Dominant narratives in Nigeria’s mind-space over the past two years have increasingly been about 2015! It would indeed have been amazing if the furore about 2015 was related to development targets such as consistent power supply across the country to decrease manufacturing costs; decrease in unemployment rate to single digit by providing more access to capital for SMEs as well as investing in human capital development which will decrease the systemic security challenges faced by the police and security services; increase in non-oil export to foreign markets which will increase Nigeria’s prosperity; or even set that year as a target for overhauling the health care system in this country etc; but no! Those are too fancy a target for some narrative driving politicians and their supporting agenda setting media. All they feed us with are: “Nigeria will break in 2015”, “There will be war in 2015”,” Power must shift to the North”, “Jonathan must run and win if Nigeria is to stay together”, “Jonathan is yet to declare”. Well let me tell all of you, Nigeria will not break in 2015, there will not be war in Nigeria, and Power must not shift to the North or anywhere else but its destination should be in the hands of any democratically elected Nigerian president who is blessed with enough wisdom to use it to the benefit of all!, If Jonathan decides to run, that is his business; whether or not he will win his party ticket is for whatever party platform he runs on to decide, the rest will be for Nigerians to decide. If he loses, Nigeria will still dey kampe; we do not care when and if he declares, he was sworn in to defend the constitution and when his term is over, Nigerians can judge his performance and determine his political fate. We will not allow our fathers to drag their children into any blood shedding activity that is driven by greed, selfishness and other parochial interests. There will not be blood in 2015! Every normal Nigerian across the breadth of our great country desire the same things: Jobs to earn a decent living, access to good education, access to health care, security of life and property. Hence the only destination of democratic power that Nigerians want is that which can provide these things! Those politicians incapable of understanding these should voluntarily retire from politics or Nigerians will retire them. We cannot continue to run a country where the relationship between the governing and governed is patronage at its very core. Nigerians will wake up and demand for the services we earnestly need and elect only those amongst us that we are confident will provide us these services; not those who share bags of rice or beans or throw money, our own money, at us like they are feeding dogs on the street. Everybody wants power but what do they want to use it for? That should be the litmus test in selecting a man or woman to a given office! Let us forget how rich they are because the money to be spent is our collective money, besides some of them are rich because they stole from us while we were focused on some diversion or the other.
As citizens of our great country it is our collective responsibility to participate in its governance on a daily basis. Like irresponsible drivers who sometimes take their hands of the steering wheel allowing the car to go off course, we have not participated in Nigeria as much hence allowing it to drift; now is the time however to begin paddling back Nigeria towards the course we desire and succeed we will.
This is the first of weekly “one-pagers” that I believe will reinforce the reasons why 2015 should not be feared but embraced. Nigeria will not break up then or any other time; a simple reason is this: Nigeria can only break up when we collectively break it up with our hands, and since we are not ready to do that, who the hell can say otherwise.
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