When the Rivers Stay Stagnant

How do you have so much potential, yet consistently fail to deliver? You go one step forward, then gladly take two steps backwards while smiling and beating your chest proudly. For a state called the Treasure Base of the Nation, and a capital city formerly known as the Garden City, Rivers State has disappointed on almost every developmental metric relative to the resources and potential available. Yet, just as Nigeria happily towers above its fellow underperforming African countries, Rivers State embraces the wrong peers to feel it is doing well.

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Change, Politics

Underachievement Has A Face Draped In Green

Achievements are an extremely subjective sphere of discussion; so nebulous that any attempt to discuss them should first try to define an acceptable framework, yet whatever framework is crafted could still be argued as unfair by some. This applies to almost everything, including countries, though for sovereign confines, we may borrow from businesses to define “national imperative” as the requirement for nations to perpetually seek the betterment of their people to match or exceed other nations with similar endowments and constrictions. It is on this basis that we will judge Nigeria at 62.

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Change, Politics

Nigeria and a Season of Tough Decisions

We start today with three strong assertions. First, “Nigeria is in a mess”. Secondly, “There is no Messiah to fix Nigeria”. Thirdly, “Nigeria can be fixed”. We would go further to amend the third to say, “Nigeria can be fixed with good leadership that can make politically-ruinous choices and citizens willing to allow the necessary compromises”. If you understand the import of those twenty words, we can continue the rest of this article.

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Change, Politics

Of Easy Wins and Persistent Troubles

Behold an article that has been on my mind for some time, morphing as I consider one scenario after another. A quote by the American Chuck Norris might dare to succinctly capture my thoughts as I type this article.

“I’ve always found that anything worth achieving will always have obstacles in the way and you’ve got to have that drive and determination to overcome those obstacles en route to whatever it is that you want to accomplish.”

Chuck Norris
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Continental Builders Called the African Youth

When I was contacted by an advocacy group, The Reformers, to join an online panel session on International Youth Day 2020 (12 August), I wondered why anyone would want to hear me talk about “The Role of African Youths in Building the Africa We Want”. Accepting their request laid the foundation for today’s article, which draws from my research and thoughts about the issues, blended with insights from other panellists and participants.

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COVIDIOTS, COVID-19 and a Question of Trust

Let me set the stage for this article by juxtaposing quotes from two American politicians.

“The real cost of corruption in government, whether it is local, state, or federal, is a loss of the public trust”

Mike Quigley

“We can only have true public safety with public trust”

Betsy Hodges
Continue reading “COVIDIOTS, COVID-19 and a Question of Trust”
Change, Politics

Shackles of Independence

Two centuries ago, Brigham Young said that “True independence and freedom can only exist in doing what’s right.” Those words are as true as the knowledge that the earth is spherical. Whereas some persons view independence as being free to do whatever they like however they like, such persons have a myopic view that points to immaturity. When one is truly independent is when one comes to appreciate that independence implies a responsibility to do the right thing. It is the Nigerian state’s inability to understand this logic that has kept it in shackles for fifty-six years. Continue reading “Shackles of Independence”

Change, Politics

Seat Fillers or Potential Legacies?

In a hierarchical society, the goal of many persons is to someday get to the top. Whether in the public service or in the private sector, holding the top role in an organization is usually the ultimate aim. Having recognized this drive for the zenith, one wonders whether hierarchy should be treated as sacrosanct, or whether hierarchy should sometimes be ignored in the best interest of an organization. This is not a palatable thought, but in the interest of providing platforms for lasting legacies, it is a thought worth considering. Continue reading “Seat Fillers or Potential Legacies?”

Inspiration, NYSC

Leaders of Never

“Youths are the leaders of tomorrow.”

“Youths are the future leaders.”

Presumably, every person older than a toddler has heard these quotes or any of their numerous cousins. It is ingrained in the human consciousness that every generation will at some point be replaced by a younger one. However, for many youths, tomorrow remains elusive, perpetually unreachable because they never realize that tomorrow starts now. Continue reading “Leaders of Never”