic Security, Security of life and property, education, health, Financial Frugality, Public Service will be a prototype of what Nigeria will turn out to be eventually as enumerated below, if he and Yusuf are jointly elected as the president and vice president of Nigeria in 2023.
- Production Economy – Moving Nigeria away from consumption to production through SMEs. Government will create the enabling environment by putting in place steady supply of electricity, a higher percentage lending ratio by banks made available to boost establishments of cottage industries with minimal interest rates. This will massively move out people from poverty, the availability of locally made goods at cheat prices will discourage importation (saving of foreign exchange), and favour exporting (foreign exchange receipts). This will trigger upward shift in our per capita Income and GDP.
- Education will be revolutionized and funded appropriately from primary to university levels. And when this is done our teachers and lecturers will be adequately equipped to teach pupils and students under amiable environment. Tertiary schools’ academic sessions will no longer be disrupted by incessant strikes. Our public universities will be rated high again in Africa and the world. In other words, children of the elites will begin to seek for university admissions locally as against what is obtainable now they seek admissions abroad. Furthermore, our universities will stand the chance of attracting foreign students again like in late 70s and early 80s; invariably Nigeria will be receiving foreign payments from such students.
- Security: Nigeria currently is overwhelmed with security challenges; this could be attributed to leadership failure over the decades particularly our leaders’ failure in prioritising education, human development and job creations. Insecurity no doubt is evidently tied to idleness, for idle mind is a devil’s workshop. According to HE Peter Obi, one of the most potent weapons for fighting insecurity is job creations; he is therefore harping on the need to make job creations one of his priorities for the teeming population particularly youths who constitute the highest percentage workforce in the productive sector if elected. This will significantly reduce crime to barest minimum. Our security system will be overhauled to achieve best standard practise. Our security personnel will duly be appreciated, encouraged and motivated through adequate training, salaries and other incentives for the selfless vocation they have taken for the peace, security and unity of the nation.
- Health System: Equipping healthcare adequately and making it accessible to all Nigerians even in the remotest villages, so that even our leaders themselves will have the faith and courage to be treated within the country instead of travelling out for medical treatments.
- Some of our Diasporas will then have opportunity and confidence to return and work home if they choose, due to the availability of uninterrupted power supply, security improvement, serene environment, employment opportunities, appreciation of Naira’s purchasing power, and improved standard of living.
- Money politics will no longer be the foundation of our politics, and so youths will find their footing in politics for a robust participation.
- Faith, love and patriotism for Nigeria will be rekindled afresh, due to the unifying, transparent and competent leadership.