A Nation on the Edge: Which Way Nigeria?

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By Olusegun Adeniyi

Let me begin by sharing this story of a teacher who got lost in a rural area, and please don’t ask me in which country because I don’t know. While still wandering, the teacher saw a farm and went there, hoping he would find someone from whom he could seek direction. Fortunately, he found a farmer but as they were exchanging pleasantries, he noticed a cow with a wooden leg and he became curious. “How did that cow get a wooden leg?” the teacher asked the farmer.

“Well”, replied the farmer, “that is a very special cow. One night not too long ago we had a fire in the barn. That cow set up a great lowing that woke everyone, and by the time we got there it had herded out of the barn not only the other cows but indeed all the animals in the farm and saved every one of them.”

“And that was when the cow hurt its leg?” asked the amazed teacher.

“Oh no” responded the farmer. “The cow was fine after that even though a few days later, I was in the woods when a bear attacked me. As it would happen, that cow was nearby and it came running to chase off the bear. That is one experience I will never forget because that cow saved my life for sure.”

“So the bear injured the leg of the cow?” asked the teacher.

“Oh no”, came the prompt reply from the farmer. “The cow came away from that encounter without a scratch. Unfortunately, a week after that incident, my son was working on the farm when the tractor turned over into a ditch with a large pool of water and he was knocked unconscious. Well, that cow dove into the ditch and pulled my son out before he could drown.”

Nodding his head, the teacher said: “Now I get it. That was how the cow hurt its leg while rescuing your son…”

“Oh, no,” the farmer interjected.

By this time the teacher had become very impatient: “So how exactly did the cow get the wooden leg?” he asked.

“Well”, looking in the direction of the cow, the farmer shook his head and muttered, “You should put yourself in my position. A cow like that, you don’t want to eat it all at once.”

Pastor Poju, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, if we will be honest, that unfortunate cow has so much in common with Nigeria, which has over the years become a victim of serial abuse, including by those to whom she has given so much. As I reflected on that story in the past few days, I came to the conclusion that just like that cow, Nigeria is no more than a meal ticket to many of her elites. What is even more unfortunate is that the people who speak ill of her the most, especially in a season like this, are those who have benefited immensely from the opportunities presented to them by this supposedly useless country.

Some of these people were, at various times, governors, ministers, lawmakers, special advisers etc. Many were also in the private sector where they made so much money under a system that demanded little or no accountability of them. Also in this category are some of our compatriots who now live abroad, including with their immediate families, thanks to the fortunes they or their parents made in this same country.

Let me make a confession here: I owe a lot to Nigeria. That someone like me, given my background, could attend a university like Ife as at the time I did was because the state made education at that level to be tuition free. And whether they admit it or not, there are hundreds of thousands like me who are where they are today on account of Nigeria: the education they got, the wealth they have accumulated and the influence they still peddle. Unfortunately, it is from this same collection that you find those who continually trouble our country.

On 6th June this year, some old men under the aegis of Coalition of Arewa Youths gave all the Igbo people living in the North till yesterday, 1st October to vacate the region. Even though the quit notice was eventually withdrawn, the damage that ultimatum did to our national psyche would take many years to heal. But then, the action of this group was also a response to the uncontrolled verbal aggression by Mr Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the so-called Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

Egged on by the mob, comprising mostly okada riders with online support from several of his kinsmen in the Diaspora, Kanu was allowed to take hate speech to an unprecedented level, even by the standards of our country. Even when he was presented a golden opportunity to champion the genuine grievances of his people with civility, following an ill-advised treason trial that catapulted him into national limelight and prominence, Kanu could not rise beyond the mediocrity of the adulation of some street urchins. He felt that by making incendiary statements to offend, insult, intimidate and threaten people from other ethnic groups, he was helping whatever his cause was. At the end, he made a strategic miscalculation.

