New era of Good Luck beckons on Nigeria
After 50 years of post-independence nationhood, Nigerians have come to the incontrovertible fact that leadership has been the bane of national development. Fortunately there is a ray of light now shining in the dark tunnel of backwardness through which the nation has been trudging all these decades. We now have a man in the name of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, who has amply demonstrated that he has the vision and character to pull Nigeria out of debilitating era of backwardness. His ascendancy to the pinnacle of national leadership is now a familiar history but suffice it to say that it was designed by the Almighty to save Nigeria from long years of marking time without forward march.
By now the die-hard skeptics who doubted Jonathan's ability to steer the ship of a diverse nation like Nigeria must have ate the humble pie and refocused their incredulous minds to the fact that the nation has finally arrived at the thresh hold of a new era. The old order is giving way to a new and progressive way of governance. The average Nigerian never believed that fuel can ever be bought without the hassles and grinding of teeth associated with fuel scarcity of the past. It took the coming of President Jonathan to make Nigerians believe that things could really be done right in the oil sector if the leader has the political will to make it work. The improvement in electricity supply within the few months of Jonathan's administration is yet another remarkable achievement. These are just glimpses of what Nigerians should expect if the man of the moment is allowed to continue the good works he has already started.
It is therefore pertinent that all well meaning and patriotic Nigerians should embrace the clamour for generational change in leadership. This has been the missing link in our quest for national development. Our dear nation has been over burdened with leaders who lack any sense of direction yet they always managed to impose themselves on the rest of us. This, they had been doing either through military rule or undemocratic civil rule where spent politicians are recycled and handed over the destiny of a whole nation. And of course they never knew what to do with power each time they got it hence Nigeria has been in circular motion to no where. This is the time to liberate ourselves from the shackles of inept leadership by queuing behind a president who represents the much sought after generational shift.
R ecent global events have shown that in times where nations find themselves in dire strait it took the emergence of young leaders to pull them through. For instance the United States of America still relish with nostalgia the economic boom it experienced during eight years that Bill Clinton occupied the White House. The United Kingdom also enjoyed the vibrancy of the Tony Blair era when the young man held sway at No 10 Downing Street. In fact the global trend now is for nations to look for young men and women imbued with new ideas to lead them in this fast paced era of globalisation. The reason is not far fetched: it takes a vibrant and intelligent young person to do things in a new way without being held back by the gridlock of the old order. It takes a young person with ideas to successfully manoeuvre a country through the global world where new ideas dictate the pace of economic, social and political developments. Our own President Jonathan has proved beyond reasonable doubt that he has what it takes to lead Nigeria on the global stage. And there is no way the nation can fully absorb the positive impact he has brought to governance at the federal level without extending his administration beyond the completion of his inherited presidency.
Good enough Mr. President has expressed his interest to lead Nigeria beyond the completion of Umaru Musa Yar'Adua administration which he inherited through providence. So we Nigerians who have been yearning for purposeful leadership don't need to look any further. Goodluck is here. And for sure our traumatised nation deserves a dose of good luck after so many years of wasting the huge human and natural resources that could have been used to banish poverty from the land once and for all. Those who cling to the famished path of power shift tinged with ethnic and religious hues should for once think Nigeria and not their parochial interests.
The real power shift that we need in Nigeria of today is generational power shift whereby a young man of strong character and new ideas as represented by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan is given the mandate to take this nation to where it deserves to be come 2011. Let the failed leaders of our wasted years for once save Nigeria from their motion- to- no- where leadership. We deserve something better. While these tested but not trusted leaders have their right to bore us with their languid search for political power, we Nigerians equally have the right to tell them that enough is enough. We need Goodluck to march purposefully into the centenary of our national life having wasted the first fifty years. This is the time to embark once again on building a nation of our dream. We can't afford to erect a faulty edifice when we have with us a good architect and builder rolled into one. Yes, we can make Nigeria a nation we can be proud of with Goodluck Jonathan leading the way
Oluchi Oseh is of the Centre for Reform Education Initiative (CREI), Abuja