By Rev. Alyuda Moses Iro.
Democracy is said to be a government of the people, by the people and for the people. While Politics is the practice of democracy and process that brings political office holder into office through the instrument of a party. One cannot separate the three. Democracy and politics are media through which voters exercise their right to vote candidate of the choice. Voters go to the polling unit believing that their vote can count and people voted for can work for them.
Nigeria’s first federal election took place in 1964 and western region election 1965 after the 1962/1963 census crisis. These elections were marred by rigging and irregularities that led to the 1966 military coup and subsequently Biafra war from 1967 to 1970. Besides poor democratic system, Nigeria operates that gives room for manipulations of results and other vices. Political parties are formed on the bases of Region, Tribes, and Religion. These factors have not only caused serious setback but claimed lives of ignorant Nigerians during elections. Some Nigerian politicians believe an election is a do or die affair. Politicians with this kind philosophy have no defeat and concede in their dictionary but must win is their slogan. These kinds of politicians view politics as a big business where they put their money and get it back from the federal/state coffer.
Education is the backbone of development, the light, and lamp of every society. Most developed nations of the world are where they are because they got their educational system right. Qualitative education helps to produce scientist and researchers and many others. People make progress in all aspects and fields of life when they get a quality education. God is an Educator. He educated Adam on what to do before the garden was handed over to him.
Nigeria`s education system experience decay and setback every day of her lifespan. Some schools are without qualified personals to impart knowledge into pupils and students. The few and serious ones were frustrated out of the system. University certificate today is not equivalent to far back 1960–1980 primary six certificates. Graduates roam the street with a certificate without skill and knowledge for self-reliance. The federal government change curriculum without changing character. Teaching profession that supposed to be encouraged as the best profession has been relegated to the background. Teachers go on strike before they get paid. This decay in public schools gives room for the proliferation of private schools, some without a standard. Money mongers see these weaknesses in our education system as a means of making money and enriching themselves. Nigeria and its citizens can only get it right when we overhaul the education sector and brainstorm on better ways to have a quality education that can produce people with sound mind and character that can break into the sky, sea, and land to make discoveries that will add values to human life.
Religion is the belief in God. It is a means through which man tries to appease God and live for him before the day of judgment. Religion is practice all over the world in different forms and adherents of true not only fear God but also value human life. People of this belief believed only God can create and give life, therefore one shall destroy it for no reason.
Nigerians are a very religious people. Some can kill if it means killing to preserve the integrity of their religion. Almost everything in Nigeria is anchored on religion. Employment, admission into schools, treatment in hospital, political appointments, promotions etc. are based on religious affiliation. Nigeria parastatals and government establishments are full of worship centers, yet civil servants, political office holders and clergies alike as corrupt. These fellows steal government money to build worship centers in their house and other places believing that God will have mercy and forgive them when people pray for them in these worship centers. Religious bigotry has not only torn us and the nation apart but turned the country into war zone.
Nigeria is said to be one of the most blessed nations in the world. God endowed this nation with all kinds of mineral and human resource that the world needs. The mineral resources if well utilized can take care of every citizen without begging developed nations for aid and assistance. Nigerians are intelligent people that can break records in the fields of academics, sports, and art if given the opportunity. Despite all the mineral resources, many Nigerians live in abject poverty. Many live on less than one dollar per day, while the few opportunists who have access to the national treasury live in a duplex and drive in fleet cars purchased with stolen money. No nation in the world makes progress with the kind of problems and attitude Nigerians and their leaders have towards the nation.
THE WAY FORWARD FOR NIGERIA.
Having examined some of the challenges Nigeria as a nation faces every day, there is need to look for a way out to enable Nigerians to maximize the potentials God endowed the country with. Few out of the many ways for Nigeria to succeed are as follows;
Return to God:
God is a merciful and loving father whose arms are always open to forgive and receive and restore his children who come back to him. Nigerians must confess their individual and collective sin to enable them to receive God’s favor (II Corinthians 7:14).
Nigerians must deliberately make God head of their nation (Psalms 33:12).
The crying and yearning of Nigerians on this matter indicate the current federal system is obsolete and unacceptable. They (Nigerians) want to change in the way things are organized to true federalism. This means devolution of power from the center to various states. Some are agitating for devolution of power to geo-political zones. Those who hold onto this view are demanding for two things. Returning to colonial masters’ era and replicating the present structure that throws us into sectionalism, tribalism, religious intolerance and many other vices. Those who agitate for devolution of power to the states and states to control their resource with remittance of percentages to the center mean well for Nigerian; even though the states at initial stage will pay dearly for it, especially civil servants and the rest.
Nigeria is our collective project all hands must be on deck to its success. Failure to do so will cause us and our children regret.