Waking up daily and carrying an emotional burden about this nation makes one plunge into despair or get drunk with hope. Even with as every endowed treasure of Nigeria points to blazing light, the reality looks starless with a mist of dark cloud hanging on the horizon. It is a gifted country no doubt but how far talents can carry an entity shows clearly the Nigerian case. Talent at times might be distraction from the core ingredients that magnets success.
Nigerians run in circles wondering when the great change and opportunity of sanity will smile on this nation. But a well-crafted class have always taken advantage of crass ignorance of the masses, its either exploiting their religious lines or using ethnic sentiments to champion credentials of an incompetent leader. Having taken a cursory look at great nations, I understand clearly the power of a leader especially a transformative one. Britons almost spoke German during the World War II exploits of Adolf Hilter and needed a response in leadership. It understood the power of revival was hinged on a sound leadership which Neville Chamberlain can’t deliver. Winston Churchill had to come on the rostrum and leverage on transatlantic help to tame the surging Germans. United States in days of civil war fuelled by a slavery crisis, had to do away with Buchanan and got an Abraham Lincoln to fight for survival of the union. After Herbert Hoover policies failed and plunged the country into depression, Franklin Roosevelt was the transformative leader whose mastery developed social institutions coupled with financial regulations that lasted for decades. Rossevelt worked himself till death fighting a world War and curbing scathing effects of depression. Same for Jimmy Carter- Reagan shift and finally in our eyes we see the Bush to Obama power shift in a time of recession. Take an aspiring economy today; it has leaders who birthed great institutions- Lee Yuan Kew, Charles de Gaulle, Pinochet, Cardozo, Lula Da Silva, Konrad Adenauer and many more.
In my own country, we seem to have lost understanding of the normal that we glorify the aberration. Talk of a leader that defined personify the Nigeria’s greatness, from 1960 I have found none. The few ones (Murtala Mohammed and Buhari) who gradually rebelled against status quo to entrench sanity were cut down at sunset. Gradually we have moved on generation after generation not understanding our moment of revival to reinvent the Nigerian from collapse. Even the electorate for the crowd syndrome and a yard of cloth and basin of rice lose sight on the common enemy – the moneyed elite who takes what’s common for himself. Rather than us tumble the existing political arrangement, we allow the triumph of emotions over facts, ethnic pursuits over a grand national aspirations that we do not seek the moment of our collective revival. The place of revival is all-man-for-himself as we seek succor in religious abode and find the saving grace in the power of spiritual.
To commit ourselves as one and find a transformative leader that sets pace for true national development is the affliction of Nigeria – a patchwork of ethnic cultures whose populace though bedeviled by common problems are sold a buffet of separate identity by the elite.