However, while I do not know why Kanu believes spreading hate and violence would help his cause, the Arewa youth counter-response was also very much unfortunate because the inference was that because Kanu is Igbo, all Igbo people must suffer the consequences of his action. But one must thank the governor of Borno State and Chair of the Northern Governors Forum, Alhaji Kashim Shettima as well as Governor Nasir elRufai of Kaduna State for their prompt interventions.

Unfortunately, the message that was lost on the authorities in Abuja is that you cannot build an inclusive society when you react to national security threats in a manner that suggests some people are above the law; although many people across the country also felt let down that some otherwise respected senior citizens from the South-east who ought to have called Kanu to order were practically genuflecting before someone young enough to be their grandson!

Meanwhile, what many of our young people, as well as the politicians in their sixties and seventies who do not want to grow up, forget or are ignorant about, is that north or south, we need one another. That then explains why all the current agitations and perturbations are a distraction from the real issue which is that Nigeria is not working for majority of its citizens. And we see the evidence everywhere.

For sure, the state of affairs in our country today is enough to make people really angry. But if such anger is not properly channeled, it can be dangerous. For instance, I am angry about how clumsy and inefficient public institutions have become in Nigeria. I am angry about the way public officials, at all levels, betray a lack of creativity even in dealing with simple matters. I am angry when a teenager tells me that their school bribed invigilators to look away so that their teachers could tell them the answers while sitting for a crucial national examination. I am angry by the latest statistics from the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) that in our country about 90,000 children are expected to die of hunger over the next 12 months.

I am angry about the foregoing and much more because I believe we can do better as a nation. But I cannot because of such anger lash at the next person or another group of Nigerians who do not speak the same language or worship the same God with me. Therefore, my charge this morning to our young men and women is: If you must be angry as Nigerians, direct it not to the tribe, ethnicity, religion, race, gender or even the sexual orientation of fellow citizens. Direct it at the greed and the perversion that make some people deny others their decent and fair opportunities in life. Direct it at the ignorance and bigotry of a vast majority who submit themselves as ready tools for those who conspire to hold our nation down. And let us begin to figure out a way to defeat these people and problems.

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, the challenge of the moment is to create an environment with less suspicion and more equitable distribution of power and resources among the critical stakeholders in our country. This country is full of promise and presents enormous opportunities. Even while it is true that the system is creaking beneath all of us and we must fix it, those who couch the narratives in ethnic or religious arguments miss the point and they are actually the problem. This is not a North-South debate neither is about dismemberment for many of us. What we are saying is that the current situation where money is sent from Abuja to Badagry or Birnin-Kebbi is antithetical to good governance.

Nothing can be more revealing of how wasteful our federal structure has become than a recent revelation by the Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole who said: “I was in Zamfara State. At the Federal Medical Centre in Zamfara, there are about 120 doctors but the state has 23 (doctors) as at the last count to manage 24 hospitals. And, yet, the federal hospital has about 120.” The pertinent question is: How did the federal government engage such a large number of medical personnel who are practically idle and for just one medical centre? The answer is simple: It is largely because of its heavy wallet. Yet, you find this sort of waste replicated in several sectors.

Therefore, we must find a way to make government more efficient and effective. How to make this happen is where the disagreement lies. But we are gradually coming to a consensus that it is the dysfunction at the centre that is creating the current bad blood, frustration, anger, suspicion and unhealthy competition among the various groups in the country.

Anybody who has read the report of the Presidential Committee on the Restructuring and Rationalisation of the Federal Government Paratastals, Commissions and Agencies cannot but understand the waste we call government in Nigeria. Chaired by former Head of Service, Mr Steve Oronsaye, the committee was established in August 2011 by the former President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan with the report submitted to him in April 2012, although he ended up doing nothing with the recommendations.

It is instructive that the committee identified 541 federal government agencies, 50 of which have no enabling laws! There are also 55 agencies that are not under the supervision of any ministry and many of them, according to the Oronsaye committee, “receive more budgetary allocations for personnel than they require because that component of their budget is usually inflated”. These agencies include National Agency for Population Programmes and Development; Population Activities Fund; Population Fund Activities Agency and Population Research Fund.

Yes, those are federal agencies in Nigeria!

