It is said that "ifs" are useless tools of historical analyses; but one cannot but wonder what the trajectory of the Nigeria nation would have been IF she been blessed with leaders with vision in the mold of Kwame Nkrumah, Lee Kuan Yew, or Mahathir Mohammed!
But there's absolutely no doubt that, given the sheer size of the country, a strong Nigerian leader with great vision would have altered the course of that country and, by implication, Africa's progression for the better.
IF at independence, the country had been blessed with a Chairman Mao or a Nehru or a Nkrumah, or a Lee Kuan Yew, today Nigeria would have been up there with China, Singapore, Malaysia, and India.
Blessed with leaders with vision, Nigerians would not today still be struggling with life's basics like inadequate food, erratic water supply, pitiable electricity supply and run-down infrastructures. Nigerians would be up there probing space and dreaming about sending an African astronaut to investigate the heavens.
Instead of wallowing in poverty like they currently do, Nigerians/Africans would also be world-class achievers with Nigerian/African scientists also inventing marvels to wow the world, and their industries would be churning out industrial outputs at neck-breaking speed.
Instead of our people selling dog-chains and old newspapers in the hot sun like they currently do, they would also be using their brains and talents to create the things that would improve their living standards.
The 21st century would not be referred to simply as the Asian Century but as Asian and African Century.
All these and much more would have been possible were Nigeria to have been blessed with leaders imbued with patriotic zeal, and who were prepared to put their nation's interests far above their personal and parochial interests.
Sadly, instead of all these laudable ideals and dreams, we have a country still being run by a cabal of very ruthless and totally otiose elite concerned only with the shameless pursuit of its capricious selfish interests.
A sad parade of utterly self-seeking political elite has ensured that a once promising nation blessed with huge human and natural resources continues to be the yardstick for economic underdevelopment.
A nation that is said to have earned over $400 billion from crude oil sales alone in the last 50 years still cannot provide adequate electricity for its people. A nation that exports 2-3 million barrels of crude lacks the capacity to refine enough for its domestic consumption -- Nigeria still imports refined oil!
Today, the country spends more money on the running of the machinery of the government than it does on education and health combined.