So now that the elections are over and the mood on the ground is that this was somewhat the freest and fairest election we have ever had as a country, I would like to remind us that indeed the struggle has just begun.
We as Nigerians will be tempted to take the elections as a sure sign that “fresh air” has come to stay in Nigeria. Whether or not that is true is not my main concern. My concern is that we should not stop being vigilant. The elections are mostly gone but the problems we have as a country and as a nation are still there. This is not the time to rest on our laurels like an Olympic runner who goes on to consume plates of pounded yam before the final race. We should realize that the task of building a better Nigeria is a marathon and not a sprint.
We must demand better service from our country. I suggest that the websites and platforms that people used to report on the elections be left open and transformed into performance monitoring tools. It is time for each and every Nigerian to be part of the running of this country. We must demand that each and every one of our elected officials have open communication lines, be it phone numbers, emails and the like where we can contact them and speak directly to them about the problems in our community. If you want to speak to your senator about the lack of water in your village, then damn it you should be able to. We can no longer sit down and expect the top to do everything. Real change starts at the grassroots and we are the agents of change.
It is no longer acceptable for our children to get poor education, we will not stand by and watch children finish primary school and not know how to do arithmetic. It is not acceptable to have our future leaders staying in squalid hostels not fit for animals all in the name of boarding schools. It is not acceptable for the schools to lack laboratory equipment, to lack access to computers and Internet in the 21st century. We can no longer accept a syllabus that was written in the 80s. Get out of here with that nonsense. We can no longer accept a mindset that Maths and English are the only subjects worth learning. We can no longer accept harassment of students in Universities, crowded lecture halls and poor hostel living conditions. We can no longer accept a youth service that sometimes turns into a death sentence for those serving their country. We cannot accept a youth service that doesn’t lead to jobs for members. We will not accept a youth service where the corpers are not paid a living wage
It is imperative that the issue of unemployment be tackled. We as a people will no longer accept a job selection process that is not completely transparent and merit based. We will only accept equal opportunity recruitment process without regard to gender, tribe, ethnic group, religion and co. Any hint of discrimination will be met with swift action against any accused company. We will no longer accept taking an expatriate to copy and paste documents from one folder to another when you have so many computer literate youths looking for jobs, we will no longer accept a country where a graduate is treated as a sub-human just because he/she is looking for a job. We will not accept selling our country to foreign interests who do not adequately give back to the community. We will hold them to the same standards that they hold Nigerians to in their countries. Our country will not kiss the ass of any multinational, if they don’t like it they can leave.
We will no longer accept that our country will experience power outages. We are determined that every power outage must be accompanied by a cogent reason pending the time when full and consistent power coverage is given to the country. If there is going to be fuel scarcity in any part of the country, the people there demand their right to know and plan accordingly. Lack of water supply is a thing of the past. We will not accept anything but a drive to reform the health sector and make primary healthcare available to all areas of the country, including the rural areas. We will not accept any situation where basic services are not rendered to citizens.
We will not accept a country without adequate security. We will not accept the fact that a robustly sized police and security force cannot protect the lives and properties of its citizens. We will not accept poor intelligence gathering, we will not accept bomb blasts, armed robbery and kidnapping as part of the national norm. We absolutely denounce any security personnel that engages in any practice that is harmful to the citizenry, be it bribery, selling of arms to thieves and so on.
We will not accept bigotry in any form. We denounce any priest, pastor, bishop, evangelist, imam, uztaz, mallam, babalawo etc who incites people to violence and preaches anything but love and peace amongst neighbours. We condemn them as agents of the devil, Iblis or whatever name he goes by these days. We will not condone the stealing of public funds. We will not be responsible if your hands are cut o, so watch yourself.
We solemnly swear to protect the sovereignty and dignity of our country. No one has the right to interfere in our business. We will use Nigerian solutions for Nigerian problems, nothing more nothing less. We refuse to be burdened by aid with punitive conditions. We want a Nigeria where Unity, Peace and Progress reign. We want our freedom and will not hesitate to take it back by force. We are committed to a better Nigeria. We no dey play o! We go wound devil finish!