Any well informed Nigerian who is genuinely concerned and interested in the success of the Nigerian Project will agree that our national problems are not only many but that we need to honestly engage with them.
We have already made it clear in this series that Nigeria has no business being poor or backward, if only we address challenges squarely and honestly, if only we put our strong feet forward.
Given our state of affairs, there is need to honestly identify the political economic, religious and socio-cultural maladies with which our nation has been afflicted.
Beyond this, we need to take what I describe as DAPA approach in systematically confronting our challenges. DAPA is a dispassionate and problem solving which begins with Diagnosis (D) and proceeds through Analysis (A), then Prescription (P) and Administration (A), of the painstaking and focused prescriptions made.
This brings us to the courage and wisdom of the Federal Government of Nigeria in convening the national conference that is winding up presently.
Those who followed the proceedings of the National conference will agree that the problems and challenges before us in the slow march to nationhood is in no way a small matter.
While the national conference followed the DAPA approach it is not difficult to see that it did its best under very turbulent situation with many honest efforts contending with entrenched interests and high wired intrigues.
This means that fixing Nigeria will not be easy for many obvious reasons, many of which have been alluded to and referenced in this series.
The confusing state of affairs has remained for almost 100 years because both our forebears and those on the saddle up to recently kept sweeping many critical foundational problems under the carpet instead of addressing them. While many smiled home with their political and economic loots, they forgot that the joy of everything stolen lasts only for a brief moment.
Granted the foregoings, this should be time to fix Nigeria. We must begin by returning to God. This must begin with a genuine national repentance, not political prayer gatherings as have been the case.
The church must mobilize for this and lead it. If the organized, institutional and denominational churches are too distracted to be of any use in this direction, the REMNANT church should pick up the gauntlet. The scripture is every clear on this. For God says;
“If my people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).
God rules as the SOVEREIGN GENERAL over the nations. The new Nigeria of our dream and hope will remain a futile project, a mirage, if we leave God out of the equation. Presently there is too much lip service to God. We are busy doing our thing. However, it remains true that we cannot build any great nation without God.
Our leaders, irrespective of their confessed religions should seek God. They should themselves repent and be true. They should then lead us back to God. If they are sincere, we have many sincere servants of God who can guide them aright.
The reality of Nigeria is that we are a collective of nationalities with our evident peculiarities.
This is so both in the South and the North.
The One North claim is a guise that has lost its shine. The realities can no longer bear that out. Neither can the South claim any such untruth for itself. By Nigeria’s very reality as an ethno-cultural collective, only a true federal system will fit. We cannot keep tinkering with this current unitary system, cutting and patching it here and there.
It will just be postponing the evil day. We have an opportunity which we must sieze now.
The other issue, related to the foregoing which we must face is taking government, governance and development to the grassroot. The reality is that just as Nigeria is diverse as a nation so there are huge diversities within the states. Therefore, unless we strengthen the grassroot and make development happen there, wicked and selfish politicians will continue to take us for a ride. It is always better and surer to build from the ground upwards, from bottom to top.
The trickle effect approach to development doesn’t really work. Where it works, it is terribly slow. So we truly cannot build Nigeria from Abuja. We should rather build Nigeria from the grassroots.
Education is another critical area that requires a state of emergency. No modern nation-state reaches its summit when education is neglected. Nigeria is in trouble with her education. Things were much better, but now it is a tragic down turn. We have the resources to do this.
There is a great Nigeria before us. But it is another thing to do what we need to do. Let us save Nigeria and build her, we are better off doing so.
To do otherwise will be a most foolish option. God is waiting!