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Sunday, 13 November 2011

Tributary on our streets

In the Nigeria where I grew to be knowledgeable and wise, I was made made to believe that democracy is the best phenomenon to live with. Now that the Nigeria brand of democracy has been with us for over 12 years, I'm left wondering on which is better, military or democracy. The actuality of the tributaries on our street is the fact that roads are in deplorable conditions, we are in a raining season, and the drainage system is bad, therefore, our beautiful streets are waterlogged. Students do not need to go to long distances for excursion, it's now what we live with. What then is the way out?

Politicking must stop, government must awake to its responsibility. Enough of subsidy distractions and single tenure agenda. What we want are decent infrastructure and social amenities. We want water to flow in good drainage, we want our streets to be lighted for good. However, in spite of the streams that are becoming big rivers in our streets and on our roads, Nigeria is alive.     

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Drawing board ethos and delusion

We have a tradition in Nigeria after every time we fail. Our kind of leaders in all sectors does not admit mistakes for their failure. We have a lopsided view of failure. The view is a minor factor nonetheless. They don’t admit their shortcomings, errors, and ill-preparedness. They do not see failure as an opportunity to do things in a better way. It has become a slogan anytime they failed or the endeavor was almost a success. They would always say ‘we will go back to the drawing board’. They are used to this delusional way of reassurance. This as it were, doesn’t imply change from their part, let alone approach. It’s a culture thing. They don’t lead the charge to prepare well for whatever, and when they fail, they would say it’s going to be better next time. The slogan is associated with sports but it’s not only where this kind of failure is obtainable. What they can only prepare for well is what will bring fortune to their pockets and account. If it will do every one well, it’s not their concern. The question is where is this imaginary drawing board? Is it at their offices, home or abroad?

The truth of the matter is the fact that there is no drawing board anywhere. The leaders that we have are not really interested in leading. They want to rule, exploit and exert. If it won’t favour them, it is not it. Their capacity to lead is questionable. They do not like preparing for what will favour the generality of the populace. They are opportunists, taking advantage of innocent Nigerians. Drawing board is imaginary. It has never been referred to. We love doing things without preparation. We neglect excellence at the expense of opportunity and so-called ability. We celebrate talents and gifting and neglect preparation. Without mincing words, this statement is truer than ever, ‘failure to plan is prepare to fail’. There is no other route to excellence and success without preparation. Success and excellence is not accidental. They are deliberately worked on.

Therefore, in our journey back to excellence and where we really belong to, we must prepare! There is no other way to it. If we really intend to take our place, we must prepare for every event, everything that pertains to us. We must prepare for the kind of leadership that we desire. We must be objective in positioning administrators. We must do away with the idea of quota. Right pegs must be put in right holes. We have the manpower to manage our lives and resources well. Rather than failing readily at home and at international events, and resolving to the drawing board that is imaginary and delusional, we would rather practice the beauty of excellence. This starts with adequate and timely preparation.  After all, what is worth doing at all is worth doing well. We can’t afford to fail again. We will not fail yet again. Nigeria is alive!

Monday, 12 September 2011

The Fallacy of Nigeria Factor!

What is it about the Nigeria factor? Are people indulging in ignoble acts because they are Nigerians? Certainly Not! Names are readily given to events and happenings erroneously. Hurricane Irene just devastated some parts of the U.S; Irene as it were implies peace. That name shouldn’t have been given to that Hurricane, but it was named withal but it didn’t bring peace but turmoil and destruction. The modern day challenge is the advent of celebrating what is dastardly without realising its effect. The issue of Nigeria factor comes to play whenever a Nigerian misbehaves in the international scene. But the issue is the fact if these things happen because persons involved are Nigerians? Absolutely no! These things happen because they are humans whose emotion took better of them. They are frail and feeble but this is no excuse. Every one of us is but not all of us will ever indulge in these things. In their frailty and feebleness, they should have watched it; those who live in glass house don’t play with stones, let alone throwing them. It is then not a Nigerian factor; it is rather a human factor. 

If it were not human factor, when other nationalities misbehave, why is it not their identity? Suicide bombings should have been termed ‘Arabian factor’, shooting to kill at schools termed ‘American factor’, and… the like. But these vices are not given these names, where is corruption our identity. Was the incident of the ousted IMF boss a French factor? When the allegations of unscrupulous advances were made, he was charged to court but the act was not named at all. This suggests that vices are not Nigeria factor but human factor. Individuals don’t commit ethical blunders because they Nigerian but because they are humans. It will not never turn out to be whatever because they are Nigerians, it’s because they do not have personal discipline. That is not a bane of our country, but the fact that these individuals are not committed to excellence. More so, it will never be a case because if there are some people in Nigeria that are good, then it’s not a general image but the actual image of select individuals. What is the way out of this fallacy that is obviously a product of hasty generalization?

