Nigeria, a multi-ethnic country, is a nation of nations with more than 250 ethnic and linguistic groups making up its geographical space and colonial contraption. It has not become an organic whole. The sad fact is that our past political leaders have failed to engender true peace and unity in Nigeria. The centrifugal forces of ethnicity and religion are tearing the nation apart.
Our past national leaders, both politicians and military rulers, could not harness our abundant natural resources such as limestone, tin-ore, bauxite, crude oil, and others, to leapfrog Nigeria to the acme of economic and technological advancement. Instead, the nation is trapped in the morass of national underdevelopment. Nigeria has been outpaced by less-endowed countries in the areas of economic and technological development. Think about Malaysia, Singapore, and Japan.
The sad and indisputable fact is that our country has failed to realise its potential. Nigeria has nothing tangible to show for its 63 years of attaining independence. Our country’s pitiable and unacceptable state is partly caused by the economic depredation from military interregnums in Nigeria. And since the dawn of the Fourth Republic, our leaders have fluffed the opportunities given to them to remake Nigeria.
A national leader destitute of leadership qualities, moral probity, political ideologies, and vision cannot put the country on the path of national development. It takes a great, competent, and visionary political leader to transform a country positively. Nigeria currently manifests all the indices of an underdeveloped country. While its educational system is dysfunctional, the health sector is comatose with the resultant effect that Nigeria’s well-trained health professionals are migrating in droves to Europe and America.
Tertiary institutions of learning are proliferating even though these poorly-equipped tertiary institutions are not strongholds of academic research and scientific knowledge anymore. So they churn out, on a yearly basis, graduates who are barely educated in the true sense of the word. Consequently, most of the products of our tertiary institutions, in search of the elusive white and blue collar jobs, are unemployable. Nigeria’s economic crisis has worsened, with millions of Nigerians becoming multi-dimensionally poor.
The pitiable state of our nation is traceable to corrupt and incompetent political leaders who have piloted the affairs of our country in the recent past. They caused the ruination of our economy. These politicians do not possess leadership qualities, political ideologies, moral probity, empathy, and forbearance. But they used their financial wherewithal and deep knowledge of our political culture to game the system so as to achieve their political ends.
Sadly, the image of our judiciary has been besmirched owing to the controversial and conflicting judgments delivered at various levels of courts in Nigeria. Those judgments, especially those concerning electoral matters, have eroded the people’s trust in the courts.
Only the positive evolution of our democratic culture will curb the incidents of electoral malpractices during periodic and off-cycle elections in Nigeria. And when elections are free and fair, political leaders who have moral scruples, leadership qualities, political ideologies, and vision will emerge in Nigeria. Only such leaders can cure our country of its many ills. Those crop of leaders can put Nigeria on the path of sustainable economic growth and evolution of technological culture.