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Olorunfemi Babatunde

My Grouse with the Fathers and Charge to the Sons

Whispers of America, Gods own country….” shifted my focus to the average height chocolate skinned teenager soliloquizing in the bus. She continued “I will get the American Visa one day, my application may have been turned down, I will try again!” she ended her reflection with, “America, Gods own country”.

I have witnessed the young and old alike give testimonies of how God helped them secure Visa to escape the Nigerian Nightmare. On a daily basis, thousands of Nigerians are praying, fasting, wishing and hoping that one day they will obtain a Visa to their dream country. Sad as this development may seem, it is our reality, the Nigerian reality.

I will not dwell on how we got here or who is to blame. However, I am baffled how a Nation with over 180 million inhabitants manages more evil, greedy and selfish citizens than the good and sensible ones – our choices during elections and how we allow leaders divide us along ethnic and religious line buttresses this position.

For successive governments, free and qualitative education is too much luxury to bequeath the Nigerian child, stable electricity remains elusive to the Nigerian entrepreneur and citizens. I sometime ask myself, “What is the Nigerian dream?” You have an answer? What values and vision drives and bind us as a Nation? The absence of a Nigerian dream explains why foundational cracks of mistrust, ethnicity, and greed surfaced, thrives and continue to dwarf our growth. These narratives must change.

We must not toe the path of our fathers; successive leaders who hold back the development of this nation with the “National Cake theory”, “Chop I Chop formula”, “Padi Padi syndrome” and the “Man know Man policies”.

How do we chart a new course for our Nation? Should we expect a Messiah? Should we take on the traits of the long awaited Messiah? My charge to you, young Nigerian; you are the hope and lifeline of Nigeria.

Coincidentally, I am publishing this article on the 87th Posthumous Birthday of Chinua Achebe. Chinua Achebe put Nigeria on the world map for writing and his intellectual prowess. Like Chinua, we must put Nigeria on the world map for excellence. It is no surprise to see him honoured by Google – did you see the Google doodle today? (It’s pictured in the image posted with this article). It may also interest you to know that Chinua Achebe is one of the personalities whose indigenous names are recognized by the Microsoft Office Word dictionary.

The potentials and abilities of the Nigerian youth are never in doubt. As individuals and as a collective, we must begin to channel our talents, resources and intellect towards changing our narrative and moving this nation forward. Let us join hands to save Nigeria from ethnicity, religious extremism and corruption.

The black man (in my opinion) is catastrophically self-centered. We can change this mindset by contributing our quota to the nation’s development, knowing well that building a prosperous Nation is the best present we can gift the upcoming and unborn generation.

2019 is around the corner, ensure to be part of the electoral process and join to hold our leaders accountable and responsible for their representation.

To Nigerians living in the Diaspora; NEVER forget your roots. The developed nation you now call home was built by humans. Therefore, do not fail to contribute your quota to the making of a prosperous Nigeria.

I am positive that Nigeria will wake up from her slumber someday; the day you and I decide that we are the long awaited messiah of change and begin to do things right within our sphere of influence. LET’S DO IT. YES, WE CAN!