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Wed 12 Jan 2011 | Manual: How To Build Nigeria Of Our Dream – Part 1 |
Rufus Kayode Oteniya January 12, 2011 More from this author Warning: I beseech you not to read this piece if you are contented with the way Nigeria is; you are only advised to read if you desire a better nation. At independence, the dreams of our past leaders were to build a great and united nationdevoid of ethnic and religious strives; an egalitarian and prosperous society that would be respected in the comity of nations; a land where everyone would be his brother’s keeper regardless of the inherent differences and a people who would respect the laws of the land. Fifty years on, we are farther from these dreams than we were at independence. As a concerned citizen who is not only tired of wherewe are, knowing pretty well where we could have been, but who is also tired of hearing the older generation tell the younger ones of an epoch of prosperity, peace, decency, transparency and accountability in our national life that many of them never knew, I’ll be dedicating this series to building Nigeria of our dream. In this first part, I’d be addressing CHANGE which is one of the most importantelements in realising the Nigeria of our collective dream. It is universally known that no one can be doing the same thing over and over again and expect a different result. The only way to get a different result is by changing the approach. If you don’t like the way Nigeria is, ‘Just Change It.’ The power to do so lies within you and the change starts with you. Nigeria is unquestionably in acritical state where all that we desire now is nothing but a change. Up till now, it’s unfortunate that the more we need change, the more it eludes us and the more we hope for it, the more we remain the same. The kind of change that we need will not come from the north nor from the south neither will it come from the east nor from the west, it will only come from within. If you think that the changewill come from the political class who are benefitting from the current rot, it’s certainly an illusion! Nobody benefits from a system and wants it to change. We have been looking up to Aso Rock for too long for this change to come without exploiting the real instrument of change that lies within. The real and lasting change will not come from up down, it will be forced from down up. Thepresidency that that claims several billions of Naira in security vote within a year without having to account for it will not push for a change and neither will the executive arm of government that enjoys almost an absolute power as it has carpeted the parliament. Do you think the governors who have uncontrollable access to the state funds will cause the change? No way! Is it the parliamentarians whoillegally award themselves emoluments that are many times beyond what Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) legally recommends for them thereby making them the highest paid legislators in the world? No, it’s impossible! Is it the local government chair who manages the LGA’s funds as if it’s his personal fund and still go ahead to singlehandedly award contracts to his companiesand those of his cronies or a councillor who illegally earns more than a university professor? No way! People get the kind of leaders they produce and Nigeria is not an exemption. A leader is just a reflection of the society. A president do not start corruption as a president, neither does a VP start manipulation as a vice president. Nobody starts stealing as a governor or a chairman of a localgovernment. A CEO of a company does not develop the habit of inflating figures as a chief executive and neither do others in the position of leadership. They all started long before they got to the exalted positions and offices. They started corruption, manipulation and stealing as ordinary citizens. A corrupt executive must have been living a corrupt life probably as a junior or senior officer...