Kogi State, Where Is Our Collective Will?, By Aruwa Malik
Straight off my prayer mat I picked the courage to pen this piece. I have long desired to write on socio-political issues across space but my lack of confidence in my writing skill has kept me, my ink instrument, and keyboard sorrowfully idle. The inability of so many articulate Kogites to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboards to script write-ups to appropriately address social and political issues has birthed an amateur writer, prolific opinion moulder from the “Confluence of Colourful Opportunities(KOGI STATE)” of Nigeria.
KOGI! One place, too many endowments: abundant mineral resources; pool of young, innovative, hardworking, and enterprising labour force; abundance of arable land and rivers; strategically located in the heart of the “heart of Africa” (Bounded by ten states with a total population estimate of 26,616,003 million, a combined 2016 appropriation bill estimate of 1 trillion naira); and the most important, a vast, undeveloped landscape.
Of the few endowments of the state listed above, the most strategic to me is the undeveloped landscape. This is no sarcasm! I don’t have the space to pen how important this is but those with the heads of Richard Branson and the foresight of Mesut Ozil will understand.
With a virgin landscape, raw materials, labour force, funds, good location, and a peaceful atmosphere, what else do we require to make Lagos, Dubai, Malaysia, Singapore go green with envy? Is there anything else? None right? We can’t think of any element required for greatness missing? If you think good leadership is missing you are right. If you think good leadership and collective will is missing you are very correct and have won yourself few more paragraphs.
Good leadership and Collective Will are two critical elements that have held us down for sometimes. Some readers may disagree with me on the issue of lack of will because individually, they have a burning desire to make Kogi great. Individual will is good but it won’t take us anywhere. We need to build “Collective Will” to make us peerless and a model for other states.
Our collective will is nothing more than a genuine resolve by all or huge percentage of Kogites, home and in diaspora, be you a civil servant, crafts man, incumbent and former political office holder, clergy, trader, student, taxi and okada man or woman, farmer, ladies and gentlemen; to play a positive role in their various capacities in achieving an agreed common goal- A GREAT KOGI STATE.
I must commend individuals and pockets of genuine and fake groups springing up days and nights trying to forge agendas for our advancement. A lot have had a life span a little longer than that of a mosquito. What we need is a mass reorientation of our people to pursue a common agenda; the civil servants must be on the same good page as the political leaders, the political leaders must be on the same good journey with the office of the citizens. This way, we can get to the land Moses couldn’t make it to.
The “Will” inherent in individuals to forge a better Kogi varies. Some persons have had their lives cut short because of their huge desire to reshape the state for good, while in some you can’t find the slightest of drive. Since building a GREAT KOGI is a multi-stakeholder project, a huge percentage of our population must be in the same “passion and desire realm” to achieve this.
As an active observer (not player) of our political space, I’m not impressed by the “bridge-age” group of leaders not forming a common front to propel Kogi to greatness. I’m yet to see any synergy or a common platform drawing up a plan for the advancement of the people. It baffles me that not many of our sons and daughters are pushing and pulling to make it to our prestigious list of illustrious sons and daughters. I hope some are warming up somewhere around the globe to get on this list.
How we get a large number of Kogites to collectively join in any drawn transformation programme is another task. Here is where the Kogi social and political leadership vacuum becomes a big friction in our advancement. We need a leadership that can harness our quality human resources to build this “common will”. The state’s leadership must first show the desire/hunger/will for change and build a team of influencers cutting across our cultural, religious, political, and ethnic profiles. The job and campaign of building a mass of willing people should be taken seriously.
I say a big thank you to our ageing leaders who have done their bits in trying to make Kogi a warm, nice, and peaceful home for all. A bigger thank you for leaving a large chunk of our landscape undeveloped, this is very important to me and the younger generation. You can still do more acting in the capacity of consultants on different important issues. We need you in building this “Collective Will”.
I strongly believe that I haven’t just written on papers, I have also written in hearts and heads. I hope and pray this text piece would bring the attitudinal change required in the business of making KOGI STATE a beautiful home.
Mobile: 08079596579; Twitter :@aruwamalik