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419 Reasons To Love Nigeria September 30, 2011

Posted by seunfakze in Uncategorized.
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419 Reasons to Like Nigeria

NIGERIA – THE LAND OF POTENTIAL AND OPPORTUNITY
 I like Nigeria because it is a land of endless opportunities and possibilities. Nigeria is one country whose true potentials I believe the world is yet to experience. I believe Nigerians are sharp, brilliant and accommodating people. Giving the right enabling environment the world will marvel at what Nigeria will become.

 Nigeria is the most populous black nation – and a buying one at that. From a capitalist point of view, this makes for great investment opportunities.

 The fact that Nigeria currently lags behind so much – in infrastructure and developmental terms – hints at the size of the potential for innovation and transformation, and at the huge number of vacancies that exist for ‘transformers’. What I think this means is that the world will be hearing a lot about Nigeria and high-achieving Nigerians (in the public and private sectors) in the near future.

NIGERIA – THE COUNTRY
 The Nigerian Green and White flag is a notable national symbol. The green color symbolises agriculture, seeing that the country is endowed with masses of arable land, while the white colour signifies unity and peace. Other national symbols include the Nigerian Coat of Arms, which depicts an eagle on a black shield, tri-sected by two wavy silver bands, and supported on either side by two chargers. The national motto underlies the coat-of -arms: “Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress.” Her national symbols convey great meaning to its people.

 The Nigerian accent is currently ranked by CNN Global Experiences as the 5th sexiest accent in the world.

 Nigeria is home to Nollywood, one of the world’s biggest film industries.

NIGERIA – THE CULTURE, THE FOOD, THE WAY OF LIFE
 Something great to like about Nigeria is our cultural diversity. A strong affinity exists, despite our differences. Learning about other ethnic cultures in my country really helped me personally relate to other cultures when abroad.

 I think the food is tastier in Nigeria than that I have found in other countries.

 Nigerians live a communal life style. The extended family is part of the immediate family in a Nigerian home.

NIGERIA – THE MUSIC, THE MOVIES, THE DANCE, THE ART
 Nigeria has produced many world class musicians. A notable mention in this regard is Fela Anikulapo Kuti. A Broadway show titled ‘FELA!’ was produced in 2009 depicting the life and times of the Afrobeat musician.

 Nigeria’s movie industry, Nollywood, is reputedly the 3rd largest film industry after Hollywood and Bollywood, and has grown gradually into a $250 million industry in more than 10 years.

 Nigerian indigenous musical instruments are unique, soulful and rhythmic. They comprise the popular Talking Drum, producing proverbial and storytelling sounds, the Shaker (shekere), the Udu drum, the Lute, the leg and arm Rattle, the Omele, the Ogene (Gong originating in Eastern Nigeria), the Ekwe drum and the Kakaki (A 4m metal trumpet popular in Northern Nigeria). Many of these instruments have been incorporated in South American music over the years

NIGERIA – GEOGRAPHY and NATURAL RESOURCES
 Nigeria is a nation blessed with rich human and natural resources. As the 8th largest exporter of Oil in the world, with the 10th largest proven reserves, our blessings cannot be over-emphasised. No earthquakes, no tsunamis, no droughts, an evergreen land. The rest of the world should live here.

 The beauty of the Nigerian state cannot but leave one in awe. Blessed with captivating physical features and abundant wild life. From the rolling hills to the vast plains in the North Central Nigeria and the forests in the South, the beautiful scenery of the country is more than breathtaking and with the wildlife spread all over the country; Nigeria is surely a beauty to behold and a tourist’s delight all year round.

 Nigeria is blessed with tremendous agricultural resources. Cotton in the North, Cocoa & Oil palm in the south amongst many others. The flag is green for a reason

NIGERIA – WEST AFRICA, AFRICA and THE WORLD
 Nigeria has the largest population of any country in Africa. Approximately 1 out of every 2 West Africans, 1 out of every 4 Africans, and 1 out of every 5 persons of African origin is a Nigerian.

 Nigeria is the largest contributor of troops to the ECOWAS Monitoring Group (ECOMOG) and by extension, is the largest force for peace and stability in West Africa.