One of the ways to get rid of this nuisance is to watch how we position people to whatsoever position. We must always put those that will never bow to despicable deeds in strategic position. This is vital because a very small number of people represent the common good of the majority. In many instances, they are not the right persons because their positioning goes against the will of the people. That’s why they don’t serve us but themselves. It tells on us and it gives a very negative message to the rest of the world and when this things happen, the world don’t care what the goods ones are capable of doing but what the bad ones have done. Even though this terrible worldview is erroneous, the world can’t get rid of it for us, we are the ones to stand on our feet and fight it by ourselves. This is so important because there will always be Nigerian that will always be making noble choices. This as it were is invitation to responsibility. We must rise and begin to influence who occupies where and which position. This vendetta should be taken to every aspect of our national life, be in public service, private enterprises, standard must be set and sanctions will be used against anyone that flaws the standard. 

In this instance, we want to know ‘who’ before ‘what’, ‘where’ and ‘which’. Be it governmental or nongovernmental, big corporations and companies. It doesn’t matter who own it, what matters most is the image of Nigeria. We will ask about their prospects, ideals, and their track records. What have they achieved? Are they qualified to lead or represent us? What are they known for? What is their reputation? And most importantly, do they have integrity? This is so important because if they flourish or falter, it is going to be ‘that Nigerian’. Their names are not always mentioned like our country’s, especially if it’s in international community. His is a fact forever, people are not corrupt, unethical, undisciplined or covetous and selfish because they are Nigerians, rather, it’s because they are humans and the actual causative is the innate nature of sins. It’s inherent, and it comes out readily here because of our kind of structure and media. When it happens at other places, they are covered and termed another name. Others have known how to cover theirs, ours we won’t cover but root out of our system.

Nigeria is able to come out of this terrible worldview of irresponsibility and corruption because we will take responsibility and hold anyone who despises the image of our motherland…Nigeria lives like no other and thrives indeed. Nigeria factor is fallacy and we will not live with it. Nigeria lives!     

Nigeria lives I

Nigeria thrives and it is not a naysaying as it is rated as a potential failed state. But the issue is despite of her multifaceted challenges, she doesn’t seem like a state that will ever look down. Discontent is not strange to her, restiveness in some parts has become trendy, the advent of suicide bombings and Boko Haram agenda has made it a possible troubled-spot in the world. The change that we desire seems to be elusive and the re-cycle of power is overly imminent. Those who promised 7 point agenda during the electioneering campaign are busy politicking and their government is now delivering NO POINT AGENDA.   The leaders that have really failed are figure-hugging onto power as it was their birth right. It is obvious that they are spent and they don’t have anything to offer again but they don’t want relinquish power. They are afraid of everyone who is not their ally; they don’t want to be exposed. They resolve to predictable politicking, abysmal idolatry and occultism.  

However, in spite of their wanton excesses, inordinate ambitions, and their do-or-die mentality, Nigeria is still alive. Why? Is she not a failed State? NO! There are two major factors amongst numerous factors. The first being the God-factor and the other is still God-given, and it is the ‘Nigeria Spirit’. This Spirit never says die or give up in the face of any challenge. That Nigerians are the happiest people on the earth is not a gainsaying, it is out-and-out. More so, Nigeria has the record for the highest number of church attendance weekly which is estimated to be 89% of her population. But this does not translate to equity and justice my readers will object. But this is not going to be disadvantage when the time comes, it’s going to be a great gain. The good side of this feat is the fact that people appear in God’s presence on Sundays and other week days with the hope that HE’s able to change them and make them better in the undertaking of assignments. It is preparation for what the world has never seen before now, Nigeria’s change of fortune and fervour will be dramatic and enviable. This does not encourage Christians to be dropping their Christlikeness at church doors but to translate it into their daily living – Sunday to Sunday. 

What is God-factor in our context? God created Nigeria and it was our colonialists endeavour or agenda. This should be a great consolation and succour. This suggests that God has a great plan for Nigeria that will definitely be realised. Acts17:26 avers “From one man HE created all the nations throughout the whole earth. HE decided beforehand when they should rise and fall, and HE determined their boundaries”. Nigeria then is not an amalgamation of the sovereignty of the colonialists but HER entirety was designed by God. This includes the kind of people, their positioning, culture, time and place. For this reason, which is arguably the best, Nigeria will never fail, She will flourish. She can’t crash but cruise with ease and grace to her actual position in the committee of nations. Our confidence is in GOD, who will take – not just able – us from where we are to where we should be.

