When the month of November was about retiring to bed, having labored productively for thirty days, a window was opened on a trend that has become so popular in recent times in our polity. The news of what’s transpiring in Libya about some Libyans selling some black Africans into slavery began to hit the world of social media some days back and as an effect of this, many believe (I do share same believe) that the Federal government hasn’t done anything to birth an enabling environment for the citizenry and to register their displeasure, you would hear something like: “I weep for Nigeria.” Virtually every Nigerian is fast becoming a 21st century version of prophet Jeremiah of this world—who was almost daily lamenting about the precarious and wobbly state of affairs of things in his beloved country.
The latest jingle that many Nigerians are beginning to overpoweringly and passionately dance to is the song of “I weep for Nigeria.” It is the latest slogan. But the truth is, weeping for Nigeria—will not put food on the table of the man on the street. Just weeping for Nigeria is not going to move Nigeria from the 3rd world to 1st world. Simply weeping for Nigeria is not going to inject life into our dying currency. Merely weeping for Nigeria is not going to construct good roads for us. Merely weeping for Nigeria is not going to fasten the hands of corruption, throwing it into the ocean of forgetfulness. Just weeping for Nigeria is not going to build world-class healthcare centers for the common man. And simply weeping for Nigeria is not going to provide the citizenry the needed constant supply of electricity.
In the last fifty-seven (57) years of our national life, each administration has its own political slogan and jingle that those who do not understand nation building do ignorantly dance to. From when the Union Jack was lowered to the time of Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, we have danced to varied jingles. When Dr. Goodluck came on board, his own slogan was in sync with “transformation.” It was that well composed song that our people danced to while GEJ lasted in the Aso-rock. Those who came with the song got transformed, but they left our people the same way they have always been since the baby of Nigeria was put to the bed of time.
One song that captured the heart of most Nigerians—that made them embrace the candidacy of President Buhari is “change.” It dominated the airways. Different actors ran with it. Many musicians sang about it. It was daily published in our national dailies. The journey of “change” started about three years ago, but our people’s lives are not changing, but those who brought the change slogan are daily smiling to varied banks. Those who invented the song are being changed every day, but the common man on the street is daily begging bread. One thing our people do not understand is that slogans do not make nations great.
It is not a mere slogan that has made Singapore to be what she is today. It is not a mere slogan that has made America to be what she is today. It is not a mere slogan that has made UAE to be what she is today. It is not a mere slogan that has made Rwanda to be what she is today. It is sincerity, hardwork, and creative ingenuity that—make nations become great. Nigeria has all it takes to become a high-flying nation, but a lack of sincerity is our bane as a people. Until we become sincere as a people—both the leaders and the led, we are going nowhere as a nation.
Mandela did not only dance to the song of “I weep for South Africa,” during the scourge of apartheid as most Nigerians are doing today. Merely weeping for a nation does not mean that one is committed to the nation in question. To changing a nation goes beyond dancing to a mere reggae song and jingle of “I weep for Nigeria,” it takes a lot of sacrifice to birth a new nation! Nigeria is in a dire need of those who truly love her, not those who are daily singing the song of “I weep for Nigeria.” Nigeria needs saviors. We need people as Nelson Mandela of this world. Those who have been leading the beautiful lady of Nigeria—do not like her two hoots.
Nigeria is on the verge of either a major breakthrough or total breakdown, depending on what you and I settle on to do from this moment forward. Nigeria does not need you and I to weep uncontrollably for her, what our promising country needs is you and I coming together to defeat the ugly devils of—blood-letting religion, tribalism, corruption and belly-driven politicians. It is high time we began to build strong institutions, because only strong institutions can make Nigeria truly become a great nation, not any man. I used to think that what we needed as a people is a man, but now I do know better. One man can never change Nigeria. Only institutions that are breathing productively can get the job done!