|Sunday, September 1, 2019|
his impassioned Nigerian writer is in the admixture of sorrow and happiness for a beloved country-Nigeria. He is happy because of the great things responsible Nigerians are doing in the international community. In more than a decade in the United States, I have seen Nigerians: students, seasoned professionals, and citizens contributing immensely to the development of America. While attempt must be made not to justify the criminal behavior of some hoodlums tarnishing Nigerian name, it must be noted that no society is free of crimes. The onus is on every society to make her rule of law sacrosanct and brings the miscreants to face the laws.
It is heartwarming to see every nook and cranny of America dotted with impeccable Nigerians. On the other hand, this writer is sad because of the exportation of her best human capital to the global community. Apology to Seun Kuti, a vintage son of Abami Eda Fela Anikulapo Kuti said Nigerians who are dying in the Mediterranean Sea are not immigrants or potential refugees, but they are unfortunate Nigerian escapists who are looking for greener pastures yonder!
In spite of Nigeria's challenges with general insecurity and hopelessness in her clime, the country is gradually morphing her way out of being a pariah nation to an economically secure, and politically vibrant nation among the comity of developed and developing nations. Change is constantly the most difficult and risky venture in human evolution. If you want to effect a change in any society, you must be ready to pay a heavy dose of the moral price! Your integrity must be intact after it has been tested through your character and values.
The international events in the last few days concerning Nigeria attest to the progress being made by the administration of Buhari to return Nigeria to decency and transparency. It's not uncommon to see the lapses and shoddiness of the federal government in its various reforms, but we must not at the same time close our eyes to the slow but steady pace of progress and changes in how government business should operate in Nigeria. “If you want to gather honey, do not step over the beehive.” President Muhammadu Buhari seems to be walking a fine line in the western hemisphere. A true disposition without ulterior motives, a developmental path the previous leaders in Nigeria had lacked. The recent visits of the world leaders to Abuja were a great sign of the true rebranding of our potential national identity under the administration of Mr. Integrity. It is heartwarming that the vintage Buhari is not getting carried away by the euphoria of current jostling for Nigeria’s attention in the international community. Res ipas loquitor (fact speaks for itself). Buhari’s action is speaking for itself! The absence of corruption in the political and economic well being of a nation and a clean template are recipes for good governance and development. The template Buhari advances will work commensurately with the nation’s transparency to advance national integration and development. While some people in Nigeria are welcoming Buhari's economic partnership with other countries, others with doubtful imaginative stances are seeing how the world is gazing at our rich but poor country. We must be cautiously optimistic about the transformation of infrastructure going on in Africa.
In recent years, China and Japan, in particular, have increased their participation in the boisterous economies of Africa. China and Japan see themselves as economic umpires among the West, and they have also positioned themselves at an unprecedented vantage position to mutually benefit from the economic prosperity of Africa. Rwanda and Nigeria are readily good examples. We can obviously see this transformation in the economy and infrastructural development of Rwanda. President Paul Kagame is an envisioned, transformational and political leader of Rwanda. Kagame capitalizes on the robust reconciliation of the war-ravaged Rwanda to leverage his country’s comparative economic advantage, and in partnership with China.
Rwanda is now a nation on the shining hill reinventing herself among the comity of prosperous nations. Africa is a land of untapped opportunities. Rwanda is now a cynosure of all African countries. The continent of Africa has not fared well in the last five decades of her independence from egregious colonialists. Africa has wasted her resources for ignorance, hedonism, a pittance, stick and carrots, and geopolitical manipulations of the west. The age of information dissemination is reawakening the people of the continent of Africa. Through African hedonism, 'uglification and mugulification' (ignorance) of her leaders, Africa had allowed the western world to play to the gallery in the past, but the evolving leadership in the true partnership with the rest of the world will open a new vista of opportunities for African continental development.
Continental Africa must not allow itself again to be weaponized or used as a tool to advance only the interests of the Western world. The process of reinvention and the African renaissance being championed through the quintessential abilities of Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of Ghana, Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa and John Joseph Magufuli of Tanzania is a welcome development and must be sustained. Africa will surely survive if it explores her continental potential and resources to her own advantage. The leaders listed above, and among others are the quintessential and true representations of the impending progress of Africa.
In the 70s, Malaysia, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates were trailing Nigeria in terms of infrastructural development. The decimation of Africa into locust years by her evil-leaders nearly sent Africa to permanent underdevelopment and medieval periods. How Africans underdeveloped Africa is very important to assist on how her continental citizens should etch out of her self-inflicted conundrums. China’s $60 billion investment across Africa is another wake-up call for Nigeria to regain her leadership role in the continent of Africa. This huge loan from China to Africa, through investment, must be seen as a rebirth for continental reconnaissance. In this 21st century civilization, it must not be seen as recolonization of Africa, but a leverage to partner with the developed nations to developing Africa. The evolving new partnership must bring a surge into the African economy; re-engineering her comatose infrastructures to up-to-date. Africa must leverage on the evolving development to reinvent African renaissance and resources.
In retrospect, President Muhammadu Buhari's visit to Yokohama must be seen as a renewed partnership to transform Nigerian infrastructural amenities. The fundamental needs of the Nigerian economy are good roads, power (electricity), employment and empowerment, security, reduction in corrupt practices and transparency in government. When all these fundamentals of our economy are tackled and met, Nigeria will be an El Dorado or on a road to the promised land. Meanwhile, while signing the Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU), President Muhammadu Buhari must take into cognizance that the interests of the working population in Nigeria is number one priority in the mutual agenda on the table.
The Chinese and Japanese investment relations in Africa via Nigeria must not be seen as another recolonization of Africa. It must be a kind of 50-50 of mutual interests. The Nigerian citizens must be made to actively get involved in the impending commencement and transformation of Africa and Nigeria. The human capital development of Nigeria cannot be underestimated. Nigeria has sadly traded or exported her impeccable human capital to the rest of the United States and developed and developing the world. This is the period we must reinvent ourselves and showcase our intellectual capital, energy, and natural resources to benefit our homeland. We have the wherewithal to be like the United States of America.
Meanwhile, as China and Japan are exploring the buoyancy of Africa nay Nigeria, Nigeria must take advantage of the Japanese and China’s technological-know-how to leverage her own technology. Our graduates’ professional acquisition must be put to commensurate with work to avoid a mismatch between their profession and the available jobs in their fatherland. While China and Japanese expatriates do their jobs in Nigeria, Nigerian citizens and professionals must not be subjected to inferiority complex or inhumane treatment in their own country. The manner with which our leaders treat our own citizens will determine how foreigners will treat our citizens.
Before Mr. President returns from Japan, he must leverage on the mutually signed agreement or MOU (Memorandum Of Understanding) signed with the Japanese government to bring development to Nigeria. Yokohama cannot underestimate the stupendous wealth, untapped human capital and natural resources providence endowed Nigeria. It's high time we moved from poor people with a richness to a rich nation with rich citizens. Buhari must begin to translate his achievements to the lives of all deprived and poor people of Nigeria.
This writer (a very proud and concerned Nigerian) from yonder is an incurable optimist of a great Nigeria. Nigeria must also be proud of her intellectual acuity. In spite of the Nigerian past deliberate mistakes; or the pessimism of some of her citizens, and the disgruntled attitudes of some Nigerians, the future of Nigeria is imminently rosy and assured! Nigerian is on the road to reinvent itself and put behind her the misfortunes of the past. But, are we ready for the new normal? History is bunk! It will surely tell!