The Nigeria spirit will never give up in seemingly impossible situations, the Spirit is heaven- made. The Spirit doesn’t give up but holds on even if the odds are not favourable. The Spirit always find a way out, the spirit will never resolve to shriek. The Spirit can be likened to a Lion that turns back form no one or nothing (Prov30:30). We believe in the Nigeria Spirit more than the fabled ‘Nigeria factor’ that is observable in every nation of this earth. Nigeria lives and will never fail!

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Urgent as opposed to Important in Nigeria!

What is Nigeria’s most urgent need that must be attended to immediately? I believe that it’s power. Others are good governance and a total war against corruption. They are urgent…we need to generate more megawatts as soon as possible because of vision 2020. We need credible leadership more than ever because the last probes of Bureau of Public Enterprises by the Senate leaves us wondering and dejected. We must fight corruption vehemently like never before. It’s gradually becoming our permanent identity in the committee of nations. They are urgent but how important are all these things? The issue is if the urgent should be given attention at the expense of the important. It is understandable that they are all urgent; things cannot be permitted to fall apart more than these, but what is important is the real issue.

What then is important? Power? No. Good government and governance? No. Anti-corruption vendetta? No. All these things need urgent attention but they can’t compare with what is nethermost important. What is important that needs to be visited and attended to right about now? Education is it! This is a vital aspect of our life and economy that needs urgent attention and it is important for the preservation of our posterity. It is basically the funding educational sector of our economy. We have the brains and the resources to stand tall anywhere in the world. There are enough tertiary institutions in Nigeria, but, where is the funding? The Nigeria state as it were is funding politics, governance and corruption. Every other thing is secondary!  But what is most important is the need for the emerging generation to be preserved. They must be packaged to be able to save their world and compete in all ramifications. 

Tertiary education in Nigeria in underfunded. It is thought-provoking to note that the funding that some tertiary institutions get from places where excellence is dedicated to is arguably more than the budget of Nigeria as a nation. This is not appalling. These are nations where they have identified what excellence is and they are committed to its actualization. They are never satisfied with the status quoi; they want to discover better ways of getting things done. UNESCO as it were, advocates a percentage of the statutory budget that must be allocated to Education by developing nations. This has never been complied with in Nigeria. The private owned institutions that rising to the occasion are said to be too expensive for an average Nigeria. The owners and the bodies that own these institutions did not make it so, Nigeria government is to be blamed. In fact, if the fees are compared to what is obtainable in other parts of the world, we would understand the place of aid for effective education in today’s world.

Therefore, Nigeria government should be counseled to fully commit to funding of our education sector like before. The lecturers and instructors should be well paid, research and development must be encouraged, and the infrastructure must be upgraded. When they take the lead, private institutions and NGOS will follow. Education needs the vital attention of the government and this is not negotiable with whatever is urgent. After all, UNESCO recommends at least 4 percent of GNP (or 20% of the national budget) for education in developing countries. But Nigeria’s last budget …May God help our leaders to understand!                    

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

What Nigerians can do

What can Nigerians do? What is it that is branded with Nigerians? Can anything good come out Nigeria? At that other context, that was more than 2000 years…a question was asked thus; ‘Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” But at the end of the day, what will be the best forever came out of Nazareth. Who would have thought the Savior of the whole wide world will come of that Nazareth. Bible affirms ‘Who would have thought that a little place out of the Judean hill will give us the Saviour’. (Micah5:2). What then can come out of Nigeria? If not corruption, disgusting leadership, and bad maintenance culture, what else can?

Let me tell what Nigerians can do. The Nigerian Spirit is amazing. It is also enviable. Nigerians are arguably the most resilient people group on earth. From the coastal shores of Lagos, to the sun baked caliphate of Kano, we are resilient and we will not bow down to anything. From the Oil rich deposits of our Delta, to the peace and enviable features of our middle belt, we are bent on humbling the world with amazing feats and records. This is not on the record, but it’s entering it right about now, no nation has gone through what we’ve been through without ensuing to war. No nation is able to bear what we have borne without breaking into splinters. What we can do is to humble the pride of the Western world. We will prove to them what we can do and they will know that something good is able to come out of Nigeria. 

What Nigerians can do is the fact that they can stay together if they want. It is interesting to know that we will always stay together because we can’t really thrive without one another. If Nigeria should splint, think of a Nigeria where every Yoruba man will become a foreigner in Abuja or Kano. Who takes over the ‘Centre of unity’ that was built with everyone’s resources? What will happen to our way of life that we’ve lived even before the advent of the colonialists and the independence of our nation? We’ve stayed too long together to want to thrive exclusively. Westerners would not be able to thrive and live fine without tomatoes from the Northerners. They also can’t live fine without products of South’s forestation and forestry. We have been divinely positioned to be mutually dependent, therefore, there will never be a context in our history when we will decide ‘to your tents oh Nigerians’. We will always stay together. After all, it’s for peace and unity.