 A Nigerian will stand out anywhere you find him/her, from Libya to London, Tokyo to Timbuktu. Well known examples include Hakeem Olajuwon (Houston Rockets, USA), Olumide Oyedeji (Seattle Sonics), Tunde Baiyewu (Lighthouse Family), Sunday Adelaja (Ukraine), Chris Aire (US), etc.

NIGERIA – INDUSTRIOUS, INNOVATIVE and ENTERPRISING, with ACHIEVEMENTS
 Nigerians are intelligent, brilliant minds who have proven their mettle in various fields – Wole Soyinka was the first African to win the much coveted Nobel Prize for literature in 1986. Chinua Achebe’s classic novel ‘Things Fall Apart’ was ranked as number 14 in a list of top 100 books in the world by Newsdesk in 2009. Others include Cyprian Ekwensi, Mabel Segun, Chimamanda Adichie and Helon Habila whose literary works have won both international and local awards at various times.

 We have budding fashion designers. Yes! It’s a line every Bunmi, Amaka and Amina has decided to tow but to disregard the effort and originality of our Fashion Designers would be disrespectful. Tiffany Amber, Lanre Da Silva and Deola Sagoe are building world renowned brands, not to mention the legacy developed by the likes of Abba Folawiyo, Maureen Onigbanjo, Remi Lagos and Zizzi Cardow.

 Nigerians have excelled in the fields of economics and finance, managing well established global bodies. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, the current Minister of Finance, was until recently a Managing Director at The World Bank. Obiageli Ezekwisili is currently the Vice President for Africa at The World Bank. Mr Adebayo Ogunlesi is a first class graduate of Oxford, and Managing Partner of Global infrastructure Partner (GIP), a concessionaire of London’s Gatwick International Airport.

 We take technology and expand it in ways those who created it could not have imagined. For instance, take the BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) which allows you to send broadcast messages to all addresses on your contacts list; Nigerians recently found a unique way of advertising the different businesses they do. Someone started a message highlighting the fact that many people in Nigeria are entrepreneurs or provide a service and included his BB PIN in the message and sent to all his contacts with the charge that they state the service they provide, include their PIN and send on to all their contacts too. This seemingly small campaign has gone “viral” with whole lists of entrepreneurs and their BB PINs being passed from phone to phone. This is a clear sign of the ingenuity of Nigerians!

NIGERIA – GREAT PEOPLE
 Nigeria is the 7th most populous nation in the world (over 160 million) and most populous in Africa – a gold mine of energetic, determined and talented people in each and every field. From Lagos to Aba to Kano, the Nigerian business spirit and desire to succeed is visible. It requires just proper harnessing of these human resources before Nigeria becomes the super power she was meant to be.

 Nigerians are passionate, friendly, welcoming, hospitable, and well cultured people. The average Nigerian reflects a combination of vivacity, intelligence, energy, talent, and resolution.

 We are a nation of people that can hardly hide their excitement at seeing family and friends. Some misconstrue this thinking we are loud but let’s just say we are EXPRESSIVE! If you see us on the streets of New York making a big ruckus and hugging? No sweat. We are just happy to see each other.

NIGERIA – THE RESILIENT SPIRIT
 The Giant of Africa: Not ignoring the current challenges, eventually, when we get our act right, we will reign supreme on the global scene. We have the potential and as is much touted by the Warri people – “Naija no dey carry last”

 The ‘survivor-mentality’ hard-wired into the DNA of Nigeria’s people. The fact that against all the odds (and there are many of them), Nigerians continue to live, hustle and seek to triumph. It is not by mistake that Nigeria is regarded as one of the “happiest” countries in the world, despite its challenging economic and social conditions.

 We are hardy. The average Nigerian does business under circumstances that are unimaginable to people from other parts. In a place where there is no power, no credit, and scant regulation, people do business and do very well for themselves too. If you can make it in Nigeria, you can make it anywhere in the world.

NIGERIA – TOURISM and SPORTS
 Nigeria is an amazing tourist haven and is home to the Obudu Cattle Ranch, located in Calabar. It is only 45 miles from the Cameroon border. The Obudu Plateau is spread over 40 sq. miles and is 5,200 feet above sea level. The Obudu resort features a Gorilla Camp where tourists may observe gorillas in their natural habitat.