I need to state here that bad governance is not peculiar to the federal government because the situation is actually worse in the states and as for local governments, let us not even go there given what governors have done to that tier of government.

As things stand in Nigeria today, accountability diminishes as you move from the centre to the other units: states and local governments. For instance, no president in Nigeria can get away with half of what governors do, almost as of right, in their states where there are neither checks nor balances. The speakers of the state houses of assembly are more or less errand boys of the governors and they serve and are removed at their pleasure. The logical result is that the promise of good governance embedded in the theory of decentralization that many Nigerians now clamour for, will still be delivered in the breach if there is no change in the behavior of the political actors.

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I am well aware that we do not have a perfect country but regardless of how our collective resources have been badly managed over the years, there is great gain for us to be positive in the way we relate to the country we all call our own. The pertinent question at this point is: What exactly do we mean by Nigeria?

In our context, the answer may be quite complex but one thing is certain, it should not be about geography or tongues or faith. For me, Nigeria is not the violent man who would demonise and threaten fellow citizens just because they speak a language different from his. Nigeria is not the angry man in a video who would ask his fellow men to go and poison the waters in a section of the country oblivious to the Yoruba saying that when you throw a stone in the market place, you cannot determine who would be hit by it. Nigeria is not the Baba the boys who would issue a dangerous quit-order on innocent citizens in their area of domicile. Nigeria is not the public official who would steal the money meant for some of the most vulnerable of our citizens, knowing he has the back of those who should hold him to account. Nigeria is not the politician who spends his productive hours every day spewing hate and bigotry on social media platforms just because he has a personal score to settle with the president.

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, if I am sounding like a motivational speaker this morning, I think you should blame my pastor, Evaristus Azodoh. A retired colonel of the Nigerian army and a medical practitioner, Azodoh is always leading us to pray for Nigeria and never to speak ill of her. It is strange because I know a little bit about his family background which suggests he has every reason to be bitter about Nigeria. But he is not. From 6.30am yesterday, Pastor Azodoh led us through a 90-minuite prayer session for Nigeria and President Muhammadu Buhari.

Building a nation, especially from our kind of diversity, according to Pastor Azodoh, is a process that may not necessarily produce quick results but with a leadership that deploys fairness in the distribution of opportunities and citizens who see the value of shared aspirations in an atmosphere devoid of acrimony, it is not beyond us. And in the course of the prayer session, Pastor Azodoh stopped and asked that we all sing the national anthem. He likened Nigeria to a big family where there would be quarrels, squabbles, even injustice; but he also added that, whatever the challenges, we must always remember that families stay together.

To buttress his point, Pastor Azodoh told the story of what happened in 1981 when, as a medical student, he participated in the West African Universities Games hosted by Cote D’Ivoire in Yamoussoukro. In the course of the competition, according to Pastor Azodoh, a Nigerian student was molested and the contingents from our country said the competition would not continue unless the then President of Cote D’Ivoire, the late Félix Houphouët-Boigny, personally came down to apologise to them. “Ministers from the government of Cote D’Ivoire came to plead with us but we insisted only an apology from their president would do”, said Pastor Azodoh, “I felt very proud to be a Nigerian.”

Eventually, it took the intervention of the Nigerian ambassador to Cote D’Ivoire for the contingents from our country to stop the demonstration that had held up the competition for two days. Now, what those students demonstrated was not only our power as a nation but also the power of our unity. They were fighting over an injustice done to a single Nigerian. We need such solidarity today. And despite our challenges, we are already seeing glimpses in that direction.

