In Peace and Unity We Shall Reign; In law and Order, We Shall Thrive – An Appeal to Build a Structurally United Nigeria.
How Time Flies!! To many of us, we have seen several decades of both tears, joy; the highs and the lows in the course of our existence and shared national experience. Therefore, we can categorically state in clearer terms, the importance of having a reality built on the firm foundation of united federating units who are tolerant of one another with a pure sense of patriotism and commitment to see to the attainment of the Nigeria of our dreams.
Acknowledging the contributions of our great departed heroes and heroines who sacrificed their all to ensurethat we have a land worthy to be called ours and who ultimately gave their lives to the building of our dear nation Nigeria, I say, to you, that regardless of our age, status or tribe, we all have a duty, a pure sense of commitment and honor to see that nothing derail us from the path we set to walk upon our attainment of the status of a sovereign nation six decades ago. A duty to pledge our allegiance to the Green, White and Green Colors, not just in words, but in actions.
Thus, let me say very expressly that the experience of the past few weeks, no doubt, are ones we must live to forget. Our experience is one we must bloat away from our memories. The fire, the fury, the twists, the gory pictures and the imageries that do not in any way represent the core values which our past heroes and heroines stood for, and gave to us to live and fight for, are what we must put behind us to have a united nation of Nigeria.
The loss of lives in different cities and towns, the wanton destruction of property, the extermination of private business corporations birthed by years of diligence, hard work, tenacity of purpose, consistency and hours of sleeplessness, the looting of government monulments and infrastructures built with our money, amongst others, are what are we must put behind us for the sake of national unity.
Let me say very realistically that what we witnessed in the last one month was a paradigm shift and a break in trust between the people and the government they elected to serve them. What we have seen is a loss of political legitimacy which can only be given by the people, that is, the electorate, being lost. To the people, we the political gladiators have deserted them, and they too have turned back against us.
However, it’s important that we as a nation put these strings of events behind us as we must forge ahead. The process of rebuilding our lives and livelihoods on a vital and sustainable development must be our collective responsibility with strong conviction that all will be well, and Nigeria shall be great again!
We, the political bourgeoisies, are guilty as charged. We abandoned our roles and responsibilities, and here we are today. I say, this is not the time for us to apportion blames on one another, this is the time when we must show to one another love in an unprecedented manner.
While we count our losses, we must seek to rise up from the ashes like the phoenix; we must not allow the fangs of the past to hold us back from moving forward, hence, we must join hands with one another to take this yet another giant leap to move forward. We have come this far together as a nation hence we cannot afford to lose sight of our identity and our ultimate goal. We are Nigerians, and that should mean something to each and everyone of us. We not only carry the identity of being called Nigerians, we rest on the sacrifices of our heroes past, we carry the burden of the present and the hope of the future for the generations unborn. The function of rebuilding a prosperous and united Nigeria is our collective responsibility.
Going forward, we must rise and put an end to every factor that threatens or mitigates against everything we stand for and our poise to see the attainment of the Nigeria of our dreams. It’s high time we stepped out of the shadows and walk under the ageless African sun as we take our place amongst men and nations of the world.
In peace and unity, we shall reign. In law and order, we shall thrive. Our moment of national healing starts now! We have talked enough, now it is the time for us to walk the talk.
Let me end this work of art by reminding you the words of a scholar, J.S Mbiti who said inter alia: “I am because you are, and because you are, therefore we are.” My dear young people, Nigeria is ours, we live in this reality, and we will always serve the nation’s interest. May the almighty God bless us all as we set our feet on the path of national healing and growth. Cheers to all.
Olabimtan is a former Speaker of Ondo State House of Assembly and currently, the Special Adviser, Political Matters and Strategy, Ondo State Government