By Sotunde Busayo
“The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership.” Harvey Firestone.
“Now that we have acquired our rightful status… I feel sure that history will show that the building of our nation proceeded at the wisest pace: it has been thorough and now Nigeria stand well upon a well built foundation.” Those were the words of Nigeria’s Prime Minister, Tafawa Balewa, in his address to the nation on Independence Day – October 1st 1960.
After the first republic, which operated on a parliamentary system of government, things seemed to be in shape with the vision of a better future but the cruel intervention of the military coup led by Major General Kaduna Nzeogu on January 15, 1966 created a damp to the aspiration of what was hoped to be achieved in the early years of Nigeria’s independence.
Nigeria suffered several coups and counter coups coupled with the fear of domination, thus, the game of power play that exist in our country. The experiences that Nigeria lived through as a result of bad leadership underscore the various challenges that she still faces today.
These challenges range from corruption, bad road network, lack of stable electricity and security, poor transportation system, unstable healthcare delivery system, etc. The issue of national security has turn a big embarrassment for the nation with the recent U.N bombing that claimed about 23 innocent lives of Nigerians and foreigners.
Similarly, the educational sector which ought to be the bedrock of the nation is in shambles as the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) continue to threaten to go on an indefinite strike just a week before the 51st Independent anniversary.
As a result of the long list of shambles that have riddled the nation to puzzlement, a call of duty is made to the Nigerian government and Nigerians to find a lasting solution to the country’s problem as we celebrate yet another independent anniversary.
Joining forums and organisation or creating commissions to revive the nation is not the only way out of the present predicament. There is a need for a more practical approach to harness the goal of the many committees that has been established both at the formal and informal level.
On the security of the country, the Police should be re-oriented from the top to the bottom. Qualified personnel should be employed and not drop-outs who appear to be frustrated with life and making a nuisance of themselves on the streets.
Also, as the ace writer and professor, Chinua Achebe said that the root of Nigeria problem is her leader, there is need to fight corruption head-on at the political and economic.
One of the ways for Nigeria to achieve its vision at birth and its aspiration of vision 2020 in the near future is to embrace the spirit of collaboration. This is no longer an era for Nigerians to call on the government alone. Nigerians must work with the government to move things forward and not just criticize their work. The government must be kept accountable as they focus on improving the lives of Nigerians. In the words of Harvey Firestone, “The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership.”
Happy 51st Independence anniversary NIGERIAN! May God Bless our great Nation!!