By Ahmad, Shuaibu Isa
Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, has for the seventh time in 24 years just concluded the highly-anticipated 2023 general election amid deep economic hardship, persistent fuel shortages, high rate of unemployment and insecurity.
If we can recall, in 2015 when General Buhari first became the president-elect, there were celebrations across the length and breadth of the country. In almost every nook and cranny of the ‘new Nigeria’, people were brimming with happiness at the new development on ground – being a new era where people have hope of greatness.
Unfortunately, sad events happened such as: the Zaria genocide, unconstitutional/illegal detentions, attacks against Nigerians by some elements called bandits/kidnappers and unknown gunmen, along with numerous hardships and setbacks.
According to many Nigerians, the founding fathers of the country had good plans for the country, captured in the national anthem written by Lillian Williams, which stated that:
“Though tribes and tongues may differ
In brotherhood we stand
Nigerians all, are proud to serve
Our sovereign motherland.”
They were proud to be called Nigerians and had great hopes for the future. That future they yearned for seemed to have evaded them.
From 1960 to 2023, our only country seems to be decelerating at a greater speed on many development indices and has been repeatedly robbed blatantly, like a hapless foal in the eyes of the world.
Dear President-elect, in any society where people with diverse origins, religions, cultures histories and languages are stationed together within the boundaries of a sovereign state with a unified constitutional and legal dispensation, an integrated national economy, shared symbols and a national public education system, then you must be a president for all.
Beware of national/international evil machinations that will try to prevent you from serving the people of Nigeria. Never allow elements within and outside Nigeria to use you as a weapon against the people in whatever guise. The resources of Nigeria are for all Nigerians not for some group (s) of people/countries alone.
Dedicate your time towards building our economy. Dear President-elect ,if only the Nigerian system of government could be fair enough to economically accommodate all its citizens by borrowing a leaf from the Islamic system of government which proposes equitable distribution of wealth and opportunity, we wouldn’t be where we are today.
The Islamic light of knowledge and awareness would’ve illuminated the path and hearts of masses and elites alike.
The religion of Islam contains divine injunctions with rational laid-down rules and guidelines that are capable of solving the economic problems of nations. Zakat and Khums, which are taxes on wealth and earnings, help in achieving such an equitable distribution.
In Islam, wealthy individuals are required to give out 2.5% of their income to the needy annually. With this, beneficiaries of this well-established injunction may rise on their feet and even help others the next year! In the case of Khums, 20% of bounties are also given out. This is in addition to the alms that Muslims are encouraged to give frequently to the needy.
All these, and many more encouraged acts of Goodwill help in achieving a self-sufficient, content and connected economy that progresses exponentially!
Fixing the problems related to education and infrastructure and building a strong security architecture, in addition to eradicating corruption, nepotism and sentimentality in all sectors is an obligation. Above all, work towards the unity of the people, facilitating peaceful coexistence and national development in general.
Ahmad, Shuaibu Isa