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The youths have the power to change

I am a worried man. I love Nigeria and Nigerians with all my heart and might. That’s why I am very worried about the state of both of them.
At the start of the year, I celebrated lavishly because I sincerely believed (and I still do) that the present times are the best times to be alive, to be an active participant and an observer of the greatest ‘comeback’ in the history of the black race.
In sports, a ‘comeback’ is to transition from the brink of defeat to victory in an almost miraculous manner. It is usually the sweetest thing to savour in sports.
Nigerians who were alive in 1989 cannot easily forget ‘the Miracle of Daman’ when the Under-20 national team fought back from being 4 goals down, 14 minutes to the end of the semi-final match against Portugal, to score 4 great goals, equalized and eventually won the match via penalty kicks! That was one of the greatest comebacks in the history of football.
Comebacks are sweet and we have that example to remind us and reawaken the die-hard spirit of Nigerians as we extend this to our national political life. That’s why I was in celebratory mood at the start of the year, even as everything around me painted a truly gloomy picture.
Nigerians are known for our fighting spirit, our ‘arrogance’, our loudness, our ostentatious life and love for the good things of life, our industry, our rich traditions, our deep links to culture, our exploding population, our lavish lifestyles, our globally celebrated intellectuals in virtually all fields, our artistic giants, our abundant immeasurable natural and mineral resources, our contributions to the development of some of the most advanced countries in the world through the sweat, tears and blood of our ancestors sold into slavery, our religiosity and our strangulating inexplicable poverty! How can a country so richly blessed be so miserably poor?
The only plausible explanation that makes some kind of remote sense is that the country is afflicted with a ‘curse’ that foists on the people, a leadership that cannot appreciate and harness these blessings, added to a followership that my friend Charlie Boy describes as ‘mumu’ the worst stage of being a fool. That combination would lead any country to its grave!
But, the sport in my genes makes me to believe that a comeback is imminent. That Nigeria will bounce back from the brink of the present darkness and failure, into the dawn of a bright future.
That’s why my first prayer in the new year was to thank the Creator of the universe for keeping me alive, to witness and to participate actively in that anticipated great new Nigeria.
The evidence and ingredients of ‘success’ are all around me. I can see it in the Nigerian youths and the turn around I see coming in their attitudes and understanding of the power they hold in their hands. Nigeria is a ticking time bomb waiting to explode, a catastrophe begging and waiting to happen.
If not, why would there be such brazen impunity in the land, such utter disregard for law and order, such deep rooted corruption engrained in every act and deed, such senseless and unabated killings, such looting and stealing that have left the entire country prostrate in poverty, with the voluntary and involuntary connivance of the people as a whole in this grand, shameful larceny and rape of the common wealth?
If not, why would a proud and hardworking people choose to associate with, embrace, celebrate and even reward the worst amongst them with leadership?
If not, why would a people that are not afflicted with ‘madness’ mortgage their well-entrenched ethical and moral values, embrace and feel comfortable with ill-gotten wealth and affluence rooted in smuggling, fake drugs, internet scamming, drugs and human trafficking, oil sabotaging, bunkering, kidnapping, and so on?
We are all witnesses to the failure of the system and systemic failure of leadership.
So, I have hope because I am a sportsman prepared for the worst in order to get the best!

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