Few days before the elections in March I met my neighbour discussing the political development in the country with another neighbour just outside our residences. The conclusion of their discussion was that it was clear that no matter the problems that the nation was facing and the seeming inroads the opposition APC was making into the landscape of the polity, they were certain that President Jonathan was going to return by winning the election whatever the circumstances were.
I ventured to remind one of them, who was so assertive, that it was very likely that no matter what, the PDP and its government would do for them to win the March 28th elections, they would lose. I stood my ground and even bragged to the duo that I wished to remind them that we were talking about politics and as a student in that area, they should listen even if failing to respect my views. The elections came and went and the rest is now history.
Early this week, the same neighbour, who was vehement in the resignation that the Jonathan administration was capable of intruding itself, again walked up to me early morning and confessed that it was clear that what Nigeria has lacked for a while is leadership and went further to tell me of an encounter he had with the fellow who repaired his generating set. The young man suddenly came over and cried aloud that there was ‘a problem’ and he didn’t know what to do.
According to the technician, already, it was becoming difficult to survive because they were gradually eroding out of work because electricity was getting steady and generating sets were minimally used and thus impossible for him and colleagues in the same trade to do business.
What excited me more was the response of my neighbour. He quickly advised the young fellow to switch over to another electrical job that seems similar with servicing of generating sets. Obviously the message from the young man was very instructive to the extent that with improvement in electricity supply, people like him that have long being surviving on the failures of state were at risk of falling out of job.
As peculiar as that concern might seem, it sends a very important message that things are indeed taking a new dimension as far as Nigeria is concerned. I am often worried when I see the changes that are evident and the very thoughts that could Nigeria be back to the same situation it was a few months ago and for years? I am worried that those who have extremely profited from the difficulties of the nation may again resume their antics if care is not taken. I hope that the government is not unmindful of the chaos that the corrupt propertied class could be made of, especially when facing very imminent extinction as a result of resuscitation of law and order.
The problem with Nigeria many people have said in the past was the absence of laws or failures by those who should implement them do that with necessary honesty. Impunity is the mother of all the problems that we faced as a people. It is the existence of law and order that has made societies that we see as lesser mortals survive with integrity and in peace despite high level poverty and terrible climatic and other environmental conditions. We have argued time without number that the moment a leadership that is honest and sincere is instituted; it will take a little time to get things working in Nigeria.
Another commentary typifying the moment was witnessed on Wednesday morning on Giri-Gwagwalada highway when torrential rains submerged a substantial portion of the road just before the University of Abuja staff quarters. The Abuja-Lokoja expressway is a haven of traffic and at the slightest hold, the road becomes chaotic. Before the current attainment when the road was dualised, some of us would always bid farewell to the Gwagwlada campus once it was either Sallah or Christmas period.
Now that the dualisation has been partly completed by the government it takes less than 10 minutes to drive from Giri junction to Gwagwalada. On Wednesday August 12th, the old order was resuscitated via the heavy down pour and the unusual hold up reappeared. The difference this time around was that one could visibly see the presence of road safety officials and men as well as officers and men of both the Nigerian police and civil defence corps directing motorists to ‘safety.’
All these are positive signs that are being recorded even before the government is fully constituted. I want to hope that the attainments would be multidimensional by the time it is in place. What those in positions of authority must take into cognisance however, is that just as Nigerians are naturally realigning themselves with the trend of change, it is crucial that tangible dividends such as we see in power and other sectors are translated in the area of education, health, road and rail transportation as well as airways.
As a frequent traveller, one thing that keeps baffling me is the way I see Kenya, Ethiopia and other African airlines in the capitals of the world but Nigeria doesn’t have a national carrier. I am glad that the president has indicated his intention to revive Nigeria Airways in whatever form or fashion. It is equally gratifying to note the willingness to bring back a national sea flagship which has also been deliberately broken down by selfish Nigerian elites.
The electricity agencies had reasons always to justify their failures and at best we could only complain without any succour coming from those that ought to save us. Those days, I hope, are over and everyone would pay attention to what he or she does and with the necessary doses of patriotism so that the nation can work again. It is hoped that the problems we have faced as people and nation are past and would never again confront us.
With good leadership that is committed and a mobilised citizenry, I am of the view that Nigeria would work again and walk into greatness and the citizens shall be proud of whom they are wherever they are across the globe.
Long live Nigeria and its leadership.