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My wish for Nigeria at 55 – by Joe Igbokwe



Make no mistake about it, there is finger of God in the coming of president Buhari at this critical moment in the nation’s history after making attempts in 2003, 2007, 2011 and eventually clinched the ticket on Saturday March 28, 2015. If you are not deep in the knowledge of how God works, you may not know the full meaning of President Buhari’s emergence at a time like this to do what he is doing now. There was nothing PDP and its massive followers, with deep pockets did not do to stop him but their efforts were not enough to stop an idea whose time has come. 

Those who did not follow the campaigns fully may not have known what the wreckers, the ruiners and destroyers of Nigeria did to stop him but the grace of God and the love of God for Nigeria stopped them. Huge amount of money in various currencies were deployed, mercenaries were hired to deploy the worst form of hate campaign ever known in the history of Nigeria, the instrumentality of the full weight of the federal government was fully deployed, the full weight of Nigeria’s security forces were fully and maximally employed to stop President Buhari but God had other plans for Nigeria. 

Despite these onslaughts and desperation to change the will of God for Nigeria, the will of God for Nigeria prevailed. I may not have been a Reverend Father, Prophet, an Evangelist, General Overseer, Bishop or General Superintendent etc but I saw it coming. God has not finished with Nigeria and this I know. Promotion does not come from the East, West, North or South. God is the judge. He chooses whom to lift up and whom to bring down. Thus says the Holy Book.

Since Buhari came to power, I have seen a lot of deep changes which ordinary eyes may not see. The 2015 election losers may not see this because they are still very angry. Inordinate ambition and hate have beclouded their senses of reasoning as they continue to curse the day President Buhari was born. But a deep look into Nigeria’s political landscape shows evidence of change to new ways of doing things. Saboteurs who have sworn that our power sector and the downstream sector will never work have distanced themselves from the vandalization gas pipelines, power plants and Refineries. Looters of our common patrimony are now thinking twice because a new sheriff is in town. The fear of President Buhari is now the beginning of wisdom. Yes, they have stolen enough for the real owners to take notice but they have not stolen our brains and ideas. With brains and ideas, we can start now to begin the process of rebuilding Nigeria. I am told that ideas are better than money at high levels of offices. 

It is historic and prophetic that the new Ministers will be coming into the saddle when Nigeria will be clocking 55 on Thursday, October 1 2015. My late father once told me that you will never get up unless you have fallen down. I have an idea of the kind of people that will make the Ministers list in a Buhari-led government and I know that 70% of them know that we have to build Nigeria now or never. We have the political will to recover every kobo stolen and use it effectively to rebuild our dilapidated infrastructure, create jobs in millions, rebuild our institutions, feed our teeming population and provide maximum security for all Nigerians. This is not the time to eat but time for work and work for the good of the commonwealth.

Last week, I took a tour to Tin Can Island and Apapa Lagos, where the federal government makes trillions every year via the seaports. You only need to see the state of the roads in these gold mines for you to know the state of minds of those who have served as Managing Directors of Tin Can Island, Apapa Wharf, Flour Mills, Ibru Organization, Banks, Oil companies etc. I call all of them miserable idiots, carpenters, bricklayers and compound fools. I call them these names because there is no law that prevents them from building roads that lead to their premises. What stops them from doing the needful by mounting pressure on the Federal Ministry of Works to use part of the huge amount they cart away every year to fix those roads? Roads in Apapa and Tin Can Island remain not only an eye sore, but head sore, mind sore, soul sore and heart sore. 

The incoming Ministers must know that it is not business as usual. President Buhari has a mission and time is not on his side. It therefore behooves on all of them to key in to the man’s vision of zero tolerance on corruption. They have no choice. Nigeria has gone full cycle in stupidity and selfishness and this is the time to build or we all perish. 

Nigeria at 55 with Muhammadu Buhari as President provides a new window for all of us to sit up and be smart in re-ordering the way we do things in Nigeria. The massive flow of Refugees from Libya, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and Africa into Europe should serve as teachable moments for Nigerian leaders. Boko Haram insurgents, MASSOB and Niger Delta Militants remain a big challenge to all of us especially our leaders. We must rise above ethnic sentiments in order to confront these threats and build a new Nigeria of our dream. Diversity remains our greatest assets in this country and should we bungle it as a result of greed, selfishness, ethnic preoccupation and political irresponsibility, woe betide us. 

President Buhari’s team should be our first eleven for the first time in 55 years and we demand nothing less. I pity any Minister who will go there to mess up when the need is greatest. I pity any Minister who will go there to think it is business as usual. I pity any Minister who will go there to betray the President and the country. This is our chance to prove to the world that we did not go to school to learn how to accumulate what we do not need. This is not the time to stand and stare. This is not the time for bedtime stories and frivolities. This is the time for us to tear ourselves away from primitive accumulation of wealth to service delivery. This is the time to grow up. This is my wish for Nigeria at 55.

Joe Igbokwe


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