Nigeria--Great People, Great Nation, Great Disappointment.


By Prince Charles Dickson
"Today is a sad day for Nigeria as a country. This is because we are not invited to a meeting of the 20 world leaders. We have the population, we have the resources and we have the potential" President Yar'Ardua

I was in Milan when the G-20 Meetings started and was monitoring both on Television and from friends in the U.K. I was to participate in a small rally in Italy but chose not to.

Reasons being obvious…I said to myself, 'wetin concern me, concern G-20”. When leadership and followership in beloved Nigeria has been relegated to P-100 i.e. Poorest 100…why should I bother much about nothing?

We cannot reverse the past but we can learn from it, The G-20 has come and gone, and with painful realities. That our nation is on the threshold of failure and though this may sound harsh but with each passing day it is the reality of what is on ground.

The Yoruba's have an adage when interpreted means that “whatever is 'pushing' you, you will meet it 'in front'. That you are paranoid does not mean that somebody is not after you - but it is not me”. This I am sure has its various equivalents and best describes our present circumstances.

We have wonderful people, intelligent people, creative persons, people capable of getting it right at the top, but alas…something is pushing us to our doom, and we may meet it in front …Allah forbid.

We are here deceiving ourselves, re-branding, re-orientating and all the 'res' like my late grandma did say.

I read and thanks to travel I have seen, the 'big boys' have gone supersonic, and are using electricity saving bulbs to light their streets and homes, and fuel-efficient cars for transportation, refusing to rely on miracles and we are here living in deceit.

Great nation! Last month Borno State revealed that it had spent some N300M for diesel to power street lights.

Great people! I agree, but unfocused leadership, one that lacks the ability to make an impact on a system that is embedded in corruption in every facet of its being.

I say a prayer for my kids and folks, may you not be like Nigeria, great potential, but wasted potential!

A country where the presidents negotiate bribes with lowly company officials! So that he is not cheated out of the deal and yet they walk the streets as free men, get chieftaincy titles, doctorate degrees and are knighted in Saint Thief Cathedral.

Who then will invite us to any serious discussion? Whether we lament or we wail, the fact is that we are not ready for the comity of nations.

With millions of empty stomachs to fill, millions of homeless and jobless men and women to house and employ. Tens of thousands seeking asylum in the real G-20 Countries. Who are we deceiving?

Corruption, thievery and embezzlement at the top and at the bottom at home and among Nigerians abroad. Where are we headed?

Each day, the US and other Western powers are making scientific and technological strides in alternative energy, especially solar power. Nigeria has an abundance of solar energy, being in the tropics but we have not creatively used our intelligence to harness this power for our benefit.

We have relied and continue to rely on the intellectual creativity of others, and have become a nation that only consumes the creativity of others.

This portrays us as intellectually lazy if not invalids, which in fact we are not. We are a just a bunch of underachievers, whose government is content with mediocrity and lacks the passion, the mission or vision for technological reliance or providing qualitative leadership.

The world of diplomacy is not run by sentiments, but by cold and calculated enlightened self interests. Unless and until Nigeria stops its culture of corruption, mediocrity extolling, and re-births and rewards scientific- technological , entrepreneurial governance, excellence and accountability, we will remain scorned by the world powers, because our economy will remain that of an oil possessing nation only and even that may soon change negatively.

Someone stated “Quite true we have the population, we have the resources and we have the potentials and probably Mr. President forgot that we also have the CROOKS in bold capitals…”

What is Yar'adua talking about? Why should they invite Nigeria to such a conference? Is Nigeria going to export "CORRUPTION" and one party rule to such a conference?

Great people! Only great people in a great nation would spend $16 billion dollars on electricity with nothing to show for it and Nigerians continue to wallow in darkness.

Great nation…! That has a president, I agree, he has tried. And I am sure someone wants to stone me now, but fact remains he has not done well and we are discussing a second term.

Are we still not having election appeals still dancing before corrupt Justices? If it takes Nigeria three years to prepare for judicial lunacy, how many years will the lunacy itself take?

Don't we still have the PDP perpetuating do or die politics, and elections, and one party rule in Nigeria? If the misfit within the PDP, a party that is still enslaving Nigerians think the whole world is not seeing what is going on in Nigeria, they must be day dreaming.

Great people! I suggest that we give leadership a second term, at least when we were in school the price for failure was to 'repeat' another term.

I agree with a friend and quote at this point “that corruption by itself alone cannot be blamed for the relative underdevelopment amongst the world's nations. Rampant corrupt practices in both private and public domains have not deterred economic growth in India, China, Japan and some other countries, even if one might argue that they might do better if they were corruption free”.

He further states “Frankly, the most ridiculous thing I hear or read from my fellow compatriots is the notion that Nigeria is a rich country. This is a false notion by any stretch of one's imagination even if we take into account the entire natural and human resources in Nigeria. Nigeria is a poor country by world standards if not by African standards”. And I add G20 Standards.

The per capita GDP and the wellness index statistics that are published annually are enough evidence to show that the so called richness of Nigeria is a myth.

And I continue to agree as he says “I will not argue with anyone who states that Nigeria has all that is necessary to be a great and wealthy nation, because this is true.

All that is needed is proper planning and guidance by honest and forthright leaders who are in short supply in Nigeria at the moment”. He added.

And for me…I only would sum up by saying that it is impossible for an empty bag to stand straight. Nigeria is an empty nation today, the early we wake up, certainly the better.

| Article source