For the elite of Nigeria, the first necessary step in the journey of self-discovery is embarking on a rigorous search for the spiritual and philosophical essence of the Nigeria we lead. It is through this endeavour that we can hope to decode not just the mission of Nigeria but more importantly, the strategies that will help us navigate Nigeria to its manifest destiny in the comity of nations. Just as gold, diamonds, coal crude oil and other precious minerals can only be found in great depths through painstaking endeavour, so also the task of nation building.
The great nations of today did not come by happenstance or indolent wishful thinking. The greatest power today the United States of America started off as thirteen colonial entities restricted to the Atlantic seaboard of the country. The colonists endured a brutal war waged to secure independence from the greatest power of the time, Britain, in order to set about the task of building a nation. Coming up against internal and external threats to its existence and triumphing against all these odds over the years America eventually emerging to the position it occupies in the world today. Similarly through millennia of wars, dispersals, pogroms and the holocaust, the children of Israel never lost sight of the spiritual and philosophical essence of eretz Yisrael. From 1897 when the world Zionist congress first took place initiated by the journalist Theodore Herzl with a rallying cry for a return to the land of their ancestors, it took fifty one years of endeavour through the continuing efforts of Chaim Weizman to David Ben-Gurion before the state of Israel came into being on May 14, 1948.
The foundations of the great China we see today was laid during the long march of over 6000 miles by Mao Tse-Tung and his communist party colleagues through the vast rural hinterland of China. It was during these rigorous experiences that the future path of the China of today was laid. Britain our colonial power has been in continuous existence from the Norman conquest of 1066 when William the conqueror first took over the Island.
In Africa the shining example of Rwanda comes to light. From the ashes of a brutal genocide, Rwanda under Paul Kagame has become the continental reference point for all things positive in terms of human development.
The central theme running through all these examples is of the various leaderships of these countries rising above existential challenges to build and sustain their nations in the comity of nations over the years. This could not have been possible without searching and connecting with the built-in spiritual and philosophical codes which these and other nations of note carry with them.
The question then is, have we the elites and leaders of Nigeria tried to search and discover the spiritual and philosophical codes of the country that we lead? The honest answer is that if we did, we would not be seeking to destroy this country that God in his mercy and wisdom bestowed on us as we are currently trying to do. We will not be indulging in self-pity and self-defeat about how short changed we are in a country that is literarily flowing with God’s abundance.
Our search for the spiritual essence of this country should lead us to discover that we are the elite of potentially the greatest power on earth especially now that the world is undergoing fundamental shifts in global power configurations. We will discover that as it is universally acknowledged that Africa is the next economic frontier, a fact underlined by the new scramble for Africa by the major economic countries of the world, we the elites of the largest economy in Africa should be in a position to leverage on that. We will also discover that we are the elite of the country that should control and direct the destiny of not only the country of our origin, but West Africa, Africa and Africa in diaspora. How to crack the built-in spiritual and philosophical code of this endeavour which Nigeria carries in its DNA and the rewards that goes with it is what we the elite should focus our energies on. It is in this that we will find our relevance and justification in the reckoning of the Nigerian people as a first necessary step which will reverberate and radiate throughout Africa and onto Africa in diaspora.
This calls for a great political paradigm shift in the country. We must initiate and pursue a grand, unapologetically ambitious, all inclusive and all-encompassing millennial political project to be christened ‘’The Great Nigeria Project’’ which will utilize all available talent and resources in the country towards attaining the four concentric circles of Nigeria’s global reach viz; Nigeria homeland, West Africa, Africa and Africa in diaspora.
This project which defines and announces the essence of Nigeria to the world should not be allowed to be limited by any consideration other than the parameters and scope of its trajectory which should be exclusive to it. Its merit, justification and morality should be measured by the results it produces. It should be the template to construct a new Nigerian person, a new Nigeria, a new African, a New Africa and a new African in diaspora.
( Next and last part will focus on details of ‘’The Great Nigeria Project’’)