Nigerians are good people. Forget what politics and politicians make us say and do to one another. There is inherent greatness in the way we relate with our neighbors. I saw this trait in practice this morning as I returned from cross over service and observed a flame of fire over the gazebo of my neighbor. Within ten minutes, we had over 15 individuals lending a helping hand – some providing water hoses and fire extinguishers, a few throwing buckets of water at the fire and others motioning to people within the house to make their way out.
Moments after I shared the information on our community whatsapp group, concerned residents rose to support a fellow resident in distress. Our security personnel were also on hand to provide whatever support they could. At that moment, there was no discussion of tribe and tongue, we were all united in stopping a fire which had spread from one gazebo to another adjoining gazebo.
One of the great revelations of the morning was the speed with which the FCT Fire Service responded to a distress call from one of our neighbours. Within 20 minutes of making that call, we could hear the sirens blaring and the vehicle heading in our direction. When the fire truck arrived, the firemen were very professional in discharging their responsibility. The fire equipment worked well so the remaining embers of fire was out in no time.
As we approach the 2019 elections and politicians try to take advantage of the existing fault lines, we need to remind them that Nigeria is our common heritage. Like those wonderful neighbours of mine, we need to stand together to defeat a common enemy – bad leaders and bad governance. Let us think very carefully about the ramifications of our votes and the profound responsibility we owe to posterity in throwing up leaders – at all levels – whose primary responsibility is the welfare and security of the people. Leaders who prioritize the will of the people and honor the office of the citizen.
As I look back at the events of this morning, I am gratified that we can make our country better if we approached the coming elections with the right perspective. This is not about any individual. It is about the future of our country. Rather than dance to the drumbeats of selfish individuals within and beyond political circles, let us vote our collective interest and defend it. Happy new year Nigeria.