The recent visit of the United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Nigeria is quite remarkable as an August visitor. Remarkable also in the sense that the visit had thrown up many factors for analysis and comments.
During her more than two hours meeting with the president of the Federal Republic of Nigerian, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan salient issues bordering on the diversification of the Nigerian economy, the improvement of productivity in Agriculture, education, health, security and others were discussed.
For instance, the issue of insecurity in Nigeria has been on the front burner for over two years now, and has actually become a daunting task and prospect for the security agencies to handle the seeming riddle with due intelligence and alacrity.
Thus Nigeria security agencies have been in at the deep end what with the worsening crisis of terrorism and violent eruption on a daily basis in the Northern part of the country. The ceaseless and brutal attack of innocent persons without any provocation is a serious concern of all well meaning and patriotic Nigerians irrespective of our tribe, religion and political affiliation. This affects our humanity.
These incidents of man’s inhumanity to man in not enjoined I any of the world religions. Rather the religions teachers tolerance, love, peace and concord towards our fellowmen.
And one may ask, why are brothers killing their brothers? There is certainly no justification in all these barbaric acts because, certainly Islam and Christianity are one and the same and both sprang forth from the same source. It is callous, and distressing that some person would indiscriminately take another’s life in the name of religion or whatsoever, for no justifiable reason.
Some people are of the opinion that the mindless killings and spate of bombing in the country is not religiously motivated as both Muslims and Christians have been massacred indiscriminately in the condemnable act of terrorism.
Following the visit of Hillary Clinton, the Christian Association of Nigerian (CAN) had sought the assistance of the US “to work to achieve a truth-base peaceful resolution to the terrorism and extremism that threatens the very life of Nigeria.”
Arguably, Nigeria as a nation today stands precariously on the precipice faced with the insurmountable challenges of insecurity that may just plunge it into the abyss.
It is hoped that the assistance being sought by CAN from the US government may offer some kind of timely intervention to mitigate the ugly situation.
Having sand that, one issue that perforce reinforce the importance of Mrs. Clinton’s visit to Nigeria is embellished in her speech where she send interalia “…we really believe that the future for Nigeria is limitless but the most important task that you face as you have said, is making sure that there are better opportunities for all Nigerians, South, East, West, every young boy or girl to have a chance to fulfill his or her given potential.”
It is this statement of Hillary Clinton that captured my attention, and set my mind pondering the great significance of those words which ironically may have fallen on deaf ears.
It is absurd that Nigerian as a nation is a dream killer, because those words encompasses the ultimate challenge before the millions of Nigerians out there who are trapped by unemployment, those of productive age and capabilities who may never realize their real and full potential, to make their impact on the nation’s quest to grow and develop.
One of the banes of Nigeria’s underdevelopment is its very low level human capacity development. This is a very disturbing factor.
According to Chief Wole Olanikpekun SAN, in a paper he presented recently at the University of Lagos “The state of health of the Nigerian democracy appears to be captured by a recent report by the Fund for Peace (FFP), which declared in its 2012 annual Index Data released on 29th June, 2012 that Nigeria ranks among the top 10 failed states in African and 14 in the word. Nigeria trails behind Pakistan, Guinea, Cote’d’Ivoire, Central Africa Republic, Iraq, Yemen and Haiti. One now begins to wonder why a country endowed with so much natural resources and produces up to 2.6 million barrels of crude oil per day and with 86 million hectares of arable land still ranks amongst the poorest nations in the world”.
In this kind of situation how can Nigerians fulfill their God given potentials in this land of despicable leadership.
A land wallowing in endemic poverty, arrested and stunted development everywhere. A land where democracy has failed. A land that destroys its own people.
To sum up in the words of Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi “…. If democracy is not capable of wiping out poverty, curbing corruption, guaranteeing transparency and improving people’s well being and quality of life, it is at best an empty concept, at worst a sham to many”. And this is the reality of today’s Nigeria.