I am glad to be here in Enugu and to join our nation’s youth in their deliberations on shaping the future of Nigeria – their future! I thank the organizers for the gracious invitation.
My message to Nigeria youths has been consistent: Take back your country. It is your future they are toiling with. We must Seize the Moment to Shape the Future. I will share with you four critical perspectives in this regard.
We are not unmindful of the odds stacked high against those who wish to take on the system; indeed, the attacks coming at us from all angles prove that we are up against well entrenched interests.
Nevertheless, we are encouraged especially by the passion and commitment which our young people are bringing to our ranks, and by their determination to take back their country and build for themselves the kind of nation they desire.
We therefore, invite all people of goodwill to join us in this noble task. We are certain that we will prevail, for we know we are on the side of Truth and Justice. The evils that have plagued our country cannot and will not continue forever;
those who are plundering our treasuries will not be able to do so for much longer. And why are we so sure? Well, that is the lesson of history. As Martin Luther King Jr. Said :
“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” The time for Justice has come. Let all those who love truth and justice arise and build their nation. The history of every people or nation is directly related to certain leaders.
These nations were forged and continue to be moulded by the character and vision of these leaders. Modern Saudi Arabia is a product of Ibn Saud’s leadership. Singapore, of Lee Kuan Yew. China, of Mao Zedong and Wen Jiabao. United States, of George Washington. Israel,
of David Ben Gurion. Turkey, of Kamal Ataturk. The current state of Africa is in direct proportion to the character of leadership we have had post-independence.
Most of the independence leaders were freedom fighters, and failure in leadership led to seemingly endless decades of lost opportunities. However, the problem lies in a simple fact – the system that chose these leaders was flawed.
Nov 25, 2022 · 7:06 PM UTC
Good leadership cannot come out of a flawed system of leadership selection. Since 1960, Nigeria has experimented with various approaches to leadership in a democratic setting.
Alliances of individuals not bound by any philosophy have coalesced to take power under dubious agreements.We continue to promote strong and influence-wielding individuals (that is, strong men), rather than striving to build strong, long-lasting institutions.
The fate of Africa depends on Nigeria. And the fate of Nigeria depends on good leaders. Good leaders can only come out of a system of strong and capable followers, holding to account those they elect to govern them.
It depends on YOU! Are you tired of being tired of this country? Then, it’s time to act. Let’s make the Office of the enlightened citizen the highest office in the land. It’s time to take back your country!
Nigeria is the giant of Africa. But we are on our knees, bogged down by numerous problems. Each time we attempt to stand up, it seems something is holding us down. Meanwhile, we are all aware of the problems and the issues confronting us. Bad leaders,
Insecurity. Corruption. Mismanagement of the economy. Incompetent people holding positions at different levels of government. Abject poverty in the midst of plenty. Ethno-religious crises.
But all of these are mere symptoms. We see the manifestations, but the real problem is deep down. Every four years we attempt to treat the symptoms by electing the person who has convinced us that he is the solution to our woes. Then he disappoints us.
We complain and wait for another four years to repeat the cycle. It is time to stop that nonsensical cycle. We have to press the RESET button. We must restart Nigeria and begin to build the country of our dreams. We stand now at an opportune time to press that RESET button.
We must do so by rejecting those who have failed us so woefully in the past. We will choose a New Nigeria. A major problem is that we cannot predict what our leaders will ACTUALLY do when in power, and we appear to have no way to force them to deliver once they are in office.
They make promises during their campaigns, but they fail to deliver on them. The problem is one of accountability. We need a way to hold leaders accountable when they are in office.
How? If we ask ourselves, what is the greatest fear that a politician really has? The answer is: removal from office. Our politicians hold on tenaciously to power, because the stakes are so high.
Any leader who knows that he or she can be removed from office will have no choice but to listen to the people and at least try to deliver good government. Therefore,
we can conclude that a major aspect of the leadership problem we have in Nigeria is because the leaders are not really afraid of being removed from office once they are voted in. They see the electorate as timid and docile.
Citizens have to use their constitutionally given and recognised powers to hold leaders accountable; whether it is by asking them to resign or by putting pressure on our elected representatives to proceed with impeachment processes against them.
These provisions are not there for decoration; they are tools to be used effectively in holding the feet of elected officials to the fire, all in the interest of good governance and a better life for the people.
I wish to state that Nigeria’s rebirth trajectory is clear: it is anchored and driven by Nigerian youths. Seizing the Moment to Shape the Future should be your mantra and mission.
Let me end these remarks by borrowing from The New York Times of July 12, 2015, advert placed by Josh Tetrick, the CEO and Founder of Hampton Creek, in the United States. Josh Tetrick’s letter was addressed to “Dear 23-year-old.”
The second paragraph was an eye opener for me as a parent, politician, policy maker and mentor. It said:
“And more than any generation before, you have a commitment to common good over individual gain – an ethos that reaches across traditional divisions such as race, ideology, partisanship”.
You will agree with me those observations relate well to our gathering here today. In the mission to rescue Nigeria, there is no tribe, religion, or class. Indeed, there can be no conscientious objector. I thank you all. - PO