For me, Nigeria is that young man in Samson Itodo who is working day and night to create a pathway for change, by ensuring that a country where the demographics tilt heavily in favour of young people cannot continue with a policy founded on the erroneous notion that the Wisdom of Solomon had anything to do with age of Methuselah. Nigeria is that young lady in Lagos, Temie Giwa-Tubosun, who took it upon herself to ensure that those who need blood donation across the country are well served and on time with her LifeBank organisation. Through her effort, the lives of hundreds of our citizens are being saved. Nigeria is my beautiful sister, Ibidunni Ighodalo who, despite her own disappointments, decides to put smiles on the faces of other aspiring mothers by deploying her personal resources to pay for their In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) treatment. Nigeria is Kechi Okwuchi, who proudly draped herself in the green white green flag to mark the 57th independence of our country in the United States where she is making many of us proud. This is a young lady who could be said to have been let down by Nigeria at a most difficult period in her life, even when lucky to be alive, unlike her friends and classmates caught in the same plane crash. But she is still proud of being a Nigerian.

Nigeria is Aisha Waziri Umar who is planting libraries in those parts of the north-east devastated by Boko Haram. It is her way of fighting back against the misguided zealots who see education as a sacrilege to be destroyed along with the future of millions of innocent children. Nigeria is Oronto Douglas who, diagnosed with Cancer in 2008, invested the last seven years of his life setting up and nurturing a school for orphaned children in his native Okoroba in Bayelsa State.

The examples are just too many of change agents who are taking up spaces to make a difference in our world. But the message is simple: Our drive and commitment to making Nigeria great should be anchored on the fact that we also have a role to play and numbers don’t matter. What matters is the resolve that we will be part of that positive change.

Let me illustrate that point as I try to conclude my intervention this morning with the Biblical account of the 12 spies as recorded in the Book of Numbers Chapter 13.

The people of Israel had been set free from their captivity and servitude in Egypt. They wandered through the wilderness during which a number of them died. On reaching Mt Sinai, they were given the laws to govern their affairs and the templates they needed for worship. With national census concluded, they inched towards the border of Canaan, ready to enter the land that had been promised their fathers. Suggestions however came from the leadership that a search party be sent to look at the inhabitants and how good the land really was. 12 gentlemen were selected, one from every tribe, and they were sent as spies.

For 40 days, they explored the length and breadth of the land and returned with sufficient proof. About the goodness of the land, there was no deviation in all the reports. However, while ten of the 12 spies concurred that the land was indeed good, they added a misleading bit: “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than us…it is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature…We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”

One can argue that the ten spies possessed critical spirit and there is nothing wrong with positive criticism. But they went further not only to dampen the morale of the people but also to incite them against the leadership. Having lost their self-worth, like many Nigerians have done today, the ten spies likened themselves to grasshoppers and added that they were seen as grasshoppers, even by the Canaanites. How could they have known that?

We have many of such people in Nigeria today. The negative men and women who tell you that nothing can change; that our country is doomed. Meanwhile, Caleb and Joshua saw possibilities and with that, they also gave hope to the people that victory was attainable. Unfortunately, their report could not convince the people and their voices were drowned. As a consequence, Israel wandered additional 38 years in the wilderness with an entire generation wiped out completely.

What the foregoing means is that we should not continue to listen to the naysayers in our midst who do not mean well for our country. Whatever may be the differences in opinions, there is more that unites us as Nigerians than there is to divide. While some of the current agitations are not bad in themselves since they reflect the broad diversities of our country and the different experiences that must be on the table to make us great, we must also recognize that it takes so little to set a house on fire. Any fool can do that. Meanwhile, it takes efforts, perseverance and sacrifice to build. That does not come easy.

Admittedly, ours is a fragile polity but the social and economic bonds that unite us are strong and hard to dissolve. Yet the task of conscious nation building has hardly been done. The rights of citizenship are still shackled by boundaries of state of origin and ethnicity. The excessive hangovers of prolonged military rule are still with us in the form of impulsive arbitrariness. Our government still finds it easy to call in military force to quell elementary civil unrest. We are yet to teach our citizens from infancy the values of group living and how to compete as individuals without resorting to primordial hate when we cannot prevail.

However, despite all these, the real challenge is that of creating enough wealth to cater for the need of our huge population. If we remain a poor country with an external reserve that is less than the cash holding of Facebook alone, our competitions might get more bloody and our future more speculative and tentative. Our task therefore is to make Nigeria a land of equal opportunity for all, a nation whose unity is not decreed as non-negotiable but is guaranteed by the practical incentives it offers for all to want to stay in and perfect the union.

