April 10th, 2010
All is not right with world but good
lord, the ever-expanding and highly penetrating complexes in Nigeria is all
so revealing that it is now assumed that the globe can no longer contain
Nigeria and may likely disappear in 2015. Let’s pray this is not true.
Certainly, no one wants to say good bye so soon to a nation known for its
great traditions and resources.
As you know in July of 2009, in my capacity as the first American President
with Black ancestry, I visited the African soil, Ghana in particular. Why
not Nigeria? My there brother, I will tell why. Nigeria have been a major
blow not just to its self or to Africa but to the global economy of the 21st
century .The level of open corruption amid many so-called leaders, and even
among some foreign corporations operating in Nigeria remain unprecedented.
As a result the state of affairs in the nation has almost turned up-side
down, to the extent that the direction it has being going remain baffling
and troubling. Institutionally, one is lost in almost every public
establishment in Nigeria. Obama, in this opening confrontation shows why
Nigeria was side tracked during in his eminent visit to Africa.
Obama, in his natural element as partly of African ancestry and unlike any
other world leader could remind Jonathan that the paths of misplacement
continue to crumple almost every way of living and dealing in day to day
matters of the Nigerian society. Let’s start with health matters. Even when
there have been great advancement and strides in health, typhoid and malaria
still remain rampant. It remain shameful that Nigeria continues to be
medically neglected by the powerful who are quick to seek medical attention
in overseas where treatment is known for high health cost. Even many civil
service, pay is suppose to be generally bare also are able to seek medical
services overseas, partly with illegally lifted money.
There is the open market of un-regulated medicine and the poorly enforced
regulations in the sales and retailing of controlled medications, and also
as troubling is in the area of life expectancy for both men and women which
is still at 50s, even in 21st century.
On education matters, is not uncommon for many civil servants and
politicians have their children attending high fee schools in overseas. What
then becomes of many Nigerian schools and universities where some teachers
are known to exchange grades for sex and money from students?
On transportation matters, roads remain death traps complicated by poor
In the areas of security the police, penal, customs, immigration, and the
military in particular, improper use of money, abuse of power and
extra-judicial killing grows.
On matters of finance, illegal sales of currency in public remain
commonplace followed by the unlawful hiding of monies overseas.
In the area of the judiciary, the court’s independence remain tired up with
disrespect from public authority figures when called upon to testify.
Bribery and assassinations of the heads of court is not uncommon.
On the matter of the nation’s constitution, the rule of law and order
appeared crossed between the English/common law and sharia/Islamic law which
leave the people confused. What a bewildered judicial system for a society
that it defines itself as having adopted the American
In the area of housing, unfettered real estate activities continue in all
areas. Aspiring tenants in urban areas especially, are made to pay roughly
two year rent instead of a less stiff system of month by month charge. Also,
poor ventilation, poor electrical power supply, explosive transformers, and
slow killing lead are not uncommon.
In the area of press freedom, physical assault, fatal attacks, death threats
and unlawful detention of reporters continue to undermine the true practice
The extreme opposition between ethnic groups, religious factions and oil
producing/non oil producing regions remain a serious social threat which
continues, to hurt the collective progress of the nation.
The state of capital and economy remain a troubling matter. There continues
to be deficit of recent sustainable progress in Nigerian polity and economy
despite the pouring of huge external funds and monies. It could be argued
that all the money flowing within and to Nigeria through grants, borrowing
and printing will not slow down the paths of uncertainty, except the
resources flow freely in the economy.
Obama , in a respectable way could inform Jonathan that the political
economy of America certainly should not be attempting to dictate or control
domestic or internal issues of the most populous nation Africa-Nigeria. But
Jonathan could be told some one have to take Nigeria to task, in the area of
societal mental status, especially.
Along these indicated worrisome exposures should the Nigerian nation truly
wants to practice something near to presidential democracy or a system of
executive government here are some restorative steps. Take the matter of the
newly sworn in ministers where Jonathan , unknowingly or accidentally sent
potential ministers to the senate without publicly announcing their
respective and specific portfolios.
In fact, shortly before the presidential swear into their separate
portfolios, they should have come to light, standing along with the
president for the purpose of initial introduction before the media. This
democratic approach could have allowed the public, even days or weeks before
senate screening (which should have included specific portfolios and their
tie to the respective potential ministers) and confirmation.
All these expectations which are commonplace in free societies usually allow
for comments on the nominee’s respective competence, experiences,
sensitivities, and even their personality styles.
However, now that these ministers have their mandate to go into their
respective offices, Jonathan should be praised by Obama for the presidential
warning he sounded to the new ministers, as it relates the need to avoid
settling back into the old ways of administering Nigeria.
Obama could suggest the need for executive style crash training which could
last three to five days for the ministers. And such instructional training
need not be done by going for overseas course or bringing in “oyibo” as
there are professional Diasporan Nigerians, known for their
multi-disciplinary competence could come to play.
Jonathan could appeal to Obama on humanitarian ground to subsidize of fund
efforts to direct a structured arrangement that will allow diaporan Nigerian
profession also to aid Nigeria during this changing times.
The singular goal of the ministerial body is to craft various meaningful and
up to date policies for immediate reform of their respective agencies. Going
by the individual portfolios, beginning with the federal Health Ministry,
which is now going to be headed by Alhaji Suleiman Bello? the existing
policies in the ministry certainly calls for up dates in all area of
developmental, physical and behavioral health.
