Where are the heroes? Who were they? When did we grow heroes? How did we grow them? At what point in our historicity did we grow men and women who were ready to give their all for the good of all? Did we ever have such men and women in the saddle? Were those we call our ‘heroes past’ not all pretenders to the pristine values of leadership? Were they true Patriots? Were they Selfless? Were they Statesmen? Were they Pan-Nigerian? Were they Pan-Africans? Were they superior to the nuances of Creed and Clan? What were their heroics?
After 63 years of independence, bigotry, ethnic jingoism, and religious chauvinism defines the entire fabric of our political life.
After 63 years, thieves, looters, forgers, certificate cheats and men of questionable credentials decide what happens in Nigeria.
After 63 years, Drug Lords and their apparatchiks hold court in the Courtyard of power. They mortally deride our collective values and continue like it does not matter.
After 63 years, the National Assembly that should make Laws for the Order and Good Governance of the nation abdicates the reason for which it was created by Law, opting gleefully to be the Rubber-stamp of the Executive.
After 63 years, the Judiciary that should be the last hope of the common man has become a citadel of dashed hopes and bungled promises. We are faced with the cliche GO TO COURT, because the new praxis is ‘Judgement over Justice’, ‘Judges for Hire’ and ‘Judgement for the Highest Bidder’. Sad!
After 63 years, lies and falsehood has been elevated as core trust of State Policy.
After 63 years, perfidy and mendacity, banal propaganda, clannishness, and ethnic jingoism have become the directive principles of State Policy, as ‘my turn’ ‘our turn’ and ‘my tribe’ defines who gets what, how and when?
After 63 years, rather than improve on our electoral process we chose a backward flung, the last election dwarfs every known electoral malfeasance in our Country’s history. It beatifies the 2007 electoral larceny which Morris Iwu superintended. And the descent to the abyss continues.
After 63 years quacks remain in power to the utter dismay of a highly progressive world inspired by technology and urbanization. To the utter dismay of her Youths. To the utter chagrin of her Diaspora population. To the utter dismay of Generation Next. And to the utter chagrin of global students of leadership.
How can a nation so blessed by the Almighty be this poor? How can a nation that is blessed with amazing resources and riches ineffable be this dysfunctional? How can a nation be so disorganized that it imports what it has in quantum? How can a nation with monstrous arable land be hungry? How can we have so much mineral resources with nothing to show for it?
How can a nation with amazing human resources, with the best minds in several fields be failing on all fields? How come our economy is in tatters? How is our debt profile spiraling upward without a solution? How come Naira is on a massive free-fall? How come things are falling apart almost irredeemably?
How come we import finished petroleum products 63 years after our independence and almost 70 years after Oil was discovered in Nigeria? How come we do not have 24 hours of electricity supply? How come our educational system is topsy-turvy? How come our healthcare delivery is at best comatose? How come corruption is King and larceny Chief? How come nothing works? How come Nigeria is a lame giant bloodied by failed leadership?
The answer is simple Compatriots, we have quacks in power. And all pretenders to leadership MUST be shown the exit door. We must push for and push through a Massive Masses Oriented Revolution that must rupture the rule of quacks and quackery. We must rise up to birth and berth a nation where leadership is responsible and responsive to the people.
And we must challenge ourselves for the soul and the heart of our nation, we must say to the rampaging buccaneers that have ravaged our nation for 63 years IT IS TIME UP.
Countrymen and Women, the time to take back Nigeria is now, and we must get to work now. We must organize rather than agonize. We must unite against our fault lines, and tell all bigots and religious chichidodos that we belong to the Human Tribe, and that we are committed to berthing a Nigeria that works for all.
Until we set out to make October 1, 2024 better than October 1, 2023 I am sincerely unable to say Happy Independence Day. Until we banish the era of quacks as leaders in this Country I’m unable to indulge in the hypocrisy of saying Happy Independence Day, because I know that Nigerians are not Happy. And until we leave our comfort places to the STREETS our True Independence may yet be distant.
So long My COUNTRY-PEOPLE.
Prof Chris Mustapha Nwaokobia Jnr.
Convener Countryfirst Movement.
Initiator M.A.D IN AFRICA Leadership Series.