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Nigeria’s future: What’s the plan?

As 2018 comes to an end the media and indeed the whole nation is consumed by the upcoming national elections. The beginning and end of that story is whether or not current President will remain in office until 2023. Unfortunately, there is so much short-sighted focus on the Presidential candidates that little time is being spent analyzing the state of the nation and the long term future. With the antecedents of the two main presidential candidates whose main focus is on economics and other ideas firmly entrenched in the past, its increasingly difficult to see how the upcoming elections will address the main ills of the nation. On a spiritual level Nigeria suffers from an excess of Religion without piety, but religion is a personal matter and political leaders can’t be held responsible for the lowering standards of morality and piety in the nation. The Blame for this lies squarely with religious leaders who instead of limiting themselves to preaching the love for fellow man which abounds in Holy books, concentrate on prosperity preaching or Jihad.

Political leaders can be held responsible for the fact that the nation has schools without learning. It’s beyond dispute that the standard of education in Nigeria is abysmal. Political leaders themselves choose to educate their children overseas. The lack of science teaching equipment in government secondary schools is legendary. Examination bodies are complicit in the problem as students who have never used a microscope in their life routinely end up with credits in Biology which involves practical work! Coupled with the poor standard of secondary education, the tertiary sector has lost so many Professors who now seek political appointments rather than engage in any sort of discovery. They have discovered how to make money rather than be frustrated in underfunded universities. The main reason why Nigeria seems incapable of solving its problems is because there are too many intellectuals without thought. In addition to professors, those with Doctorate Degrees are found littered in political appoints and running MDA’s rather than engaging in conceptualizing home grown solutions. The end result is the insulting spectacle of a nation flooded with second-class expatriates accompanying top government official to commission roads, buildings, drainages and other “routine” jobs.

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A major problem which the nation seems unable to solve is our Courts without justice. It’s disgraceful that the majority of inmates in Nigeria’s overcrowded prisons are “awaiting trial”. That is to say they have not actually been found guilty of any offence, but are victims of the fact that on a daily basis judges remand every suspect or accused in prison. In complete disregard for human rights the majority of completely innocent suspects are condemned to spending several weeks in prison with no compensation afterwards. Citizen’s rights are also being abridged in the democratic process. Even as elections approach there are fears that the polls will not be free and fair. Democracy without citizen’s rights is the norm in Nigeria, and truth be told there is little incentive for any leader to improve the system that got them there in the first place. The hullaballoo over signing of the new electoral act has more to do with personal interests than advancing democracy. Even worse for citizens, the nation suffers from criminals without fears.

The level of corruption and incompetence within the Nigeria Police Force is a national disgrace. On an almost daily basis policemen are being gunned down without any public honor and their families left to suffer. The police are less mobile, less well-armed, and have poorer communication gadgets, than the criminals who they fight unsuccessfully. This is the main reason why the nation has crimes without culprits. There have been no high profile convictions for corruption, murder, political brigandage, or ritual practices. In Nigeria only the poor are convicted of crimes, the rich are never the culprits. The problem of wealth without prosperity can only be partly addressed by the anti-corruption war. The real problem is that the most difficult way to become rich in Nigeria is to be honest and employ others. The end result is that as the number of Nigeria millionaires and billionaires increases so does the level of poverty. This has led to hunger without famine. The majority of Nigerians do not eat three square meals a day. That Nigerians are malnourished but not dying from hunger seems a good enough benchmark for government. Apart from all of these, Nigeria’s suffers from a problem of identity. Nigeria is an imposed identity which has brought about unity without love. Political leaders must accept the blame for the fact that the nation experiences change without progress. There is a surfeit of policies without plans. In days gone by citizens were always aware of 5 or 10-year development plans. Now nobody knows the long-term plan or indeed if even there is one!

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