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Letter to Nigerians

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By Kareem Abdulrasaq

SIR: Nigeria has been having leadership problems since 1950s in the run up to our independence. From the east, west, south and north none of the leaders trusted themselves. Rather, they worked against themselves.

Today, some members of that generation are still very much around hence the lingering mistrust. This has been passed down through generations. This is affecting our laws, policies, and development.

I will not blame the colonial folks. They understood the game and played it well. The strategy they used to wipe out our great grandfathers in the war of resistance was to use Africans to fight Africans to pave the way for their domination. Thereafter, they took over our economies securing for themselves raw materials, and market of their finished goods.

Now, they give us loan and help us recover looted funds and dictate how we must use them. Are we really an independent country? We are just moving in a vicious cycle.

Many will claim that we are a democratic country. In principle yes. Democracy allows for equality, consensus, participation and social justice. In real sense however, this is not what we operate. We impose on ourselves leaders, violate the laws, act with impunity and deny fellow citizens their constitutional rights.

We know the truth but refuse to take action. Our leaders know the right action to take for the country to be great again but will never do it for selfish reasons. We manipulate issues and do not care about the country in its entirety. We value federal character than intelligence and refuse to deal with issues scientifically. How do we develop with all these?

We have so many sound economic policies, great minds and material resources. Regional and ethnic domination runs in our blood like the first-generation leaders.

Our religious bodies too are not helping matters. Bala Usman’s book – The Manipulation of Religion in Nigeria speaks to what we have become.

If the current generation can unite and do away with distrust, those foreign manipulators will find it very difficult to control us. But the problem with current generation is money. Most of us just want money forgetting money is not everything. Most of those calling themselves activists are also entrenched in this struggle for money and identity. This has further worsened the situation.

When there is sound economy, respect for people’s rights, effective channelling of our resources, harnessing our population to our advantage and eradication of corruption in public sector through stern measures, our country will certainly be made great.

But are current Nigeria leaders thinking along these lines?

  • Kareem Abdulrasaq,

Ilorin. Kwara State.

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