Enough of Bitterness and Rancour – An Appeal to Nigerian Leaders and Elders,By Ada Stella Apiafi

In recent weeks, the media (traditional and new) has been awash with all manner of negativity stemming from the rancour and what-have-you among the top echelon of our society. The nation has watched very sadly, as all opposing and ‘warring’ parties have engaged in open abuse, castigation, even casting aspersion on each other. To us, it seems as if the good , and the good name we struggle daily to assert, is being challenged by all the bitterness and rancour that has reared its head among us.

doubt, our nation is at a very critical stage of its development, as we daily grapple with issues for the purpose of rebuilding our nation. In effect any negative is sure to erode, mar, or even break the trail of the progressive steps that we have made or are taking towards our growth and development. Let us remind ourselves that our children are still roaming the streets idly, whilst eagerly hoping that the ASUU strike (into its third month now), will be called off soonest, to enable them go back and complete their education. Rising incidents of unemployment prevail, the health sector needs some ‘desperate’ attention; while social malaise is still there to grapple with – these are just some of the very serious developmental issues we be focusing more of our energies on.

We at I-Nigerian Initiative are using this opportunity to remind ourselves that the younger population of Nigerians, constituting a large percentage of the population is watching. Indeed the whole world is watching us!

Good legacies have to be bequeathed to the upcoming generation. Perhaps we ask ourselves what legacy do we hope to bequeath to the next generation, with all the bitterness, acrimony and wrangling we are witnessing today?! Sadly this wrangling most rife among our elected politicians, who swore on oath, on assumption of office, to preserve the sanctity and the good name of the country, and whom the citizens look up to, to steer the course of the nation aright, and catapult Nigeria to assume her pride of place in the comity of nations.

Nigeria is a country blessed with great endowments and resources. It is a country with individuals bubbling with ideas, ready to grab the opportunity to rule the world, and take the name of Nigeria to deserved great heights. It is rather unfortunate therefore, that those that are supposed to help the extremely talented men and women we have in our midst – and there are OF THEM – to achieve their dreams seem to be concentrating their energies more on potentially divisive issues.

There is an evil caveat that if issues of divisiveness and personal interests are allowed to persist above national interest, the year 2015 might be the year that Nigeria will break! Well, we at I-Nigerian, Initiative, a Non-Governmental Organisation with the objective of positively transforming the perception of Nigerians about Nigeria, DO NOT align with such predictions, or negative pronouncements, nor do we respect the voices that make such sad and unpatriotic utterances. For us at I-Nigerian Initiative, our dear country, Nigeria, remains ONE ENTITY…!

We are a group that believes absolutely and doggedly in the sanctity of Nigeria, and in encouraging, capturing, and the good , and of Nigerians as a people. Thus we urge everyone and anyone who feels or is insistent that personal issues and ambition take precedence over national issues, to reconsider their position.

Relentless patriotism, selfless service, principled interests that will uphold the values and interest of the nation are what we, just like every well-meaning Nigerian, expect from our leaders…

Please note that the world is watching, while the psyche of Nigerians is being further dented by the negative press being generated by the negativity going on.

Nigerians need their dignity as a people restored. We need to bring back something we all need as Nigerians – FAITH! FAITH in ourselves, FAITH in our system, and above all FAITH . You will agree with us at I-Nigerian, that this can only be achieved in an atmosphere devoid of debilitating squabbling, and selfish interests.

As we approach our 53rd Independence Anniversary as a country, we at I-Nigerian seize the opportunity to appeal to everyone involved one way or another, in the current bickering on every opposing side – politically and geographically – to reawaken their patriotic interest for Nigeria, and selfless zeal for Nigeria’s growth.

It is also an opportune time to wish the nation a Happy Independence Anniversary in advance. Our charge at this time is in this passionate appeal to us all to let posterity appraise us all in good stead; let the labours of our heroes past not be in vain; and let the next generation receive the ‘baton of legacy’ with pride in their hearts that those before them left a positive mark for them to emulate and follow.

Ada Stella Apiafi
I-Nigerian Renaissance Initiative
Garki II, Abuja

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