 Nigeria has two UNESCO world heritage sites, the Osun Osogbo Sacred Grove and the Sukur Cultural Landscape in Adamawa. UNESCO world heritage sites are places designated as being of cultural significance.

 Nigeria has produced great footballers like Teslim “Thunder” Balogun (the first Nigerian to play for an English Club – QPR), Segun Odegbami, Muda Lawal, Stephen Keshi, Rashidi Yekini (who scored Nigeria’s first ever goal at the World Cup), Nwankwo Kanu, Austin ‘Jay Jay’ Okocha, John Mikel Obi, Osaze Odemwingie, to mention but a few.

 Nigeria has excelled in athletics over the years, still holding continental records in the 100m men and women, 4x100m men and women, 400m men and women, among others. Over 100 skilled Nigerian professional footballers played in First Division leagues in different countries all over Europe in the 2010/2011 season, 9 in England; 8 each in Finland, Norway; 10 in Ukraine and 7 in Sweden.

NIGERIA – UNITY in DIVERSITY
 Nigerians, despite our diversity are a united people who always strive to help one another. With 774 local government areas, multi religious and ethnic affiliations, 36 States, and population of over 160 million, we still stand undeterred to move forward together.

 Even outside the country, Nigerians remain united. This gives a quiet assurance somewhat that you can get on a plane and go to any country of the world and find a Nigerian there who will not only make you feel welcome but will go out of their way to be of really good help. I have experienced this several times on my travels and each time it amazes me how all I need to be is a Nigerian, not Igbo, Yoruba or Hausa and once I run into another Nigerian, I will immediately feel at home.

 Our greatest strength lies in our diversity.

The ‘419 Reasons to Like Nigeria’ Campaign is in partnership with ‘The 419Positive Project’.

A Call to Serve September 26, 2011

Posted by seunfakze in CHANGE, POLITICS.
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4 comments

Impositions. Lack of options or alternatives. Providence. Fate. Political thuggery, ……………………………………….(and yes, fill in the remaining slots.). These are some of the ways we got varying proportions of our leaders. In all, we however have very few leaders who have the will, mind and necessary resolve to TRANSFORM our nation. The lack in intellectual capacity, the radical and rugged tenacity for consistency necessary to make sweeping policies and see them through regardless of whose ox is gored in our leaders, and the determination to see an improvement in the lives of the citizenry is a clog in the wheel of our national growth and development. Above all, Nigerian leaders lack one fundamental thing: LOVE ϑ

LOVE, (sorry I do not mean the romantic love between man and woman) is something that our leaders lack. It is a crucial missing link that has resulted in the lack and dearth of ideas and changes in our community. Asides the inexperience, shallowness and incompetence of their minds, our leaders do not LOVE the people they “serve”. It is clear, in my opinion, that you cannot Lead the People if you don’t Love the People, and that you can’t save the People if you don’t serve the people.

It is impossible to have all Nigerians educated, so intellectual strength will always be a challenge to us at all levels and spheres of leadership. It is true too, leaders are A̶̲̥̅̊ reflection of the people. It is hard however to find people who love their neighbours and who will not be committed to their well-being. This is easily observable amongst us. Isn’t it amazing how hard we find it to rally around our neighbours when they have peculiar challenges, even though we can help? Similar scenes of beggars who ply our street and the less privileged easily come to mind. It is easy for us to hit a “retweet” on an injustice fact about the western world on twitter when we are guilty of the same crime. When did you last extend a helping hand to the needy in your community even though you could? How many times we have seen many of the less-priviledged, the destitute, etc and all we do is look the other way or drive away? Countless times you have walked away from these scenes I mentioned and even worse, but I leave your mind to judge you.

Look at our leaders, It is incredulous how they build high walls around their houses and employ massive security personnel in these facilities! After all, other people can be robbed so long as it doesn’t get to their area/house. Observe them massively guarded by security personnel; if honestly they are worthy leaders who serve the people, they need less than the security around them. Only a crazy citizen would want to harm a leader who serves the interest of the people. The citizens, we drive those streets, many of them with potholes that we could easily remedy using blocks and sands, at least make them motor-able. What do we do? We would rather spend money repairing the car which was damaged by the gaping hole than do something about it.

