Nigeria: Task before the giant

By Sunday Oyinloye

The  72nd Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations has come and gone but some of the speeches presented at the Session painted the picture of a world  sitting on a keg of gun powder, a future that is bleak. Few of the speeches revealed that what perhaps occupy the heart of some nations is how to subdue other counties  or put humanity in perpetual agony. It would have been better, though not decent if some leaders had limited their speeches to names calling, but  people around the globe  got what they did not bargained  for. Two leaders in particular threatened to wipe each other’s countries as if there are no human beings living  in those countries. That is what has become of the world, evil thoughts.

Israel is no doubt a great nation. I am not in any way surprised as someone who reads the Bible. The Israelis might not be perfect just like other human beings, but from Biblical records, they are people after God’s heart . It is also an open secret that Israel sees some countries as enemies while some countries also see Israel as enemy. I am not going into the politics of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s  speech at the last UN General Assembly. I went through the speech four times and I believe as Nigeria marked her 57th Independence Anniversary yesterday, it can learn one or two things from Israel  it’s Prime Minister’s speech.

Hear him: “ In July, Prime Minister Modi became the first Indian  Prime Minister to visit Israel. You may have seen the pictures. We were on a beach in Hadera. We rode together in a jeep outfitted with a potable desalination device that some thriving Israeli entrepreneurs invented. We took off our shoes, waded  into the Mediterranean and drank sea water that had been purified only a few minutes earlier. We imagined the endless possibilities for Israel, India, for all humanity….. I went to Africa where I saw Israeli innovators increasing crop yields, turning air into water, fighting aids”

What message am I passing across?  Simple, Nigerian leaders should  encourage innovations ,and other things that could lead to high standard of life of the citizens  and the rest of the world. Inventors should be encouraged to mass produce. There must be rewards for hard work, patriotism  honesty and productivity while  those who go against the law should be punished no matter their status in the society. The woes of the nation cannot be blamed wholly on leadership, the followership also shares in the challenges facing Nigeria.

As a Military Head of State, President Muhammadu  Buhari introduced War Against Indiscipline( WAI) which made Nigerians to do  right thing at the right time. It will not be out of place for him to re-launch WAI. However, it should not be political WAI. What do I mean ? . In re- launching WAI, there should not be political, religious or ethnic consideration in punishing anyone caught in an act of indiscipline. The war against corruption of the Federal Government is good, but what people regard as little sins like jumping the queue, crossing the road at the wrong place, favoritism  and other forms of indiscipline  are also  impediments to nation building.

What makes a nation is not a large population, land mass, number of professors , number of Nobel Laureates, not even the number of years it has gained Independence.The success of a nation to me should be measured by the quality of life of its citizens and how such a country has impacted positively on other nations of the world. I want to appeal to my countrymen to please let us all put on our thinking caps. Many nations are celebrating technological breakthroughs and impacting on the rest of the world while we are busy calling ourselves names, spreading hatred and poverty through bad governance by some of our leaders.

A time has come for Nigeria to be the real giant of Africa and not an Elephant by name. After all ,the Eagle and Horses in our Coat of Arms symbolize strength, therefore anything less than strength is not acceptable.