The time is here!
I am proudly Nigerian!
I have been a member of the Nigerian diaspora community since 2008. I left Nigeria in the way and manner that brings glory to a country. My services were required by a South African company and I served as a Consultant to a mobile network operator in Southern Africa. I have since worked for two other multinational companies including the biggest Telecommunication service provider in the World. I know that the average Nigerian is hardworking and will rather earn his/her living by doing any kind of dignified labor. I also know that with the right environment, Nigerians would destroy the myths created about their values.
In my years living outside of the shores of Nigeria – my greatest preoccupation has been to constantly make Nigeria proud by being very professional, acting with integrity and excelling in everything I do. This serves four purposes for me.
1. I believe that a child of God is not one that is caught in the marketplace with a big bible and a bell, shouting for everyone to know his identity. Rather, s/he strives to act in the way our Lord has admonished us to behave in the eyes of adversity. So, when I decide to stand out, it is a conscious decision to live like Christ.
2. “Remember the child of whom you are”. My parents went through a lot to educate us. It will be sad to repay them by becoming miscreants and trashing the family name.
3. I will love to leave a legacy for my kids and many to come. In the words of Stephen Farah, this is about finishing strong. Lee Kuan Yew – Singapore’s founding father died and the world has seen the outpouring of love for the man who steered Singapore in the right direction. We might not all have the opportunity to touch lives on the same level as this great man, but I believe we must all aspire to greatness in our spheres of influence. Our names must invoke goodwill for generations to come.
4. My love for Nigeria drives me to make her proud. Despite the fact that the international and local media are awash with gory stories about Nigerians – there are many Nigerians making the country proud both within and outside her borders. It is important for each of us to continuously play our part to paint Nigeria in the good light it should be.
That introduction serves to lay a context for the words I am about to write. I am not a card carrying member of any party at this moment, so I am writing from an objective point. I also don’t need money from any politician, not even a favor. I can even declare that I have donated my own little dime to the campaign office of my chosen candidates. As much as I love Nigeria and want my children and the generations to be proud of her; I cannot deceive myself that we are not on the brink of a disaster that may plague us for a long time. Potential is nothing if we are not pushing to get things moving. For those who have been to Singapore or know the history of the great nation – you would agree that it is a story of grit, discipline and integrity. It is a story of turning around a country that went through multiple colonization and shame into a story that amazes even the most lettered men.
I believe that Nigeria is at a point of no return. A point where we make the shift to start the journey to greatness or total doom. Nigeria is blessed! We have natural resources that some other countries would only dream of. We have brilliant human resources and our climatic conditions are favorable. But we have seen the resource curse plaguing us especially after the discovery of Oil. It is as if our brain shut down after we realized we could just share the revenue from Oil. Today, Oil contributes 14% to the GDP but about 85% of our foreign exchange earnings. I will take the latter fact more seriously than the former. GDP is nothing unless it is high per capita and you have also considered the Gini coefficient (The measure of inequality in a population).
The Nigerian political class is one without ideology at this stage. The parties are a conglomerate of strange bed fellows and the distinction between the two biggest parties is a blurred line. The politicians change parties like underwear. Integrity means nothing and most would kill and destroy to achieve their selfish aims. The love of Nigeria is not their driving force. I speak of the PDP and APC as similar sets of people. That said – we have a duty to dig deeper into both parties as the reality is that one of their two candidates would win the March 28 elections if it holds. That is the point where we have to examine and choose the lesser evil and one that has certain qualities that can jump start us on the road to building a country we could be proud of.
I am supporting the APC in this election because of the candidates. Buhari/Osinbajo represents the best combination we have today. I am not naive to think there are no better men in Nigeria, but they are not contesting. Nigeria is also not matured politically for a small party to conquer PDP with their endless financial muscle gained from years of being in power. There have been countless attempts at discrediting Buhari, a former Military head of state but these baseless allegations have failed. At this stage in our country – we need men who can declare that they have not stolen public money and are also ready to declare their assets and provide solid leadership. Both men come with that level of integrity that amazes anyone serious for a change in our fortunes. The issue of corruption is more critical than we realize. Countless deaths from bad roads, ill-equipped hospitals, insecurity, etc are all symptoms of corruption. Nigeria has spent Billions of dollars on equipping the Army, yet Boko Haram grew from a few tattered rebels to such a brazen and confident group over the past 5 years. It took a poke from Chad and the 2015 presidential elections for the presidency to start doing what it should have done years ago.
The present government has also failed us on many fronts apart from corruption. We have a government that is rather reactive and very insensitive. The advisers of the president have not done him good service with the constant goofing both locally and internationally. From promises of sorting out the sore tooth of epileptic electricity in four years (still a dream), and even reneging on his one term pledge that was aptly captured. Integrity is lost when promises cannot be kept. Nigerians would have loved him to stay on in power if we feel that he has placed us on the right path to National glory. Their reaction to the Chibok girls still leaves a bitter taste in the mouth. We needed a foreign teenager to convince them to address the parents of the girls. Sad. It also took a year for the presidency to show real concern for the boys that were murdered for daring to go to school.
I have read Buhari/Osinbajo’s manifesto and 100 days covenant with the Nigerian people. I also know that it will not be easy but these men are sincere. They have been meeting with ordinary Nigerians and sharing their plans. The President on the other hand has pitched his tent mostly with countless religious leaders, Obas, Ogboni, IBB and has recently reawakened OPC. The desperation in the air is palpable! The battle for the soul of Nigeria is fierce. The love of money is truly the root of evil. In their desperation, PDP has spent Billions of Naira on a media war, sponsoring documentaries laden with lies. APC’s campaign spending is much more sensible and brown envelope visits to various stakeholders have not been their modus operandi in this election.
Yes, we know that not all the politicians surrounding Buhari/Osinbajo are sincere men with the total love of Nigeria in their heart. But it is harder for you to plunder a nation when the President and Vice-President are not interested in looting the treasury. I am also confident that the time for our emancipation as a country is here and there will be judgment on the people planning to put her in a continuous shackle. The judgment would be great. Change starts from the top and we do not have a better chance at turning things around than now.
This is a passionate appeal to those still sitting on the fence. Four years of bad continuity at this stage would hurt us more than we can fathom. We will pay the price of neutrality when we leave men without the love of the nation in power. Go through this website that dispels the various rumors about Buhari. Ask questions, do your own research. Check how much foreign reserve Obasanjo left and what we have today. We don’t have a perfect man in Buhari but we need his discipline and integrity. A man who has been head of state, petroleum minister and a governor – but does not have a house in Abuja or Lagos. No fat foreign accounts and houses. We need his deputy – a proven technocrat. A professor. A legal luminary. A man of integrity.
Please do not let this chance slip from us. It is our time to start steering our ship in the right direction. When we elect them – we will not stop there. Our romance with them stops on May 29 2015. We will hold them by their promises. We must not go to sleep but constantly monitor their progress and hound them if they start taking us for fools. We all must become more political active and even join political parties. Our biggest problem is that our best people think politics is dirty but the price we pay is that we constantly find ourselves governed by the worst of us. Our attitude to politics must change from 2015. By 2019, we must be at a stage where our politics start reflecting a greater level of ideology and with a good system that is sustainable.
Nigeria will be great again!