By Fela Durotoye
I think the vision that God breathed into my heart was first received on the 23rd November 2004 and God had said to me that byÂ December 31, 2025Â that Nigeria will be undoubtedly the worldâ€™s most desirable nation to live in and he said go and build me the people that will build the nation. On May 25 2005, God said to me, raise me a generation that is empowered, motivated and stirred up to radiate natural excellence and he said to me and that generation of leaders will build their nation, shape their continent and shape the earth positively for me. So as it relates there are many things that have in terms of mandate but I think what is useful to you, and I may have read this but I may not have yet to write this and I would do that for you personally, the one of March.
As it relates to building Nigeria into the most desirable nation to live in, overtime I started to understand that there is a difference between a nation and a country. That while country is essentially a mass of life defined by borders and boundaries, a Nation is a people with a common set of 4 keys things: A common heritage, A common language, A common culture and ultimately a common value system. When you look at that, then you realise that Nigeria really is a united nation of nations, in fact we are a united country of nations because in a way, we have not yet integrated. At one time it seemed like we got it right but then with the designation of our glue, our holding glue, which is education, once education whittled out, what then happened was that our language, our official language whittled out and because people define brotherhood to a large extent nationhood by language, anybody who speaks your language almost literally is your brother and once the English language whittled out, we had to back down to indigenous languages and therein get to a point where we no longer understood each other, when we now started to hub with people who could speak my language, and anybody who doesnâ€™t speak my language is not my brother,Â and I started feeling like we are just in the same land but we are not brothers.
What education had done before was to give us a superintendent language that was our official language and anybody that could speak that superintendent language didnâ€™t care where the other one was from, because I speak your language, you speak my language, we are brothers.
So once we lost that superintendent language, then we now went back to what you now talk of our original languages and therein we became the fractures along the lines of nation building. So Ijaw people are the people who speak Ijaw, Ishekiri people are the people who speak Ishekiri, and it doesnâ€™t even matter whether you want to attempt to put them together as a Niger Delta region, the Ijaw people have called themselves as an Ijaw Nation, and all of a sudden we are seeing interestinglyÂ that the Hausa in the North is not an amalgamation.
Kanuri peopleÂ have said we are Kanuri, Fulani people are saying we are Fulani because, we have different not just origins or our history but because we speak different languages. So the context which we have to build a nation in Nigeria, is to build one people who will regardless of where they come from they are one. To see how we can get to a point where being a Nigerian once again is bigger than being a
Yoruba man, is bigger than being an Hausa man because we got there before.
I can promise you that for most of us, including ourselves, when we were growing up we didnâ€™t know where our friends were from, it didnâ€™t matter. I donâ€™t think most of us ever asked where are you from. It didnâ€™t even occur to people and the reason why was because it seemed like however they were able to make it happen there was a greater cause and joy of being together than whatever it was of where we were coming from and what differentiated us and so once diversity is beautiful, its only beautiful in unity and the only way to unify a people is to give them four key things: 1. An overriding sense of purpose and many times purpose is why we were created, but thatâ€™s only the retractive definition of purpose, the superlative definition of purpose as I believe is, is why we need to stay together, and many times purpose is framed in a vision because vision is the picture of purpose accomplished and so whenever you see the vision, it tells you the why we are here and why we need to stay together.
So you need a purpose, you need a vision but more importantly you need to carve a clear assignment for that generation of people to say if we are going to make our vision come to pass, this is what we must do on a daily basis. That assignment is called mission. So I have talked about three things so far that will help you build a nation; One people, you need a clear purpose that unifies us together, it is bigger than everyone of us, everybody wants to see that purpose manifested, we need a clear vision which is a beautiful picture of what that country looks like, that nation looks like and then of course you need to have a mission which is the mandate, what must we do on a daily basis and most importantly a clear value system and so purpose, vision, mission, values.
Our value system must have four characteristics; they are ABCD. 1. They must be acceptable to every single tribe, every single religion, every single class. 2. They must be beneficial to them. Otherwise you will need to impose the values, rather than have what you call values infusion, you will have to have values compulsion. Values infusion means that the values are drawn in by an inner desire to draw those values in from the outside and accept them. Nobody will be able to take them. Values compulsion means that you are pushing the values from outside into the hearts of the people, it will meet resistance.
So we cannot have value compulsion, we must have values infusion. So to have values infusion, you must have what is called a beneficial set of values to each and everyone. The third one is that you must have values that are communicable. They have to be values that a father can communicate to a child, man can communicate to wife, boss can communicate to employees, employees can say this is what I stand for, and so its important that we are able to define the language, our values, in a consistent manner, that consistently can be pushed out there, until the people say this is what defines who a Nigerian is.
If I ask you today what defines a Nigerian, we probably will have as many answers as the people that we ask, weâ€™ve got to have a set of values that are not only clearly defined but are well articulated and it is in the articulation that people can test it against their spirits and if you say excellence is one of our values, it may be true we can say yes Nigerians we have excellence but what does excellence mean to me and what it means may be different than what it means to Simi, but if I say I will be my best in all I do particularly what Iâ€™m naturally good at, I have set for myself a bench mark that only I truly can tell but I promise you that if I give my best, even if its not good enough, it is very close to good enough and if it were possible, it will beat any standard of excellence that currently exists. So weâ€™ve talked about God asking us what does it mean to be one people, to be most desirable nation and to have one people, we have talked about how they must have one people, one purpose, one vision, one mission and we are talking about the set of values, they have to be acceptable, beneficial, communicable, demonstrable meaning we have to be able to do them, which means how do I do excellence, how do I do integrity, I donâ€™t know but I can live a life of integrity and honour that I can do.
I can be a role model, if you look at those 10 values that we proffered over the years and God gave those values to me and specifically by word, we have improved on it in 2008 we got 420 guys from all the 36 states in one conference in Abuja, and they sat on it, they dissected it and in the end they literally endorsed all 10 and said it was the completion of everything they wanted to be. The 10 values:
â€¢Â Â Â Make a positive on everyone each and everywhere they go.
â€¢Â Â Â Be a solution provider and not be part of the problem to be solved.
â€¢Â Â Be a role model
â€¢Â Â Be your best in whatever you do particularly the things you are naturally good at
â€¢Â Â Â Do the right thing at all times regardless of who is doing the wrong thing
â€¢Â Â Â Value time and make the best use of it
â€¢Â Â Â Care and show respect to all through your words and action
â€¢Â Â Â Consciously build a great legacy starting now, today, and everyday
â€¢Â Â Â Live a life of integrity and honour
â€¢Â Â Â Make your family, your nation and your God proud.
Those 10 values now define who the new Nigeria is and in a way, we are creating a template for the nation builderâ€™s alliance that in a sense first of all presents Nigeria in an option that this is who a Nigerian is and therefore that becomes the gateway for membership into the nation builderâ€™s alliance. So having said that, lets go to the next part of it which is what can this purpose be and in my understanding, I think our purpose is to ultimately build Nigeria into the most desirable nation to live in. Thatâ€™s our mission statement build Nigeria into the most desirable nation to live in. Whatâ€™s our vision, the most desirable nation to live in byÂ December 31 2025.
â€“Durotoye, a presidential aspirant on the platform of the Alliance for New Nigeria, ANN, delivered this address during a TeamFD roundtable in LagosÂ