Good news in Nigeria is never celebrated enough because we have become almost indifferent to our sorry situation. South-south of our Country has produced a Nigerian President, executive or not for the first time. No child must grow up in Nigeria wondering if he or she can become a president based on his or her region of origin. It also comes with certain responsibilities and luggage. Ask anyone from all parts of our six geo-political zones that have produced a president.
The Yoruba think Obasanjo’s time was a lost opportunity to take Nigeria to a greater height. The Hausa think all their leaders have never raised many of them from the level of poverty internally not to mention their contribution to the rest of the Country. The Igbo wonder if it was a mistake for Zik to have refused the position of executive president offered by Awo or if the unitary declaration of Ironsi benefited them. The middle Belt presidents are no better.
Therefore, we may celebrate the accession of Ebele from the South-south to the highest office in the land but have to be mindful of his enormous responsibility for a limited time. Most of the former leaders who are asking him what they neglected to do while in power for donkey years should be ashamed. They had their opportunities and blew it big time. Ebele needs more than prayers. Nobody should set him up so high so that he could fall, no matter what he achieved.
Every former Nigeria head of state have solution to the problem in Niger Delta when they have lost power and a better one just before they gain power. But we have watched as their theories withered away and the militants either raise their demand or their demands are never met. It is their turn in presidency and we are waiting for our new President to implement peace. Not only peace for Niger Deltans, but reasonable peace across the land: in about a year!
Before anyone says it is not yet Uhuru in Nigeria, there are many of us waiting for peaceful and heartwarming Country fair to all its citizens, at least for the next one year. Yes, some success can be achieved in a year plus. Italian and Israeli governments spend less than one year and none of them have brought democracy down. Ebele’s most desirable task for maximum effect may not be the easiest attainable. So, prudent short term objectives and goals is the way to go.
It is true that euphoria of Obama presidency has worn off somewhat in the USA, but in less than a year, he cut taxes for the middle class, led the world out of economic disaster, passed equal pay for equal work for women and appointed the first Latina women to the Supreme Court. Oh sorry, that is in the USA. It should not be different in Nigeria for our local needs.
Foremost, some civility needs to return to South-south Nigeria because they were already hurt. On top of that, militants are running out of reasons for crude behavior of kidnapping our local senior citizens, babies, the meek, the gentle and bastardizing their own cause. This was before Ebele was the man. Now that he is the President of Nigeria, what are the militants going to do; he may have voided their underdog status in the eyes of the world. Behave.
A country cannot grow in the mist of chaos, hooliganism and total disrespect for the sanctity of life. People are killed across the land like animals games in the African Safari. It is easy to blame the police alone for not solving all the murders when we know that some of our high and mighty would be implicated if thorough investigations are carried out. Our children watch our behavior: monkey see monkey do.
Motherland cannot sleep while the youths are restless. It is not only the youth of the South-south that are idle, unconnected youths all over Nigeria are. If we can find rehabilitation money for some, we can start small business for others. No free handouts. Productive plan in one state must be extended all over the Country to those that have not taken up arms. Or else inkiness, disobedience, hooliganism and lawlessness become incentive to attract government handouts.
The amount of money stolen out of Nigeria is more than enough to extend the National Youth Service Corps for those willing to serve to preempt idleness for another year or two. The EFCC must follow Independent Corrupt Practices and Other related Offences Commission that has taken a lead in deploying NYSC members. These youths must be included to watch out for their legacies jealously. It is their future and the stake for them is greater. It can be one, not the only way of reducing corruption in Nigeria. The initial step of ridding their shield, Aondoakaa is done.
Those who want NYSC abolished cannot be serious. So far, it is the only endeavor that brought our youths together, poor and rich. They gained knowledge and culture of other parts of the Country and delivered services that might not be available in rural areas. We cannot let those who use ethnic riots to propagate hatred scare or dissuade them from the greater good. Some of these youths can also be deployed as investigators of crimes into our police and military.
If we want transparency in road contracts and other infrastructures supervision, a unit must be established in every establishment for NYSC as investigators. We need more of them not less. The probability is there that some companies may want to use them for cheap labor. Some regulation must be put in place where those who are not employing corps members after their first year of service are denied more members in the future.
Nigeria is spending money made from natural resources that will run out instead of brain services and manufactured goods that can last forever. We all know that but procrastinating while filing individual pockets. Some of those NYSC members may want to start their own business as a group with small business loans. Any country that refuses to invest in its youth will be overtaken by those who do. Fresh ideas of NYSC members may be useful for Ebele for the next one year.
NIGER DELTANS: NOW THAT YOU ARE THE MAN
Farouk Martins Aresa
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James , August 07, 2012
Whoveer edits and publishes these articles really knows what they're doing.
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