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2019: Sowore As The Last Escape Hatch For Nigeria By Martin White-Ufuah

To make Nigeria work is to make Nigerians work. No nation becomes great through onlooking, mere wishes, or by aloofness. The great advancement in trade, research and technology by the great nations of the world came by the conscientious application of its people to work. So to make Nigeria work will mean to galvanize Nigerians to work.

A nation’s greatness or exaltation comes by the practical explorations of principles, not through miracles. The complacent religious posture of Nigerians has terribly injured the soul of the nation. There is a glaring general failure to accept responsibility.

Our nation is imperiled by the readiness of its citizens to abdicate responsibility at everything. Our attitude to work is reminiscent of a people with no commitment to excellence and self-reliance.
Workers who earn full pay for doing no work consider themselves lucky and as having gained something. Almost everybody these days want money without work.

Only few Nigerians feel they own Nigeria enough to fight for it. Very few indeed ever smile at work to serve the public better and make fellow citizens happy. And except for pre-agreed reward, most Nigerians are not even ready to save the nation’s assets and social infrastructure from destruction.

The slogan here is, “Use what you have to get what you want.” Whether what you have is your position as a public officer in a position of trust, or as a medical officer who should save lives, or as a private sector rendering strategic services to fellow citizens, the deal here is for you to exact your naira ‘pound of flesh’ mercilessly on others. The reward system of our nation is wrong in that those who engage in honest productive endeavour make far much less than those who cheat on the system via economic crime and corruption.

How did we get to this point? Nigeria is not a defined nation. We are not well constituted and structured for growth. At 1960 when we gained independence from our colonial master, the problems that prompted the first coup that precipitated into the civil war revealed how divided we are. Nigeria is a heavily polarized nation with deeply ingrained sectional hatred.

The way the British took over, administered and organized Nigeria revealed that we were not well structured for growth. Before the 1940s when political agitation became a preoccupation, the South was governed as a unit until the Richards Constitution of 1946 that divided it into two regions, establishing three centers of power: Kaduna in the North, Ibadan in the West, and Enugu in the East. This was how the “WAZOBIA” of Yoruba, Hausa, and Ibo was reached and buried in our political consciousness.

This was the soul and spirit of Nigeria at independence. It was a soul of divisiveness and nepotism. The nation was erected on polarized lines of ethnicity and religiosity.

So at independence, the country was ready to detonate. The worsening state of the nation after independence inspired the likes of Major Nzeogwu, Ifeajuna and Ademoyega to stage a revolution to remove the political elites in order to clear the stage for a fresh start.

But because of the ethnic distribution of the first coup plotters that led to the death of the nation’s first Prime Minister, Sir Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Sardauna of the North, Sir Ahmadu Bello and others, it was widely believed to be an Ibo coup. And also because an Easterner, General Aguiyi Ironsi, who was the head of the Supreme Military Council was automatically installed as the new head of state, a counter-coup was staged in retaliation and Aguiyi Ironsi, and many Easterners living in the Northern part of the country were killed.

This was the problem that precipitated into the Nigerian civil war in 1967 after the Eastern region under the leadership of Col. Ojukwu announced secession from Nigeria. The truth needs to be told, since this bitter experience of the past, successive leaders of this country have refused to accept the truth about our problem and analyze the cause of happenings. No one has attempted to rework the foundation on which the country was laid. Successive administrations have come up with the chant of fighting corruption without ever realizing that Nigeria firstly needs to be recovered through digging that will remove the inner core of our problem. The problem of our country is that we have not been well defined, constituted and structured for growth.

This is the reason almost everybody is misbehaving in our country. We started wrongly with no definite direction in view! And over the years, we have entrusted leadership into the hands of shortsighted leaders with poor hindsight and foresight. As it stands today, except Omoyele Sowore, the other recycled leaders (including the incumbent president) indicating interest in the office of the president come 2019 are men with exponential failures in public offices. We have seen their best.

They have proven to have no clue as to what the problem really is with Nigeria. Their shortsighted policies, reforms upon reforms and probation upon probation have done nothing than take us behind the ticking of time. The world has as of today left us behind to grapple with backwardness. Shall we continue like this? Omoyele Sowore, a chap with a clear and deep perception of Nigeria’s problem, has shown exceptional understanding of the complexity of our problem. His presentations and swift responses to questions asked him at the different town hall meetings he has had with fellow Nigerians is excellent.

He has made it abundantly clear that Nigeria needs a total overhauling of its system. This may take time, considering the level of damage on the system, but having the right person in Aso Rock is the best way to begin the process. Fellow Nigerians, this is the opportunity for us to right the wrongs of the past. Omoyele Sowore is the best choice for president come 2019!

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