The Beginning Of A New Era 1 By Ussiju Medaner.


“All great beginnings start in the dark when the moon greets you to a new day at midnight.” “Today is the first day of the next phase of our national life.” “Never underestimate the power you have to take your life in a new direction.” “It's a new dawn, it’s a new day, and it is a new beginning for me, for you, and for us. Indeed a new dawn for Nigeria and Nigerians.
I borrow some lines from Reena Mahay's “A New Dawn,” a new twilight, a new spark, a new charm, a new morrow, a new gleam; a new dream… is here to set your toe. 

In my excitement for the era of a 'Renewed Hope,' I have been staying up hoping it is in my direct power to bring the hope of the tomorrow that is now upon us, to my people and countrymen and women. Would Tinubu bring to our tables the unity, healing, relief and hope we desperately desire; the hope that the painful history of our recent experiences would be rewritten to bring light and smiles to our faces, and give life to the power that recreates the Nigeria dreams and ideas.

This is a new dawn. Let's roll out the drums and merry; let Nigerians sing of the arrival of the morning of renewed hope. Across the length and breadth of our land; from the west, the east, and the south and all the way to the far north, let's celebrate the beginning of the season of love and healing; of greatness and goodness of our motherland. Let’s celebrate our rising from grieving to growing.

Our nation and our people have gone through much. Our blood has been spilled on our streets like fowls; our bones are broken daily for no crime we committed. Our clinics and hospitals are shut down when we need to be saved from sicknesses and imminent death because the doctors and nurses have decided to stay away because their expectations are not met. Our school-age children roam the streets when they are supposed to be saying “present ma/sir” to their tutors in school. Because the schools are under locks and keys for months without anyone blinking their eyes. We sleep more in darkness without a decent power supply, because all we have been getting are promises that were never fulfilled; our God-given petroleum has become a commodity we cannot afford any longer. We are more at the peril of the few among us, who are bent on taking advantage of us and our commonwealth for their personal use when we become headless; but my fellow countrymen and countrywomen; these are not enough for us to turn our back against our nation, the land of our fathers and mothers gone. 

It is a new dawn. We made it this far. We weathered the storms as we witnessed a nation that isn't broken but simply unfinished. Now, let's take it up from here, the task of communal rebuilding. Tinubu in the front, you at the back, one and all of us; and our nation is rebuilt. In the words of the new President, “We must work harder at bringing these noble documents to life by strengthening the bonds of economic collaboration, social cohesion, and cultural understanding. Let us develop a shared sense of fairness and equity.”

Fellow Nigerians, this is our part in this new beginning, we must altogether do our parts to end the internal wars tearing us apart and robbing us of real growth and development. We must from all regions and at all corners, lay down our arms so we can reach out our arms to one another. The hope we see, the hope we dream of may be challenging, but together, we can make it live, and together, we can find light in these never-ending darkness.

Fellow Nigerians, it is time we all stepped out from every corner of our dear nation, Nigeria, from the west, all the way to the north, crossing the south and the east. Let's step out of the shade, the darkness of enmity, of jingoism, and of unbeneficial attachments to those things that divide us more than they unite us. We have a role to play in the new dawn; the renewed hope would bloom as we permit it. There is light now but only if we are brave enough to let it shine; if we are brave enough to individually be that light.

I listened to the President; while elated at the elements of the points he raised, I became a little bit apprehensive when I did not hear about any details or a plan by the Federal Government headed by Mr. President to collaborate with other tiers of administrations of Nigeria government to achieve its goals.  The critical problems that bedevil the country today are very local in nature; we cannot effectively combat insecurity without the full and effective contributions of the state and local government authorities across affected areas. As a federated entity, with the bulk of citizens in states, the state governments play, perhaps, a greater role even in driving the economy of the country. 

It, therefore should be imperative that the Federal Government creates a positive diversion from the status quo; build its objectives and policies around effective collaborations, and builds synergy with the state governments. I therefore would advise the APC-led Federal Government to coordinate effectively with the Governors Forum, most especially the Progressive Governors Forum, which should be headed by a select governor with a grand understanding of the private and public sector economics. Effective synchronisation would turn the governor's Forums into a powerful tool in the hands of the Federal Government to drive its programs effectively and purposefully.  

The President talked about recognising those in opposition as co-travelers in the journey of building Nigeria; this statement must go beyond the speech, into full action. For the first time in our history, we had an election that has so divided us along unpleasant lines, and it would be near impossible to govern and achieve much without the participation of Nigerians across lines. The president must in the interest of Nigeria and Nigerians, adopt a bipartisan approach to its governance direction. Engaging the opposition and those who worked against your success at the poll in the interest of the country should be the way to go to achieve many of the set goals of the new Administration.

