By Dr. Suday A. Nyenke
My congratulations go to the Nigeria’s President-elect Major General Buhari for such a unique accomplishment. Furthermore, I tip my hat in even a more severe reverence to the citizens of Nigeria for such a remarkable demonstration of intelligence, restraint, perseverance and most importantly, optimism which featured prominently in the current political electoral exercise of March 2015. Also, I would be remiss, if I forget to express my sincere gratitude to President Jonathan Goodluck, for preparing such favorable arrangements regarding this democratic election to be electronically monitored and closely guarded by fairly experienced powers as well as accepting his defeat with a states -manlike equanimity. It is my distinct intention to apprise you Mr. Goodluck, with the fact that among all your innumerable accomplishments, history will particularly be fair minded in the judgment of your overall performances for not only understanding the importance of gracious concession, but also articulating such a truism that “ There is no political ambition that is worth the shedding of human blood” we couldn’t have agreed with you more, because this is first in African political and social landscape as far back as memories can recall. And we are truly grateful to you for such an insight.
It has been reported all around the globe since after the announcement of the election results, that the use of social media and its associated technologies were largely instrumental in engendering what has now been dubbed the fairest, freest and most transparent election in the annals of Nigeria’s political journey. Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country of about 170- 180 million people is credited with about 127- 130 million cell phone (aka telephone handsets) subscribers. In other words, about 75% of the population is electronically connected even to the outside world through various forms of media including the ubiquitous Television sets and the World Wide Web. Nigerians world over have yearned, wished and prayed fervently for some form of miracle or divine intervention, since we have heretofore, appeared to be hopelessly unable and even unwilling to effectively manage our own political, economic and social affairs as a sovereign nation. However, since our God works in such mysterious ways and only at his appointed time, maybe, just maybe he has resolved to utilize the instrumentality of the prevailing technologies and the relevant social media to rescue us from ourselves and our incompetencies.
It is my wish that we allow ourselves as a nation state to be motivated and guided by the pleasant transformational fervor of transparency gleaned from this demonstrated singular act of maturation for citizenship and patriotism. Whereas it may seem egregiously naïve to underestimate, to any capacity, the significance of external influences on the misguided policies and practices that have stunted our political and economic growth after all these years, we must not lose sight of the fact that our survival and progress lies square in the palms of our own hands and no one else’s. The sooner we begin to dissociate ourselves from the crippling legacies of our mindless politics of acrimony, from the shameful character of insatiable embezzlement of national resources and from unmitigated personal aggrandizement and loathsome corruption practices, the sooner we’ll begin to notice changes in our individual and corporate existence as a people. Part of our downfall so far has been our chronic inability to prioritize. We’ve consistently chosen to major in minor possibilities and futile conversations rather than redirecting our energy towards twentieth / twenty first century economic productivity. We will have to do that just to stand on our feet and make our presence known to the rest of the world.
No one has monopoly on the wisdom of the source of our national salvation. However, what we must be sure of though is that there must be an end to activities once begun. Nothing lasts forever. After the proverbial forty days of wilderness experiences of wandering around in circles, providence will eventually provide Nigeria with a clearer sense of direction towards the Promised Land of social, political and economic emancipation. But this opportunity as we know it, will not emanate from a vacuum. We will have to labor conscientiously for it. We will have to devote and constructively channel more energy and resources than ever before to the lot of posterity. We will have to learn with a greater sense of urgency, the intrinsic need for technological production and engineering know-how. The current successful utilization of communications technologies such as cell phones and biometric machines for the advancement of electoral transparency clearly indicates that we do possess the prerequisite potential to move forward, all we need now is a corresponding WILL. This is where the strength, character and the intelligence of the newly elected leadership is desperately needed. The world is waiting and watching with wide open eyes and extended long arms stretched out and ready to welcome a new Nigeria even into the Cab butt of this fast moving technological train that has seemingly left the train station. Our leadership has the ominous and delicate assignment of navigating well, the current affairs of the nation to catch up with the rest of the world.
Nigeria, the giant of Africa has rested its laurels in total darkness for far too long since the days of Electrical Corporation of Nigeria (ECN) to the sad existence of National Electrical Power Authority (NEPA). The unpleasant, unhealthy and heartbreaking daily disruption of electrical power in several parts of the country is not a recent phenomenon though. It has accompanied us right from independence from Great Britain. Unfortunately, very little has been achieved so far, in terms of curbing this scourge of darkness that has been visited upon us primarily due to mismanagement, misappropriation, misapplication and plain mishandling of national resources. Frankly speaking, the abundance of wealth generated from the sale of crude oil alone all these years should have gone a long way to institute Nigeria with uninterrupted, constant and consistent supply of electricity had our leaderships prioritized their national economic development obligations agenda with a purpose to save the nation from the trauma of persistent darkness. Sometimes, one can’t help but wonder why we are consistently referred to as the Dark Continent. Does it only have to do with skin color or does our “attitudes” also play into this insanity.
With all hands on deck, the current administration should now be poised to pull Nigeria out from her lamentable dungeon of darkness in which she has found herself after all these years. The importance of light cannot be overemphasized in any culture or society, as a matter of fact; light, it’s been said, is the true definition of civilization. Even the scripture teaches us that God’s first act of creation was light. For in the midst of darkness he said “Let there be light” and there was light. Only then did the rest of His creations followed. In like manner, we not only look for electrical power as a way forward, we look for consistent and uninterrupted power generation and distribution to all corners of the country as a mandate. If the incoming administration is able to focus hard on the resolution of the electrical power problems, if they can equate consistent light with strategic vision, if they can prioritize their agenda to placing the electrical power issue at the helm of affairs with the understanding that lurked behind darkness is evil and retrogression, then Nigeria would have been set on her way to minimization of disruptive corruption tendencies and the much anticipated greatness.