Valentine Ozigbo | File Photo
‘The palpable disappointment with the Nigerian Judiciary, the flagrant miscarriages of justice, and the audacious jubilation of those who perpetrate electoral heists are not lost on any of us’
By Valentine Amanze
Labour Party (LP) chieftain and People Democratic Party (PDP) former flagbearer in Anambra State, Mr. Valentine Ozigbo, has expressed optimism that Nigeria would bounce back to reclaim its elite position in the committee of nations.
Ozigbo stated this in his November message titled, “Nigeria’s path to becoming a country of citizens.”
While thanking God for the new month, Ozigbo lamented witnessing episodes that tried the fabric of Nigerians’ trust in the nation’s institutions.
He said that the nation deserved better, stronger and reliable institutions.
His words: “The palpable disappointment with the Nigerian Judiciary, the flagrant miscarriages of justice, and the audacious jubilation of those who perpetrate electoral heists are not lost on any of us.
“Yet, amid these challenges, I urge you not to lose hope, for our collective strength lies in our unity and the power of citizenship.
“In my convocation lecture at Paul University in September, I stressed the significance of active participation. My keynote at the Anambra State Association in the United States, ASA-USA National Convention in Atlanta, USA, delivered in October, and my discourse at TheNiche Lecture last week revolved around the essence of active citizenship.
“While our nation is fraught with leadership and followership challenges, the root issue, one that is inarguably the core problem, is our national identity. This is where the ancient Greeks provide a surprisingly contemporary lens. They categorised their populace as ‘Idiots’ – those detached from public affairs, ‘Tribesmen’ who were staunchly loyal to their kin, and ‘Citizens’, the individuals who placed the state above all.”
Besides, he lamented that in Nigeria, the pendulum of the people’s national psyche has, unfortunately, swung heavily between the ‘Idiot’ and the ‘Tribesman’.
Ozigbo however called on Nigerians to cultivate emotional intelligence, foster a collective spirit, and establish mutual respect to reclaim the nation from the “Idiots,” stressing, “It’s an ethos of ‘live and let live’, understanding that the end of our rights is the beginning of another’s.’’
For a positive change in Nigeria, Ozigbo said that the country’s education must lay the groundwork, weaving in values of civic responsibility, while advocating for a change in the system that sows seeds of division.
He also called for equal opportunities for all, irrespective of tribal lineage and investment in capacity-building, ensuring every Nigerian has the tools to contribute positively to the nation.
“Equally important is accountability. Our nation craves a system that not only delineates consequences for actions but robustly enforces them. For, in the words of my reflection, “A society without consequences is a dead society,”’ he said.