TS COLUMNIST: Pause… Let’s Imagine Nigeria Works for a Minute By Adepeju Jaiyeoba [READ]

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Water Your Grass…

So imagine waking up in Nigeria to find out you’ve had 24 hours power supply without being suspicious of the electricity company’s generosity or completely terrified of how many days you will suffer without electricity  as payback.

Imagine a time when the low voltage of your generator will not be a consideration for innovators when building appliances like air conditioners, fridges and freezers. A time when the tag line ‘specifically built for Africa’ will no longer be a selling point.

w-initiative

Imagine the water corporation actually supplying you water, potable, drinking clean water without having the need to dig your own borehole or live in fear of contacting typhoid or some skin irritation.

Imagine us having white picket fences or no fence at all in place of the high walls, tiny gate, burglary proofs and complete blockage of every opportunity to look into a compound because our security as citizens is taken seriously by the government.

Imagine a time we will stop being prisoners without actually going to prison.

Imagine having poverty rates really lowered, having all children of school age in school rather than hawking or scavenging, having a functioning healthcare system without the fear of strike – Oxygen tanks that actually have oxygen and works, lifesaving operations in theaters without family members contributing diesel fees for hospital generator, childbirth deliveries without having to use torchlight – spending exactly four years in a public university for a four year course, getting a job based on your qualification and competence and having your take home pay really taking you home. The list is endless….

Wait a second.

Now imagine for a moment that all our dreams and imagination actually come true?

As active citizens, for this to happen, we need to stop making excuses for others and start taking action. We need to move beyond lip service or trying hard to be politically correct and start speaking up for others without a voice.

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks in Katsina State, northern Nigeria, where I’ve seen kids who should be in school scavenging as well as hard working farmers manually working large expanse of land without value chain support to move their produce from farm to market. I’ve seen a whole lot…

I have sat down and asked myself countless times, why are we the way we are? Why do we celebrate mediocrity? Why does the grass always seem greener on the other side? Why have our politicians equated our worth during election to a cup of rice and a pack of seasoning? Why are the leaders of tomorrow actually never really given any real opportunity to lead? Why are we as youths and young leaders content with being a Personal Assistant to to a Special Assistant to the Special Adviser on Social media? How is this not even a position to hold?

What I have found is that as Africans and young people, our expectations have been lowered consistently by the bundle of incompetent leadership and sufferings we have encountered over the decades as citizens.

You disagree with this?

Let me give you relatable examples.

Every time you defend corrupt politicians and somehow try to justify the monies they stole, not from the perspective of deprivation to the citizens but from the angle of what they used the stolen funds to do e.g. urging us to thank God he invested the money to set up private businesses in the country instead of buying a whole estate in Hyde park, London, you are an example.

Every time, you wear aso ebi uniforms, probably woven with the name and face of a politician who is opening a solar powered ultramodern public toilet right beside a dilapidated snake infested primary healthcare centre without asking such politician real and hard questions despite leaving a sick mother at home to dance at such public toilet opening, you are an example.

Every single time, you willfully refuse to vote, don’t follow happenings around you, say politics is a dirty game and pass on opportunities to ask policy makers critical questions on the economy by saying ‘your economy is the economy of heaven’, you are an example.

When things go wrong in our countries and continent, we are quick to refer to the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and other advanced countries and lament why our countries have refused to measure up, the fact is that the youths and people in those countries all participate in nation building.

The grass is greener on the other side only because it is consistently watered.

My advice?

Today, after reading this post, determine to play your part, ask critical questions, demand answers and never let any one take you for a ride.

Be an active citizen.

Water your grass.

SEE ALSO: TS COLUMNIST: Raising the Bar on NBA Annual Conferences By Stanley Ibe [READ]


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