• Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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Nigeria shall not fail


Let these words be engraved in the hearts of every Nigerian. Listen. Times are looking grim. We don’t know what the future holds. Negativity hangs in the air like a balloon ready to burst.

A good number of Nigerians only see the other side of the coin. They see the impossibility and ugly side that cannot be changed. That other side of the coin has blinded many and led others into numerous evils.

The other side of the coin is characterised by social malaise, diseases, and a useless pursuit of quick riches. This side gave birth to email scammers, political jobbers and corporate wolves. It gave birth to the death of our heroes whose names we praise daily.

As children, we purchased sweets with one-kobo or fifty-kobo coin, and when we found a rusty one thrown away by a careless individual, we revived it. To resuscitate the copper, we buried the coin in mud for some seconds. All you had to do was rub the coin hard with the mud until it regained its glistening characteristics.

As adults, we forgot about that simple technique. Now, we want quick schemes. Hard work has become a thing for a selected few and success in life is tied to the government, connections and other things. We have forgotten too quickly that the simple technique is to rub off that dirt with consistency and perseverance.

The bug of the other side of the coin has caught future thinkers and innovators and the mentality has been: there are easy ways one could achieve great success in life. That’s where we have failed to succeed.

By looking deeply into the metaphorical representation of the other side of the coin, one could find many routes to a new beginning. There is a road that leads to other roads, which can lead to great achievements, and there is a road that ends at the beginning. The choice is yours.

To live at the moment is the ability to live life to its fullest no matter the circumstances Nigeria may present to us. It is this moment that makes us realise that complaining about a particular social ill will not bring about any change, but changing how we perceive the ill is what matters. In other words, when we find ourselves in a current situation that is not suitable, let us forge ahead to change it and not complain about it.

When a government, which is supposed to be for the people, stand by the people and provide for them becomes a monster that feeds on the blood and suffering of the people, then the onus lies on the masses to change it. Pushing to change does not require shining your sword or loading your barrels with bullets; it simply means looking at the next man beside you and drawing his attention to new ways change could be effected. Furthermore, it requires coming together to brainstorm on new ways of doing things.

By leaving the coin in the mud, we show that we have given up on the good tidings it could have given to us. To make it shine, our hands must be browned by positive work. It has been there for a long time and seeks our utmost attention.

The future is the moment. The moment is characterised by our actions. Our actions determine what happens tomorrow. Therefore, let us worry about what we do now.

Let Mama Chichi who fries akara at Ijesha market prepare the best akara for her customers, and Mutiu who cleans the gutters at Kilo do the best he can to make the environment clean. Their voices are our voice. This voice would be heard if only they keep striving to be the best in what they do and being the best in whatever talents we have.

By doing this, their children and their children’s children will learn the core values of life: if you hold on to that positive thing you believe in, the universe will bend to your will. We are the children of Mama Chichi and Mutiu and we have worked hard to see that this country is sweet enough for us to exist in. Our progenitors have paid the price and we are still paying the price. Hence, failure is not ours.

It takes a hardworking and peaceful coexisting community to bring new leaders. To avoid failure, let us come together and build a better mindset. This collectivism mixed with new mentality will save the coin once tossed in the mud. It will help us rub, rub and rub till the coin regains that feature which it has always had.

Whatever you do today, scream aloud: “We shall not fail!” God bless Nigeria.



Irene writes from Lagos.


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