Given our ethnic, cultural, religious, political and educational differences, there is a strong belief that Nigerians can never agree on any single issue for the interest of overall development. Meanwhile, China, with a population of more than 1.5 billion people, agreed to wipe out corruption to move forward and ensure a sane Society. Can Nigeria ever agree on any single issue for our national development? Which issue would that be?
* When issues of national interest are being handled, what comes first in the mind of individual Nigerians is how such matters would affect their ethnic group, state of origin, and geopolitical zone. Consideration of national interest is insignificant. Hence, there can never be an agreement on many issues concerning national development. But agreement would approach 100 per cent if we want more states to be created, because this would give the ethnic groups more say in governance.
– Mr. Neville Kikpoye-Jonathan, President, Abua National Associates, Amalem-Abua, Rivers State
* Haven’t we already collectively agreed to wipe out corruption?
– Mr. Michael Simire, Lagos State
* You know the devil is in the detail and from time to time you see devil’s tail in detail – a mix of ethnicity and tribalism; a mixture of religion and the federal republic; an admixture of ethno-religious politics; a co-mixture of institutionalised systems of mediocrity; a remix of the federal character principle immixed with favouritism, cronyism, and nepotism.
– Mr. John Adebisi, Abuja
* It would be hard for Nigerians to ever agree on one single issue. Apart from ethnicity, cultural, political and educational differences, which can easily be overcome, the most dangerous element that will ever keep us apart is religion. The problem is mostly here in the North where too many illiterate preachers cause a lot of problems in our midst and have great number of followership. Will these types of Nigerians ever agree on one single issue as they see others as inferior?
– Hon. Babale Maiungwa, U/Romi, Kaduna
* If we agree on corruption, Nigeria will move forward speedily.
– Miss Nkeiruka Abanna, Lagos State
* Before now, Nigerians could agree on sports, but not anymore. The fight on corruption would have united Nigerians, but that today has been politicised. Today the obvious fact is that considering the fall on oil price, diversifying the economy particularly towards agriculture based economy appears to the current uniting factor.
– Mr. Okechukwu Ikonne, Ogbor, Oke-Ovoro Mbaise, Imo State
* Nigeria may not agree on one single issue now, due to the corruption level across political parties. The involvement of lawyers, civil servants, judges, e.t.c. calls for concern. This could be part of the revolution going on presently, which is from the top, and the unemployed graduate and masses below are keenly watching. By the time hardship reaches its equilibrium unabated, masses and youth may react. On development issues, agriculture, mineral resources, education and health should be our priorities.
– Mr. Dogo Stephen, Kaduna
* Definitely Nigerians can agree on a single issue inspite of our litany of differences. The existence of a Supreme Being, for an example! I believe the potential for greatness is in each Nigerian; this should be harnessed and unfurled on the world.
– Mr. Ekwenjo Iheanyi Chukwudi, B.A.R., Apo, Abuja
* Yes, Nigeria quite can; it is just a matter of time. We need genuine unity to develop with the world jet pace. Orientation is overdue for our leaders to be more confident through unity and patriotism to both the Quran and Bible, all human beings are equal before God. Inferiority complex has made some people inferior to others (mindset); hence, a tiny island as Britain colonised all the people they did. We must liberate ourselves as nobody will. Advanced nations embraced unity ab initio and curtailed corruption at all cost.
– Mr. Apeji Onesi, Lagos State
* Yes, we can if we have tenacity of purpose and remain focused. The past administration did their best in keeping their promise of free and fair elections, and no to do or die affair during elections. I expect the current administration to toe the path of Jonathan without being biased.
– Pst. Obinna Osagu, Akure, Ondo State
* No, Nigerians can hardly agree on one single issue. If only we can agree to support the fight against corruption, we will progress as a nation. However, our ethnic, regional and religious sentiments, which are being manipulated by our rulers, are not helping us as a country. Places like China do not have the kind of diverse differences that we have in Nigeria, and that is why they can easily agree on issues.
– Mr. Umoru Jeremiah Isah, Malali, Kaduna
* I think the one area Nigerians can agree on at the moment is the economy. Money needs to be injected into the system and it needs to be injected now. Only government money can sustain and grow the economy at the moment. In other words, start implementing the budget.
– Mr. Buga Dunj, Jos, Plateau State
* Our leaders at all levels should carry everybody along in governance, irrespective of party, religion, tribes and whatever differences for national development. Our problem is that Nigerians dwell much on sentiments, which make us presently a Third World country despite our huge human and natural resources. It is time for Nigerians to believe in themselves as one entity for nation-building as America and Great Britain believed, which made them world leaders today.
– Mr. Gordon Chika Nnorom, Public Commentator, Umukabia, Abia State
* No! Ethnicity, religion, culture, politics, education e.t.c. affect our diversity and lack of genuine one voice especially on our national issues debated in the two Houses. This is showcased in the manner in which budget is being dragged up and down for so long without a tangible headway. We need honest leaders like PMB that will exterminate corruption now.
– Miss Apeji Patience Eneyeme, Badagry, Lagos State
* No, not in the immediate present. There is stress in Nigeria now and people are losing confidence and failing to trust each other even on national issues. Our leaders must be truthful, honest and patriotic in order to kill corruption finally. Manipulating the system and the people is evil. We need unity to survive this harsh time.
– Ms. Saiki Ometere Tina, Gboko, Benue State
* No, because Senators and representatives act violently during sessions. All our elections have turned violent and deadly e.g. recent Rivers, Kogi and Bayelsa elections. Budgets got delayed endlessly and corruption is fast becoming a norm. Truth and unity is what we need now to leave the woods.
– Mrs. Taiwo Hennessey, Badagry, Lagos State
* Yes, Nigerians unanimously agree that the country is in bad shape and that this nation can actually do better than where she is presently. This depressing template can serve as a launch-pad for new national development spurred by sincere leadership as being demonstrated by President Muhammadu Buhari. Although many may not describe him as a technocrat or an economically-savvy leader, his strict personal discipline and moral integrity will help to steady the rocking ship called Nigeria.
– Mr. Olumuiywa Olorunsomo, Lagos State
* National development is achievable if we can stop leadership of self-centredness and selfish interest. After all, we have enough resources to make Nigeria a better place for all.
– Mrs. Ijeoma Nnorom, Lagos State
Yes, we can agree: 5
No, we cannot agree: 7
Radical tip: Unity in corruption!
Total no of respondents: 18
Highest location: Lagos (7)
Next Week: Corruption in Nigeria, Who’s Really to Blame?
Although almost every citizen agrees that there is endemic corruption in various forms in Nigeria, opinions differ on who is really to blame for the negative trend, which has hindered national development for years. Is it the greedy elites who seek to enrich themselves at the expense of the collective; or the masses who applaud looters and remain docile against corrupt leaders; or is it foreign powers who selfishly allow local rulers to steal and stash the loot in foreign accounts; or a combination of above factors, or something entirely different?
Please make your response direct, short and simple, and state your full name, title, organisation, and location. Responses should be sent between today (April 14 & Monday, April 18) to firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, AND firstname.lastname@example.org. Respondents can also send a short text message to 08023117639 and/or 08188361766 and/or 08114495306. Collated responses will be published on Thursday, April 21