Why Nigeria’s development rests on unity of her people, By Edet Umo
Bible Text: Nehemiah 2:1-3,5*
1. Early the following spring, in the month of Nisan, during the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes’ reign, I was serving the king his wine. I had never before appeared sad in his presence.
2. So the king asked me, “Why are you looking so sad? You don’t look sick to me. You must be deeply troubled.” Then I was terrified,
3. But I replied, “Long live the king! How can I not be sad? For the city where my ancestors are buried is in ruins, and the gates have been destroyed by fire.”
4. I replied, “If it please the king, and if you are pleased with me, your servant, send me to Judah to rebuild the city where my ancestors are buried.”_
In summary of the passage above,
1. Jerusalem was in ruin.
2. The city gate was an eye sore, filled with shame and ridicule.
3. The dwellers were unable to rebuild the city.
4. The message got to Nehemiah, who at the time was living comfortably in the palace with the King in a foreign nation.
5. On hearing the report about Jerusalem, Nehemiah became saddened and appeared before his boss with a downcast appearance.
6. He didn’t hide his feelings, desire and plea from the King.
7. He mobilized resources both from the foreign land that he was and from within the city of Jerusalem.
8. He set for a rebuilding of Jerusalem.
9. He gathered people with a united mind and will, despite the opposition from Tobiah and Sanballat, he accomplished his task.
This picture shows Nigeria in both her past glory and her current state. The need therefore to rebuild our Jerusalem cannot be over preached.
J. K. Rowling did say, “We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided”. Gwendolyn Brooks added, _”We are each other’s harvest; we are each other’s business; we are each other’s magnitude and bond.”
These statements are true and should be adopted as a necessity by all who has the mind of developing the nation with the instrument of unity.
Unity is the soil where development grows, the root that feeds empowerment, the leafs that shades prosperity, the wings that fly peace, the seasoning that sweetens love and the light that illuminates togetherness. A united mind is a key to building communities based on justice, equality and mutual respect. Nation development involves _changing the relationships between ordinary people and people in positions of power, so that everyone can take part in the issues that affect their lives and well beings.
Areas we need to develop in the Nigeria Nation with unity of purpose and harmony includes, but not limited to:
✍🏽 Health care delivery by increasing access to healthy foods that will confer equal important to economic benefits, providing new jobs, job training programs, increasing wages, stimulating local economic activity, and improving the viability of our natural endowment of aquaculture, solid minerals and the likes.
✍🏽 Education by ensuring that the schools in Nigeria, both pre-primary, secondary, technical and university education are pursued with an improved facilities and manpower.
✍🏽 Banking system by providing a workable Bank in all LGAs, if not all ward chapters in the country. We all will agree that banking sector is a catalyst in community development.
✍🏽 Structural development by canvassing for the establishment of Government agencies in all political wards in the country, thereby taking development and government presence closer to the people. There should be either an administrative or a liaison offices for the Ministry or Agencies in all political wards due to their respective vast natural resources that will boast the State/Local Government revenue, and as a result open Communities to the world. These can only be possible through the anchor of communal and citizens united participation by eschewing party politics.
✍🏽 Road construction, rehabilitation and maintenance. This need not be overemphasized as most of our federal and States roads are glorified graves and deep sea port. Someone did ask, Road Safety and VIO asking for Vehicle Worthiness, are our roads Roadworthy
Community Development requires citizen’s Participation whereby individuals and families assume responsibility for their own welfare and develop a capacity to contribute to their own self-worth and the community at large. It is an active process whereby beneficiaries influence the direction and defend the program towards achieving the set goal(s). This was what Nehemiah did. He was uncomfortable in his comfort zone because his community was in ruin.
Principles of Community Development will always ask these five questions:
Sustainability: Do my plan for the community have a long term solution to the decay at hand?
Community-based: Does it serve the interests of the broader community or just for me and my immediate family?
Participatory: Do the broad and diverse range of community members been involved and will they embraced the program?
Asset-based: What are the communities resources and assets?
Developing the community with a united mind will give birth to Human development which ultimate aim is not or should not be to create more wealth or achieve higher economic growth, but to expand the range of choices for every human being.
All these can only be achieved through united minds and attitude. Bob Marley did sing,
One love, one heart, Let’s get together and feel all right
And Rumi Jalalu’l-Din confirmed same when he said, _”Like a sculptor, if necessary, carve a friend out of stone. Realize that your inner sight is blind and try to see a treasure in everyone.”
Winston S. Churchill added, _”When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.”_
Conclusively, we must be driven by the slogan, “all for one and one for all.”
What role do you think you can and should play for the National Development?
Rev. Edet E Umo, a Presbyterian Minister, is based in Abuja, Nigeria