We complain daily about these potholes yet we drive these expensive cars through them. Hold on, I am talking about your street and not the expressway! We build houses and do culverts (for water passage) around them even if it doesn’t extend more than our fence; and when we are flooded during the raining season, we cry wolf. Who are we deceiving? Now, it is this same selfish neighbor that I just described who is your councilor, local government chairman, governor, senator, etc. It is madness to think he will think of you; he has always been the self-centred person he is. (or maybe I just described you!). Truly, a people are worthy of their leaders. Again, our leaders are reflections of the people they serve.

If we are a community that cares, we will elect leaders who care. If we love one another, we will elect based on the same premise. Most of our leaders who assumes office either grow or swell in financial accounts. Rather than grow in stature politically, add value to the society and earn the honour, prestige and respect of the people; the reverse is the case: they swell.

The government, even if they can, will not do everything. TRUST ME they won’t. More alarming, our children and young future leaders are indirectly imbibing the culture of disservice and neglect, learnt from us. By ignoring the needs of our society when we simply can help, we are indirectly teaching them to neglect helping the needy, the poor or meeting/alleviating our environmental challenges. Some of the things we expect the government to do are things we can easily do.

This is a call to SERVE. To initiate and inspire change in Nigeria, we first must be that CHANGE. It is a call to serve the people, if I may re-phrase, to serve ourselves. The longer we wait on the government to do everything, including certain basic things that we may do for ourselves, the longer the issues challenging our communities will linger. Some of us are certainly assured most of these leaders have no clue about what to do, and rather than sit lame and do nothing, we had better arise.

There is no point canvassing for CHANGE in leadership positions if we would go there and repeat the same. We should arise and act, as much as possible, as many as we are, as much as we can. I challenge you to pledge yourself to the liberation of the Nigerian people, starting first with your community. I conclude with this challenge to you, as much as it is to me, to do something in line with Change in the next 30 days, personally, or to inspire someone. Measure the outcome daily, and let us see how things change.
Document these acts or any of these in the next 30-60 days and let us see how your community responds.
 Fill some potholes
 Clean the environment
 Respect the elderly and cater for them (stand for them in buses, cabs, etc when there are no sits left)
 Pay for taxi fares for younger ones (if you can)
 volunteer to teach at A̶̲̥̅̊ school
 Motivate young ones about their reading (Form a reading club)
 Visit the sick
 Teach young people about health issues and how they contribute to it in their community
 Clean the gutters
 Visit the orphans
 You may not be able to reach the needy but you can PRAY FOR THEM; and many more.
Remember true leadership do not require titles to function, it is simply rising to the deficit of responsibility in our homes, offices, and community.

Live. Love. Learn. Leave a legacy
God Bless You, God Bless Nigeria.

