“Our youth, our drive, our diversity and openness, our boundless capacity for risk and reinvention means that the future should be ours. But that potential will only be realized if our democracy works. Only if our politics better reflects the decency of our people. Only if all of us, regardless of party affiliation or particular interests, help restore the sense of common purpose that we so badly need right now.”–Obama
Our diversity and our people are a strength not a weakness. There are many things that divide us, but there are certain aspirations that we have as a people that are unanimous. It is this sense of common aspiration and purpose that brings balance to our politics. Certainly as Nigerians, we do have some common purpose, lets focus on them. It is easy to move the populist way to balkanise our country. We think Balkanisation or a split will solve the problem, it however just drives us away from the challenges, which our diversity presents without a higher benefit. This diversity will always remain with us as it begins from the family unit. The strategy of balkanisation never ends until it completely scatters us.
Diversity appear to be a weakness today in Nigeria, as it divides us when indeed it is a strength that brings well rounded perspectives and creates a robustness that only diversity can bring. Let’s celebrate and task our diversity for improved outcomes.
“Understand, democracy does not require uniformity. Our founders argued, they quarreled and eventually they compromised. They expected us to do the same. But they knew that democracy does require a basic sense of solidarity– the idea that for all our outward differences, we’re all in this together; that we rise or fall as one.”–Obama
The Nigerian people bear the brunt together, the outcome of successive weak governance actions. Let our differences not overcome our solidarity because this country belongs to us all for real, and we must muster our solidarity around this reality. Truth be told, great countries are not ones devoid of citizen or leadership vice. It is one whose collective determination to forge ahead despite that remains in tact.
“There have been moments throughout our history that threatens that solidarity. And the beginning of this century has been one of those times. A shrinking world, growing inequality; demographic change and the specter of terrorism — these forces haven’t just tested our security and our prosperity, but are testing our democracy, as well.”–Obama
The Nzegwu coup, Biafran war, June 12, neglect of the Niger Delta, Ogoni land pollution, successive coups, IPOB, discrimination under Federal character policy, discriminatory retirement from the military, Southern Kaduna, Fulani herdsmen debacle, cattle rustlers, corporate monopolies, Islamic movement of Nigeria, increasing poverty etc. all seek to break our solidarity and sponsor distrust among citizens. We must seek a place of restoration of citizen’s trust in our common aspiration, which remain neglected. We must move away from honouring divisive forces in our national experience until we defeat them.
True! Despite the thorn in our flesh, a messenger of Satan troubling our psyche from our history. His grace is sufficient to forge on. Yes we can!
“To begin with, our democracy won’t work without a sense that everyone has economic opportunity. Because that, after all, is why we serve. Not to score points or take credit, but to make people’s lives better.”–Obama
My question will be, how do we begin to give people this sense of economic opportunity in Nigeria. One way is to begin to break monopolies to allow more people into the space. Create and support entrepreneurial hubs, sporting academies and competitions, encourage shows and competition that give talented young artists a chance and a platform, set up big studios, Gyms that encourage practice etc. We must build great businesses that shape the core values and work ethics of our people. We must create opportunities by improving the ease of doing business in Nigeria.
Which of these can you undertake alone or together with your friends? Is this service only for those in government, can the citizen also organize around non governmental organizations, volunteer services and self effort with the same objective of making life better? The question I should ask myself is what am I doing whether small or great that has the potential of making someone’s life better? This indeed is our responsibility, to make life better for somebody else, either directly through our own effort, or in contribution with a group of people, or by electing the right set of people in a position of leadership.
It’s amazing how we come up with policies upon policies that lack central coordination. Policies that present a scenario that government, using tax payers money tend to compete with her citizens and is therefore unable to play a balanced regulatory role that help facilitate business and give her citizens opportunities. Government agencies cannot continue to operate in ways that suggest they have no service responsibility to her citizens. Participating in the same business with her citizens by government is unfair competition. How do you participate in a business sector and regulate it at the same time?