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We are all involved in creating a better Nigeria

Nigeria is a great country with vast potential. The country boasts of huge resources including natural, physical, financial and talented people to manage these resources. However, after over 50 years of independence, the country is far from achieving a quarter of its potential. Whenever this issue is discussed, Nigerians are always quick to blame the country’s political leaders for lack of electricity, poor education and health services and the lack of other social services, inadequate security and the deplorable condition our transportation system. We complain of government bureaucracy, reactionary tendency to reforms and poor implementation of most programmes.

While the failure of the political leaders to move Nigeria to its rightful place in the global scene is regrettable, the governed too have roles to play in making Nigeria a better place. We should therefore continually strive to contribute to the national development within the scope of our activities.

Since charity begins at home, our contributions to a better Nigeria include our personal life and activities. We should avoid being involved in illegal activities and live as a responsible citizen of Nigeria. We should not wilfully violate the laws of the land and create a nuisance to the society. We should teach our children to be entrepreneurs and responsible citizens. We should teach them to know and honour their responsibilities to the country and not overly focus on what the country should do for them.

Within the community, we all should actively participate in the war against indiscipline and vandalism by creating awareness among ourselves.  We campaign and fight against corruption and lawlessness. We should ensure that the residents of our communities comply with the necessary laws in their dealings with each other. We should move against illegal constructions, blockage of drainages, dumping of solid wastes on water passageways and roads destruction.

We should try at all times to create intelligent discourse on topical issues about the country and offer opinions on how to move the country forward. Through report writing, journals, interviews, seminars and other organised programmes, we should campaign towards a better Nigeria by reviewing, analysing and advising the populace, especially policymakers. We should provide analytical arguments on government policies with constructive criticism and recommendations. 

Although most of us are not responsible for policymaking or implementation of government policy, we should continue to try to influence government policies toward a better Nigeria within our immediate constituency. And more importantly, as electorates, we have the power to choose the leaders we want. We must be involved in elections and vote for the right candidates, regardless of party affiliation. There is a saying that “people should not be afraid of their governments; rather governments should be afraid of their people”. Therefore, depending on how we use our electoral power, we will get the government that we deserve.