Follow on twitter @seunfakze

Nigeria: A Nation Under Siege September 17, 2011

Posted by seunfakze in Uncategorized.
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If you ask me, birthing a New Nigeria is simple yet complex. This is it. Nigeria has problems, yet it has the resources (human and mineral/natural). Just align the right ones together – the right resource to the appropriate problem, and it is solved. It’s that simple. However, that is in principle. In action, we put the wrong resources for the right problems; this we do by appointing/selecting/electing incompetent/unscrupulous heads for the jobs. This is how complex it is.
By virtue of our resources: human, natural and mineral; we are capable of being the most developed country in Africa, and arguably one amongst the highly developed in the world. Were we not under a curse of leadership, by now “I am a Nigerian” should elicit the just pride of national patriotism, global respect and commendation. The reverse is the case. “I am a Nigerian” draws criticism, is synonymous to corruption, terror and fraud. Live under no illusion, we are under siege.
We are under Siege: of inept leadership, of deceits, of untold pillage, of moral decadence, of clueless leadership at all levels, of unintelligent representation at all levels, of looters & thieves, of corrupt heads, etc. If you think we are not under siege, THINK AGAIN. The problems stare us in the face, and the resources are there. (Poverty, corruption, health, infrastructural deficits, Unemployment, untapped potentials in agriculture and other mineral resource, etc) Our History had its share of avaricious elements, but leadership was strong; nothing compared to that of today. The leadership of the Awolowo, Zik, Sardauna, Enahoro, etc speaks of personalities with burning desire to make their nation amongst the top 25 before it derailed and came under military siege. We are under siege at all levels: Local, State and Federal respectively and the leadership replete of mostly self-centred corrupt personalities.
For example, by creating multiple departments with duplicate functions, President Jonathan has encouraged and allowed spaces for corruption to thrive like never before. Never have we had so much money with so little result. No one is asking where the returns of the high crude oil sale that came from the Libyan crises have gone. Spending is huge, government is large. Yes, Mr. President has come under immense pressure for his docility in the past couple of days, but is he alone? Undoubtedly he is the absolute representation of clueless meander but look closely, he leads a pack of opportunists, unpatriotic sycophants and incompetent elected/selected leaders. Only recently the NNDC was dissolved, obviously for corruption claims. So who is facing the music? Is this another ‘Dimeji Bankole scapegoat? Corruption is rampant everywhere and thrives uninhibited because there are no worthy examples that serve as deterrents to others. The story is the same: steal, serve few months sentence, and back to the system.
In the first 100 days of their assumption of office, our lawmakers met 10 times; then proceeded on a 46 day recess. What kind of country is this? Who makes such laws? 46 days of recess? What better job is there that profits so much as those of our lawmakers, earning arguably $2m a year with little or nothing to show for it? How can you inspire the citizenry not to approach politics with the intention of stealing with this attitude? How would you inspire hardwork with this kind of leadership? Work little, expect huge returns? May I remind you that the US President earns just $200,000 a year; and he dare not proceed on this type of break!
We are under siege of political appointees, ministers and parastatals with duplicate functions. With luck as their success secret, most of our ministerial positions are filled with personalities who will “chop and go”. What exact leadership will Jumoke Akinjide bring? Where are the track records? Leadership is key in politics, for character, values and competence of any leadership will attract similar personalities. Apparently, the appointments are doomed to replicate the headship. Why? Our national leadership is a provision of goodluck, providence and incompetent (time-proven) governance. Check the track records. It depends on strokes of luck to thrive!
We are under siege at the local government levels. No local government collects less than #100 million a month. Check out the allocations under http://www.fmf.org.ng and confirm. What have we to show for this? Leadership is a BURDEN. In the mess that Nigeria is in, how these leaders sleep never fail to amaze me! Check most of these Chairmen, most are local thugs. So why would we complain if they build hotels, and use our funds to pursue personal projects? (avaricious aggrandizement!) I served in a local government where the only consistent project in almost 8 years of same leadership was refurbishing of secondary schools and patching of roads. The fraud perpetuated under the “first Lady” positions from Federal to state levels is not even one I can discuss right now!
The last vindicator of the common man: the courts, was recently embroiled in crises; raped and de-humanized. This administration was ingeniously portrayed as “the government of the people” quoting government spokesperson Reuben Abati. This is a lie. This is a government of the PDP, cronies, and loyalists. For those who really understand the precarious situation we are in, the removal of Salami is a slap on our face and the last hope of the fair justice may have been lost.
Even the social media is under siege. Political mouth organs sent to distract harmonious voices critically but constructively taking on the government has resorted to “read the constitution” ploy. One would think this would solve our problems, one would also assume it will provide solutions to the immediate and obvious needs of the Nigerian people. Have you even wondered what all these subservient mouthpieces are paid? Just to tweet, post facebook comments, or probably speak in public?
We are a nation bound with unbelievable potentials, yet in bondage of incompetent leadership. Our potential may never come to reality so long as we remain under siege. Human capacity will forever be my campaign, for until we have replicate strong minded, insightful and intelligent leaders at critical levels of government who can push changes/reforms and see them through; WE WILL REMAIN UNDER SIEGE. Human capacity and leadership quality in individuals must be the basis of appointments and elections/selections. This was the issue in the last April elections, this is why we are in a mess.
“A capable, competent and committed leadership benefits everyone….including those from outside his immediate tribe, region or religion. An incompetent, incapable and myopic leadership is a danger to all- the nation, democracy and people including his tribe, religion and region. Patriotism is devotion to country” — Nasir Elrufai.
Young people are the hope of the future, that is if they prepare, starting from now, and commit themselves to chart a new course of pride, honour and selfless service for their nation. These clueless set must go, they have nothing to offer us; they have no right to hold us captive forever. If you think we are not under siege, THINK AGAIN. The facts stare you right in the face.
Shall we remain under siege? Words have lost their meaning; speak to me with your ACTIONS.
Arise Nigeria, Arise Young People.
“Young people are capable, when aroused, of bringing down towers of oppression and raising banners of freedom”–Nelson Mandela.
God bless you, and God bless Nigeria.

