The chatter about Nigeria getting back on the path of economic and political development has been going on for 50 years now. There’s been little to show that all the shouting has had effect. The closest we’ve come is the Nadeco shouting match against Abacha, even that needed divine intervention to succeed (relatively).
Whilst I personally haven’t engaged in the shouting match for long, I am becoming despondent about Nigeria’s future given the refusal of the old order to pave way for the young and energetic to takeover and even starker the fact that some of the young ones are beginning to demonstrate the same trait of the older generation that has led us to where we are.
So my appeal now is for a volunteer ward or local government, may be one in every geopolitical zone, to demonstrate whether we can actually organise ourselves as a modern society. Let’s test if we are even capable of that which we dream of. If we are not, then we stop trying and all man for himself.
Top down changes to bring about development seem impossible. We seem too divided to effect changes bottom up and wholesale. So we may as well try piecemeal bottom up changes.
Whichever local government volunteers will need to embrace everything that makes a society modern. Democratic politics, a government that acts with the knowledge that its power devolves from its residents, transparent public finances, trim and efficient public service, residents that pay their taxes, adhere to their civic responsibilities strictly and be socially responsible to their fellow residents. The volunteer local government will also need to commit to providing progress reports, preferably online, so we can track their successes, challenges and failures for learning purposes.
It won’t matter which party controls the volunteer government as all parties lay claim to having the solution to our problems. Let them demonstrate it with little so we can trust them with much in the future. In fact each party that controls at least one local government can volunteer a local government that demonstrates or to demonstrate the efficacy of its ideas or party manifesto.
So, are there any takers?
PS- apologies for any errors. Hurriedly written.