What seems like impossibility becomes possibility,a democratically elected incumbent president was for the first time defeated at the polls in the history of Nigeria. Prior to March 28th, 2015 general election, our politicians washed their dirty linens in the public in series of open letters which makes it to the public in 2013 while the Northeast of the country burns with insurgency; an occurrence which was a blessing in disguise for Nigeria and Nigerians – the incompetency of the present administration was exposed.
So many things befall the nation during the present administration, missing oil money, Nigerian Immigration recruitment scam, politics was prioritised over security of lives, embezzlement of public funds was declared as mere stealing and the image of Nigeria further suffered in the international community while impunity reigns like never before.
Former governor of Central Bank of Nigeria Emir Sanusi Lamido Sanusi in an interview on CNN – “We must recognize that at the heart of the problem of Nigeria, at the heart of ninety percent of our issues – from Boko Haram, to religious crisis, to ethnic crisis to unemployment, to the lack of education, to the lack of health care – is that there are people who profit from the poverty and underdevelopment of this country. And these people are called Vested Interests.”
The situation further worsens as President Jonathan positioned himself as a fellow to be pitied, a people pleaser who fears to step on toes to do the needful to fight corruption while celebrating crimes and people of questionable characters; the incumbent Governor of Ekiti state was allowed to vied for gubernatorial post despite his pending case with Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the president also nominated the former defence minister Musiliu Obanikoro as foreign minister despite his alleged involvement in rigging of the last gubernatorial election in Ekiti state. All hope was lost that corruption will be a thing of the past in Nigeria.
Nigeria improved theoretically after rebasing of its GDP while in reality, Nigerians becomes more impoverished. It was disheartening when President Jonathan publicly uttered that Nigeria is a rich country because a very minute of the population are acquiring personal flights.
In the last sixteen years, Nigeria though blessed with good heads is yet to be led by someone who is not only passionate about the project called Nigeria but also ready to make sacrifices to transform Nigeria from a failing nation in the third world category to a first world country. The story of Singaporean founding father Lee Kuan Yew who died on March 22nd, 2015 at the age of 91 years and laid to rest on 29th of the same month. His story is one that ignites hope of the possibility of any third world country despite its mess becoming a first world country.
Lee Kuan Yew built Singapore into a first world country from an under-developed country with null natural resources and harmonised the differences of Singaporeans to be able to live together peacefully. The story of a courageous man, a good manager of resources, and a visionary man Late Lee Kuan Yew changed the tide of Singapore for good.
Nigerians are now in dire need of change like never before, in dire need of a visionary leader who can transform Nigeria into a desired nation. During the search, hope was found in a man renowned for honour and integrity, a man who despite his failure at the polls three consecutive times since 2003 forged ahead to contest the fourth time till he finally won this year, hope was found in president-elect General Buhari. Nigerians now hope in him to redeem the image of the country for good, to work with the best heads in the country, to declare zero tolerance on corruption, restore good governance, prioritised security of lives, achieve sustainable development, and set exemplary leadership for younger generations to follow.
At this junction, we have to be careful not to indulge in making excuses for the shortcomings of the incoming government. If we actually want Nigeria to change, we will also have to take active part in governance, demand accountability and transparency from the government.
Don’t doubt it; a first world Nigeria is possible, one step at a time. It begins with giving visionary leaders the opportunity to take charge while we hold them accountable.