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Sanmi Adekola

Today, like every other day, most Nigerians are dissatisfied with the country’s state of affairs. Governments after governments have come and gone, yet there is little or nothing to show forth in almost all strata of our national life. I think I may not be wrong to assert that there is a common consensus among the people of Nigeria that our problem is neither the military nor the civilian government, neither the People Democratic Party nor the All Progressives Congress or any other party that has been in the affairs of this nation. Many will say, the problem is with the leaders – the political elites irrespective of their party affiliation, but I’m quick to say the problem is us.

For once, can we stop the blame game? Most of the leaders we have today were once followers. Yes! Where are the political leaders of the first, second and third republic? Yes, some of them are still with us but how many of them are still relevant today? How many of them are occupying political offices? How many of them are still calling the shots? How many? The truth is no matter how long we live, every man must answer the call of death one day, when and how can no man say except God. Thus, some of the leaders of those eras have gone for good and the rest will still go. What this means is that there will be an emergence of new leaders as we have witnessed in recent times.

There is a way nature weed out people including leaders. The question is how prepare are the new entrants? What are their visions? What are their ideologies? What are their values? What are their motives? The truth is no man is born with all these things – the society creates them in people. People’s visions, for instance, comes from what they think they can do to better their lots, their communities and the societies in general. Our values are products of our education and exposure which are the products of the book we read and the people we meet as well as the places we have been to. The principles and ideologies we developed and imbibed are products of our orientation from home to school and school to religious settings. We don’t get our motives from heaven, we get it from here. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying God does not motivates or inspired people. Far from it! What I’m saying is that our idea of the existence of God and what it can do and undo we got from others. Someone somewhere espoused the Holy Scripture or the Quran to us, and even if it is Ifa Oracle you practice, you did not come across it by accidents. Someone taught or guided you.

I’ve gone this far to prove my point to tell you that our problem is not the leader but ourselves. Our leaders are from us. They are a reflection of the majority of us, if not, all of us. If Nigeria of our dream is going to be possible, you and I have to change. We must become a new Nigerian, whatever that means to you. If you were made Governor or President today, what will you do differently than the people who are there now? What is your vision of a Nigeria of your dream?

Let us assume the past generations have wasted their generations as some of us are currently doing too, can you save the coming generation by ensuring that your children are better than you in terms of vision, values, ideology, principle, and motive? Can you? Our generation and the generations before us were trained to seek jobs, can you train your children to create jobs? Can you? Our generation and those before us were trained to see leaders as gods, can you train your children to see leadership as a call to service? Can you? We are a timid generation that hardly asked questions from people in authority, can you train your offsprings to ask those in the position of authorities to be answerable to them and they also being prepared to be answerable to people when they get to power? Our generation and those ahead of us accept everything as the norms, can you and I begin to challenge the status quo and also train our generation to do the same?
Think about these things, do them also, and we will build a new Nigeria of our dreams.

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