Saving A Dying Nation September 13, 2011

Posted by seunfakze in CHANGE, POLITICS.
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8 comments

The absence of quantum leap progress in the development of Nigeria accounts for its present state. The Filth, and Rut of our nation is not only a pitiable sight; its stench, the cause of a national affliction. An affliction of docility in the face of teeming un-productivity, of apathy, of unpatriotic carefree attitude, of suffering-amidst-plenty, of a weakened will, of an enslaved mind. Human Capacity: Only Strong Leaders With Deep Core Values Can Save Nigeria From An Impending Doom.

Crises, insurgents, terror, crime, violence, corruption, and other vices all stem from the fact that each individual has less time committed to doing one productive thing or the other. I recently wrote about Ethno-Religious Hatred amongst us, Jos is on fire again as I write this. I am sad at the spate of innocent potentials lost in the crises, worried about the ineffective measures of the government taken to resolve the crises, and alarmed over government’s silence and inaction. While it is absolutely impossible to remove these vices totally from any state/nation; reducing it to the barest minimum is the responsibility of insightful leadership. Sadly, “a quality that one does not have, one cannot give”. Should a nation rise, a leader must have the qualities (entrenched in Human Capacity) and strong will that would initiate change and see the change through.

These qualities, which fundamentally must rise from Human capacity as against geographical/religious affinities, is not the priority when, for instance, choosing leaders in my nation, Nigeria. If the objective of nationhood is to (amongst other things) inspire the citizenry, build conducive empowering environments that will allow EVERYONE reach his/her potentials, live comfortably, be well engaged (as an employee or business owner), etc; then does it matter where the leadership comes from? Does it matter if he/she is Muslim or Christian, Ibo, Hausa, Yoruba, and others? Look at Jos, and our leaders (Gov. Jang and President Jonathan has nothing effective to curb the violence). Are they humane at all? Aren’t they concerned?

The objective of zoning is good, for it ensures the participation of all and sundry in government; everyone is a partaker. The question is: what if we have people who do not have deep core values to effect change in our nation and they are the favorites in an obvious party selection process in zoning? Do we still vote them based on a policy made by a few? Look around you, and see the effect of zoning: Inept leaders, biased and vitriolic followers, and a dying nation. Shall we go beyond PDP whose interest is definitely not in the growth of our nation and unite our differences?

Should we progress, we must understand and appreciate our differences. Whether you are a Muslim, Christian, Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba, Tiv, wherever or whoever you are and belong to; the only objective is to look for qualities in people THAT WOULD RESULT IN A GREATER NATION. Spites and acrimonious emotions would lead us nowhere, as it has obviously shown. If we, young people, the youths, will make Nigeria great; then we must come to understand the ploy of our leaders. I should be able to govern Rivers State as a Yoruba; the same way my Igbo brother should be able to govern Lagos State. What matters is the quality and intent of service, backed with outstanding time-proven track records of service: in business, personally or in public life.

Should we progress, then individuals who have the CHARACTER, CAPACITY and CONSISTENCY to put us ahead should be our leaders. How would we develop as a nation when strong qualities, the strength of individual character and Integrity come secondary to ethnic and religious affiliations? How do we consistently elect leaders without track records in public offices? Integrity is only constant when it is consistent. Put a prostitute in a mansion, he/she will only make a mess of it. Put a man of honour on a dung-hill, he/she will turn it to a profitable establishment.

