Two recent events have caused me great grief and have led me to write this blog post. The first is the arrest of some judges by the DSS and the second is the release of some of the Chibok girls.
In both incidences, discussions on social media and everywhere two or more Nigerians are gathered have been patterned mainly in ways that has little or nothing to do with the advancement of our great but underdeveloped Nigeria. As a result, we are making little progress towards the national development we seek.
What are the causes that dominate?
Ethnic Causes: When the news broke about the arrest of the judges, it was alleged by citizens from the South that it was all an attempt to stop the succession of the man from Cross River State as Chief Judge of the Federation. This allegation turned out to be false.
Nor would citizens from South celebrate the release of the Chibok girls. How would we when we have cared little about the plight of our fellow citizens dying in IDP Camps in the North-East.
Many Nigerians from the South have focused our energies discussing the domination of the Northern citizens in key political offices in this administration. In the same vein, many Nigerians from the North have also invested a lot of their energies countering that argument by stating that the immediate past administration was dominated by citizens from the South.
Ethnic causes have dominated our minds, words and actions leaving little or no room for the Nigerian cause.
Religious Causes: Many citizens from South have accused this government of an Islamic agenda and as such, have looked at their every move in that light. The Northern citizens counter that allegation by claiming the preceding government had a Christian agenda.
This is the explosive setting that the already existing Fulani Herdsmen versus Farmers issue entered into an unprecedented scale. In the process, we are unable to identify, invest in and implement a solution. Considering most of the beef is consumed in the South and most cattle are owned by citizens from the North, this should have been and remains, a Nigerian issue begging for a solution.
Personality Causes: The Ethnic and Religious causes got taken to a higher level when the personality cause of the last election came into play. Today, we have the hard core ‘Buharists’ who believe their man is the messiah Nigeria has been waiting for and we also have the ‘Jonathanians’ who believe their man was the best president we ever had and was cheated out of office because of ethnicity and religion.
It is hard to discuss any issue that affects Nigeria’s future without the personality causes seriously inhibiting progress. We are unable to discuss what we must do to restore sanity to our judiciary because the DSS arrest of judges is really an extension of the battle between APC’s Buhari and PDP’s Jonathan.
Not even the release of the Chibok girls could succeed in enabling a Nigerian conversation. The Jonathanians believe it is a scam and used to push their man out of office. The Buharists believe it is sign their man is working.
No question is being asked as to why 21 girls instead of all of them being released and neither are asking what we will be doing to give these traumatized girls the urgent and proper care they need. I do wonder how many of us have asked after Amina – girl who escaped earlier this year.
Can Nigeria afford the outcome of these traumatized girls raising children they got through rape without excellent rehabilitation? No, we can’t. Yet, we are not thinking about the Nigerian cause even when it affects us all.
Nigerian Cause: Nothing moves a nation towards true lasting development like a critical mass of citizens who prioritize the needs of that nation over their personal, ethnic and religious needs. As long as we were born into a family that is part of a community which is part of a nation, our real development is tied to that of the nation.
As a Nation-building Evangelist, I observe that some citizens do desire Nigeria’s development but without undergoing some internal changes, they unknowingly and consistently fight against Nigeria’s development by exhibiting allegiance to the causes we listed above.
To raise the critical mass of citizens needed to build a developed Nigeria, we need citizens from all regions to:
– Believe in the Nigerian project. Yes, it was a faulty creation and start but considering what we stand to gain, we can work together craft a great future.
– Shift from the fixed mindset that was handed down to us by our parents, community and religious leaders and our teachers, to a growth mindset that sees possibilities. The shift in mindset will enable us see opportunities instead of problems and cause us to move from an oil-rent economy to a productive economy.
– Accept and adopt the nation-building core values. These values will help create a Nigerian community with Nigerian solutions created for our peculiar situation. They will ensure our liberties are protected within the boundaries we submit to. Why don’t you start a study on the nation-building core values here.
It has to be said again, there can be no developed Nigeria if a critical mass of citizens are not investing their thoughts, words and actions on Nigeria’s development. With a shift in mindset and the adoption of the nation-building core values, we can move from the distracting and inhibiting causes to the Nigerian cause.
Are you willing to fight for Nigeria’s cause?