As I stated earlier, the enemy is not the other who speaks a different language or worships a different God. The enemy, unfortunately, is that person with predatory behavior who has benefitted the most from our country, but who like the farmer in the story with which I started this intervention, only rewards Nigeria’s love with eating her up in bits, to the detriment of the majority of our people. This tiny group, which is present in every region and religion, has maintained its hold by setting the majority against themselves. We need to rescue our country from their destructive grip.

Therefore, recognising that we may not always agree on the details of how to perfect our union, it becomes problematic the moment any argument is framed in a way that makes the incumbent think it is an attempt to distract him from governance or to get power through the back-door. But history also shows that leaders who improve their society are not those who divide along the voting pattern in the elections that brought them to power but those who can bring diverse citizens together to work for the common good.

Pastor Poju, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, as I take my seat, on a day such as this, my charge to all Nigerians is simple: We should see ourselves as allies in a struggle for a better country that is bigger than any, and yet needs all of us working together.
Thank you very much for listening and good morning.

• Text of my presentation at Platform Nigeria in Lagos on 2 October, 2017

  • mikapower

    I don,t read write up written by a Yoruba man regarding south south or south east because they are racist and will never stand by the truth even though that jealousy and betrayal remains part of their culture. They fit into suffering and smiling category and that explains the reason why dirty APC sidelined Tinibu in the mainstream of the party affairs and dangles Effc before him because of his title as a prolific looter.I expected the idiot writer to mention the predicaments of yorubas from the herdsmen in Ile ife,mile 12 Lagos, Agege Lagos, ondo,Olu faleyi and the government responses to all this atrocities.
    Let me remind the racist writer that Biafra and iPob is an ideology, Buhari military, northern slave masters with their slaves and betrayers in the south west can only kill the flesh,set back a platform but they cannot kill ideology. Most of us never existed during the Biafra war but how then the Biafra movement on a platform of iPob became and will still remain the biggest mass movement and agitation in Nigeria history. Time for the northern slave maters and their yoruba slaves to think!

  • McUdenenwu

    Between Buhari and Kanu the only difference I see is that one is President.

  • Filia Eze

    Thank you Mr Adeniyi Olusegun for your write up. This piece contains some points why Nigerians should remain united. You also raised some concerns on the area of governance and where you are angry with the entire system. Fine. Have you ever sat down to think of Nigeria’s resources and how everything is being managed? Have you ever thought of your right as an individual? Have ever thought of the pain and anguish the entire populace are experiencing just because the so called Nigeria is being governed by rogues and heartless politicians whose sole aim is to embezzle public fund by distributing billions of Naira meant for the well being of the entire populace among themselves. Nigeria as a country is one of the developing countries that has remained undeveloped despite being independent for 57 years. The underdevelopment is not because of limited resources but due to bad governance by the rogues in position of power. Furthermore, what is the position of the judiciary in Nigeria? How independent are they? Are the judges empowered to make decisions on their own with interference from the cabas who appear to be above the law? We are all aware of the high level of corruption, unaccountability and irresponsibility that have been recorded over the yearson the part of political class.