What Nigerians can do is the fact that they can create, invent and improvise anything. Peace and unity is it! Nigeria is alive. We will get there...we will not split because it wasn't an option when the future was so bleak, now that it is getting clearer and brighter, we won't take a bow. We will hold on. What Nigerians can do then is that we are able to stay together forever...this we will do!                     

We will get it right!

Military rule is by no means better...we can't pray for that again. But our democracy is dull and not delivering. On the other hand, Marjorie Kelly avers "The lesson of history is clear: democracy always wins in the end". This implies that we are still going to get it right someday and when we do, we will become the envy of the nations. We will win, Nigeria is alive!

How feasible is your assertion, oh patriot? What do you have to show for it this past 12years of Nigeria-form of democratic rule? Flagrant abuse of power, selfish agenda of the ruling class and the unprecedented pilfering of the resources of our mother land, it’s appalling to discover how much has been sunk into the power sector of our economy. Where the money has gone, no one can tell. It’s as if our come back is just a mere daydreaming, but the truth is that we are able discover our true state, make the decision that is going to be the most decisive in our history, not just a resolution and the country of our birth will turn around. We will definitely not miss it forever.

The Nigeria that is going to be able to bounce back in this big magnitude can’t be wished, but must be created. Who is able to create this form of Nigeria for us? No one can but us. Our foreign detractors are not capable, they are simply opportunists. They have always come to take advantage of us, they can’t help. Our rulers cannot. They are not leaders because a leader leads. Leaders show the way and take the first step on that same way. But they are not really interested in setting the pace for us. They don’t have the capacity and the depth to lead us to the Nigeria of our dream. Who can?

If they can’t, we can. They are never interested in creating this kind of Nigeria because it’s not going to be business as usual. This kind of Nigeria is our interest; we are the ones that will build it. How? When? Where? We can, by giving the indispensable commitment to excellence wherever we are, whatsoever we are doing. When is this going to be? When is it going to start? It must be now because it is more reasonable now than ever. Where as it were, is in the country of our birth. We are able to get it right if everyone is ready to commit himself fully to excellence. 

Nigeria is alive and it’s able to become the envy of this generation not in Africa only, but in the world over. Nigeria is great!

Friday, 2 September 2011

Philippians 4:8 of Nigeria!

Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do your best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious – the best not the worst, the beautiful, not the ugly, things to praise, not things to curse. {The Message Translation of the Bible}

What is left for us to believe about Nigeria, you may inquire? Is it the flagrant abuse of our resources, unaccountability of our leaders or the cyclical pain of a change that is not near or feasible?  But these challenges and issues are not enough reason not to believe in Nigeria again. We have always believed in Nigeria and we will always. The matter then is what should be our disposition to the challenges we do face always...what are to believe about the country of our birth? 

The idea of Phil4:8 of Nigeria is the need to always fill our minds with certain things about the country of our birth. If nothing could not stop the Americans from always asserting that ‘God bless America’, Nigerians should also be proud of the same by always saying that; “God bless Nigeria”. We are to fill our minds with these things and to always meditate on them;

What is true about Nigeria? Nigeria is not a mistake. She was not conceived by colonialists or the desperation of the European incursion. God has always wanted us to be together, it’s not by mistake we are close to one another.
What is noble about Nigeria? The Nigerian spirit that does not turn back in the face of any form of adversity is so gallant. The tenacity of the Nigerian Spirit is enviable in the world over. Anything we lay our hands on always feels the surge of our spirit.

What is reputable about Nigeria? The kind of unity in spites of obvious diversity is unrivaled; our still being ONE irrespective of our tribe, language or dialect, culture and heritage is desirable.
What is authentic about Nigeria? The Nigeria state can never fail and will not cease to be a nation. The Nigeria state has gone through more trying times than now, if SHE didn’t fail then, she can’t fail now.

What is compelling about Nigeria? Her actuality of achieving greatness is enthralling. It is worthy to note that Nigeria is able to come out fine of whatever challenge she is facing now and take her rightful place in the committee of nations.
What is gracious about Nigeria? The beauty of her landmark and unique features! Nigeria is so beautiful, it is a modern-day heaven on earth.

What is the best and not worst about Nigeria? The Christian story of Nigeria is amazing. We are now exporting the gospel and the largest churches in the world are right here in Nigeria. In fact, the largest single seater auditorium {Faith Tabernacle} is in Nigeria.

What is beautiful and not the ugly about Nigeria? We are the world’s happiest people. And interestingly, one out of every living black is a Nigerian.  

What is the thing to praise and not curse about Nigeria? We will always be grateful for oil boom that has not become our doom. God loves Nigeria and Nigerians, therefore . . . 

GOD bless Nigeria!!!