Over the long weekend, I was graced with two speaking engagements – Both incidentally on our independence day. As an independent nation, we clocked 46 yrs on sunday. There were mixed feelings in the air, as to wether we should celebrate or mourn. Was the nation still crawling? Or had the nation become a full grown 46 yr old, that it’s parents can look at and be proud of?
While I do not intend to answer those questions, I have questions of my own that you may need to answer. We all have a Nigeria of our dreams, we all look towards the future and have it in mind, that things could infact change for the better. It is also true, that all of Nigeria does not need to catch the vision of a new Nigeria before the New Nigeria emerges. All that is needed, as was at our independence, is a few resolute and committed minds. The multitude did not win our independence, the multitude will not win our re-emergence. The critical question is not if Nigeria will regain greatness or not, the critical question is what role will you play?
In this country today, there are people whose prosperity depends on things remaining this way! There are business men, who derive their wealth for example from the fact that NEPA or PHCN is not stable. There are generator sellers, diesel distributors, and candle manufacturers who will suddenly plunge from riches to rag if the systems that generate electricity gain order. I don’t blame them. Whats my point? My point is that a better and New Nigeria does not guarantee your wealth and development except you make yourself relevant in it. My point is that in the New Nigeria, there would still be beggers, there would still be the uneducated, the educated illiterates, there would still be joblessness and underemployment.
Do put your dreams or hope in the emergence of a better government that suddenly solves all our problems. Don’t! If you suddenly awake one day, and discover that there is indeed food for all, education for all, jobs for all and all the good things that we all desire. If you see all these things, pinch yourself, its either you are still fast asleep or you died and are now in paradise. All progress is first individual. In the words of the legendary Ghandi, be the change you want to see in the world.
The state of the nation is not the fault of our leadership or government. The state of the nation is the fault of us all! If you and I pay attention to developing ourselves into global icons, tell me where will they say we are from? It’s never going to be what your country can do for you, it has to be what you can do for your country. If you engage in cyberscam it is the reputation of our country, if you engage in global competitions and win, it is the reputation of our country. We are the people that make up the country and the country’s strategic positioning in the next 15 years is the summation of our individual objectives.
I love Nigeria! Not because of where we stand today, but more because of what I believe we have the potentials to be. We are blessed as a country, too blessed. When we get our acts right that which we will create will be like none ever! We complain about our educational system, yet the less than average from our system goes to the US and UK and top their classes. I remember former classmates who have called me from all over the world to tell me that they are percieved as geniuses in their classes, and they respond by telling them “they ain’t seen nothing”. Or is it natural resources? A friend who had access to a CIA report informed me that the most significant resource that Nigeria is percieved to have by the CIA is low surface water? Now did you even know that? The world is confused about what exactly our advantage is. In oil abundant, in bitumen second only to one, or is it gold, tantalite, aquamarine or toumaline? Is it arable land? Or do you want to contend mental resources with the most populous black nation in the world? I heard a Prof over the weekend inform us that if the strongest man in the world every got fatally ill today, there must be a Nigerian in the operating room. We have all it takes, not to be like America (the most indebted nation in the world) not to be like any other, but to stand out tall not only as giants of Africa but a wonder to the world.
It won’t happen by collision of serependity and coincidence. It will happen because we have decided to up our games as individuals, to get involved, to synergize and form a critical mass. I see the emergence of a New Nigeria, a Nigeria crafted by the synergy of icons. A Nigeria that is value based, just and true. A Nigeria where the leaders are guided right and the youth know the truth, a Nigeria that attains lofty heights. A Nigeria, ordered, yet tapping into it’s rich social culture, and leveraging on it’s diversity. I see a New Nigeria. The question is what role will you play in the emergence and the sustainance of this Nigeria?
To all the Nigerians developing themselves to be global icons in one segment of life. Three Gbosa’s to you! If you don’t understand that, you need to come back home!