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God give us men

By Bayo Fasunwon
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God give us men

A time like this demands

Strong minds, great hearts, true faith and ready hands

Men whom the lust of office do not kill

Men whom the spoils of office cannot buy

Men who possess opinions and  will

Men who have honour; men who won’t lie

Men who can stand before a demagogue

And damn his treacherous flattering without winking

Tall men, sun crowned, who live above the fog

In public duty and in private thinking

(Josiah Gilbert Holland 1810-1881)

Last week Saturday, Nigerians were ready to come out in droves, ‘under the Sun and in the rain; with dedication and selflessness’ to choose the ‘master of their fate’ and the captain of the soul their nation and theirs, for the next four years. Alas, the day of our decisions, postponed. A week has been added to think and act right. All contestants are still hopeful that the pendulum of power would swing to their favour. By this time next week, the consequence of our choices will live with us until eternity,  and Prophesies, predictions and speculations are to give way to reality. The facts are laid bare, but the truth may remain a mystery of a lifetime. As men and women are being entrusted with power, the question as per what Nigerians demand of them arises. The demands of Nigerians are encapsulated in the poem above. Nigerians want men; and are hopeful that those to whom support has been given would prove to be men indeed and in truth.

God give us men, a time as this demands. Nigeria is standing on a precipice of change. A wrong move and the nation would kiss development and prosperity goodbye. The political system is inundated with several demands: employment, security, infrastructural development; service delivery, minimum wage; housing, and so much more. Nigeria is in the period of pain, anguish, and disillusion. Though, not in the state of nature, life in Nigeria is still ‘nasty, brutish, and short’. The average Nigerian is no longer suffering and smiling; he is suffering and angry. What we expect of those vested with power at this time is to alleviate these pressures of living. Nigerians expect a rebranded Senate that would cooperate with the other arms of government in moving the nation from the valley of the shadow of death to the green and watered pastures. They expect that their sacrifice to vote in the hard weather would give those men and women who would for once, care about their pitiable plights, and create an enabling environment for their seeds of greatness to grow, and bear the fruits of honour, dignity, and prosperity.

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Strong minds, great hearts, true faith and ready hands to make the right decisions and push such through. Every developmental policy becomes moribund without the political will and sound mind to push through. Nigeria is known for making good policies, but now, there may be no need for new policies but rather the development of productive means of achieving the policies on ground. Faith is the force that puts men into action. The Senate members need faith to push for a class free legislation the executive needs faith to act on behalf of the people while the judiciary needs faith to judge rightly. However, faith comes from love. We expect these men voted into power to have the love of the people at the back of their mind in doing the right thing. As the Bible explained, faith always works by love. It therefore takes men who possess opinions and a will to walk in love towards the masses. It takes a willing heart to clean the Aegean’s stable.

Nigeria is a land with enviable laws, rules, and regulations but inhabited by a people and system that takes a delight in circumventing the law. Nigerians expect that the winners of these elections would turn out to be men whom the lust of office does not kill, men whom the spoils of office cannot buy men who would not celebrate corruption as mere stealing. We expect the next Senate to have a zero tolerance for corruption. The men that would take the executive positions should key into the anti-corruption policies of the present administration and prevent further pillage of the nation’s financial resources. The judicial arm of government though not voted for, are expected to be men whom the spoils of office cannot buy. The synergy of the three arms of government is needed to shun corrupt practices and help in re-channeling the rejected proceeds of financial impropriety for national development and improved quality of lives of Nigerians.

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Nigerians look forward to that day, when the utterances of their leaders can be taken completely. A government whose Minister of Information would not turn out to be the heir of falsehood empire. We therefore expect this crop of winners to be men who have honour, men who will not lie. The data of Nigeria’s prosperity as presented by several government is an irony of the experiences of Nigerians. Someone must have been lying. However, we expect those in government to be truthful on the exact barrels of crude oil exported by this nation; we expect the truth concerning the Fulani herdsmen and Boko haram. The truth is the hero that releases the captives from imminent destruction; our new and or returning leaders must be men and women who will not lie.

Nigeria is a bride of many nations. Her vast human and material resources are the cynosures of many powerful nations. The population and their demands for luxury goods make a viable market for producers of consumables. These merchants, like the Royal Niger Company, would not be satisfied with trading, but would also want to control the resources and men of this great nation. Nigeria expects that those to whom they have entrusted power would be men who can stand before these demagogues and damn their treacherous flattering, of anti developmental policies, and life destructing socio-economic cum political advices, letters and memos without winking. Every alliances, loans, and trade agreement with other nations must be thoroughly scrutinized before committing the nation and unborn generations to eternal slavery. The nation must at all times protect her territorial integrity and rebuff every attempt of the erosion of the hard earned sovereignty by any foreign power. This rebuff however becomes more viable when the citizens are supportive of the government in power. Support comes from enacting domestic policies that promotes the integrity of the citizen. When internal support is guaranteed, then the curtailment of external control is achievable.

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The late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, had never regarded himself as having a monopoly of wisdom. He volunteered to inform all that his wisdom evolved from critical thinking while other caroused themselves to slumber in the bosom of women of easy virtues. We expect our men come May 29, 2019 to be such tall men,  crowned, who live above the fog in public duty and in private thinking. Not men, whose paucity of knowledge and shallow myopic consideration of issues would turn them into pawns in the hands of homosexually centered and self-aggrandizing cabals; whose god is their belly. When you employ anyone to think for you, such would think of how to benefit from his thoughts, first. A man without a concrete opinion on issues would be swayed by every wind of counsel, and in most cases, adopts the vilest of such admonitions. Our men (and women) in power must subject themselves to private study, visitation, observation and critical thinking that would move this nation out of the abyss to the mountain top of glory.

On a lighter mood and in conclusion a voter prayed thus:

“Almighty God, who rules in the affairs of all men

In the sincerity of our hearts and limited knowledge

We will vote in men and women into power

If they prove to be worthless representatives in power (RIP)

Then before their tenure is concluded, rest them in peace (RIP).  Amen!!”

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