Nigeria is blessed with natural resources, human resources and potentials that any nation need to develop. The real crisis is rather one of leadership, management, foresight and perennial egocentricism. This is the kind of crisis that is bound to happen when lust for power prevails over granting people the love and care they deserve. Guess what! When the interests and destiny of one individual become more important than those of a nation, you don’t expect positive impact but bad governance.
Our leaders and politicians prefer to buy big houses, expensive cars, build five star hotels all with the fear of poverty or being poor again. They see all these things as means of fighting against financial downturn after public office. They fail to create an enabling environment for investors to come into the country to industrialize our NIGERIA. Since they have failed to give us uninterrupted power supply, good roads, security and other basic amenities that could aid development, they also become scared to invest their ill-gotten wealth, their looted funds from the national and the state treasuries to build companies that could or should employ the masses so as to eradicate unemployment and fight hunger. They have not only failed to to build companies in their respective states of origin to employ the masses so that these masses can be economically liberated, they have also failed to implement policies that will make the few available foreign investors respect our labour laws.
All we have as a nation are past glories, we talk of the great Obafemi Awolowo, Nnamdi Azikwe, and Ahmadu Bello almost in every parts of our history but we fail to emulate their vision and style of leadership. We will never feel satisfied until all Nigerians could feed and live like humans.
We have a lot of abandoned exotic houses in estates across the country yet a lot of people are being sent out by their landlords because they could not pay their house rents. Let me ask you a question ” Do you think those sleeping under the bridges are pleased with it? Hell no, but they have nowhere to see money to pay rents since they have no jobs and they can’t steal.
I am increasingly worried and sad about the sorry state of state of affairs of Nigeria. Only a persistent sense of optimism about a brighter future lifts and ameliorates my fear. I have come to realize that the credibility of leadership can only be established through action and not words. The action in focus is one that makes the leader sees his people as his foremost assets and not burdens of liabilities.
Our opinion might differ but our focus should be intact. Academic intelligence is different from native intelligence. Building a formidable Nation entails more of action than rhetorics . No matter how we muscle knowledge or brandish vocabulary to frighten the aged in politics as youths, the fact is that they won’t care about our threat because they know that we don’t love ourselves. Obanikoro started with Tinubu, left to meet Obasanjo who handed him over to Jonathan. And now he is back to the same Tinubu.
The aged know that the knowledge we have acquired through academics has become our greatest weakness. They know that many amongst us are hungry and so with hidden interest. They know that many amongst us are a product of a broken home from broken economy favoured by them. We did not enjoy good university lifestyle, we have struggled to acquire this knowledge, please why can’t we use it to liberate ourselves? They know that many amongst us are desperate. They know that many amongst us seek that leverage politically for selfish interest and ego but the truth is that, we know ourselves and what we can do if given the opportunity. The solution for us to get there is one love and to be respecter of each others views. The youths are not one!!! Too much of hate, ego and selfish interest. Let’s do things right and differently. We know d truth! Eradicating mental slavery is another task in front of us.
If we all kick against the monetization of politics, then we can project poor youths who have the zeal, drive and passion for this country to contest in general elections and hold important political posts and continue vibrantly.
Babatunde Olamide Badmus, a former Students’ Union President at the University of Ibadan, writes from Ibadan.