Good morning, Nigeria. Typically, there are two narratives about Independence day today.
1. Media aides who just lie and say all kinds of overused words. From yesterday, some people already predicted the content of President Buhari’s speech.
2. Typical Nigerians who are disillusioned will remind us of all our challenges and how government at all levels are not doing any meaningful thing to take us out of the quagmire.
3. Education taught me to always put a third opinion in my narrative.
For me, we should celebrate independence. It is almost unimaginable that we have remained together as a nation despite all the challenges. From my readings, I realised that many of our pre independence leaders themselves were tribal leaders. Our problems didn’t start from Jonathan, no. We have always had troubles. The Dasuki loot is only a fraction of what many past leaders looted.
For me, Nigeria has never been really perfect for us. Several things have gotten worse over the years, one of those things is our education system which is very sad.
We often make the mistake of not counting our blessings, the world does this for us too. We always forget that for every Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab, there are three Ngozi Adichie that Nigeria offers the world. For every Internet fraudster, Nigeria offers the world several Iyinoluwa Aboyeji. For every story of corruption, there are Nigerians breaking academic records from Russia to The UK.
Let us not join the world to put our country down. Let us all work together to show ourselves to the world. For me, Ayodele, I am grateful that I am a Nigerian. An average 60 years old Palestinian man, If he isn’t killed before he’s 60 has never known peace in his life. I’d rather be a Nigerian than be him. I’d rather be a Nigerian than be a South African. An average South African of my age has a family history of a parent or an uncle who was tortured, humiliated or arrested for protesting sometimes in the 70s and 80s when my own Nigerian mother was wearing Oleku and enjoying her country. An average black brother in the US is not safe. With the shocking statistics, it is very sad. Just last week, a Yoruba Man was shot in Charleston, US. Intelligent man, the friend of a friend, minding his business, cut down just like that. As a Nigerian, I am minding my business and I know I am safe.
Many people will disagree with me because we still have unnecessary things that kill us in Nigeria, the health care system, the roads, corruption and even the education system.
I took this picture from the window of the classroom where I drafted this post.
And then this:
The classroom where I teach the next generation of Nigerian leaders.
With all these, it is hard to convince anyone that Nigeria can work. How can my students compete with students who learn in sane environments? A friend recently told me that anyone who believes in Nigeria is crazy. Yes, things seems so but because I am a Nigerian and I have so much plans for the country, I believe. Myself and many other young Nigerians hold so much potential that we just have to believe in the Nigeria project.
Now to the main point of this post: Rather than complain about the bleak future, do whatever you can to rescue our dear land. Put pressure on government, protest when you have to but without believing in Nigeria, your noise cannot yield any positive result. It took only Dr. Adadevoh and her team to rescue us from the Ebola scourge. What will you rescue us from? Believe, then act!
I currently work with teenagers and preteens every Friday. We watch inspirational Ted videos and discuss how to make the world a better place. We also share ideas on transforming our local communities. Seeing the pristine nature of their minds and how enthusiastic they are has inspired me to believe.
God did not put me in this country to abandon me. He created me to make an impact and I won’t stop until I do so. Despite everything, I love Nigeria!
I am Ayodele Ibiyemi and I am in the process of #MakingNigeriaWork Will you join me and many others in this work?