My dear countrymen and women, I am using this urgent and important open letter to congratulate all Nigerians from all ethnic and religious individuals, groups, associations, and communities living outside the shore of Nigeria for a Happy New Year, 2012. I pray that this new year will bring peace, love, unity, freedom, safety and sustainable development to the citizens of our fatherland that are no doubt in a critical and undeserved situation that calls for immediate action.
Fellow Nigerians, history is the memory of mankind and philosophy of history is the analytical ability of man to distinguish correct from incorrect. Philosophy of history helps to know the reasons for the rise and fall of nations. There is nothing I will like to tell you now about the present situation of our fatherland that you don’t have first hand information on. Is it about the leadership recycling (tired brains) and failure, pervasive corruption, violence and insecurity of lives and property, treasury looting, elusive kidnappings, death-trap highways, hospitals without drugs, inept civil service and triumph of mediocrity, lip service rule of law being violated with much impunity, fading national sports, high level unemployment and poverty, sophisticated armed robbery, notorious 419 letters, prisons congestion, epileptic infrastructure, religion fideism and terrorism, devlish political crisis, recent fuel hike from 65 naira to 141 naira per litre (130 % increase), all which are making development impossible. It is time for positive change, unity, and progress in Nigeria. Progress, according to George Bernard Shaw “...is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything”
Meanwhile, I quite understand how these problems and the image of our country has been affecting us either directly or indirectly in our entire daily life endeavour. The country has not made any practical progress due to selfish, corrupt and incompetent representatives in the corridors of power. Everybody is very disturbed, sad, irritated, demoralised and angry about the worsening situation. Infact, it got to a stage that anytime I ring my co-Nigerian friends here in overseas, after the first normal greeting exchanges, they always ask me; “Wale, I hope you ‘re not calling again to discuss about the Nigeria issues?”. Sometimes, I don’t even blame them. Being human, I was almost fed-up if not for the motivating responses got from one of my favourite published articles title :”Time to vote for a New Nigeria” in which I got more than hundred telephone calls and forty-six text messages from unknown Nigerians (though, few considering the nation’s population), Also, the few positive changes in the last year general election organised by Prof. Jega brings a ray of hope for Nigerians before the notorious islamist Boko Haram’s bloody strikes that have sent many citizens to their early grave.
My dear brothers and sisters, without wasting your precious time, firstly, am not writing as a member of any Nigerian or foreign political party or organisation, nor demanding for any fund, money or materials for any movement. The main reason for writing this letter is to seek for the full support of all Nigerians living abroad to unite, coordinate, educate, mobilize. invest and participate physically, emotionaly and spiritually in the ongoing political processes in Nigeria as from the beginning of this new year. We are among the best and brightest in virtually in all profession or everything that we are involved in. Nigeria is falling and we have to join hands to lift her up to retain her lost glories. The giant of Africa is sinking. Working together, we can do more. We are the solution to our country’s problems and nobody, and no country can do it for us. If we refuse to do something now, our children and future generation will definately regard our generation as a total failure. I know Nigerans associations have been making effort for a very long time, but now is the time for more serious and practical involvement before our country collapse. Posterity will never forgive us if we fail to act now and save the present critical situation. It is time to amend our “military drafted” constitution to allow for dual-citizenship participation in politics and end the senseless disenfranchisement of Nigerian intellectuals and adults of voting age abroad. Time for new political system of success.
My fellow countrymen, your active intervention will be in political participation and sharing of your ideas and thougths on good governance, good practices through writing articles, poems, educational and professional books, organising, conferences, seminars / talks to all students from nursery / primary schools to the students’ unioinism associations in all disciplines of all public and private Nigerian colleges, polytechnics and Universities. Today is a gift, that’s why it is called –the present. Life is also a gift. Whatever you give out will return to you tenfold or more. This is time to use our gift not only to develop other coutries but to develop our own country no matter what it takes. Human beings are to meet the need of other, to assist other through a difficulty, to provide guidance and support, to aid physically, emotionally or spiritually.This is time to share your gift which is more valuable than money.
Dear sons and daughters of Nigeria, we must not remain silent or folding our hands in defeat. The time to be involved is now before it will be too late. It is now time for all Nigerian professionals both at home and abroad to come together and bring the country back to the right part. Time is like a river, you cannot touch the same water twice, because the flow that has passed will never pass again. This is the time to build a world class human resource base in Nigeria, develop and implement a lifelong learning education policy as more and better education is a prequiste for rapid economic development, provide professional orientation to prospective entrants in the labour works, provide world class quality products and services for the global market.
Fellow Nigerians, there is nothing wrong with our land. It is rich, vast and fertile. Human beings have the ability to create ways to live better and even change the environment to suit their needs and wants. Amalgamation of the country is not our real problem. Though to some, it is the genesis. The real problem from my own analysis, is the failure of leadership, and I see it as “the burden we are living with” till today. This is a problem that has a solution which has to be solved together as soon as possible. Both Nigerians at home and outside need one another to make a new Nigeria. Pa Chinua Achebe is correct when he says “...the resources are so huge, and we are wasting it”. To be honest, we are very far from where we should be. With this asset, 80 percent of Nigerians do not deserve to be living at this abysmally very high poverty level.
Finally, my brothers and sisters, let come together from every nook and corner of the world where we are and join hands together. It is time to share your joy with those who are less fortunate than us and share your joy with those who need encouragement, share your laughter with those who have not heard any in such a long time, share your tears with those who have forgotten how to to cry, share your faith and hope to those who have none and at the end we come up with a New Nigeria of our dream. We shall win and laugh last to be proud Nigerians.
Thanks and may God bless you all. God bless Nigeria.
Adewale T Akande, road traffic safety consultant,