A TEXT OF AN ONLINE PRESENTATION IN CELEBRATION OLALERE ADEWALE’S BIRTH ANNIVERSARY
In 2009, I was admitted to study Agricultural Economics and Extension Services at the then University of Ado Ekiti now Ekiti State University but this isn’t about me. One thing led to another, I got drawn into the circles of young men and women bent on resisting all sorts of oppression and determined to ensure that everyone on campus enjoys their stay.
It was not long that the heavy hands of the government were used on us and the students rallied to protest against an anti-poor policy that came in the form of school fees. One of my very good friends was arrested on that day but he didn’t give up. In 2014, we served at the first students’ parliament of Ekiti State University and it was for the good of Nigerian students.
It was in 2013 that I first published my article on HYPOCRISY AS A BANE OF NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT on www.omojuwa.com and later on my personal blog. In that article, I posited that the consistent backward movement of the Nigerian state is not because of corruption or paucity of funds for development but for conscious and deliberate accord of a few who don’t believe that this life is ephemeral.
Today, in celebration of my long time comrade, school mate, friend and brother, this presentation will, as a digression, show one of the numerous examples of the collaborative sabotage that is making Nigeria swim in the back waters. A ‘curse’ of the few, suffered by the many and which might be paid for by the lives of countless Nigerians that would have saved Nigeria and Nigerians from the tentacles and tag of the third world.
In this piece, as a reference point of celebration for a brother whose interest in intellectual discourse and national development is second to none, I will ensure that it’s not for blame sharing but one for conscientious reawakening of our brothers on the other side where they have found greener pastures (which in real truth is an arid land that has be turned into a stream of wealth).
The world all over, there are standards for every issue that affects the human race. Just like we have scientific standards, by agreement amongst ‘leaders of the world’ the people have come to agree to some metrics for measuring success or a valid standard of what is right and acceptable.
In the financial world, there are various ratings for financial ventures and many others that try to depict the state of nations in a ‘graph’. These standards are what have kept many of us on our toes in the yearnings for a world that is safer for everyone – young and old, man and woman, black and white.
In the article mentioned earlier, I argued that the developmental strides of the old regional governments in Nigeria showed that the Nigerian dream (if any) is achievable but for the will of others to continuously enslave the populace for their parochial reasons.
Today, we have been able to move away from the glory of old. We no longer bask in the euphoria of intangibles achieved by our forebears. We have been able to conquer and break glass ceilings across boards. Young men and women have taken the path of restoring Nigeria to a nation that cares about her people, gives them hope and supports them to achieve her dreams.
Through political involvement, slow but steady movement in ICT, continuous empowerment of our women and level playing ground for the younger ones, a generation of Nigerians has altered the course of movement from total annihilation to the glory laden route of nation building.
These young inspirations must help the rest of us to free ourselves of the guilt of the generation that came before us, ruined all they enjoyed and passed hubris unto us and blame us for losing it. They (the young inspirations like Adewale) must act as the magnet that draws us all together to build a home for ourselves and lead us to forgive those that came before us.
Since Buhari came to office as a democratically elected president, he has enjoyed and used taxpayers’ money for medical tourism, first for himself and later for his son. Yet, Buhari has not felt that the health sector in Nigeria must be invested in so that the son of the poor can have a chance to live when they suffer from ailments that shouldn’t kill them.
The above digression is not a political dig but a clear message to our friends, brothers, sisters and families who have found respite beyond the shores of Nigeria to remember that the hypocrisy of the privileged Nigerians (leaders, military and democratic) led us here and they must prepare their minds to one day involve in all the processes that will position Nigeria well and improve the standard of living of Nigerians.
This is also to show our brothers that their action of seeking greener pasture is not seen as a betrayal of the struggle we’re sworn to but a way to prepare for the big battle ahead. It is a natural progression from a place where there’s no premium on the value they offer, on the love they have for fatherland and the dedication to nation building.
As a generation that can’t afford to fail in returning Nigeria to El Dorado, our brothers from all walks of life must ensure they continue to love the country, contribute to her all round capital and human development.
Just like Olalere Adewale, every Nigerian must not give up on their country of birth. They must not stay in the beautiful climes they have found themselves to ridicule the struggle to rebuild the nation but soldier on, despite noticeable setbacks to ensure Nigeria becomes great.
We have no other home. Nigeria is home and we must not let hypocrisy make us homeless.
As I celebrate my brother today, I enjoin you all to support the Nigerian dream and keep believing.
Happy birthday, Adewale.