• Wednesday, May 22, 2024
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BusinessDay

That Nigeria may not be a failed state

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SUNNY NWACHUKWU

President Barack Obama of the United States gave a powerful speech that centered on ‘good governance’ in Africa at Accra, Ghana, Saturday July 11, 2009. Ghana’s recognition by the US president was indeed a practical manifestation of giving “honour to whom honour is due.”
There is no doubt that his speech was an unbiased representation of facts in leadership, carefully observed among the 56 nations in Africa. We, Africans need not refute comments like, “Wars are millstones round the necks of African countries.”
Politically, our continent is mostly saddled with crises among rivals and factions along ethnic, tribal and religious lines/differences. These result in various dimensions of war crimes against humanity and atrocities committed by some African leaders. The current cases at hand are Darfur in Sudan, Somali, chad, D.R. of Congo. Other past examples are Zimbabwe, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Namibia, Mozambique, Angola, Rwanda. Of course, the Nigerian civil war should equally be mentioned among them.
Another aspect is the issue of corruption. The first African-American President occupying the White House charged African leaders during his visit to Ghana, to take greater responsibilities in fighting corruption. This is the aspect that affects us most as a people, especially in our present political dispensation.
Politically, Ghana has demonstrated and proved to be running a system that has consistently and successfully nurtured over time, stable and smooth transfer of power (transition) to democratically-elected governments. The most recent was a classic show of political maturity when, even among rival parties with a re-run, the incumbent transferred the baton of power to the opposing camp (the winning party) without hesitation.

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Ghana’s display of political maturity in the sub-Saharan region is not surprising because she has always been in the forefront politically. We need to remember the era of the late Kwame Nkrumah and his message of “Pan-Africanism”. Then, former President Jerry Rawlings, who started as a military head of state but later conducted elections, won and still handed over to his successor, as and when due.
Can Rawlings’ conduct be compared with what is observed in Libya (now 40 years’ reign)? Most recent is former President John Kufuor’s magnanimous display of responsible leadership. After a re-run, President John Atta-Mills (of the rival party) was freely declared the winner. In short, Ghana truly deserves my meritorious award of political excellence: “The political role-models of the continent!”
My prayer for Nigeria (the giant of Africa) is, “may we not be a failed state.” The present “do or die” politics exhibited by Nigerian politicians should be done away with, for our nation to make progress politically, economically and socially too. Though speculations tip Nigeria, Kenya (President Obama’s root) and South Africa as the likely nations to be visited by Obama, no matter what; Nigerians should not forget that, ‘life is all about relationship and success tied to values and principles.’
We have seen the benefits with the recent honour and recognition done to Ghana. Our value system must change because, everything is not all about money (somebody might doubt this counsel comes from a resident of Onitsha). With our potentials and large population, “we can” rebuild and take this nation to greater heights economically, if only we can get it right through attitudinal change to values and principles. Sincerely speaking, the destiny of this nation is truly in the hands of all Nigerians.
Our national success and progress is embedded on how well we prepare a level playing ground(that is to say, an enabling environment/infrastructure) for political, economic, commercial, productive and social activities in all sectors, to thrive in the economy. In brief, this is a pictorial view and an in-depth analysis made in the course to charting a pathway towards successful realization and actualization of a truly re-branded democratic Nigeria, if indeed we all agree that Nigeria would not be a failed state. This is because, Nigeria’s national economy is best diagnosed from the political dimension that breeds and nurtures official-misconducts amongst the political class(our leaders) at the top. These crop of leaders in most cases take strategic decisions with vested interests over national issues that are in the long run, detrimental to the state by putting the state at a disadvantaged position, with eventual failed projects full of hitches that hamper growth and progress. The numerous examples could be counted as follows;NEPA(PHCN), NAFFCON, NITEL, Ajaokuta Steel, the four local refineries, Nigeria Airways, Nigeria National Shipping Line, very poor state of our nation’s highways, and many more. A collective change in our values and principles would re-build Nigeria such that, Nigeria may not be a failed state.