Nigeria: A country afflicted by corruption and insecurity

By IndepthAfrica
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Oct 1st, 2012
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Nigeria at 52

AS a result of the amalgamation of the Northern and Southern protectorates of Nigeria in 1914 by the British colonialist, Sir Fredrick Lord Lugard

Charles Ikedikwa Soeze

AS a result of the amalgamation of the Northern and Southern protectorates of Nigeria in 1914 by the British colonialist, Sir Fredrick Lord Lugard, a federating state called Nigeria came into existence.

This same entity won independence from Britain on October 1, 1960. Based on recent developments, one can say that what Nigeria actually got from Britain was mere political independence.

A study of Nigeria’s history reveals at a glance that past leaders moulded Nigeria with great zeal for success.

This was based on the way and manner in which they collectively fought and achieved political independence.

However, it is a truism that this crop of leaders exhibited leadership qualities and moral pedigree as well as professionalism that is lacking in contemporary politicians and leaders.

Consequently, the result of their tested, trusted and sincere leadership gave birth to a peaceful, united Nigeria, as the Nigerian flag of green-white-green was hoisted and the Union Jack was lowered to the admiration of all Nigerians.

To this end, they defended the territorial integrity of Nigeria with full restoration and preservation of our cultural values to the best of their ability, agility and professionalism.

It is on record that these adept politicians maintained absolute self-respect and genuinely protected the oneness of this country through good governance.

There is the need for the current crop of politicians and leaders to emulate their ideas, and desist from corrupt practices and shun ethnic tendencies.

Speaking on Nigeria, United States President Barack Obama said ‘Nigeria is critical to the rest of the continent and if Nigeria has not got it right, Africa will really not make progress.’

In this connection, therefore, it is no exaggeration to say that Nigeria is and will continue to remain the giant of Africa.

However, it is true to say that some Nigerian leaders are either oblivious of their responsibilities to the Nigerian citizens or they are blinded by the quest for self-aggrandizement. In other words, one can see decadence in all sectors of the economy and some of the leaders are nothing more than self-serving demagogues.

Most of our leaders have shown that they are incapable of providing effective leadership to Nigerian citizens.

The big question, therefore, is: who will save Nigeria? The nation seriously needs leaders with conscience that will face the problems of Nigeria and effectively address them without minding whose ox is gored.

One can boldly say that the problems eating up the very heart of the nation is corruption. Nigeria may find it difficult to fight corruption because we continue to re-cycle old politicians.

To successfully tackle corruption, we must pray in our churches, mosques and in our shrines for President Goodluck Jonathan to address some of the problems facing Nigeria.

From personal observation for more that one year, Jonathan’s leadership qualities, particularly his disdain for injustice and his fearlessness in openly speaking against, should be appreciated.

This is so because leadership, according to a Chinese proverb, ‘is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.’

It is flabbergasting that in the 21st century, where there are large numbers of leadership models to emulate, our politicians and administrators continue to settle scores in the old-fashioned, Stone Age way.

Historians and others would definitely agree that some of our leaders have not learnt anything from the past. Towards this direction, leaders made Nigeria a laughing stock of the other nations.

Nigeria, the giant of Africa still cannot provide effective leadership. All Nigerians should be concerned about the bad happenings in the polity, which clearly have showed ineptitude, ineffectiveness, idiocy, tribalism, nepotism and the emergence of political godfathers and godmothers.

Mismanagement, misdirection, misappropriations, corruption, lack of planning, policy inconsistency and many others have become the trademark of every administration that has ruled our nation.

Democracy is the best form of government everywhere in the world and Nigeria cannot be an exemption. Whatever the case may be, we cannot totally write off the leadership of this country.

I think and believe we all need to bring our ideas towards national development, this is because no man has monopoly of knowledge; we must not relent in contributing our quota so as to move the nation forward.

It is our country and nobody will develop it for us. It is unfortunate that 52, we are still at the primary level of development.

During his first outing as military Head of State, Olusegun Obasanjo pointed out at the formal opening of the Command and Staff College, Jaji, on Monday, September 12, 1977 that: ‘The Nigerian society as at now, in spite of our efforts since July 1975, is not sufficiently disciplined, fair, just or humane.’

He went further to say; ‘A nation where the indolent, the dishonest and the inefficient can get to the top or become excessively wealthy is a nation fit for destruction. It will in fact sooner than later bring destruction on itself.’

Today, it is still flabbergasting that we make sensitive appointments without taking into recognition such appointees educational background and area of specialization to ensure effective contributions in the discharge of their duties in that office.

Soeze wrote from Effurun, Delta State. charlessoeze@yahoo.ca

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