Nigeria, Fresh Vision and Transitions

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    Nekan Adesanya

    We often ask ourselves, sometimes bitterly, why has Nigeria gone to the dogs? We wonder, if at all possible, things can normalize. Answers lie in a New Nigeria, a bold initiative to move forward and break from the Colonial past, understand the current disaster and path forward. We must transition from academic suggestions to those that are pragmatic and applicable that allows for a surgical excision of rottenness, repair of what remains, develop new ethos and framework for the future.

    1) History: We cannot continue blaming the colonial heritage that forced this union together, but now must engage in dialogue. Presently, we continue to walk away from and in the process, fight each other, because we do not talk with each other, cannot understand each other because we never came together willingly (This is why this current Nigeria is tearing apart!). Now there are real benefits for us to remain together, BUT, it must be by choice, reality of our need to be together and new covenants. This is the framework for a constitution, of which the 1999 version is a fraud. Simple, we need a new or updated one, in which the people come together to say: “We the People……”

    2) Current Disaster. Nevertheless, we can’t be extreme or else we destroy the fabric of what currently there is. We are who we are, regardless. An abused child, product of rape, neglected and sold into slavery, must still own him/herself as an individual, know the past and present BUT plan for the future. We need to divest ourself from reliance and holding on to a colonial past to a new future. It’s a current disaster because we try to manage the colonial administration handed to us, which will not even fit the Nigerian Nation, cultures which are so diverse, that ONLY a diversified economy, guaranteed and made to work for everyone can produce the kind of commitment that is lacking. Many of us older ones enjoyed benefits from the Old colonial structure, but times have changed, however, we must commit to the well being of the Nigerian regardless of the system.

    3) Transition and new framework; Our cultures are diverse, the current economic trends in Nigeria has far outgrown the colonial welfare model, but our governmental infrastructure is still based on it. It is chaotic and maddening, even those managing it are just collecting salaries or enjoying the fruits of corruption because its a grid lock system that has expired. Kind of like riding on a bike to travel in the age of sports care and private Jets with no clue on how to get there. The Nigerian economic scene is so chaotic and oppressive to the common man who sees no way out which further breeds thuggery, thievery, violence, Kidnapping, corruption, etc.etc. all in a way to either feel relevant or to make money. In one way corruption is not acceptable, but do we kill the common man? Take the case of University or Polytechnic grads who cannot find jobs? its crazy, we keep producing, yet have nothing for them to look forward to. Same system that produced graduates in those days, in which jobs were waiting. Obviously things need to change, which is why new leaders with fresh ideas are needed. I don’t believe in a violent shake up, but if we don’t corral this runaway bull, there will be continued and uncontrolled violence in Nigeria. This is also another reason why there are ethnic agitations and so much unrest because the economy is working only for a few, when every Nigerian should have guaranteed access!

    Therefore, new leaders in every sphere who can articulate the pain of the past and present but promise pragmatic solutions for tomorrow need to come up. The leaders have to be radical in promising to dismantle the Albatross of government and put people to work, these are basic guarantees of the constitution and doable, we just have too look within. It’s not about promising free this and that (E.G. This is a dig at the old WEST on free education, but how to accomplish the goal of universal child education and how to pay for it. Many of our Southwest States, except Lagos are actually bankrupt, but cannot tell the truth that these Free this and that cannot work anymore. But they demonstrate the culture of Alarus-indentured servants, because there are no new innovations to deal with the issues) For now, cutting out waste, reducing government spending, reform taxation system, encourage investments in education and manufacturing (From Agro based to Tech services), encourage cultural dialogue, encourage youth development (NYSC must go! 85% of the Youth & Sports ministries budget), encourage scientific research, etc.etc. All these are possible and can actually transform the Nigerian landscape. It takes some to start talking and pushing these ideas and very soon it catches up. I know like many other Nigerians, I’m ready for change!

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