The thoughts of Nigeria kept me sleepless last night; from Northern and Southern Nigeria in 1914 under Sir Fredrick Lugard to the days of Herbert Macauley, Azikiwe down to present day presidency of Jonathan. I came out in the morning frightened about  the future of our country, having traced the worsening relay-race in our history dating back from independence fill date, how each succeeding regime behaved abysmally worse than its predecessor and every present day worse than the immediate past.

IsNigeriamoving forward or backwards? If it is not violence or crisis here and there, it is bomb blast, strike or political brigandary and confusion. What has become of this country? Is anyone not in charge?

I read and watch other countries on Newspapers, Television and the internet about their orderliness, patriotism, their progress and how they tackle their challenges. I have seen presidents and prime Ministers arrested and tried in courts for misconducts and some of them flushed out of offices or jailed. Many of these counties reward honesty, creativity and Patriotism. What kind of frustrating country are we in? How can the masses be bleeding for unchallenged monumental corruption and looting of our common wealth by powerful Nigerians in Government and business? How come the president who promised Nigerians better life and fresh air during his presidential campaign has turned around to impose draconian economic policies, whose socio-economic consequences on the masses are very unbearable? The power we gave to the president, is it to oppress, abuse or degrade the citizens? Is it not to protect the citizen’s fundamental rights, interest and welfare?

How has it been this past one year and what have we achieved? Is it our economy that is improving or good governance that we have? What does the future hold for our frustrated and depressed youths?

People now live in fear as there is complete breakdown of security because people carry guns to kill fellow human beings, bombings here and there, in the market, churches, schools, on the road. Nobody is safe or free. There is tension every where. Our banner is no longer without stain as at independence. Today, our banner is blood soaked, corruption stained and divisively torn along parochial, political, ethnic and religious interests. We are a country of terrorist and assassins but abhor and detest to be called terrorist in the global community. Who is deceiving who? What do we expect when rudderless government is at all tiers, crisis is order of the days, ethnicity, religious intolerance, monumental corruption, insinuations and heinous indoctrinations have become accepted canons, when unemployment is soaring to high heavens, ethnic militia on the rise, executive rascality fashionable and system failure starring us in the face?

Nigeriahas been stewing in unparalleled crime and insecurity. The very foundation on whichNigeriais sitting requires strong steel and concrete re-enforcement. There is need for proper overhaul, reassessment and re-enforcement.

The primary and fundamental objective of government is the maintenance of basic security, public order and general welfare of the people. We are running government without the people. Is governance no longer about putting people on the priority list? Our students are frustrated and depressed across the land, it affects their psyche and education.

We have all it takes to develop this country but she is held ransom by some greedy and selfish leaders. Good governance has become a luxury in this country where extravagance and looting have become fashionable among public holder. A country where evil has been allowed to bestride and ravage our polity unchallenged; where the citizens endue all things.

Nigerians are perpetually groaning, embarrassingly tracked, wondering and gallivanting aimlessly without proper nurturing and guidance. The poor masses are always at the receiving end all the time. When it comes to belt-tightening, its for them. When it is sacrifice, the poor masses too. What can they do? They can make all the noise, after all they are barking dogs that can make all the noise but cannot bite even when wounded.

In the words ofAustinEdosomo “Democracy inNigeriais on crutches, standing on one leg. The system has been unsteady and in some instances, adversely shaken to its foundation by various undemocratic forces in the country”

What reasonable gain or dividend of democracy in the past one year can we boast of? How many precious, innocent lives have we lost to Boko Haram? Up till now, nothing tangible has been done to the sponsors and killers that are involved in the dastardly act. All we keep hearing are assurances upon assurances, rhetorics, that government is on top of the situation while situation keep getting worse day by day. They must account for the blood of these people shed due to their negligence and incompetence. Any leadership that feels insensitive to the security of its citizens and unconcerned about its welfare is a failure.

According to the Late Dim Odimegwu Ojukwu “Leadership is a business for serious minds. We do not want leaders who are erratic, whimsical and vindictive because they lack the maturity required for leadership”.

Those we look up to are alleged to be sponsoring series of killings, bombings and murders. We have heard enough of good speeches. We need proactive actions to deal decisively with them. Was it not Ralph W. Emersion who said “Whenever a man commits a crime, God finds a witness. Every crime has its reporter”

Now is time to hold leaders accountable. It takes focused and strong leadership to do the extra-ordinary, tackle corruption head-long not minding whose ox is gored.

We have all made mistakes and must find out ways of solving our problems. We charge our leaders to make a U-Turn and realize that they have a responsibility, change from the non challant attitude they show to the plight of the people to real commitment. Then and only then shall we have a new lease of life.

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Christian Voice