africa

My Christmas bucket of wishes for Nigeria


Igboeli Arinze

 

Yes it’s Christmas time, a season where our  hope as a people or as Christians is rekindled owing to its  symbolism as the birthday of the savior and messiah of the Christian Faith, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Now the Christmas narrative bears within it the strong message of hope. It is the hope of a better tomorrow that the principal figures in the Nativity story, against all odds show a determination to fulfill God’s own words and plans for mankind. Let me stop here as I am no Pastor.

Now, I still have that eerie feeling about Christmas; oh the joys that sprang and still spring  in my heart since my childhood, I still travel home, every Christmas, insisting on the old tradition or should I say norm which is prevalent amongst NdiIgbo, Christmas gives me a chance to reflect on the past year and to project my thoughts for the year forthcoming.

For Christmas this year, I have decided to draw up a Christmas Bucket of Wishes for the nation, similar to the tradition of people making Christmas wishes during the festive period, much as it sounds idyllic, such wishes are no different from the thoughts of writers, who at the point of their nation’s lowest points, conveyed such wishes as I do now.

My first wish is that this country becomes more united than ever, not the  Bismarkian kind of unity of blood and iron, nay, but a unity that dispels of fear amongst the various ethnic groups that make up Nigeria. Not the unity of monkey Dey work, Baboon Dey flex, but a unity that transcends the abode of the super elite and cascades downwards to the lumpen proletariat such that our religious, cultural and tribal differences no longer matter but the need for social justice.

My second wish is the crux of the nation’s problems and that is the need for leadership! Let’s face it, no country can survive with a poor form of leadership, and that Nigeria has not collapsed is both due to the resilience of her people and some sort of providence that has at each and every turn guided this nation through situations and events that normally would have consumed other nations. This does not mean that we have to go through the same circle hoping much on providence or a resilience that seems to be thinning on a daily basis.

I would wish for a leader or a leadership class that would strive to take Nigeria out of the doldrums and restore her to the path of national glory. We wish a leadership that will seek the common good of the people and not their interests; a leadership that understands that its mandate is for posterity and that what we do now or how we lead now will reverberate for eternity!

I wish for strong leaders, but I wish that these leaders would in turn build institutions that would guide the nation’s destiny. I much wish that democracy be entrenched as a form of government, a democracy where votes would count and the rule of law obeyed to the letter.

I wish for an educated populace, a Nigeria where illiteracy is an anathema, where the citizenry, whether they be children of the Johnson’s or children of the Talakawa will be able to afford or have access to quality education, the type that will much meet the nation’s needs for development. A Nigeria where teachers and lecturers earn more than the politician, a Nigeria where the academia drive our thinking as a nation

A healthy Nigeria is another Christmas wish of mine, one where access to quality healthcare does not break the bank. A healthcare system that is responsive to the numerous health challenges typical of a society as ours, that combats communicable diseases and non communicable diseases with vigor, where maternal and child mortality is near zero. A country where the healthcare personnel are of first class training and receive a remuneration that is adequate.

Finally, I wish for the revival of values amongst the Nigerian people; of hard work, of respect, of the value of a life, of tolerance, of hope, peace and progress. These values inculcated in each and every Nigerian will not only reflect much on our progress as a people but also push the nation on a trajectory of greatness which has always been our calling not only as the Giant of Africa but also as the Guardian of the black people all over the world.

It’s Christmas and just as I did in my childhood, this is my Christmas wish bucket list.

Nigeria Shall Suceed.

This is wishing my readers the best of Christmas and a happy new year in advance.



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