Challenges of Nation Building
Peace and security are globally accepted as twin concepts critical to unity, progress and development.
Wherever these two ingredients are missing, the consequences would be nothing but chaos and underdevelopment.
Whereas, in any polity where there is adequate security of lives and property, development will be enhanced.
In a society where there is justice and equity, people’s minds would be at rest and cooperate to work for its progress.
Since independence over fifty years ago, peace and security in Nigeria have always been threatened by ethnic and religious strife and cries of marginalization which were factors that led to the nation’s civil war between 1967 and 1970.
Other factors that have been threats to the peaceful coexistence and security of the country include growing rate of unemployment, hunger, poverty, perceived political domination, boundary disputes and electoral malpractices.
Major obstacles to peace and security in recent times are corruption, favouritism, terrorism and non-payment of workers’ salary and non-payment pensioners’ benefits and allowances.
It is worth mentioning that the strength of any nation is measured in terms of sociopolitical stability and economic buoyancy.
Apart from the various obstacles to peace and security, Nigeria has lost opportunity for development through plundering of its rich material and natural resources by those entrusted with the management of the nation’s commonwealth.
For Nigeria therefore to remain the true giant of Africa as envisaged by its founding fathers various hindrances militating against its peace, security and national development must be urgently tackled.
It is also imperative to address the challenges of poverty, unemployment and marginalisation.
Furthermore, efforts should be intensified to find solution to prevailing security problems such as kidnapping, vandalism, armed robbery, terrorism, communal clashes, inter-religious feuds and herdsmen/farmers clashes.
Similarly, governance must not be seen to be shrouded in secrecy, therefore the principle of transparency and accountability must be fully embraced.
Besides, Nigeria’s educational system must be fashioned along the lines of development in science, technology and vocational skills to promote self-reliance among the nation’s youths.
Most importantly, there is the need to convene a genuine and non-politically motivated national discourse for all sections of the nation to exchange ideas on how to engender an enduring Nigerian federation.