By Angelina K. Morrison
Having written on the eve of the Nigerian polls using a rather humorous title, “Nigeria Decides: Imagine All-night Prayer Vigils For Peaceful UK Elections”, I return with this refreshing and exciting piece.
From the second stanza of Nigeria’s anthem, we sing, “O God of all creation / Direct our noble cause / Guide our leaders right / Help our youth the truth to know / In love and honesty to grow / And living just and true / Great lofty heights attain / To build a nation where peace / And justice shall reign.”
The lines above are almost prophetic to say the least. From the happenings in the last few days, God must have truly guided President Goodluck Jonathan in the right way; and from the enthralling manner with which he has acquitted himself, peace and justice will reign not only in Nigeria but equally reverberate through the African continent. And if his pleasant mien sends such right ripples throughout the continent, then he will always deserve our abiding gratitude.
For those of us who write about the African continent and deeply desire to see change, Nigeria has proven a bundle of delight. Yes, there are many things we can worry about—we are not blind—but we equally have something to celebrate. This is Africa, and knowing the depressing variables, hence our cause for calculated celebration. In fact, we have solid grounds to jubilate when a sitting president is defeated at the polls, and rightly calls the opposition candidate to congratulate him: Christmas has come early. This noble and statesman-like gesture has certainly given President Goodluck Jonathan a ringing endorsement for the coveted Mo Ibrahim Award.
My consummate delight does not only stem from the new and shinning track that Goodluck has beaten by his wonderful gesture. On a higher level, my palpable joy is rooted in the knowledge of how many lives would have been lost, if he had rejected the polls, and perhaps incited his supporters to hit the streets.
By this selfless act which has surely spared several lives and preserved property amid quelling what would have been certain chaos and disorder; yes, by this beautiful course that he has taken, he has placed the nation under an incalculable debt of gratitude, and it is for this I express unbounded delight.
It remains a sincere hope that president-elect Muhammadu Buhari will also follow the good example set by President Jonathan, if he fails to deliver and the people register their dissatisfaction at the next polls. This is a sound hope, as there are many who neither understand nor abide by the aphorism, “One good turn deserves another”. Let him take the reins and equally relinquish power should the next polls prove unfavourable to him.
Another important expectation is for Gen. Muhammadu Buhari to live up to his campaign promises. After all, he will not be president-elect if Mr. Jonathan’s administration did not merit the fulmination of ordinary folk for widespread corruption, a lethargic economy, as well as his inability to stem the rising threat posed by Boko Haram.
While many are aware of the excesses of his previous rule, in this new administration, let him revisit his campaign promises and create an enabling environment for all stakeholders with unprecedented rebuilding of Nigeria’s infrastructure and systems; work towards the protection of the environment from pollution, restore Nigeria’s ecosystems, and invest in natural disaster solutions, and also address other environmental challenges; initiate sound fundamental political reform and improve governance, transparency and accountability; secure the territorial integrity of the nation, and deal with the plague called Boko Haram; address the issue of corruption and fight to strengthen the country’s economy amidst pursuing extensive job creation schemes; focus on building the future of the education, health, youth, sports, and culture sectors while seeking practical, valuable opportunities for women empowerment; and also ensure the stabilisation of the naira among other promises.
And right here, I have a dominant dream that the whole of Africa will maintain an unbreakable commitment to the tenets of democracy. Yes, let’s allow the democratic spirit to flourish within our enabling walls. Other African leaders should equally emulate the rare statesmanship demonstrated by President Goodluck Jonathan by upholding the democratic process. And let’s learn from the display of sagacity and maturity of the people of Nigeria at the polls.
I have a dream that soon the whole of Africa will come not just to fully understand the idea of democracy but to actually commit to the process in praxis.
And like I once wrote on my website and still profess: “I am an unabashed and avowed believer in the potential inconceivable greatness, the hidden wonder, the unfathomable blessings, and the immeasurable extent of development that this wonderful continent can experience. While some will disagree and perhaps maintain their inveterate opposition by tapping their shaggy old heads, shrugging their shoulders, and sticking to their uninformed beliefs; I shall remain a firm believer in the continent of my origin.
“Soon, what seems to be a gloomy continent shall veritably experience a sure rising of the sun; one that shall break a certain age-old darkness. And when that happens, the crepuscular ambience of backwardness will vanish, being overtaken by a transforming blaze of accelerated development and perdurable change, and then a truly grand, glorious, and impressive scene will emerge.”
Without any scintilla of equivocality, our task is massive, and our track is steep, but our resolve for development is strong and unbroken even when we are overwhelmed, perhaps crushed by colossal issues. Nevertheless, with Nigeria (our most populous nation) coming of age, in all sincerity, Africa’s sun is surely rising, and for that I shall remain ecstatically exultant.
I shall return with my talking drums!
Angelina K. Morrison is interested in national development, true religion, and self-improvement. She enjoys thinking, and writes stories only when the muse grips her. Her first short story, Gravellatina is a breathtaking five-part gripping series available now at Amazon. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or find her at www.angelinakmorrison.wordpress.com or Facebook page.