The Nigerian Nation and its faulty foundation

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“Where were thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if thou hast understanding (Job 38:4).
“Other foundations can no man lay than that is laid, which is laid by Christ Jesus” (1Cor. 10 3:11).
“If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3). Foundation is the key word in the three biblical quotations above and the quotations emphasize the importance of strong foundations in the life of every economic unit -individual, organization and state. The first quotation makes us understand that even the very earth upon which man and every other thing stand were built upon strong foundation by God. God Himself recognizes the importance of strong foundations. This is why God, in constructing humans and animals, built the skeleton as the foundation upon which flesh stands. Auto makers construct the chassis (foundation) before fixing other parts of the car. Computer makers build the dash board first and every other thing about the computer stands upon the dashboard (foundation). Examples abound everywhere in all human endeavours. Humans are endowed with this knowledge of foundation building because they are of God. See also the construction of foundation of houses. The taller the house, the stronger and more deeply rooted the foundation. In all human endeavors, the importance of strong foundation cannot be overemphasized. Without this, nothing enduring can ever be built. And all is founded in God.
Then, comes the second quotation stressing that there can never be any substitute to that foundation laid by God Himself in Christ Jesus. And here lies the problem of many people, organizations and governments – building upon faulty foundations. And the word of God concludes by stating that if the foundations be destroyed, there is virtually nothing anyone can do, not even the righteous can redeem the situation. This speaks directly to the Nigerian situation which now seems irredeemable. The foundations, upon which a great nation should be built are out of course and there is nothing anyone can do about it. The result is crisis and in this crisis itself, you have crisis mismanagement. The problem is the foundation upon which Nigeria stands. Because of this faulty foundation, nothing can ever work in this country.
The country is blessed with abundant natural and human resources, yet there is hunger, deprivation, antiquated infrastructure, lawlessness and a host of other ills that cannot be imagined in developed societies. These faulty foundations are reasons why good intentioned policies don’t work in this country.
Building a faulty foundation is comparable to building on a foundation of mere sand that can never endure. This is where Nigeria differs from countries like U.S.A, Western European countries, Japan, South Korea, etc.
These foundations are the institutions of democracy promoted by effective leadership. Weak institutions are a major problem confronting our country. Some of the institutions that need to be developed and strengthened in Nigeria are the legal system whereby the rule of law is promoted and court orders and judgments duly executed, without fear or favour.
A situation whereby only the poor or those without “god-fathers” go to jail is lamentable. In the U.S, for example, even President Donald Trump submits himself to the rule of law. The legal system in that country is free from meddling or executive interference, quite unlike in Nigeria where the judiciary is a mere appendage of the executive arm of government.
Likewise the local government councils and the parliament at all levels of government. Their independent would help them check executive recklessness and make them more accountable to the land. In the case of the judiciary above, appointment of judges should not be made by the president or governor, even on recommendation by the Nigerian Judicial Council (NJC). The members of the judiciary should at all times appoint judges according to stipulated guidelines.
The electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), must be really independent and not subject to executive manipulations. Again, the kind of primary elections witnessed under the watch of INEC whereby the people can choose their candidates lawfully, gives cause for concern. People’s power must be promoted and not downgraded.
Participation is very important in democracy and development. The country must ensure her people are carried along in decision making. In crucial matters referendum must be held to ensure the will of the majority prevails.
Nigeria needs to, as a matter of urgency, begin now to build institutions for restructuring the country. Restructuring must be total. The situation in which President Buhari described the 2014 National CONFAB as “a job for the boys” and the document itself as “only good to be thrown into the dustbin”, is condemnable.
There are several institutions to uphold our democracy. Our democracy cannot continue to be nascent or fledgling even when all possibilities exist to advance it. Nigeria can move from 3rd world to 1st world beginning from today, if only the people desire it. But how? It all begins with the greater number of leaders and people becoming inspirationally dissatisfied with the status quo. Our people need to consider and ask themselves moving questions like: Why is our nation different from U.S.A. Holland, Germany, etc in the dissemination of essential services, infrastructure, public utilities, etc. Why do we have gutters all over our country and there is nothing like gutter in U.S.A or Europe and other developed climes? Why do we have electric poles and wires which have often killed people and destroyed properties whereas in Europe electricity network is buried underground all over the country and they have 24hours supply of water, electricity, gas all through the year. People in Europe and U.S.A don’t know what power failure is all about whereas it is part of us here. Why are there heaps of refuse in every nook and cranny of our states as can be seen in Imo State, but European countries have efficient waste disposal system that keeps their streets clean with healthy air to breath? Why is life expectancy in Nigeria 48 as against 85 in South Korea and 88 in Germany? Deeper thinking, coupled with emotion and rejection of the status quo will surely lead to a change in how things are done here. We cannot continue to do the same thing and be expecting different results. That would be madness. As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he. As the majority of people in a society think in their hearts, so is their society. As the head of a family or organization thinks in his heart, so is that family or organization. Nothing more, nothing less. Change begins from our thought system. That is why it is said, sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an action and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny. It begins with thought and ends in national destiny.
Building or re-building the institutions and foundations of a new progressive society must be a conscious effort to think like Europeans and Americans do! It means reframing our national psyche. It means promoting the rule of law and subjecting ourselves to it. It means thinking of what legacy to give to the future generation. There is need for inspirational and creative leadership in our country. Late Dr. E.W Kenyon said that no national can advance beyond the spiritual maturity of its leaders. This says it all! The masses who form the majority should endeavour that creative leaders with character are voted into power. And presently, President Buhari must make sure the peoples’ vote count in the elections. The ruling party, APC, should endeavour not to assist anyone with the security forces to rig elections. Chiefly, let us begin to think progressively by asking life transforming questions as given above. And let our leaders have the courage or political will to do the right thing, without fear or favour. Americans are enjoying today because the founder of modern America, George Washington, did the right thing by laying the foundations upon which modern America stands as the greatest nation to ever exist on earth! Buhari has the opportunity George Washington had. It is for the good of all Nigerians today and in future.

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