Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Quo Vadis?

It’s another Independence Day celebration in Nigeria. 48 years ago, we supposedly gained independence from the colonial masters. As I write on my desk this morning, so many thoughts are going through my mind. Should we roll out the drums today, to celebrate the achievements of our great nation? Not many people would think so. Should we spend today in sober reflection? Should we looks back at these years and shed tears? Should we compare ourselves with Nations like Malaysia and Singapore, who got independence after us, and yet, we cannot stand beside them in comparison? Quo Vadis? (Quo Vadis is Latin Phrase meaning “Where are you going?”)

As optimistic as I think I am, sometimes, I smell doom for the country. Yesterday, I was supposed to see our family Doctor, with my whole family. We had a choice of visiting one of 2 hospitals to see him. One was closer to the house and we decided to see him there. The plan was to drive to the hospital (this should take not more than 30mins), see him, and head back home in good time. To my amazement, we drove for 90mins! Not because there was any traffic on the way. The roads were terrible! There is no how a car can survive for 6 months driving on that road on a daily basis, yet, people live in this area and drive to the Island everyday. Look around and you will see big sign boards of politicians who wants people’s votes or who are singing their own praise of things they have done. You just wonder! Quo Vadis?

I can spend the whole day talking about several ills in this nation. However, that is not my intent. That will not help anyone as most of them are already known by everyone reading this blog. And again, this will not befit our dear nation on its Independence. This morning, I read the national anthem once again, and several things stuck me there. How I wish that we would all be made to memorize and read the national anthem everyday – in schools, in offices, in government houses, and all. How I wish we understand deeply the wordings on the anthem. Most importantly, how I wish we would all commit ourselves to it. I can bet all I have that the country will compete with the world powers if we do.

Arise, O compatriots, Nigeria's call obey
To serve our fatherland
With love and strength and faith
The labor of our heroes past
Shall never be in vain
To serve with heart and might
One nation bound in freedom, peace and unity.

Oh God of 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.

Can we do a some analysis for the 2nd Stanza?

Oh God of creation, direct our noble cause

A nation that God rules cannot be a 3rd world! When God who created the whole earth directs a nation, that nation has not choice but to prosper. Whenever God guides, he provides! The God of the vision is also the God of the provision. There are many noble causes in our nation today. Believe me. Some people in government means well. Some really wants to fight corruption. Someone in government really wants to solve the power problem. However, the problem seems to overwhelm them. I remember the promise made by the late Bola Ige, when he was the Minister of Power. He had a noble cause to solve the power problem in less than 1 year. The rest is history. God needs to direct our noble causes.

Aso rocks needs to realize that all noble causes needs to be directed by God. The National Assembly needs to realize this. The State Houses of Assembly needs to realize this. Only then can our nation truly be great.

Guide our leader’s right

I am not sure we need any greater prayer than this one. One of the banes of our nation today (and also the whole of Africa) is quality leadership! Everything rises and falls on leadership. If you want to feel the temperature of a nation, put the thermometer in the mouth of the leadership. Our leaders need to be guided right, first by God. Our politicians are trying to redefine leadership. A leader is someone who has the best cars and lives in the choicest part of town! Nay! A leader ensures that his people has the best cars and lives in the choicest part of town! Our leaders need guidance.

Help our youth the truth to know

I remember something that happened back in my University days. I wept for this country. We were supposed to vote for a student union president in school. Because of incessant closure due to student unrest, we decided to sponsor a cool headed candidate that we felt would liaise well with the school authority and all. The guy won and overwhelming majority. However, during the vote counting exercise, I saw things I never knew existed before. I saw how students of a university will rig elections to vote for a student union president. It was amazing! I then thought to myself – Nigeria is really in trouble. These guys will be the so called politicians in 10 years time. They will be contesting for their state house of representatives and all. If they will rig elections to become a student union president, I leave you to determine what they will do to become an honorable. The youth, who should be the hope of our nation, needs to know the truth! The freedom we seek is in knowing this truth.

In love and honesty to grow. And living just and true

Honesty is an uncommon word in our nation. There are few honest men here. Sometimes, you feel odd being honest! It’s like; you are the strange person here. You don’t belong here! To grow past where we are now, we need honest men. Honest men in government. Honest men on the wheels. Honest men in the civil service. Honest men at the malls. Honest men on the pulpits. Honest men in military. Honest men everywhere. The reward of honesty is phenomenal! Check out the list of great nations of the world – honesty is right at the centre. Our States we start to develop well when our governors are honest; when they learn to deliver of their electioneering promises. Our roads will be a better place when contractors are honest. Our judiciary system will be better for it when we have judges that will say the truth no matter what. We really need honest men.

Great lofty heights attain

There is no way that we will obey the words of the anthem above and we would not attain great heights. There is no way. There is no way our nation will remain the same if we have the right leadership that operates with honesty. One thing I like about life is this – Life is predictable. If you follow certain principles, the results are pretty predictable. When a nation follows the above rules, it will achieve greatness!

I hope things would have been changing by the time Nigeria is celebrating its 50th Independence anniversary. I hope we will see a glimmer hope. I hope we will start to have leadership that is committed to the people. I hope we will have honest men. I hope we will have a clearer vision of where we are heading to…..and stop asking Quo Vadis?
You are destined for the top of the topmost top! See you there!!