  • onyebuchi IKEKAMMA

    You the writer is more of a racist. Reading your write-up, I thought you have something to offer. The issue is not with Kanu spreading hatred. The issue is with the President, Mr Buhari who by all qualification is a racist. He lacks managerial ability and unfit to govern. He is a dictator and rules by impunity. Imagine a President in a democratic State whose Chairman of anti-graft, the EFCC was rejected by the National Assembly, Buhari still kept him disregarding the will of the people. Buhari closed his eyes on the demand made the Nigerian people through the elected members of both Houses. The method of pursuing Corruption fails international standards. The EFCC is a political tool for witch hunt. President Buhari knows that he is sick and should give way for better management of the country. The problems of Nigeria increases day by day. He is running a failed government. There is power failure in his management circuit, The APC government is directionless.He has achieved nothing since he took office but only pointing accusing fingers on past administration for his failures. Buhari is manufacturing poverty and running poverty driven industry!. A hungry man is an angry man! His interest is oil. Minister of Petroleum. What has he achieved but grab of power and appointments. Buhari is Nigeria’s sickness. He does not know how to manage ethnically divided people. Cultural identity is a problem in Nigeria. Nigeria is an Amalgam of different culturally diversed people. Our thinking pattern speaks for itself. Still Buhari does not respect the Secular tradition of the country as written in its constitution.When one embarks on a project and sees that it does not work. One then must do a rethinking and opt for Change Management. The method of governance, the structure and all must come under serious scrutiny. Nigeria as a country needs total overhaul. The foundation on which it is laid is shaking and needs structural adjustment. Then, there reason for urgent call for restructure. This must be done by experts in the field. This will include, Constitutional lawyers, Economists and well informed people from all nook and corners of the Nigerian society, taking into consideration progressive young people with young ideas.True fiscal federalism should be taken into consideration. The idea of Restructure ” what the North wants” or As Igbos want it or as Afenifere want, does not into question but what “We the People” want. The Restructure is urgent before all else for peace of a united Nigeria. .Buhari must pay attention to the issue of marginalization for now. Intimidation by using the Military is uncalled for.I hope those opting for peace should give dialogue a chance. All the “Operation Python Dance”, “Operation Crocodile”, or “Operation Crocodile Smile” is unacceptable and undemocratic. “A stitch in time Saves Nine”!!!

  • Gunners

    ‘…some otherwise respected senior citizens from the South-east who ought to have called Kanu to order were practically genuflecting before someone young enough to be their grandson!’ This insinuation is quite unfortunate and insulting. Gani Adams of OPC while fighting for the Odudua republic during the Abacha era please tell us which of your senior citizens from the SW condemned him? Instead you made him an Otunba! C’mon, you can write whatever you want to write without insulting people.

    • benedict chindi

      The guy could be a jack ass sometimes. Please ignore. We see his tribalism.

      I grew up in Akoka; was quite young but can still recall the atrocities of the OPC in the Bariga area in the late 1990s. The police station at CMS grammer school was burnt down with some officers killed. Segun Adeniyi should please provide reference to any quote of condemnation from the “respected Yoruba elite” at the time these events took place.

      You can call IPOB out for whatever wrongs they did – and there are many, but to tarnish the image of good men, ’cause u write a column in a news paper is beyond the reprehensible.

      • okorie

        You are absolutely right. I read that garbage half way and realized, the writer is what you would call a house ‘Nigga”. I decided to move on. He was preaching to the gallery. Nnamdi Kanu has a million reasons like any intelligent Igbo man or woman to be angry about how Igbos are marginalized in that country. They claim that the way he was going about the agitation is wrong because he is abusing people. I say he does not go far enough. For starters agitation is not a happy exercise. Agitation is an outburst of suppressed emotions due to a prolonged perceived wrong done to the person or group in this case. It is the height of imbecility for people to expect an angry agitator to thank his oppressors. He did not pick up Arms like Mend, Avengers, Boko Haram or cowardly burning police stations like OPC of the 90s. Kanu chose non violence in his quest to restore Biafra. And 99% of Igbo nation is with him. That’s what matters. The dishonesty and hypocrisy in this IPOB discussion is heart wrenching. None of these house Niggas has ever taken the time to delve into the numerous reasons for the agitation. All they care about is Kanu is insulting everyone and therefore he is a terrorist. Rubbish. Until Nigerians shade their sheepish mentality and muster the courage to vigorously challenge their corrupt leaders, and the skewed system, this country will never see the light of the day. May God bless Nnamdi Kanu, May God bless IPOB. All hail Biafra.

        • okbaba

          Did you read any line of blame for his own people? I thought the bame was more than enough to go round. Ostriches! !!