Contemporary standards need to be on course with the assistance of health
care professionals. Hospitals, pharmacy centers and health care centers need
vigorous monitoring through strict enforcement unit within the ministry. Ii
is very significant that in-service training of heath workers (which allows
for minimum cost) should be frequent in order to enhance performance
measures. Health workers with state of the arts skills in essential for the
purpose of generally reducing risk and creating higher improvement across
The matter of Environmental health, Public health, and Behavioral health
need higher priority with preventive goals as the optimal goal. Instituting
competent programs in the area of anti-pollution hazards and drug education
mostly in rural areas remain vital.
Policies in the areas of physical fitness should be actively implemented.
This brings one to the question of the unhealthy habit of many car owners in
Nigeria typically seating or stationed in the car while the minimally paid
driver occupies the driver’s seat. For both the driver and the “big man or
madam”, this assumed superiority comes with high risk unheathy behaviors.
Especially, when these unhealthy behaviors could results in physical
vulnerability, generalized fatigue , weight issues and other related harms.
Let it be known that there are exceptions as it relates to the need for a
driving assistant to some high level officials, like the president.
Nigeria historically has for some time now been a try any thing society, so
is it time to stop the indiscipline as it run the risk of being
directionless. As part of a forward looking approach, health related grant
writing skills among personnel should become essential so as to help draw in
funds and assist in evidenced –based research. These areas of challenges
could be done by highly experienced health care specialists (e. g in
psychological, behavioral and physical areas). Here again, Nigerian diaspora
Nigerian heath worker matters.
In the area of the Interior ministry which will now come under the
leadership of Emmanuel Iheanacho the domestic security and interest of the
nations need to be looked at from a more foudational angle. Institutions
like the prisons or correctional systems certainly need vigorous revamping
for the security of the domestic environment. Behavioral training component
should be aligned fully to training centers in order to better reform the
To stabilize the prisoners’ basic psychological/mental health , remedial and
vocational training will bring the entire system to standard with regard to
human rights challenges.
The police Affairs ministry now under –Adamu Maina Waziri should become more
reform oriented by actively activating and updating guiding principles in
the policing of the nation. A more strategic alliance with current
qualifying and competency-making body, which is the Police service
commission under the expertise of –Parry Osanyede. This relationship is
vital in order to bring in systematic functioning through out the Nigeria
The quality of police is much more than just having equipments and
resources. The quality of personnel enforcing the laws should be overriding
than anything else. Behavioral screening, personality testing and
therapeutic services for potential officers, existing officers, and superior
officers remain lacking from the point of high quality psychology. The
quality of our police officers in terms of their motivation, behavior and
ethics becomes more questionable as evidenced by the many-sided issues that
continue to weigh down the police force. A positive –driving police force in
terms of character make the system less of a social threat than the fear of
Governmental strategies in the area of public safety concern mostly in small
towns and urban environments will only make public sense if are experts
within the ministry to help conduct up to date annual crime reports. It is
important to follow up on developed policies by testing them for best
practices. These strategies and systems will not only reduce fear among
Nigerians but could attract international tourists , investments and
The current Education ministry under Professor Ruqayyatu Rufa’i, and that of
Labour and Productivity come under Ambassador Chukwuemeka Ngozichineke Wogu
respectively. There is need to move away from failing the nation and this
can be accomplished through educated and skilled populations. Character
training and vocational type education within the contest of established
quality rules, enhanced access to education, as well as through the
enforcement of first-rate school standards. The allowance of high level
competition between public and private institutions ( e g universities,
Technology and others) will make national response to education more
purposeful and broad.
The act of labour and productivity across the nation could improve with
better accountability measures and enhanced work insurance. The disability
programs and payroll systems for workers followed by rational relationship
between the government and workers’ union are central for national up growth
and stability. Licensing of occupations and various professions based on
questions with up dated research are vital. Also, continued educations
through non-overseas seminars as well as the active use of strict rules for
violators are needed in order to enhance labour performances. A
comprehensive plan to investigate and reduce labour abuse must be reflected
in up dated policies. These moves aught to help transit our workers into the
21st century. While the new government is still young the improved outlook
of the nation could evolve steadily.
The commonsense person will agree that the general Nigerian condition is not
only affecting the wellbeing of the people but interfering with the current
state of the global economy given our interdependent and interconnected
Therefore, the Jonathan presidency as an extension of Yar’ Adua
administration should show a bold and swift commitment to rebuilding our
historically great society. This should occur under the cordial aid of
Jonathan’s senior helpers which include Mike Ogiadomhe, Principal Secretary;
Steven Oronsaye, Head of Service of the federation; Alhaji Yayale Ammed,
Secretary to the federation; as well as Abike Dabiri Erewa, House of
Representative Chairman for Nigerians in Diaspora . Professional Nigerians
in the Diaspora with direction and support from the preceding presidential
agents must play their part by returning home and help improve the
institutional psyche of a nation that was historically are known for its
strength and valor.
Obama aught to let Jonathan know that the great mistake now is to keep doing
the same thing and expecting a different result. For too long, Nigeria have
been wrecked and left soiled in its institutional structures. It is time to
set a clear line of renewing the society. Some of the answers are notably
evidenced in this discourse.
It will be a lost cause of opportunity during Jonathan’s visit to America
not to actively push for Nigerian Diaspora professionals, mostly in
behavioral and technological fields to come home and assist. He should issue
an executive order to set up a new web site aiming to build a database and
facilitate the process of homecoming. Jonathan should let any Diaspora
Nigerian he meet during this visit that it is not just enough to visit for
occasional funerals and remembrance—there are other matters to address as in
restoring the national psyche of an unsteady society.
John Egbeazien Oshodi, Ph .D, a practicing Forensic/Clinical Psychologist
and the Interim Associate Dean of the Behavioral Science Department at the
North Campus of the Broward College, Coconut Creek, Florida.