By KABIR BABATUNDE
Nigeria may be said to have had the best of times when she had a lot of money to throw
about which enabled her to throw her weight around the alarmed world around and beyond her.
She still has the resources but it is doubtful whether she can have another best of times to provide her with the wherewithal to turn things around.
It is generally believed that she has had better if not best of times since 1999 to make things happen. The fact that her fortunes have virtually remained the same if not worse makes her case very sad indeed.
When she had the best of times, she was saddled with virtually the same set of leaders who could be said to be too naïve then to realise her potentials to put it to good use. Now that the same set of leaders appears to be dealing with her with negative ramifications if not dillydallying with her destiny, what chances does she have of reenacting the good old times let alone making good fortunes out of their concomitants?
Nigeria has also had the worse if not the worst of times dating back to independence. What realistically can she put down to justify the fact that she has adequately learned good lessons from them? Has there been any change in the manner of governance to show that the country has been doing all there is to be done to make a clean break not just from the past but from its concomitant misdeeds as well?
It is doubtful whether the best can be hoped for without more in the me-me-me age not only Nigeria but whole world live in and by which it is encumbered. Even if there is any slight chance of Nigeria making a success of her genuine efforts, the fact that those who are ready and willing to help her are much fewer than those who are ever ready or all out to help themselves regardless of the positions they hold in or out of government makes the case of Nigeria very sorry if not hopeless indeed.
The fact that those are very well known to be ever prepared to help Nigeria to help herself so that she can be great will not be allowed to get close to much less hold power in order not to upset the status quo is not helping the fate of this country. Even if they somehow succeed in wresting the power from the upholders of the status quo, as long as there exists the possibility of their successors being consumed by the paraphernalia of office, which seems to be the Achilles heel of every Nigerian government regardless of its intentions, no one might be able to vouch for anyone when it comes power and responsibility intertwined with enormous tantalizing resources.
Nigeria did not just fritter her best of times. She spent some time doing just that. Does she or can she have such time again to retrace her long steps to be attitudinal perdition? Should opportune time present itself, what guarantee is there that the ever hopeful but helpless if not heedless Nigerians will not be let down again?
Nigeria presents a good case of how not to take golden opportunities so much that it is doubtful whether an impressive CV can help a prospective leader who has sworn to do well if elected to power. The natural response can always be that mere CVs do not alter premeditated course which has never faltered in its ultimate failure.
As Nigeria seems to have adapted to the course of anything goes, surveys seem to suggest that Nigerians are happier for it and the result is that there is no cause for justifiable credit in the moral(istic) bank. Nigeria can only be better prepared to help herself out of untoward situation she has put herself by her own hands if she is ready and willing to devote time to good causes that will appeal to her altruistic nature (or what is left of it) and aid her path to greatness. The question is whether the seeming innate selfish business of what is in it for me will not do her in in that quest.
Nigerians have to see the Nigerian project as a charity and they must undertake it with a charitable Heart deeply felt in every strata of Nigerian life. If Nigerians will have to count costs to be borne or whether there will be any reimbursement in this regard, then the key to motivation would have been lost at the outset.
For Nigeria to stand out collectively as a nation as her citizens have done individually throughout the world, citizens must simply and keenly seek to contribute perfectly adequately to Nigeria and that can be a key motivation before the rest shall be added unto it….
Nigerians have to develop themselves personally and loosely professionally to enable them give their time to the Nigerian cause which must be seen and done as a higher ideal beyond personal attainment or aggrandizement.
Getting involved in the Nigerian cause rather than sneering over her self-inflicted curse is a good way to be rid of the outworn shibboleths of the perditionable Nigerian factor.
Those who think helping the Nigerian cause is not worth it, as it is unpaid, should grow beyond the tendency to place hope replaced with despair on governmental activities turned malfeasances which has not been helpful to their rowdy racket even if it appears to have lined their abysmal pockets. Nigerians just have to look beyond the abiding notion that giving up time to do something for the fatherland as grave as Nigeria can often lead to dead-end as there is no end to deliberate twists and turns to make it unworkable to favour and perpetuate the status quo.
It is an open secret that once the majority is prepared to volunteer its duty to the Nigerian cause, Nigeria will be better for it. Is it not said that one of the beautiful compensations of life is that no man can sincerely help his fatherland without helping himself? One cannot approach an altruistic cause with egocentric mind-set and expect even minimal success. It is not done.
Nigerians who volunteer ample time and energy for Nigerian cause will be setting much store by her productivity and ultimate happiness. It does not do for Nigerians to place Nigeria high on their wish-list without trying adequately to will her to achieve greatness.
That is the only way the sticks in the mud of Nigeria who in the bid to maintain the status quo have veered from being the touchstone to the stumbling block to Nigeria’s progress can be shamed in their baleful game.
Will Nigerian cause in itself help Nigeria produce her best of men to reenact her best of times?