The president also calls for hope and unity. There could be no other time more appropriate for the call; this is a period of division and gloom for us as a nation and people and the time to call for hope and unity. We cannot afford to continue to be the force that would shatter our dear country rather than mend it. 

Our President, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has promised us more than a hope; he offers us renewed hope, a shared hope. Hope that Nigeria would take its rightful place in the committee of serious nations; hope that the resources of our land would be judiciously used to the benefit of the citizens of the country. Hope that we would once again breadth the very air of safety and security across the lands of our nation, and our people would no longer cry in the midst of plenty. 

To these and all the promised programs that become the substances of the hope we now have as a people, we will earnestly look forward to purposeful actions and performance. We will hold Mr. President accountable even as we contribute our quotas as patriotic citizens.
Mr. President has given us his words that no longer are we going to sleep with one eye open again in Nigeria. Mr. President said “We shall defend the nation from terror and all forms of criminality that threaten the peace and stability of our country and our sub-regions Mr. President, whatever it would be, we want to see governance direction that will forever uproot insurgence, put out the light of banditry, kidnapping and regional terrors in our country. This is a promise of renewed hope, and we shall look forward to its manifestation.

Of our unkempt economy, Nigerians want to see the changes that present real growth and development. We want to see government policy direction and implementations that will address the gross economic poverty in our land. We want to have a country that enjoys absolute food security; a nation where the youths don’t roam the streets for lack of gainful employment. The promise of Hoe must bring to us controlled inflation, affordable cost of goods and services, take-home salaries and income that are worthwhile, and a market flooded with locally produced commodities. To these, we will hold you to your promises Mr. President. 

What will we be able to do if we will have to continue living and sharing our space with individual and institutional corruption; the cankerworm that has eaten deep and become the most singularly potent bane of growth of our systems; absolutely nothing. The EFCC and other anti-corruption agencies have failed Nigerians if the truth must be told. If the promise to discourage and fight corruption would hold water, we would want to see pragmatic changes to the structures and operational modules of the agencies. Whatever, Nigerians would hold Mr. President to his words; he has told us he would discourage corruption and strengthen the effectiveness and efficiency of the extant anti-corruption agencies. 

And again, our expectation is high, that along with the renewed hope package, the notion that we cannot enjoy uninterrupted power supply for days will be beaten by regular and affordable electricity supply across the country. It is not impossible; it is commonplace in our neighbouring Benin Republic. If that country can do it, we should do even better. We had been repeatedly given dashed hope in that critical sector; and now we hope that as the words of Mr. President; “electricity will become more accessible and affordable to businesses and homes alike. Power generation should nearly double and transmission and distribution networks improved. We will encourage states to develop local sources as well.”
It is an insult, and an embarrassment, that our currency has become so weak and rarely can compete with any desired currency around the globe. How do we explain the reality that the Benin Republic CFA is strongly competing with Naira? Our entire monetary policy as a nation must be overhauled; the era of parallel exchange rate markets must be behind us. It is unproductive, and we cannot allow it to be sustained beyond now if we want to make any meaningful improvement in our national monetary policy.  Mr. President speaks of a thorough house cleaning; that much the Central Bank must be forced to do.

The list is endless, but I will add to the discourse around fuel subsidy removal. In the words of Mr. President, “Fuel subsidy is gone.” Though it is expected, it would be appropriate that Nigerians see in the next few days what the government has in stock to cushion the immediate effect of the subsidy removal. Without a clear and direct intervention, the ordinary citizens would be at the receiving end of the increment. We want to see, on one hand, rigorous interventions, and on the other hand, strong interaction with the citizens to know what they are gaining by losing on the subsidy regime. That is a social responsibility of the government and Mr. President owes Nigerians that much. 

I am going to end this piece today, yet, slightly borrowing from the words of the President: this period is momentously critical for all Nigerians; and for all of us a proud moment of birth of new hope, the renewed hope. This is about time we join hands to aid our nation affirm its rightful place among the world’s great democracies. Shall we all join President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to make Nigeria a more perfect nation, creating a new Nigeria with positive ideas that would live through eternity?

Mr. President, these are your words and today they become your bond; we would hold you to actualise them. “With full confidence in our ability, I declare that these things are within our proximate reach because my name is Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and I am the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria” 


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