At the risk of sounding cliché, Nigerian youths of today have been fed tales of how the mantle of leadership would fall upon their shoulders in future, in a future where they would be ripe enough to lead a country with an enormous amount of people with diverse cultural views, ideas and dialects. This task being rather large need people who see a great nation mature enough to be greater and seize every advantage it has over other countries both large and small by leaving no chance to negativity, prejudice or pessimism. I don’t need to take you down memory lane as this article is aimed at laying a blueprint for the forward motion of a country so great but with inadequate engines (leaders) to propel it forward, so I ask for permission to assume each person that picks this up to read has adequate knowledge of the past to know where we have and should be. The choice of title for this article isn’t really to captivate you into reading a page or two out of the numerous things that go on in my little head, it was chosen as I sincerely couldn’t find a perfect title with the knowledge that we as a country deserve more respect than we are firstly giving ourselves and secondly receiving from other nations; so I decided my voice needed to be heard, this is literally my first time of speaking up and hopefully it wouldn’t be my last, I have decided to touch three aspects of the various issues we have created and still are ignoring in the Nation; the Children/youths, the leaders and thee opposition.
Growing up in a country with dreams and ambition, it is only normal for a kid to imbibe the spirit of dreaming and having ambitions as the fruits doesn’t fall far from the tree, but I believe dreams are a reaction to the actions around a person. A child that grows in constant torture could either dream of acquiring such power and inflicting as much and even more on those to come after him or he could dream of freeing himself and those to come after him as a result of that circumstance. So first of all, the dreams of a child should be moulded right, its not only enough telling a child he would one day lead, that child has a right to be taught to one day wear the mantle of leadership and find out how he/she can effectively contribute his/her own quota for the good of the country and a dream bigger than his/her individual dream, and a perfect way to start is by medium of enlightenment (note that I carefully chose the word enlightenment and not education as by default most people think formal education is the only way a child can be brought up in the right path which often allows neglect of other essential means to transfer the right amount of knowledge into such a child) and adequate practical examples, those who can be described as leaders in their own right to such children should start moulding them from tender ages into becoming useful to themselves and the society at large, this would help shape the thinking of such a person when he/she is able to stand on his/her own eventually. Children who eventually become youths that search for fast routes to success usually come about from being around leaders who also did the same and set bad examples to these youths who in turn set bad examples to those after them causing a chain of people without right visions. Every Nigerian child has the right to enlightenment in their own right so as to learn which aspects of building a greater nation they would fit into, if this can be achieved, it would benefit the Nation in turn by growing young ambitious minds who can solve existing problems, foresee future problems and set plans in motion to counter them as well.
Power corrupts, so they say but is power truly the reason for the shortcomings of our leaders? Is the problem their ascension to the throne or is that just a way we deny that those before them and in turn the ones before those chose to neglect the future by ignoring the young because they already had the power they wanted in their grasp? Maybe we cant blame the leaders after all, they also are fruits of leadership which made them the way they are. Or maybe we should blame them anyway for not taking a stand and putting and end to the cruelty of past leaders and administrations before their ascension. People are not born bad, they are made bad in the image of the bad people and environments they spent their lives living in right, but that doesn’t lock up the fact that all humans are blessed with the ability to reason rationally and know when something isn’t right after all, they may not have been able to do something to change the ways things worked before they sat on the throne, but they can after they get in power, change the way things work to favour enlightenment, to favour the people who spend over thirty years of their lives serving the Nation, to favour hardworking men and women who find ways in their capacity to drive the nation forward, change the scale on which promising future is evaluated from ‘what is’ to ‘what can be or would be’, to change their approach towards great minds who find ways to toil by being entrepreneurs, to change the way elections are won and lost to show that losing isn’t defeat, to recognise that its we against the world and a nation divided cant stand. Blueprints of the nation should be made for long term purposes and then modularised in ways where short term achievements can be made and in turn be smaller pieces of the larger achievements that should be made over time. The youths should be encouraged to dare and made understand that losing isn’t defeat, but a way to go back to the dressing board and win bigger on a grander stage. Encourage PPP and guarantee such companies adequate security. Create a future Nigeria for future leaders to lead.
Like I have iterated previously, losing isn’t necessarily defeat. I have always seen it as a second chance, a Chance at being better, a chance at coming up with a better plan an execution and since we claim we contest based on the interest of the citizens and the country, then it really isn’t about who wins or loses but about how we can work hand in hand to create a better country who deserves and earns every atom of respect it can get, a country with pride and a future for the future citizens. Instead we have imbibed the attitude of “its us vs them” and when we don’t win, we unnecessarily criticize the current administration, create problems for that administration as well as painting it bad to the citizens of the country home and abroad. Attitude like this is what the younger ones see and learn to emulate because at such tender age they take what the leaders do as right and don’t see the negative side like how this creates a divide in a country with diverse beliefs already. When the opposition wins eventually they stop vital projects the previous administration had started and try to cancel good policies already left on ground all in the name of that administration being bad and how they know the better ways to run a country, these kinds of attitudes would do them and the country no good in the end.
I have tried to make this as brief as I could and hope at least one person reading this thinks the way I think and sees things from my own perspective. I wrote this entire article for that person and dedicate this to him/her. Thanks for reading. I hope we claim that title soon so I can have something to name the next thing I write.
Disclaimer: This piece was written by Mr Oluwakorede Cole and in no way represents the opinion of the blog owner.All ideas and content of the article are totally that of the writer. This peice is unedited.