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National Conference versus Generator Mentality – Vanguard

By The Citizen


There is very little left for any section of Nigeria to demand in Nigeria. If a section gets whatever it wants out of Nigeria, it would be a myopic gain that would leave that part unfulfilled.

Nigeria is in a state that cannot be resolved simply by elections, or the number of people political parties get into office. Too much is at stake, but in striving for narrow personal and sectional gains, many overlook the core challenge - making Nigeria work, for everyone.

Only a section of the country working is inadequate. The richer a part becomes, it exposes others' poverty and in time, the lengthening poverty line drags the rich parts down. With shrinking opportunities and a teeming, largely unemployed population the future is in straits.

How we use generators to tackle electricity challenges defines Nigeria. First, only the rich could afford generators, then the not so rich and later everyone had a generator, even if it was a type its noise denied the neighbourhood sleep.

Some found relief in muffling their generators. The sound-proofed generator was a statement in assumed prosperity. It separated the rich from the poor; it seemed a solution until we realised that noise was not the only problem with generators. Did we consider the fumes they belch into the atmosphere? Who is spared the hazards of fumes? We never think of our country along these lines.

How long will the rich remain prosperous with poverty around them? Will the poor ignore their excruciating poverty? Can Nigerians survive the encumbrances of the current federation?

As we isolate ourselves with sectionalism and beliefs, we are blind to the fact that Nigeria is slipping to a level of insecurity that provides no comfort for anyone; we are all at risk. However, we are still deluded that if the president or the governor comes from one part or the other, his emergence will solve our problems.

Back to the generator analogy, without enforceable laws on noise levels, wealthy owners of soundproofed generators have wasted their resources. Their poorer neighbours' generators are blasting unwelcome music to the surroundings, compromising the expected comfort from muffled generators.

The National Conference would have achieved a lot if it cures us of the generator mentality, everyone gets his generator and some get theirs to impress others with their importance.

Silence in the South evaporates with the restlessness in the North. Professionalism, ambitions, all dissolve in the common issues of the collective deficits of a Nigeria that is not working.

The primary assignment of delegates to the conference creating a Nigeria that is competitive, protects individual liberties and enthrones security and welfare of the people as the primary purpose of governments.