  • Don Franco

    Dear Segun,

    I commend you insidious Sai Babarity for blaming the hapless citizens of Nigeria for the misrule of President Buhari and the APC government. You should be repremanding the Executive and Legislative branches that are the bulwark of our oppression; and who are the reason why greatness has continually eluded this country.
    Segun, it would be refreshing for you to directly address your persifledge specifically and abstractly to the APC who is responsible for deepening our differences and widening our divide. My take away from this op-ed is that it is Uninspiring.

  • Toby

    1. If Buhari were a biblical Israeli he certainly would have picked his spies from a particular tribe even against God’s instructions.

    2. Nigerians may likely enter their Canaan after the present generations are wiped out from the surface of this wilderness. My children have been told never to expect a better country in their generation. Sad and serious.

  • Uzoamaka Mbadiwe

    I wish.

  • princegab

    Excellent speech, a lot of good talks, Good job. We’ve seen it all, therefore, we are at the end of it all. Without restructuring forget it. Naija is a gonner. This said restructure, if not handled pronto, god forbid it becomes the provabal tail of an elephant that headed for the forest.

  • Olugbenga

    Great speech.
    Since we are talking Bible, how many people remember Moses’ tribe, most have to think to remember will be my guess.
    That was because he saw the entire nation as his constituency and everyone his brother.
    To my mind, broad mindedness and ability to forgive quickly are some of the greatest attributes of a great leader.
    A leader that get the entire nation behind him irrespective of their political leanings, religion or ethnicity is the sort of leader that can bring about the Nigeria some of us still dare to hope for.
    Unfortunately for us, we are encumbered with leaders who are so narrow minded as to remind a section of the country that they refused to vote for him; how has that helped even those who voted for him?
    Nigeria is more divided today than it has been in recent times simply by the clumsiness and “naivety” of a single person, although I can hardly believe myself thinking that one of the oldest member of our society is naïve.

    • benedict chindi

      He is not naive Sir. That is one mistake we make about our “President”.

      His words and actions are deliberate and well though through. Some online mediums just published a letter sent to the President by the Minister of State for Petroleum on the activities of the GMD NNPC – it should be headline news on these pages tomorrow.

      There is an agenda afoot – and not for the common good. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then there no needs to deny reality, it sure as hell is a duck. The guy is divisive and tribalistic to the blood. There is nothing naive about that. It is what it is.

  • Rick Eson

    Excellent article. I wish our political elite use this article as a baseline. Our main problem is the political elite who orchestrated the pain of the masses due to their Greed. Also as a citizen we are so gullible and political elite capitalise on that. Take for example PDP party responsible for the biggest looting of Nation still want to rule the Nation. Do we learn from our mistake? God save my dear Nation.
    Politics is for personal gain and is the mother of corruption and looting. For example someone i know. Very hard working man with pride, forego his pride and told me he is hungry and his family too. What is happening to this man and his family is common in our Nation today due to lack of employments. If the nation fund keep getting looted by few and taken abroad, it will not create job in our nation but benefit the recieving Nation.
    Our problem is not Nigeria as Nation. Our problem is the corrupt and the looters, they are the root of unemployment, hunger etc. The corrupt and looters are our Nation enemy and enemy of the citizen and fully responsible for the state we found our Nation today.

    • abodes_124

      You cannot blame them alone. we ‘vote’ them in. we tolerate the abuses,. some are ready to die defending these serial abusers.

  • Jon West

    Rousing exhortation to patriotism and love of fellow citizens. However talk is cheap and actions speak louder than words. On the balance of history and with reality and perception in mind,I vote for positive skepticism. Segun Adeniyi is an Afonja genre journalist and that makes all the difference. You cannot give what you do not have, that is the first law of life, and a major plank of the Law.

    • Darcy

      Hian, Biko whatever Madam is feeding you, she should continue.

      Ogonogo ndu.

  • KWOY

    A VICIOUS LIAR! THEE YORUBA WILL LIVE TO SEE WHERE ALL THESE WILL END!

  • This guy never disappoints! Great speech!

  • Remi Adeyeye

    Excellent!