Home Africa BUILDING A GREATER NIGERIA: THE ROLE OF THE CIVIL POPULACE

BUILDING A GREATER NIGERIA: THE ROLE OF THE CIVIL POPULACE

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‘’Yet if we can invest in a different vision of peaceful coexistence, I think we can change the world, because every problem has a nonviolent answer.’’  — Rigoberta Menchu There is no group of persons or any individual who could successfully build Nigeria other than Nigerians themselves. This is why it is said every so often that our fate lies in our own hands. No foreigner would love Nigeria than Nigerans; though there might be exceptional cases like the contributions of late Rev. Samuel Granville Elton, (popularly called SG Elton) who literally lived for Nigeria, a country that he loved so passionately; as if his acceptance in heaven depended on doing just that. The story of the political development of Nigeria is a mixed grill of hardship and ease; regrets, truth and joy. If the truth must be told, Nigeria is expected to be a land swhere all men are born equal and have access to the same opportunities without any form of discrimination. An examination of the role of the civil populace in the Nigeria fiasco, particularly the intelligentsia are inextricably linked to the issues identified as responsible for the drift of Nigeria in the past Republics. Who are the opinion leaders, and who are those who shape the perception of issues and events in the country for the majority of the followership? Arguably, they are the political class and the intelligentsia, who are regarded as children of traditional rulers, who also must have dispassionate moderating influence and act as fathers of everyone in their domain.  Partisanship by royal fathers would always demean and open them to ridicule. The task is burdensome; but achievable. It depends largely on the conducts of individuals and opinion leaders who are stakeholders in the process of building a greater Nigeria. ROBUST DEBATES & SENSITIZATION OF THE CITIZENRY Why has Africa not succeeded hugely in the onerous task of entrenching an enduring democratic culture? In the opinion of a top politician and political scientist, Prof. Tunde Adeniran: ‘’Nowadays, people believe that before you can win an election, you must be able to bribe people all over the place or you must be able to get people who will help you to manipulate the process, which is unfortunate. And when it comes to issues of trust, public trust, you have people in charge of public affairs and they believe that they have to treat or…

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