By: Jide Shittu.
I remember the story I was told about Nigeria some years back. Then my father would narrate with mixed feelings the good, bad, and the ugly of this our nation. Sometimes I could see the brightness of hope culminated with regrets as he explains the calamities that has befell our country. That was years ago. Now the reality of those fairy tales became dawned on me, as I also maneuver my way through the challenges that encounters a Nigerian youth like me. Today we celebrate 13 years of democratic rule. And like the norms, the whole thing has been greeted with mixed feelings. Oh boy, when will this wobbling giant stand on his feet.
The Nigeria of today is enamored with various problems here and there. With security threats, corruption, deteriorating educational system, poor health care, crumbling infrastructures, inter-alia. Sometimes one tends to wonder if there is actually a hope for this nation.
Over the years, we have witnessed a change of baton of power from one government to another. Hope of the populace dashed severally, without a trace of a change. Many governments had come and gone, from military rule to democracy. With various seemingly laudable programmes like: operation feed the nation, vision 2020, now vision 202020, promises here and there, one million jobs, electricity by 2015, good roads, railways etc. However, all these were geared toward a common goal;’ to loot the public treasury’. Yet while in office, they clamour for another term in office. The question one need to ask is; what have they done with the present tenure? But in all these, is there really a way forward?
You might have heard a million times a saying that; ‘where there is a will, there is a way’. Hum! Before I am dubbed an apostle of doom, I also believe there is a way out. One thing is so sure, things cannot continue like this. Truly, but who will bell the cat. Who will take the initiative? Or better, who will go for us? Who is willing to steer the wheel of this nation, and land us safely at our own CANAAN.
The Nigerian hope, what lies ahead? What does the future holds? I believe it is high time we start seeing our future as today. Is there actually a future anywhere? What is a future;’ tomorrow’, but have you ever seen a day called tomorrow? The future is now, tomorrow is today. It all depends on what we make out of today, and stop postponing things to a tomorrow that will never come. The hope I see is a Nigeria blessed with abundance resources. A better political stability, garnished with daring leaders. Those whose bellies are not their gods. Our population is the hope I see, with a teeming population of above 140 million, and still growing. By 2050, our population will hit 289 million (UN projection). I also see a country with a potential for a great agricultural revolution. Our opportunities outweigh our challenges. It just depends on our perception of things. Let’s remind ourselves, Nigeria is not a geographical location, Nigeria is you and me. So, will the wobbling giant stand on his feet? I guess I will live it for you to answer. GOD BLESSES NIGERIA.