One of the things that I thoroughly enjoy doing is studying history. I like to study the history of Nations and developments. I enjoy studying how empires rose and fell and why.

Something else that I really enjoying doing is listening to National anthems of different countries. Sometimes, in my solitude, I could do it for hours.

One thing that is totally clear to me is that a country’s national anthem is designed to reflect their struggles, history and aspirations. Anthems remind them of where they are coming from and that they can overcome whatever they may face in the future. That is why when you watch people singing their anthems, sometimes they cry and become emotional.

I had the opportunity to sit down with a friend of mine who just left the house of representatives in Nigeria and I asked him a question. The question was whether there is hope for Nigeria that we will ever rise. He categorically declared NO. His words further confirmed my long held belief that until and unless we are able to redesign our Nation so that leaders are answerable to the people, we can never move forward. Until we are able to negotiate and agree the terms of our collective existence as a people, we can never really move forward.

There is something that is totally wrong with a people who are unable to build institutions of governance. If we have institutions that are functional and effective, many of our problems will be solved. But what you have is that people simply just wanna feed off our collective patrimony and amass wealth that can last many generations.

How do you explain that because people are abusing Tramadol, Govt bans it. Same thing was done with Sniper which has been banned due to the fact that people who are sad and depressed and tired of life ‘snipe’ away their lives using sniper. How come it doesn’t occur to people that banning sniper or Tramadol don’t solve the problem. Someone who wants to kill himself can use a knife or jump from the bridge or even hang himself on a ceiling fan. Are we gonna ban kitchen knives or ceiling fans?

There is something about us that doesn’t allow us look at a problem and find out the underlying issues and tackle them. We focus on the symptoms of the problems and leave the real problems. It is not clear to me whether we are lazy and incapable of critical thinking or if we just don’t wanna do the hard work.

Today, we are focused on building ranches across Nigeria and people are busy singing about Fulanisation or Islamisation. None of these people crying has bothered to check what the land use act says about the land in the States. They are all vested in the State Governors of the respective states. Really, the President doesn’t even have the legal authority to impose on the States. But people don’t care and they simply just wanna stir up anger, strife and tension in the country. It doesn’t benefit anyone if the country burns. We all lose out.

There are things that we must do if we must move forward as a people.

Somehow, we must be able to come together and agree the terms of our collective existence as a people. Nothing fundamental or major can happen until we are able to do this. We are far too divided to able to make any meaningful progress in Nigeria.

Somehow, we must develop a national development plan cutting across every sector of our country. Where do we wanna be in 5 years, 10 years, 15 years, 20 years and even 50 years? This document can be upgraded or updated but it should become second to Nigeria’s constitution. It shouldn’t matter which party is in power. It is a national catastrophe and monumental disgrace that we do not have a plan of where we wanna be in only 20 years or even 10 years.

Our desire to remain relevant and respected on the world’s stage will continue to be an illusion unless we can get these things right and build a country that future generations will be happy and grateful for. It is not only our collective responsibility to ensure this but more importantly, history will be very unkind to us if we refuse to bequeath to our children a country much better than the one we met.