Nigeria has a lot of challenges but Nigeria also has a lot of potential. In the last 10 to 12 years, it seems like the focus has been so much on our problems without giving it a balanced perspective with our wins, gains and potentials. In the recent years, this negative focus continues to gain momentum and so many people who had optimism and patriotism for Nigeria are beginning to catch this bug of pessimism.
While it is true that the pressing challenges of the nation are making ordinary citizens to groan and cry louder, we must not overlook the part that political interests and propagandists are playing in getting everyone to pay more attention to the negative stuff. The one question to ask some of political figures who keep painting pictures of total doom and gloom is this: if Nigeria is so terribly bad, why do you stiull want a shot at steering her affairs? Why are you still vying in elections? If they say that it is because they can turn things around and set the country on the right path, it is a great answer. It is an answer that proves that Nigeria is not as bad as it is being presented to be; that is why people are still hoping to take a leadership position.
Nigerians need to be more circumspect. First of all, we must not live in denial; we have a lot to deal with, from economic issues to security challenges and many other challenges in between that cannot be ignored. However, I suggest that our perspective to these challenges be carefully framed so that our actions and responses to them are helpful indeed. I recommend that we see our challenges as a signal and a reminder that we have much work to do and if we do it, persistent in vision, clarity, commitment and unity of purpose, we will achieve great results.
We should shun hysteria and dooms-day expectations; it may not seem like it but there are people who would like us to think this way because they have much to gain from it. A very obvious one is that it gives an opportunity to control the narrative, an opportunity to control our response and a chance to control outcomes. We must not allow ourselves to become the unsuspecting puppets of masked men with vested interests who care only about what they want. Our challenges are not insurmountable and our hopes are not unattainable.
So, what do we do? Let’s start by verbalizing our hopes even as we discuss challenges and may even sometimes verbalize our fears. Let’s keep hope in the conversation. Let us also always leave solutions on every table of discussion we find ourselves. We may talk about our frustrations and even fall into cynicism sometimes but let us think and talk about solutions too. Lastly, I suggest that we to turn our anger, no matter how righteous or justified, to meaningful decisions and actions not provocative words (especially on social media) and blind destruction.
Bless Nigeria” with your thoughts, words and deeds. Shun violent words and actions.