Depth and quality of the individual to understand our national issues and find effective, implementable, and long-lasting solutions are paramount above religion and ethnicity. How would we know all these? A good start is to check the track records of service of such people. I consider it an insult on the intelligence of the people for political contestants to approach us based on the bigwigs of their godfathers, and without any tangible measure of service!

The greatness of Nigeria owes not its allegiance to our ethnic or religious peculiarity, but to the core quality of the individual/personality. If Nigeria will arise, we should THINK. RESOLVE. ACT. along lines of national growth not bias or divisive sentiments. Track records, Integrity, Transparency, Character, Capacity & Strength for leadership, amongst other deep core values; are qualities we should look for in contestants. If a northern leadership in Presidency will not translate into good for us, then why push for it? Many times, we put leaders in positions they never dreamt of having, based on sentimental (tribal and religious) feelings. Diligence without Understanding, activism without analysis would run us in trouble. The decisions of the past years, in our elections, have cost (and are still costing) us severely. If we are divided along these distracting divisive lines, then these leaders (mostly miscreants) will keep exploiting us.

To effect any change, we ourselves must be advocates of such change. To desire good, we must be good. To resist evil, we must be good ourselves. Should we want a nation without ethnic or religious clashes, then we must love our Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba; etc Muslim and Christian brothers/sisters unconditionally. For if truly the people are not blinded by the affliction of racial/religious hatred, then we will choose our leaders appropriately; for the affliction of ethnic/religious bigotry will not blind our thinking. If strong core values/Human capacity is our objective quality in leaders, then we would go beyond our differences and elect leaders on quality. This is one of the ways we can UNITE as a nation: Understanding our Differences to Appreciate one another without Bias or Prejudice, while accepting that Human capacity in individuals takes precedence over other things.

Many amongst us can make change happen, but have become ineligible because of an apparent zoning nonsense (asides favoritism and god-fatherism). This is one reason I applaud Otunba Dele Momodu in the last April elections. He stood, regardless of the zoning brouhaha. Posterity will remember him for this. Will we look beyond zoning and other petty distractions and create a new Nigeria by electing people based on quality? Will we chose people based on their capabilities? Leaders who would chose the People over their allegiance to some party?

Even after voting, we need to keep asking the right questions, and monitor how our money is spent. This is our national right, and no one has the power to usurp it! It is a national heritage and not a personal belonging. Our leaders plunder us; mismanage our resources because they do not have the capacity to sustain it. There is no need to go far. No local government in Nigeria today, for example, collects less than #100 million monthly for its administration. How has that effected or translated to the good of the common man? If #100 million is disbursed every month to the community, how was it used? Which channels did it go to? How judicious was the management? No one should be exonerated based on sentiments or affiliations. We are a nation; an injustice to my Hausa brother or Ibo sister is an injustice to me, “an injustice to one is an injustice to all”. We are one, and no one deserves to rid us or rip us off our collective resources without facing the music. Selective cases of prosecutions must be frowned on.

The lack of motivation and reason to be inspired also comes from the different cases of corrupt people walking free on our streets. Should our government rise to the challenge of “light” punishments for corrupt people, more young and capable hands will become inspired to approach politics (which is presently viewed as a dirty game). Tafa Balogun only got a 6 month punishment for his offense. Former Governor of Bayelsa is not exempt too. Dariye is a Senator today. Where is Dimeji Bankole today? What about Etteh? Odili’s case?In this same country? Talk about selective judgement. No one is above Nigeria, NO NOT ONE.

If there were stiff measures and strong punitive parameters for erring leaders, it would serve as deterrent for posterity. If all /some of us monitor our local governments, the councillorship positions/wards, and ensure a judicious use of our resources; and should these leaders understand that the people are much more aware and demand monthly paper publications to these effect, then they will sit-up. Careless holes and weak policies allow the breeding of corrupt people in government positions. #100 million is more than enough to perfect people-oriented projects every month in the communities.

If we, young people, will replace these inept leaders, what are doing to build capacity to initiate and sustain change? Are you/ Have you build some noble core values today? Have you developed Human Capacity today? Or are you still blinded, worse still, afflicted with the virus of Ethno-Religious Differences?

God Help Us.

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