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What Nigeria Must Do Before 2019 Elections

By Nwokedi Nworisara
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Before 2019 general elections in Nigeria, every effort must be made to restructure the polity to enable it provide a democratic basis for nation building. These words have been stringed here out of necessity and every syllable counts. For Nigeria to experience the growth it requires to feed its teeming population,it must act as a body pulling it's weight in one direction preferably in a forward direction in tune with the times.

Since the times cannot wait for it there should be a concerted effort to keep in pace. Therefore what is said here is not a choice. I don't have to bore you with population projections that says Nigeria is likely to hit 400 million people by 2030 or thereabout. You know that Lagos is on its way to joining the largest urban cities on earth within this time frame if not already with about 15 million people scratching the earth to make a living out of our collective immobility.

I have just returned from Lagos And I can tell you that the sight though not as apparent is indeed shameful to say the least. This city has continued to grow even though we stopped national planning; now the traffic is capable of holding everyone to ransom while electric power is hugely unreliable. Forget about the outward shine and skyscrapers. Don't point to the fact some forced modernisations exist; that the city taxi system has been lifted with satellite online input but what about the supporting local network? I was with an Uber taxi navigating through a suburb when the voice controlling direction ceased - network struck and when it reappeared we were stuck somewhere and had to do a u- turn.

Noise levels can make you jump out of your skin whenever the national grid goes on recess which is frequent. The hustling crowd have long forgotten about safety standards with daredevil motorcyclist come often to their rescue, trying to do the impossible through highway standstills known as go slows.

Going by the above peek, you should have a faint idea of what is going on in the Nigerian polity nay the economy right now. We have a huge population to take care of and yet politicians are wasting our precious time discoursing irrelevances. Yet the time marches on and only when you look up from this ostrich position at the surrounding countries like Benin,Ghana,Mali and even Chad can you begin to understand that time is also fast moving. These small countries have advanced in all modern facets even in their electoral processes while we are still on obsolete option A 4. Lining up with thugs on no -movement Saturdays, in the Sun,paying for voter cards and then making away with Ballot papers or at best pouring acid into it to stop others winning!!

Yet we pretend as if nothing should change from the way we are accustomed to doing it. One thing stands out though,the march of time is unstoppable. We feel it but since no proper brain can get up there to help provoke beneficent thinking we just overlook things. Why,because birds of the same feather has to flock together. Nevertheless, kudos to the National Assembly for allowing online voting in a recent bill.

For once they did their duty rather than just debating jumbo salaries. Similar actions are needed without much noise to fully restructure the economy and polity which should allows this beleaguered nation move in tandem with the times. It is only when such forward movement is enabled that democracy can become a viable option of political succession. Do not deceive yourself- it is not sacrosanct. If the democratic base is inexistent, then you may be inviting other novel ways of succession such as we have just witnessed in Zimbabwe.

If the political system cannot be truly democratic,then it cannot engender group movement in tandem with the times nor achievement of group goals- then there must emerge an alternative to fulfil natural laws and keep nations from decay. So when you hear politicians or political parties stick rather to symptoms of this decay such as rotation or zoning amidst all that pervasive movements of nature,then for political scientists,it is a sign that the present structure requires urgent restructuring to restore democratic tenets or it must then resign itself to decay. Decay will not stop movement but nature takes its natural course whether we like it or not.

There is no way anyone can force this generation from fulfilling its duty. Each generation has been empowered by God to solve its problems its own way by itself not by alien dictates. That is why today young people are more experienced than the elders in manipulating modern technology. It is this technology that will define the fate of mankind by 2019.So information age will also throw up its own unique leadership not the analogue leadership dictating now expecting to define the new age. Your zoning ,I dare say for certain will have little or no effects on the high tech information age. Unless we quickly take these issues into consideration before it is too late,there will be disappointments for the present leaders.

Youths of Nigeria this is your chance to solve the Nigerian problems that defied your elders. Don't worry about their obsolete schemes and do not be deterred. Every generation must solve its own problems and this includes leadership and you are mightily capable. I want to see you devise schemes to lift Nigeria out of the present immobility imposed by age old inertia. Don't join their schemes for it is no good now. Your generation needs you to proffer unique solutions now and you have no choice but to do it because it is your future that will be at stake.

* Nworisara aspired to be President of Nigeria in 1992