Like every patriotic Nigerian who will often wish to see a better Nigeria, I have dreams for this soon to be 61-year-old nation. This is a country that has been confronted with several challenges since its birth and to this day, is still faced with numerous prevailing challenges that serve as a hindrance to its desirable growth and development.
I wish to see in Nigeria that will guarantee the security of lives and properties of its citizens; where people of the North-East will sleep without fear of being attacked by Boko Haram; where people of North-West and North-Central will sleep without fear of bandits attack and kidnappers.
I want a Nigeria where people in the South will sleep in their homes at night and go to their farms and markets during the day without fear of being attacked by heartless armed persons alleged to be herdsmen; where students will have no fear of being kidnapped in their schools; where citizens will travel by road from one place to another without fear of being robbed by armed robbers.
In the Nigeria of tomorrow, I wish to see a united entity where diverse ethnic groups will accept and embrace themselves to live in love and harmony with tolerance among them. I want a Nigeria where citizens from any of the states in the South will not be addressed as southerners or citizens from states in the North will not be addressed as northerners but will be proudly addressed as Nigerians. I want a Nigeria where crimes will be given no religious or ethnic colouration; a Nigeria where problems of one part is seen as problems of all and people collectively work to solve them.
In the Nigeria of my dream, I wish to see a country where elected officials will be held accountable for the campaign promises they have made; a country where there will be an absence of selective justice and also true independence of the judiciary; a country where one assumes elective office through a legit means; a country where merit and not sentiment becomes the fundamental determinant of who gets what and when; a country where one expresses his opinion about policies and programmes of a sitting government and moves freely without any fear of retribution.
I dream of a Nigeria where there will be good governance; where citizens will be given what is due to them at a time when due; where corruption no longer becomes the norm and whoever is found guilty of it is stringently punished, I see a Nigeria where contracts will be awarded without inflating figures for kick-back purposes.
I want a country where all monies that will come into the government purse and go out will be accounted for; a country where public officials will see their positions as an opportunity to serve humanity and not a means or privilege to enrich themselves.
I dream of a Nigeria where the last man in a village will feel the existence of governments; a country where governments place citizens’ welfare higher; a country where there will be good schools and quality education and where citizens will have access to improved healthcare at all times; I want a Nigeria where bulbs in our homes will never go dark; where one will not have to suffer to access clean and drinkable water; where news of deaths in an auto crash will not be due to dilapidated roads.
This is the Nigeria I dream and wish to see tomorrow. It is my wish that before my generation goes, Nigeria will be better in a way that our children will grow and be proud to be called ‘Nigerians’ at all times and anywhere.
Safiyanu Danladi Mairiga writes Gombe State.