The Amalgamation of Nigeria in 1914 brought together different shades of opinions and ethnicities. Why many believe that process was fraught with lots of miscalculation as well as done for selfish reasons, other school of thought believe it was the best thing that could happen to this Nation. Whichever opinion prevails for now may be a discussion for another day. Our focus today is on policy making and our transformation agenda. It is better to analyse how well have we gone with all the policies we have had in the past.
As a nation, Nigeria does not come behind in intellectual and human capacity. Check the affairs and management of Political, administrative, technological, medical, educational as well as aviation industries in advanced world and you will find a traceable numbers of Nigeria descents who had either naturalised by taken up citizenship of those nations at the top echeleon of such industries. They are doing exploits. Some of these people we refer to as Nigerian in diaspora.
For those who chose to stay behind or those who wish to check out but could not get necessary papers to cross over, we still have Hundreds of Thousands of Intellectuals who had been called to contribute their qoutas to National development dialogue and policy making process. We must admit some bright minds among us have been ignored because of parochial or ethnic issue. There are some who though optimism and a desire for a New Nigeria had given their skills for free in developing great and outstanding policies that can literally transform this nation from a Third World to first World Country. That is if commitment is given to the policy documentation they had been involved in.
We seem to like to gather people, as if we are really serious, to produce valid and internationally acclaimed Policy that can deliver the nation from the present quagmire. Unfortunately, the devil and greater challanges is in the details as well as execution. We are a nation with a love for committee in any simple process. We have had several committee reports which often gather dust. This may be due to a lack of willingness to execute or a desire to safe face of cronies. We set set up committees here at will. We love committees and ‘councilship’.
But unfortunately we always allow great ideas to perish on the shelf of history. Since Nigeria independence, we have had great, several policy making round tables, committees. None of these is lacking in technical know how, intellectual capacity, great and lofty ideas, but tell me where is the will to implement these recommendations. In the last thirty years especially, if we had wanted to leave mediocrity behind and move ahead in building a great nation, we would have gone far but it appears we love to turn away our faces from realities.
It is an open secret, some of the policies, recommendations are destroyed or hidden from public glare just because one person, group or ethnic will be affected. In some cases, it had been because of lack of willingness to pay the sacrifices, apply the disciplines such policy will demand from us. While serious nations will rather take the horse by the bull, make necessary sacrifices, accept the discipline it requires for now, we often allow sentiment and other ethnic considerations to ove rule our judgement. No wonder we are where we are today.
While the leadership of this great nation has its own issues, the followership too had become rotten, with exception of few. Followers accept anything without questioning. The leaders had mastered the art of rulership which put many of the followership in a position where they perpetually live for now instead of the future.If we must move forward and we want our nation to work, we must develop strong institutions that will make implementations of our policies an easy flow from drafting stage towards execution and full implementation.
A Political and strong leadership will: What have we not seen? Let us consider some of the finest educational policy documented during Mrs Oby Ezekwesilli tenure as Education Minister with a focus on how to turn the fortune of our Unity Schools around. But obviously, many opportunities for those who ‘benefit’ from the rot in the system will be blocked. Unfortunately, since many of those who emerge here as leaders have not done their home work before came on board, they often have to really solely on recommendations from down up. We must give it to some State Governors like Babatunde Fashola, Adams Oshiomole, Rotimi Amaechi and the present Bayelsa State Governor who seem to have a direction of where Nigeria should be and who are frantically taking step towards the actualization of the New Nigeria spirit.
Informed citizen, followership who know their rights: Only informed citizen can raise the standard of conversation. It is only the informed citizen that will not call others name just because they see things differently from their Political godfathers. It is only informed citizen who can add quality conversation which has the capacity to improve the silence, ignorance which pervades in our clime here. We need citizens who will not just fight for their kinsmen who only rule to give them stipends at the expense a bright future. We need citizens who will not keep quiet when things are not done right. We do not need citizens who will criticise others just because they are standing up for their rights. We need citizens who are not drunk with ethnic and bigots wine. Every true leader knows when a Country has this kind of citizenry, they can do less harm. So in Africa, our leaders know this and may be that accounted for why they do everything to keep up the level of ignorance high, playing ethnic and religious cards at every given opportunity.
Nigeria and Africa has the greatest future ahead as it has become the darling of may investors. Will our Political and economic environments be safe enough to attract the best suitors we can get? Will our transformmation agenda scale through? It all depends on us. In term of paper, policy documentation we are very strong and that show we know what is right and we know the way to go if we want to. We must supply the missing links Now.