How I wish I had a country, just a country on wheels, on the wheels of progress, and the drivers have a clear vision to navigate the contours of political valleys, economic mountains, and social bends and bring it to the intersection of prosperity, unity, and development. Where not just the drivers are human enough to be sane, but the passengers are thoughtful to caution the drivers of certain notable indecencies attached to them based on reason and sound logic and not on sentiments and the barometers of race ideology.
How I wish I had a country that did not start from the beginning to keel, like a boat with multiple captains; a country that has built her nationhood foundations on the stones of knowledge to withstand the storms when they come as they will surely come, and not dive the quicksands for lack of depth. I wish it is a country where printed across it multi-ethnic surfaces is the blueprint for leaders and the followers to build up for the benefit of all and not to pull down its foundations for the benefit of the few as it is common nowadays where the leaders lead, blinded by inordinate ambitions, and the led inundated with false aphorisms of a never realistic future.
How I wish I had a country that is not leaking on all sides like a ship about to sink manned by an incompetent captain and sailors lacking the requisite knowledge to salvage the situation but rather embedding deeper into the morass without self-reproach and self-examination. I wish it is a country capable of self-assessment, a constant overhaul of its political, economic and social engines to put the ship of state in consistently good health for the motions that lead forward to the arena of infrastructural and economic development and not the decrepit infrastructure and cheapskate economy the country has mustered for all her six decades of self-rule.
How I wish I had a country, a country not bedeviled by sensational accounts of the mundane, the cataclysmic growth of a country that reduces her citizens to beggars within and persona non gratas abroad. A country once renown for her capabilities and capacity, held in high esteem, honored for her place in the world but now tumbling down like a barrel of crude oil price for the reason that she has left her first estate and for no estate at all; a country without class or taste or nothing. I wish it is a country the nothingness upon which she stirs down below will be a mirror of reflection for a rapid turnaround, the climb upward towards a country for all, where hope does not hang eternally like clouds without water for the parched earth.
I wish I had a country, whose leaders are exemplars of sacrifice and compassion for the citizens to emulate, who lead by what they do and not what they say. A country, whose leaders expedite actions for the prosperity of the whole, and not for the prosperity of the few who do not consider the welfare of the whole; I wish, it is a country we do not deny our shortcomings but acknowledge our strengths than accentuate her weakness so that the weak and the feeble will be carried by the strength of the strong and powerful to accomplish the impossible and surmount mountainous obstacles as one people though in a diversity of cultures and tongues.
I wish I had a country, where the political system is rooted in core democratic culture, norms, and ideology so that her body polity is oozing with the savor of transparency and accountability making her the envy of other nations around the globe. I wish it is a country of political competence, knowledge, skills, profession, and dignity riding the horizon of her political space where the old guard imbibes in the young the politics of decency, decorum, service, passion, and duty to the nation first before self.
I wish I had a country flourishing in an economic oasis, where the wellbeing of its citizens is above average, the GDP is competing with that of the citizens of Western nations, where its economy is in the same league with that of America, China, Japan, United Kingdom, France, etc, providing for the needs of Nigerians irrespective of one’s education, qualification, religion, ethnicity, and language. I wish it is a country of economic bliss, with competent hands stirring the economic goals, fiscal and monetary policies, and mapping out strategies that from time to time to expand and grow exponentially the economic output for increased prosperity for all. I wish it is a country that its economy is not deliberately mismanaged by its handlers for self-seeking purposes, sabotaged for the personal interests, and derailed by wicked intentions that the majority may suffer loss.
I wish I had a country that is a developmental hub, where development of the country is the top priority of her people, the leaders, and the led; where infrastructural development is not mortgaged for personal wealth, while the country continually suffers from a humiliating lack of infrastructural deficiency. I wish it is a country aiming for greater developmental strides and not groveling amid dire decay of colonial constructed infrastructures owing to the negligence by the successive governments to genuinely devote and commit available resources to build badly needed infrastructure for the overall development of the country.
I wish I had a country where corruption is an anathema and not celebrated; where corruption is treated like a leper, despised, loathed, and driven from among the people; a country where the leaders are not the thieves and the thieves are not the leaders. I wish I had a country where the corrupt are not defended by their ethnicities who laud them for their crimes and decry their chastisement, where the political leaders engaged in brazen pen robberies that surpass any antics of the armed robber on the road, where the corrupt politician, businessman, civil servant, policeman, military and citizens alike is not protected by the law but are made to face the law. I wish it were a country where corruption not is sung in the lips of the depraved and hailed as service to the nation and patriotism is branded as foolishness.
I wish I had a country where her social integration has been achieved long ago after the attainment of independence causing the country to witnessed unprecedented levels of unity, progress, and development based on an understanding of our differences in diversity that made us who and what we are. I wish it is a country of socialized species who integrate despite the differences in cultural, religious, and tribal differences and the go-ahead to live as one, a bond never easy to lose.
I wish I had a country, of golden politicians with diamond plated characters and silver-coated attitudes shining as a light to the nation and not the darkness they have come to so vividly represent. A country where the so-called politicians obey the laws they make, uphold the rule of law, and live by their means and not so high above their means as it is the common practice in the country. I wish it is a country of reputed politicians whose magnificent works posterity will sing for eternity and their names are written in history with golden pens. A country where our political leaders are above board and not the plotters and manipulators of evil schemes that have brought the country to her knees.
I wish I had a country full of thinking youths, as in youths whose conscience is not bought by a handful of naira because hunger pangs are briefly felt within. A country where the youths are not the pawns of corrupted politicians using them to oil their wicked ambitions while the country lies desolate. I wish it is a country where the youths do not celebrate corruption and sing the praises of the corrupt; where her youths are in truth the leaders of tomorrow because they are been prepared for that leadership today and not deceived by the fleeting luxuries. I wish the youths of Nigeria are intelligent enough to stand for their rights and despise the peanuts from the thieving elites of the political class and are disciplined to discern what is good from bad as they take their destinies into their own hands.
Oh, I wish had a country that is not a dream killer, where the lofty dreams of millions of Nigerians had been killed by the dreamless and visionless leaders whose only occupation is to suck the wealth of the nation through privilege and usurped power. I wish it is a country where dreams flourish and not sucked into the bottomless abyss of leadership vacuum where directionless leading has led the country. This, not the country I wish to have or should anybody. I wish I ever had a country to be proud of, a place to point to with pride. But as Nigeria is today, far be it from me, but I wish, still, I had a country.
Richard Abam is a Freelance writer and author of self published books with amazon.com
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