For eons now, Nigeria has been in labour pains. What the country desires most- good leadership – is yet to be brought forth and by all counts, the birth remains a difficult one. The struggle has been a graveyard of sorts, guzzling up so many lives and dreams along the way, to leave those who have continued with the struggle largely deflated.
Yet, these people, some of who are long dead, know that the journey towards building a country where things work is not a particularly easy one. There have been bumps in the road, perhaps more bumps than anyone could have cared for. But in all the journey has continued non-stop.
The 2023 general elections continue to approach rapidly, and with it, the expectations of many well-meaning Nigerians that finally the Giant of Africa can get a measure of the good governance it needs like life-saving oxygen.
Already, multiple candidates have thrown their hats into the ring with their political parties preparing to flex their muscles at the elections. The national convention of the Peoples Democratic Party which is the main opposition in the country has come and gone to yield Mr. Atiku Abubakar as the party`s candidate.
The ruling All Progressives Congress is preparing for its own national convention and many Nigerians are holding their breath to see who the party will put forward as its candidate.
In any case, it does not appear that the democratic strides Nigerians made in 2015 in handing a stunning defeat to an incumbent president for the first time in Nigeria`s history are about to be lost. In fact, Nigerians look poised to pounce and consolidate on their feat in 2015. It might just be what the doctor ordered for the country.
Democracy is about choices. It is largely about the options people have. At every point in time, democracy should be able to give people the opportunity to change their minds and explore other possibilities. That is the essence of democracy. It is largely about power residing with people in the first place, and the ability of people to decide what is in their best interests and to act accordingly.
Even the blind in Nigeria know that the last seven years have well been among some of the most difficult years the country has experienced since it returned to democracy in 1999. The problems have been widespread with insecurity tearing into the country from all sides, and battering a once peaceful country into submission.
Nigerians are already tired of the recounting the devastations wrought on the country by the ruthless terrorists operating chiefly in Nigeria`s Northeast and Northwest regions.
In the Southeast, a new form of terror has been steadily gaining grounds, fueled by criminals who have seemingly sipped the sour milk of secession. Already, horrific crimes have been committed against innocent people. While the IPOB continues to distance itself from the crimes being committed on a daily basis against the long-suffering people of the Southeast, many believe it to be the only terrorist organization operating in the Southeast.
As Nigerians prepare to head to the polls next year, the consciousness that the labours of our heroes past can never be allowed to be in vain cannot be lost. A lot of blood, sweat and tears went into the journey to bring Nigeria where it is today. So many people, some of them long dead, contributed to win Nigeria the democracy it enjoys today. The fact that bad governance continues to call the shots here means that a lot of sacrifices still required to take Nigeria to the promised land. As the work continues earnestly, Nigerians must all be willing and ready to contribute their quota to the only country they can truly call theirs.