Before we break up Nigeria

With about 18 months to the 2015 elections, many citizens seem to be focused on discussion about our existence as one entity. Instead of discussions and activities be about how we can ensure credible parties and candidates are in place for that general elections, we are talking about breaking up Nigeria.

I would agree that there are some defects in our current setup as a nation but is that enough basis to talk about a breakup? I personally think that most of the citizens who seek a breakup are those who care little for Nigeria and as a result, have done little or nothing for her.

We don’t have a perfect country and we certainly are not practicing a full democracy but we cannot deny the limited opportunities that are on offer in this dispensation. Rather than exploit these opportunities, we seek a lazy option by seeking a breakup.

So, you want Nigeria to break up? Can we discuss a things needed before we do?

Responsibility: Before we break up Nigeria, could we become a people who accept responsibility for our nation? This means taking ownership of our families and communities.

We need to shift focus from ourselves to seeking the development of our communities. This will involve participation in governance through voting, holding elected officials to account, voicing opposition to wrong policies and actions by authorities, attending meeting or rallies (town hall meeting, legislative clinics, etc.).

It will also involve participating in the development of our community’s public infrastructures – healthcare, education, sanitation, security, water, transportation, etc.

Mindset: Could we admit we hold the wrong mindset and then put ourselves through the process of a mindset transformation before we break up?

We predominantly are a fixed mindset people and despite our huge population, we lack progress due to lower levels of innovation or simple improvements of process, products & services.

We must let go of our leisure, entitlement and destination mindsets as well and in their place pursue a Growth Mindset.

Values: Would we recognise our lack of core nation-building values? For the development of any nation, there are values inherent in the builders of that nation and it is these qualities that ensure a better nation is delivered to the coming generation than what was received.

Core nation-building values include Compassion, Opportunity, Responsibility, Equality, Valour, Ambition, Liberty, Unity, Enterprise and Spirituality.

Citizens who place a premium on these values and seek their implementation on daily basis (they give and demand it) will build a developed nation.

Culture: Would we abandon our current culture that includes poor time keeping, lack of integrity, lack of thoroughness in words & actions, lawlessness, dependence on the power of money, wastage and lack of humility?

Culture is a way of life (the common lifestyle) for the majority of a people and the above listed qualities of the Nigerian culture can be seen both in Nigerians at home and those in diaspora.

Good news is, a change of mindset & values leads to a change in culture

Summary

Until we change the above listed points, we shouldn’t bother about a break up because as the lack of these factors has inhibited our development and threatened our collapse, the continuous lack under a new name and entity will witness the same outcome.

Political leadership plays a key role in nation-building but a greater role is played by the people who produce the political leadership and hold such leadership to account. If human development in Nigeria is on serious decline, we may be better served if we focus our attention there first to stem the tide.

It is only a responsible citizenry with a growth mindset exhibiting core nation-building values and a transformed culture that will produce a credible constitution, credible political parties, credible candidates and credible elections.

But more than that, this citizenry would recognise that solutions to our current and future national challenges are generated by the people and not the government. They therefore commit their lives to this task to ensure we do not only build a developed Nigeria but we can sustain that development for many years to come.

The question then should be, will you give Nigeria a chance and give her your best effort?

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