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Published On: Tue, Dec 9th, 2014

A monument to a centenary

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Abuja - The making of a Centenary CityBy Hadiza Yahaya Abubakar

Nigeria proclaimed a nation state in 1914 after the amalgamation of the then southern and northern protectorates by the colonial master, Lord Lugard. A blessing or a curse, this is yet to be ascertained. Whether by chance or deliberate action the entity has not collapsed for 100 years now. Nigeria survived and librated from colonial rule through severe and frantic struggle of some heroes called nationalists. These icons in the personality ofObafemiAwolowo, NnamdiAzikwe,TafawaBalewa, Ernest Ekoli, Ahmadu Bello to mention a few were the driving force behind our nationhood. Their bravery and steadfastness, among other things, led to the proclamation of Nigeria’s independence in 1960 and subsequently a full pledge republic in 1963.

This achievement didn’t just occur out of blue or mere coincidence neither was it by chance nor dream but a determined effort. Nonetheless, Nigeria has since then been witnessing various government change, an interswitch between military and democracy with the former having the larger share up till the millennium. These gave rise to multitude of dictators, tyrants and leaders succeeding each other at various stages in time. These crop of political administrators, heads of governments and leaders to each a credit and abysmal exists during his dispensation, but one out-weigh the other.

Although, no any nation can develop beyond capacity of its human and natural resources, since the development of every nation is largely connected to the quality and determination of its leaders.Their individual contributors even though in different capacities arethe make-up of what we are today. Some of them did a good job that is still enjoyed today while others succeeded in creeping down and destroying what the good ones did. Taking one aspect of it will lead to the questions which demand urgent answers. Is Nigeria really handicapped in human resources? Or is the capacity inadequate? Are there shortfalls in the nation’s natural resources? Is natural or human resources the root cause for failure of all national economic development plans? Just be honest and keep the answer to yourself. To me it may be no, due to some reasons that are obvious, corruption, mismanagement, sycophancy, impurity e.t.c, the list may be endless.Focused, committed and visionary leader that will chart the way through is worth considering.

Nigeria leaders virtually sing the propagandist song claiming to pursue transformation agenda in the economic and socio political disorder of this nation, while they themselves are with a skeleton in their cupboard. Patriotism in words and never in action whatsoever. Visionary leaders are identified by their actions and the impact they make on their subjects, i.e the common people. Leaders’ ability to transform positive ideas into goals and development are guided by their exceptional ability to deny themselves luxuries and also express confidence in their followers; diligent, optimism in articulating a clear appealing vision.

These are the qualities and crop of leaders Nigeria is deserving amidst multiple artificially created large venomous octopus that has grown uncountable heads with independent names such as unemployment, insecurity, poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, deplorable state of infrastructure, lack of socio amenities as well as unveiling health care for the health well being of the populace/people.

Above all, the fact remains that each of these leaders contributes their bit for the betterment of this country. However, there is no gain saying that passion, vision, mission and sincerity of purpose of these leaders is questionable. Most of them rule intintively instead of acting in accordance with their oath of allegiance.Nigeria centenary can be fully celebrated when the country is in its divinely deserved place (i.e. moved from 3rd world to 1st world country). This cannot be achieved until common Nigerians pay their prices, that is when we recognize our duties, rights and responsibilities, when we abhor ethno-religion criticism; when we set aside tribe barriers, vote rightly and fairly; when we see ourselves as our brother’s keeper; and when doctors, lawyers, lecturers and engineers execute their jobs with maximum integrity and due diligence.

Moreover, Nigeria would be great when security agencies, traditional rulers, market men and women, financial analysts, students, employers and employees, artisans, transporters and government know what it takes to become a developed country.Also, this is when democracy will be expressly defined as “government of the people by the people and for the people”.

Insincerity, maladministration, misappropriation and corruption by leaders are responsible for social unrest, ranging from militancy of Niger Delta, Insurgency of Boko Haram, Abduction of citizens, Kidnapping, human trafficking, to mention but a few. Followers are also seen as the ones complicating these problems for being sycophants that are used by questionable and hypocritical leaders to achieve political and economic ends. For Nigeria to be great, to create a society that will permit fairness, liberty and avoid nepotism, favoritism, oppression, unjust which we are witnessing today, all hands must be on desk. To curb these threats, egalitarian society is most needed.

HadizaYahayaAbubakar via



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