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Nigeria My Future

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The American Parties National Conventions and Brexit – How far Nigeria

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been fortunate to watch the Republican Party and the Democratic Party Conventions in the United State of America. The one thing that comes to mind is the fact that they were well organized and that people respected each other’s feelings despite the fact that both parties had very different views relating to how America is today.

Yesterday I was honored to see Senator Sanders formally declare Senator Clinton as the Presidential nominee for the Democratic Party and realized that he was magnanimous despite the fact that he had run a primary race where all the odds were stacked against him, yet still he went all the way in the primaries and at the end, the will of the country was greater than his will to be the next presidential nominee and who knows, maybe the next President of the United States.

Furthermore I have watched President Obama over the last eight years or so, continue to strive to unite a country that was pushed into recession by the previous administration and not one day has he gone out to blame all the woes of the country on the president before him, President George Bush. I also find it amazing that his predecessor though a staunch republican has not once come out on air, social media and any other form of news media, criticizing the current government on what they have done right or wrong. Rather he has allowed the American people to continually express their like and/or dislikes of this administration.

Also in the last couple of months, we have witnessed one of the biggest decisions that a country has ever had to make, when the British people went out to vote on a referendum on whether they should remain or exit the European Union – BREXIT – a phrase that became so popular that makes me believe that United Kingdom actually made a mistake by tagging the referendum BREXIT rather than BRINE – which I have coined to mean Britain In Europe.

The truth however is that there were winners and losers and the leaders of the winning group, rather than rub it in the faces of the losing group, have united to form a new Government that is already working with other major European members towards preparing themselves for activating the dreaded Article 50 for the exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union.

All these bring me to the main reason for this article – Nigeria.

Early last year I posted an article on my Facebook page which I titled “What change do we yearn for?” In that article I clearly stated that I had no candidate of choice for the Presidential Elections which were scheduled originally for February 14, 2015 and later shifted to March 28, 2015.

I remember saying in that article that for me we had the case of the popular rhyme which I learnt as a child where the pot calls the kettle black. However with the advent of electricity, the kettle can most probably say to the pot that it no longer sits on flames, whilst still achieving the same function of heating water.

Today as I write this article, 18 months after my initial one, we are still where we were many years ago, relating to our politics and the state of the nation. We still have an executive arm who believe that corruption is only about some people rather than a system, a legislative arm who believes that the best thing to do with the votes of the electorate is to go on recess and promote bills that cannot be beneficial to our generation not to even talk about the future generations to come and a judiciary which believes that we should still have system of justice that was written some time before I was born, in a time where kids learn to use computers and the internet by age 4.

Speaking for myself and still reiterating and maintaining what I said 18 months ago, we have two parties within the polity that are made up friend and enemies who have cross carpeted so often from the two parties that I wonder if there really is a difference between the APC and the PDP. We are still at the point where propaganda is still the order of the day and laying the blame on the poor old devil for the wrongs and giving thanks to God for our personal benefits rather than improving the system for our children and many generations to come.

It is a shame when each time I read about issues and challenges that face us as a nation, I see the same old rhetoric – tribalism, ethnicity, quota system, north against south (or maybe I should say geo-political zones against each other). In a country where we are blessed to have a variety of ethnic groups, natural resources, hardworking people, diverse cultural heritage, great scholars, so  many  ethnic diversity marriages and most of us a growing young population, it beats me why and how we have not gotten it right.

Our country has been gracious to many of us who were fortunate not to spend all our hard earned income on sending children to schools outside of Nigeria, a country that gave us huge opportunities to make some of our best friends through a unity school system and a tertiary educational system that was based on merits and hard work. So taking from the late American President John F. Kennedy, I need to ask the question – what have we done for our country – asides from the fact that we proclaim that youths are aged above 65 and that the young populations has failed this country.

It brings to mind the popular Nigerian saying – when you point a finger at someone remember that you have at least three fingers pointed at you. Those who have been in the reins of power from their twenties and believe that power was meant for them alone and that they alone have the solutions to the problems of Nigeria – needless to say that they actually created the challenges faced today, rather than allow a new generation to try and resolve the challenges, they still complicate it by staying within the corridors of power and trying to advise those in charge that their solutions are best.

A country where today the minimum criteria for you to get a job is a tertiary education, still believes and  has a constitution that allows for those with a primary and/or secondary school certificates aspire to the seat of power ruling a country where even our children are more educated and exposed than we are. A country where we are still made to believe that farming techniques have to do with hoes and cutlasses and that for you to have a great farm yield is to add fertilizers rather than develop seeds that will withstand the conditions of the environment.

A country where we were promised that we would stop having blackout 30 years ago, however these so called messiahs and  know-it-all Methuselahs having spent billions of our foreign reserves have made us worse in terms of power for industrialization than countries with less than one-tenth of the resources we have. I could go on and on, but if I do I will only sound like a broken record.

So for prosperity’s sake I would go back to my last article on the change we yearn for and say thank you to the millions of Nigerians who on March 28, 2015 fulfilled one of our yearning of change –

“ONE WHERE WE WERE ABLE TO CHANGE USING OUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS TO VOTE OUT AN INCUMBENT GOVERNMENT THROUGH THE ELECTORAL PROCESS”

We must however now start the next phase of the evolution I call a revolution without violence and that is the evolution of changing the foundations of our political structures to provide a new breed of young and dynamic leadership that would not only fight for the ‘today’ of our country but also the future of the over 50% of the population – Young People –  and  for the population of the next set of young people who would make up between 50% and 60% of the world population resident not just in Africa but in Nigeria.

 To the next generation, I ask you to take the words of the late President John F. Kennedy to heart – “Do not think about what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country” to make your future and the future of your children’s children great. I believe we can make this change, and like the saying goes “change is never too late” however if we must change, then it must start now.

It is time for the tipping point in the history of our country Nigeria and in the words of Margaret Mead Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has”.

 Also taking the words of Malcolm Gladwell the author of the book The Tipping Point –”Tipping Points are a reaffirmation of the potential for change and the power of intelligent action. Look at the world around you. It may seem like an unmovable, implacable place. It is not. With the slightest push in just the right place, it can be tipped”

“The only static thing in life is change and this is the time to change the Perception that the young people of Nigeria are not capable to change and lead this country to next millennium, Let’s pave the way for a brighter future for our children and their next generations, as we all know there is nothing like home and home is the only real place you find rest”

God bless Nigeria.

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