“So regardless of the station that we occupy, we all have to try harder. We all have to start with the premise that each of our fellow citizens loves this country just as much as we do; that they value hard work and family just like we do; that their children are just as curious and hopeful and worthy of love as our own.”–Obama
We all suffer from bad government and our brothers in power have done us no observable good nor brought us any special development. We all suffer from bad leaders whether they are our blood brothers or not. What did the successive northern presidents do for the north? The north remains a good example of deprivation. What did the southern presidents do for the south, not even the east west road was completed nor the Ogoni clean up flagged off. We all need the same things majorly, whether north or south, Muslim or Christian. Great outcomes have no religious, regional or tribal coloration. Dubai is good, so also is America or Japan. Good is good!!!
We should therefore express our loyalty and support for good governance and good governance only. The idea of whose turn it is to rule should not confuse us at all knowing our collective aspirations. It will always be the turn of the good to rule. Leadership is not a matter of pride because the person who carries the burden of leadership is from our tribe; its sense of pride is derived from the good they bring and the impact they brought to our collective pride as a people and a nation.
“For too many of us, it’s become safer to retreat into our own bubbles, whether in our neighbourhoods or on college campuses, or places of worship, or especially our social media feeds, surrounded by people who look like us and share the same political outlook and never challenge our assumptions.”– Obama
Our silence is not helpful. It contributes to the outcomes we now suffer from. Little drops of water make a mighty ocean. No matter what, let your voice be heard. Use every channel possible including social media. Join a political party, any one of your choice. Attend political meetings, at least know the way your leaders think and talk. Participate in the way leaders emerge at the ward level. Who knows, you may just be selected as a delegate or a candidate, both very powerful positions. One decides who should represent the party at the convention; the other is the party’s representative at the general election.
“…..we become so secure in our bubbles that we start accepting only information, whether it’s true or not, that fits our opinions, instead of basing our opinions on the evidence that is out there.”–Obama
One of the greatest revelation social media has brought to light is our capacity to believe anything without verifying authenticity. It is the vulnerability of our lack of comprehension as a people. Sometimes I struggle to see how the arguments support the conclusion. Not even the Americans are free from this. This means we can be ruled by ideas that remain illogical as evident in religious extremism and most times populism.
Should we not probe assertions by people? How do we assure ourselves of who to vote for if all they say is what we believe? Should we not evaluate their capacity to perform on their voice? No matter how good intention-ed a prospective leader is, performing on his promise requires more than being good intention-ed, it requires capacity and a track record of performance.
Let us stop to think for a moment, is it true? Can they perform on what they say? If all you seek is a bag of rice then by all means take it, but a bag of rice will not buy or replace a better life, which only correct choices through your participation can guarantee.
“Politics is a battle of ideas. That’s how our democracy was designed. In the course of a healthy debate, we prioritize different goals, and the different means of reaching them. But without some common baseline of facts, without a willingness to admit new information, and concede that your opponent might be making a fair point, and that science and reason matter — then we’re going to keep talking past each other, and we’ll make common ground and compromise impossible.”–Obama
What common baseline of facts can we establish for Nigeria? What new information are we seeing that challenge our assumptions? Are our opponents making reasonable points in some cases? Why must we be so dug-in on our views even when we suffer from outcomes at variant with our expectation just because we can’t afford to admit we made some wrong electoral or policy choices.
Consider the array of our class of governors and local government Chairmen. Is this really the best that we can get? We must open up to criticism and the debate that ensues from alternative viewpoints. We must accept that we are not all knowing and that our knowledge is stored in our differences.
“How do we excuse ethical lapses in our own party, but pounce when the other party does the same thing? It’s not just dishonest, this selective sorting of the facts; it’s self-defeating. Because, as my mother used to tell me, reality has a way of catching up with you.”–Obama
Is this not so true in Nigeria on both sides of the divide? The same people who fought against national savings, arguing that all monies must be shared and in fact took the federal government to court now say, the problem of the past government was lack of savings. The same people that occupied Nigeria against removal of petroleum subsidy turned into champions of subsidy removal. My view though is that the sign of a courageous man is one who takes a decision in the morning and is able to change his mind in the evening due to more light. As long as it benefits Nigeria, the best time to take these decisions was in the last regime, the next best time is now. No matter what we should not take decisions that are self-defeating or get strung to a past decision that is erroneous.