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Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Arise, let us build

Bayo Fasuwon

In academic research, models, typologies and idealism are used as yardsticks for new knowledge and recommendations. Today, permit yours truly to pontificate through the lens of the Bible, for a better Nigeria. The aim of this piece is to fire up all Nigerians, and expectant leaders for the salvation of our dear nation. One has observed that ‘relocating abroad’ is not a possibility for all Nigerians.  There is the need to stay and build up this nation, because East or West, home still remains the best. So, we need to borrow some leaves from the foresight, passion and dedication of Nehemiah at rebuilding the broken walls of Jerusalem.

       Do we need to visit Okija shrine to realise that there are trauma patients in power? Shall we consult the Labour Minister to realise that the nation’s walls are broken and need re-building? Shall we gather at the non-negotiation table of the Education Ministers to realise that porous, dangerous and dilapidated are the best description of the labours of our heroes past? Nay, behold the handwriting is clear, fresh and plain on our broken walls.

Nehemiah was introduced as an unwilling high-powered man in diaspora, just as we have Nigerians who have been forced to flee the sinking ship, but now occupies great positions in their country of adoption. He heard the heartbreaking news of the situation of the once buoyant and sought-after nation. He was pained but did not go about condemning and destroying the nation on social media. Rather, he thought of rebuilding, not from afar, but by ‘coming home’. Nigerians in diaspora need at this time to stop all the disparaging words aspersions and de-marketing of the nation. Just Nehemiah gathered remittances, and brought such to invest in Jerusalem, so must they do. Unlike many who after ‘relocating’ seek to ‘evacuate’ their entire households, it is expedient that the orientation of people in the diaspora should be geared towards nation building. There are schools that can be rebuilt, industries that can be attracted to this nation; and monuments that can be constructed that would lead to the revitalization of Nigeria. Rather than bemoaning the ‘cluelessness’ of the leaders that led Nehemiah into captivity, he remembered that the talakawas at home needed salvation, and thus he let the place of comfort that he may physically ensure the rebuild of the broken walls. Nigerians in diaspora, come home on a sabbatical, choose a project, execute it, and return to your adopted country.

For the incoming leaders, learn that Nehemiah was burdened to tears for the broken walls of Jerusalem. He took up the challenges of leadership, seeking to serve and not to be served. Rather than embezzling funds, he mobilized funds to build his nation. We need passionate leaders at all levels of government who are ready to give their all for the revamping of the nation’s economy. Nigeria does not at this time need leaders who would sell the nation’s commonwealth to his friends, nor he that would invest the nation’s hard-earnedresources in his family business. We need men whose bullion vans would give succour to the flooded habitants of Lokoja, the research centres of our universities and the indigent students seeking for knowledge. We need leaders in the civil service, whose tears would be genuine at the lootings and dilapidations that had dwarfed Africa’s giant.

When Nehemiah arrived, he did not rely on the warped statistics of market prices, nor depend on the sayings of Special Assistants, Senior Special Advisers, nor receive briefs from the unbriefed Labour Minister. Rather, he inspected the walls by himself. It is time we inspect the nation’s wall. It is time, we come down to actually interrogate and see for ourselves what the country’s destroying issues are.

The President need not receive briefs in order to end the ASUU strike. Rather he needs to hear from the Horse’s mouth, visit one or two universities, to know the rot in our institutions. The Minister of Finance need to visit the market and get first hand information on the price of goods, while the Governors should descend from their high horse, visit the markets, and even the homes of civil servants to understand the pains and sufferings of those over whom they bear rule. Only then can they be truly aware, and only then can genuine tears flow. Without this personal visitations and assessment of issues, Nigeria’s walls may never be built again. In the course of this critical assessment, ethnicity did not matter to Nehemiah, neither did religion and or other dissenting matters.

The paramount goal was the rebuilding of the wall. We as a people, must disengage our minds from those issues that bulldoze our common heritage. The thief, swindlers, bandits, kidnappers, corrupt and lawless Nigerians are CRIMINALS, nothing more, and should be treated as such. The good Nigerians are loyal citizens and must be treated as such. We must seek to build a nation that would cater for all irrespective of religion and ethnicity.

There shall always be dissidents, anti-building oppressors such as Sanballat, Tobias and Gershom, who sought to stop the re-build of the walls of Jerusalem. These were beneficiaries of the old order and wants business as usual. We cannot but find such in Nigeria. Nehemiah identified their thoughts intents and purposes. These we must do in Nigeria, one must realise that the Okija Shrine devotee would never support the development of the nation’s universities, and must be relieved of his post. Like Nehemiah, we must ensure that these distractors must be handled according to the laws and statutes of this nation.

The laws guiding the operations of governance must be unearthed, dusted and implemented to shut the mouths of the devouring wolves. At no time did Nehemiah negotiate with these evil men. The time is ripe for Nigeria(ns) and leaders to stop these negotiations with criminals, Have the legal use of coercion, it is time to crush all the ‘Sanballat, Tobias and Gershom’ so that building of the wall subsists. Certain drastic and compelling decisions need be made in accordance with existing laws, and leaders must be ready to do so, without fear or favour. We cannot achieve the Nigeria of our dreams via negotiations with those who do not want the soar of our Eagle.

For the space of time, Nehemiah ensured that while men built with one hand, the other hand held a weapon. In other words, those who were busy building were protected by the State, and they also protected themselves. The nation’s security operatives must be re-oriented to protect and not harass citizens who are building their part of the nation’s walls. Every Nigerian must be secured everywhere in this nation, and even in the diaspora. Thus, we cannot relent in the call for State and Community Police system that would ensure the safety of lives and citizens. Citizens must also be allowed to defend themselves with laws and technological weapons that can ensure that the building is stopped. Until the builders are secured, the walls cannot be rebuilt. Nehemiah succeeded in rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem in record time, we can also, by following his example. Our Eagle shall fly.

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