In his victory speech upon winning the Iowa Caucus, Candidate Barack Obama, then relatively unknown, said “Hope is not blind optimism. It’s not ignoring the enormity of the task ahead or the roadblocks that stand in our path. It’s not sitting on the sidelines or shirking from a fight. Hope is that thing inside us that insists, despite all evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us if we have the courage to reach for it, and to work for it, and to fight for it. Hope is the belief that destiny will not be written for us, but by us, by the men and women who are not content to settle for the world as it is, who have the courage to remake the world as it should be.”
As the country awaits the dénouement, collectively gripping the edges of our seats with gnawed fingernails, to see who is selected by APC as its Presidential candidate (with a good chance to become President), I am reminded of the words by Barack Obama. I ponder “is it blind optimism to hope Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is selected by APC?” “Am I ignoring the enormity of the task ahead for him to secure the candidacy or the roadblocks that stand in his path?”
As these and other foreboding questions swirl in my head, I am resolved not to sit on the sidelines while again Nigeria elects the leader it deserves but not the leader it requires.
According to Joseph de Maistre, “Every country has the government it deserves.” Nigeria, most will agree, unless you are a beneficiary of the national cake largesse, is a dysfunctional, underdeveloped, corrupt and self-serving country, much of which is often bathed in darkness, if not swamped by an orgy of violence, at the same time.
|Singapore (population of less than 6 million) obtained independence in 1965. By 2022, its GDP is forecast to be 0.3% of world economy. My beloved Nigeria, O Ye, Giant of Africa (population in excess of 200 million), obtained independence in 1960. By 2022, its GDP is forecast to be only 0.38% of world economy. Whither has thine gone wrong Nigeria in selecting your leaders?|
Does Nigeria deserve Yemi Osinbajo, a man of unquestionable integrity, highly intelligent, moralistic, sound of mind and health and, hardworking as President? Is there a place as leader for a man who is everything the other aspirants are not and, none of the past leaders have been? I am left to wonder if the Vice President’s reputation, built up over 60 years, will not actually be sullied by assuming the leadership of Nigeria.
I lean again on the words of Barack Obama “Hope is that thing inside us that insists, despite all evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us if we have the courage to reach for it, and to work for it, and to fight for it.”
Even with all the forces lined up against Nigeria seeking to hold it back – wishing to perpetuate and prolong the dark forces of underdevelopment, corruption, gerontocracy, selfishness and disregard for the rule of law, I am daring to hope – because of that thing inside me (despite all contrary evidential forces) that something better awaits Nigeria.
I dare to hope APC selects Yemi Osinbajo as its candidate and he becomes the President Nigeria requires, if not, the leader it deserves.
The questions facing APC members are therefore:
- Do you have the courage to reach for and select Yemi Osinbajo or are you content to select a candidate representing the status quo of underdevelopment, corruption, gerontocracy, selfishness and disregard for rule of law?
- Put succinctly, do you select Yemi Osinbajo – the leader Nigeria requires or do you select one of the old Guard – the leader Nigeria deserves?
- Do you wish to bequeath to your children the Nigeria of the past 60 years, morally bankrupt and underdeveloped, or a Nigeria reaching for the stars and seeking a brighter future?
I know what my answers would be if I was an APC member.
Leaning once again on the words of Barack Obama, which I have adapted “Hope is the belief that the destiny of Nigeria will not be written for us, but by us, by the Nigerian men and women who are not content to settle for the Nigeria as it is now, who have the courage to remake Nigeria as it should be.”
To APC members and those Nigerians, who wonder why bother, will it not be the same anyway whoever emerges President? To those who say there is no hope for Nigeria, who prefer the status quo of underdevelopment, corruption, gerontocracy, selfishness and disregard for rule of law and any other variations of the same, I remind you of the words of John F Kennedy, “We should not let our fears hold us back from pursing our hopes”.
Do not let your fears, your self-interests (parochial, tribal or monetary) or your fear of the unknown hold you back from pursuing your hopes that Nigeria can and will be a better place, a place we will be proud of to bequeath to children.
Generations of Nigerians will remember you. The future of Nigeria depends on you!!!