I want to try my feasible best to unveil to the government of President Buhari—some of the unavoidable qualities that have the capacity to birth Nigeria’s success. If we all do not hold these qualities in our arms as a woman would circumspectly hold a new born baby and make them part of us as a people, our country becoming truly booming will carry on remaining as desert mirage. It does not matter a hoot the lofty and superior vision of any government on earth, if these two qualities are not embraced and made part of the leaders first, then followed by the citizenry, the country in question will never become successful.
Over the years, I have been studying some of the core qualities that make nations triumphant and successful. What I have found out is that any nation can become successful on the condition that the leaders and the led are serious about it. Two of the non-negotiable nation-building qualities I unearthed are: Love and team-spirit. Take for instance and case in point, love for Nigeria can only be first modeled by those who are leading the nation. After this has come about, then the citizenry cannot but follow suit.
It is very imperative that I point out this stark naked truth at this juncture: If the leaders are ‘locusts’, the citizenry cannot be builders. When it comes to nation building, leadership is everything. Love and team-spirit must first be walked out in shoe leather by those in leadership. When this takes place, the rest of our people will definitely pattern and model their lives after those in leadership. Until this comes about, nothing is going to truly change in our beloved country.
How can leaders who are not sacrificing anything be asking the citizenry to sacrifice? How can leaders who are not patriotic be expecting those who they are leading to be patriotic? This is the maximum and premier height of hypocrisy. If Nigeria is going to truly change and move beyond the resent quagmire we have found ourselves as a people, it must begin in the corridors of power. It is when the leaders truly care for Nigeria that our people—the engineers, doctors, teachers, soldiers, traders or government or private sector employees would start caring for this nation as a man would care for his new wedded wife.
If our political leaders truly love Nigeria as a child would his parents and are willing to sacrifice and forfeit their self-seeking ambitions for the benefit and gain of our country, in no time, it will positively impact on the citizenry and such strong feelings for our country will influence any work we carry out, any project we undertake and any development to which we aspire as a people. When our political leaders truly love Nigeria, governance will stop being a source of income and political power will become a tool for nation building, and not for nation ruining.
The second quality and feature that we (both the leaders and the led) all need to embrace is team-spirit. It is very glaring that there is no team-spirit among the ruling cream of the crop of our country. They are not working together as a team! The vision of our political leaders should be to make the people of Nigeria happy and to make their life improved and enhanced. It is this sense of vision that supposes to foster, cultivate and promote the spirit of team-work amongst our political leaders.
It will be impossible for a Federation as Nigeria to work as one with many local governments without team-spirit. Local interests will continue to conflict with Federal interests until we all begin to cuddle, clasp and hold close this sterling and first-rate nation building quality. It is team-spirit that brings about national unity and without unity; there can never be true national development. Team-spirit strengthens national unity, which in turn gives strength, motivation and perseverance to the citizenry.
Without team-spirit, dreams can never be realized. And without team-spirit, our national dreams will remain forever in the realm of dreams. National dreams, as good as they are cannot come to pass on their own. We will all need to come together as one and put flesh on them. And this cannot happen without love and team-spirit.
Some years ago when late General Sani Abacha was alive, he conceived a ‘vision’ for Nigeria which he called “vision 2010.” 2010 came and the ‘vision’ was not realized. Why? Because love for the nation and team-spirit were clearly lacking. Love for money and spirit of dis-unity cannot realize a true national vision. It can be vision 2000000, but if there is no love and team-spirit, nothing will happen. Now, many Nigerians are beginning to talk about vision 2025 without talking about how we are going to make every Nigerian (both leaders and the led) to embrace the qualities of love and team-spirit.
Not long, I read about what was written on Augustine Roding of this world: “Anybody can look at a pretty girl and see a pretty girl. An artist can look at a pretty girl and see the old woman she will become. A better artist can look at an old woman and see the pretty girl that she used to be. But a great artist—a master—and that is what Auguste Rodin was—can look at an old woman, portray her exactly as she is . . . and force the viewer to see the pretty girl she used to be . . . and more than that, he can make anyone with the sensitivity of an armadillo, or even you, see that this lovely young girl is still alive, not old and ugly at all, but simply imprisoned inside her ruined body.” Nigeria of our dreams is still being imprisoned inside her present ruined body. For all of us in Nigeria to do the work of “Auguste Rodin” of this world, we will need to fall in love with Nigeria and start embracing the quality of team-spirit.