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Sometimes, one wonders if the African continent is cursed. Or don’t you? With so much

resources, but with less productivity in terms of general distribution of wealth. Obviously, South

Africa (besides other African countries such as Ghana), has proved this somewhat wrong, with a

statistics of a controlling influence of approximately 40 % of the African continent’s wealth. In

fact, I saw an in-depth perspective of such development, even technologically; when I and some

friends watched the FIFA 2010 match drawings between qualifying nations. Kudos to South

Africa!!! The packaging was superb, as the book of history and the heart of men confirms. In

contrast, the entire Under 17 World Cup hosted recently in Nigeria was ‘prima facie’ a sham and

an entire reflection of the so called ‘Nigeria jagajaga’ which crowns mediocrity at the grievous

expense of a culture of excellence.

Did you watch the recent speech by the United States President for the soldiers who

died via the suicide bombing perpetuated by one of their colleagues? President Barrack Obama

meticulously mentioned the names of the Soldiers, their families, with specific reference to their

wives and children and what they do, eventually crowning it with what America must do for

them. In Nigeria, many do not even know what happened to the Nigerian soldiers who recently

died while travelling on a national assignment, not to mention our so called ‘busy leaders’, with

so much self imposed ailment to battle in the nation. May their serving souls rest in perfect

peace. Or who remembers the old man who designed the national flag. Sir, may God,

magnificent and benevolent, crown your efforts and those of deserving heroes past.

Or what can Nigerians say in terms of Climate Change, when for a correctable problem

of electricity, we contribute to carbon monoxide emission via the proliferated use of generators,

here and there. Nigerians are selflessly subjected to the hazards of life and health, simply
because of the selfish acquisition of a few not ignorant, but insensitive Nigerians who have

specialized in being ‘evil geniuses’ at milking the Nigerian cow and Nigerians simply pretending

to be passersby, rather than ACT in a united effrontery. ‘Mikano generators’, ‘importer’,

‘exporter’, kudos to you too? Or can you imagine, the almighty Energy Commission

recommending to the Federal Government that N 160,000,000,000 be earmarked for the

purchase of generators for the states in Nigeria? Meaning, in paying lip service to the saving of

our planet, and merely marking a register of presence at the Copenhagen Conference on Climate

Change, N 160,000,000,000 of tax payers money is recommended to be spent on emission of

Carbon monoxide. This may not be surprising, as even the ‘sitting and paid’ Federal legislature’s

passing of the 2009 budget, a budget allowing for the use of the general tax payers money, hard

earned Nigerian sweat for the purchase of generators for a few Nigerians, under the guise of the

Federal Government, is itself an assault to Nigerians intellectual sagacity. In London, in United

States and in other parts of the globe, there are overtly organized protests for leaders to take a

stand at the Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change, while Nigerians are still murmuring for

provision of electricity in whatever way, even if it means emitting Carbon monoxide. ‘Just

provide electricity’, this is what murmurs through the lips and runs through the heart of

Nigerians, notwithstanding whether health or generations are at risk.

In South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, was sued to court for genocide. In what sense I asked?

Later, I discovered, he was accused of doing nothing pragmatic at curbing the spread of disease,

costing lives in his country during his tenure as President. That is accountability in Africa. In

Nigeria, the giant of Africa, what happens to the Obasanjo and Odi saga, Obasanjo and Ore road,

Obasanjo and electricity, Obasanjo and Bakassi and all that runs through your mind with that

name, Oba ….
It seems it is not about the Black man’s curse. Then is it the Nigerian system? Is it the

people? Is it the resources or the environment? In the course of thinking about the issue, it is

clear that why those cultures and societies that have been cited earlier thrive, is because the

people are proactive, that is in the words of Bob Marley, they “stand up for” their “right”.

The Nigerian case, peculiarly poses the question” why are Nigerians lethargic, ‘Is it the

civil war experience of 1967-70?’, or ‘can it be ethnic divisions? Or ‘can it be….? Forgive me

for my many ‘Ors’, because one cannot but live in a world of ‘Ors’ if one loves the progress of

this country like I do. The diagnosis of the problem points to different directions. Conferences

upon conferences, committees only committing to drinking teas with tax payers money and the

likes of such in the name of panels, boards, thesis, term papers etc have solutions concealed in

between their lines. But who will bail the cat?

However, a sincere prognosis of the entire Nigerian conundrum unravel to all, that the

failure of the Nigerian state is a case of multiple disorder whose foundation can be hinged on

leadership. LEADERSHIP, I repeat. Although, the science of definition seem to find it difficult

in the Nigerian case to identify who a Leader is, although what a leader should be is generally

accepted. Some say it is those holding power in ‘Aso Rock’. Some go further by adding the

entire executive structure. Others say it is the Nigerian governance; that is, the Legislature, the

judiciary, the executive and even the fourth estate of the realm that are to blame. Well, you can

decide, at least there is freedom of expression and choice. Obviously, you will agree with me

that, the first category of people shy away obviously from the collective responsibility of the

failed Nigerian condition, while the second in trying to be fair and all encompassing are also

victims of same. If those described represent the leaders, then from where did they emerge or

could they have done it without some people based support; rigging or stealing? Your guess

seems good as mine.

The relentless, Uthman Dan Fodio, the fore bearer of Islam in Nigeria, in his words

resonates ‘Conscience is an open wound only truth can heal’. This same was reiterated when

Jesus in the Holy Bible said “Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free”. In

Nigeria, as Nigerians, do we seek to know and apply the truth, let’s search our conscience, NOW

and ACT in hegemony of unison in our place of work, at home, in our religious organizations, in

the media, in commerce, in governance, at home and abroad!!! You and I would agree that the

list is in exhaustible. Those who sit under a coconut tree and laugh at others, instead of moving,

would soon fall victim of the coconut’s wrath on their head, and who knows they may not live to

tell the story after their skull becomes an open display for all to see. Let he that has eyes see and

he that has a conscience ACT.

Coordinator, Nigerian Youths in Motion(NYM)

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