The Changing of Guard in Nigeria
Our dearly beloved President Olusegun Obasanjo leaves office today handing over to Musa Yar’Adua on the same date eight years ago when he was sworn in as President of the Nation. It marks a historic event for my country as it is the first time that we see the continuation of the democratic process as a civilian is handing over to another civilian while the boys in uniform remain in the barracks. So why am I not jumping for joy and jubilating and just generally letting myself go…I think Solomon Sydelle says it better in her piece entitled the Nigerian Proclamation which appears below
IN RECENT HISTORY, NIGERIANS HAVE BEEN OVERWHELMINGLY BETRAYED BY THOSE CHARGED WITH ADDRESSING THEIR NEEDS. INSTEAD OF SERVING THE PEOPLE, PUBLIC SERVANTS HAVE SERVED THEMSELVES TO THE DETRIMENT OF THE MASSES. THE RESULT IS A NATION LACKING ADEQUATE INFRASTRUCTURE, ORGANIZATION AND SECURITY.
THE INEFFECTIVENESS OF NIGERIAN LEADERS INDICATES A LACK OF ACCOUNTABILITY TO THE CONSTITUENTS. NIGERIANS ARE NO LONGER RELEVANT TO THE LEADERS, THUS, LEADERS DO NOT FEEL RESPONSIBLE TO THEM.
THE RECENT FAILURE TO CONDUCT A FREE AND FAIR ELECTORAL PROCESS WAS YET ANOTHER ILLUSTRATION THAT THE NEEDS OF THE MANY ARE SECONDARY TO THE WANTS OF THE IMPORTANT FEW.
FROM THIS DAY, ALL NIGERIANS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE FUTURE OF THIS GREAT & POWERFUL COUNTRY. CONSEQUENTLY, ALL NIGERIANS MUST COMMIT THEMSELVES TO THE FOLLOWING:
WE MUST DEMAND THAT ELECTED OFFICIALS BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS AND IN-ACTIONS.
WE MUST EXPECT DEMOCRATIC PRINCIPLES TO BE HONORED, RESPECTED AND MAINTAINED.
WE MUST BELIEVE THAT ALL NIGERIANS ARE EQUAL UNDER THE LAW AND SHOULD BE TREATED AS SUCH.
WE MUST APPLY OURSELVES TO IMPROVING THE LOT OF EVERY INDIVIDUAL NIGERIAN REGARDLESS OF GENDER, RELIGION, TRIBE OR SOCIAL STATUS.
WE MUST STRIVE TO MAINTAIN A UNITED REPUBLIC DESPITE OUR DIFFERENCES.
ONLY UPON ACHIEVING THESE PRINCIPLES CAN WE AS A PEOPLE FULLY LIVE UP TO OUR POTENTIAL AS A LAND OF GREATNESS. FOR OURS IS A COUNTRY RENOWNED FOR ITS ILLUSTRIOUS PEOPLE, AMPLE RESOURCES AND SHEER PHYSICAL BEAUTY.