A Prayer for Nigeria

Nigeria, the most populous nation in Africa, is about to elect a new President and legislators.

This election is the seventh after the country returned to democracy in 1999.

Nigeria is seen as a big brother in West Africa and it is considered as one of the economic powers in Africa.

The election would see the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari kissing goodbye to power and handing over to a newly elected leader.

Indeed, the country’s return to democracy has been one fraught with many challenges. Currently, among the problems faced by the ordinary Nigerian are economic mismanagement, insecurity, lack of employment opportunities for the youth, poverty and corruption.

These challenges are not peculiar to the most populous country in Africa; it is a phenomenon that is experienced in most African states and developing countries.  

These problems of Africa are largely due to lack of good governance and the failure of leaders to create the right environment for its citizens to benefit from the numerous natural resources that the continent has been blessed with.  

This year’s election is being keenly contested by 18 candidates of which three have been tipped as front runners.

The three, Bola Tinubu, Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi, have all served in various capacities in past administrations.

The Nigerian voter has the opportunity to right the wrongs of the past by voting for competence instead of tribal considerations and monetary inducement.  

This is the time for the Nigerian voter to liberate the country from inept and corrupt leaders. Luckily for the voter, the past records of these front runners are there to serve as a guide. 

The election promises to be an exciting one because of the emergence of a third force in the person of Peter Obi, a man whom many observers have developed some likeness for because of his practicality and frugality during  his campaign.

He is very much liked on social media and seems to have won the hearts of a lot of people on the Internet. It is not accidental that a lot of opinion polls put him ahead of his fellow compatriots, but as to whether these online polls would  be replicated by voters during the election or not is something  that we all wait and see.

Nigeria, just like many other African countries, needs a leader who would turn the fortunes of the country around.

The country needs a leader who is a unifier and can unite all the major ethnic groups.

For the past years, insurgences by terrorist and secessionist groups have resulted in the loss  of human lives and also driven potential investors away.

This has resulted in  the lack of opportunities for the ordinary Nigerian.

Unemployment and high level of corruption at the corridors of power is an issue that must be of interest to the next President.

An economic giant such as Nigeria cannot continue to make a few family and friends rich, while majority of its citizens wallop in abject poverty.  

Good governance, prudent management of the country’s resources, employment opportunities for the youth and special attention to industrial growth and development with special interest in the energy sector must be the topmost priority of the next President.  

Big brother Nigeria cannot fail the other African countries in the sub region. It is time for the leaders and citizens to have it right and this can only happen when voters elect the right leaders through a peaceful, free and fair elections.  

Our collective effort to see the continent rise can only be achieved when countries such as Nigeria and South Africa,that are economic giants, get it right.  

Nigeria has come a long way and it is time for Nigerians to prove to the world that Africa can also get it right.

When you say a prayer, please remember to say one for our brothers and sisters in “9JA”.

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