Tuesday, 7 April 2009

What we Lack...

"Desire is the starting point of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything.” Napoleon Hill - American author (1883-1970)

A few days ago, specifically April Fool's day, I wrote about the then ongoing G20 summit and its impact on the lives of Londoners and how I had wished Nigeria was involved in some way, shape or form. My underlying theory being that with its vast resources, Nigeria should have been able to reach or surpass the group's entry criteria. Hardly had the virtual ink dried on that blog entry and voila, our dear President, UYD, also reacted with some degree of disappointment at the non-invitation.

The usually placid leader of the world's most populous black nation, found some unusual vigour and declared; “I must say that today is a sad day for me. And I think it should be for all Nigerians, when 20 leaders in the leading countries in the world are meeting and Nigeria is not there. This is something we need to reflect upon. We have the population; we have the potentials; we have the ability and capacity, and we have the will.” Of course, in line with expected behaviour, he retreated and asked the 'august' audience; "is it the will that we lack?"

I hate to repeat what already exists on this blog and for that reason will not regurgitate prose referring to the leadership vacumn and purposelessness that seems to be the trademark of Nigerian governance. Rather, I will concentrate on the President's poignant question. So, to begin, let us throw in a poser; does UYD have the will he refers to when it comes to leading Nigeria to it's rightful place? More pointedly, has our 'sleeping giant' ever had any leader with the will to do the right thing? Saying all that, can we digress for a moment and forget the factors that drive our leaders.

What drives the average Nigerian? What excites us? What do we view as our purpose in life? Do we really have a leadership problem, or is pedestrianism a national trait? In other words, do we have the desire or will to actually uplift our fatherland or are we addicted with the upliftment of our personal economic status, even at the risk of our country sliding fatally in the process?

I happen to believe it is a bit of everything that culminates in one unrefutable fact; majority of Nigerians do not love their country and when it's all said and done, that is the bottom line! Worse still, our lackadaisical attitude towards the direction of our country is not driven by the economic woes that we suffer, instead, it is driven by a selfish need to serve Self before Nation, an affliction that has pervaded our society pre and post independence. It may not be popular to state this, but I am willing to damn the consequences and paraphrase Al Pacino's Scarface character; there is nothing you guys can do to me that hasn't already happened to me!

The lip service of our so-called leaders, is a trait inherited through a lifetime of saying what one believes people want to hear. Oiling our way through life and pretending that once we attain power, we will somehow morph into a virtuous person of purpose, and miraculously light the way for 150 million people. I believe most will agree, that we have seen a procession of people of different backgrounds take the power reins in Nigeria, and one thing definitely rings true; everyone is out for themselves! It even gets a bit sad, when one considers the fact that the more ordinary the background, the more bestial our top people tend to be. We do not have an elitist problem in Nigeria, what we have is too many simpletons who want to attain elitism. The Dikkos of the world come to mind....

So, where do we go from here? Well, I am still a strong believer in the true essence of Nigeria. I love the original gregariousness, aptitude, spirit, industry and spiritualism that embeds in her heart. I am certain that like the proverbial dog, Nigeria will have its day......Ghana did. Let's just hope that when that day arrives and we qualify for the G whatever it is by then, the forum do not 'lack the will' to do the right thing!


  1. Babatunde Jeje7 April 2009 at 17:09

    It's as if you peeped into an ongoing conversation on branding Nigeria. One of my takes on the issue was the ingrained self serving attitude of Nigerians which was never our heritage until the soldiers destroyed trust in the civil service structure. My viewpoint is that until we become 'our brother's keeper' we are not starting. We need to acknowledge that we are diverse in people, languages and culture, yet unified in purpose and direction with a leadership that reflects that. My own slogan for the so called dead-in-the-water brand Nigeria campaign is "We are many. We are one." To re-brand Nigeria is beyond logos and slogans for me. It's a clarion call to revisit what makes us truly Nigerian and bring it back to life.

  2. Tunde,

    Thanks for your comments.

    I couldn't put it better myself! There is no one coming to save us, except fellow Nigerians. As Obama said; "We are the ones we have been waiting for."

    Keep the flag flying.