Part 3: Should we be hopeful?
I remember when I visited my cousins in Lagos, how it felt like I had boarded a plane to different country. Lagos was just a big bustling city and was a new adventure as we hunted for the best akara and fried yam vendor. I remember running from Bar Beach towers across the highway unto Bar Beach and it felt like miles of sand before you got to the water.
In Benin I attended great schools. They were bright and colorful. Our uniforms were crisp, and we wore white socks in sandals. I believe that is when I got my hatred for socks, that aside, we were crisp and clean. I remember morning assembly, playing the recorder and the assembly closed out with our morning prayers.
Our education system was world class and other countries were vastly outpaced by our students. This is such a beautiful memory and I am totally smiling as I write this. And oh! the ride from school was simply amazing. Especially in corn season. My cousin and I just had to stop and buy corn off the street. Those women and their huge homemade pots, and the steam that fills the air when they opened it for you to select.
A few years ago, I sat with a distant cousin at a family Christmas party. It would interest you to know that all Benin people are basically cousins. He told me about his vision for Edo State. He drew such an imagery that took me back to my childhood. I could tell that he had the same childhood I had in Benin, but his was better. It had deteriorated a bit by the time I got it. Fast forward to today, I am watching him execute, I am seeing transformation, I am watching this older brother of mine (I claim him even more) create the change he wants in his environment. He is showing us that it is indeed possible, we can provide good governance in this environment. It is a man, it is you, it is us that can solve our problem.
I do not pretend to be a political scientist or economist, although I play both roles quite well on Facebook. I am a citizen; I do see and feel good governance when it exists. I now know that a man is our problem, yet a man can be our solution. It is you; it is me.
Most people who know me, would accuse me for being overly optimistic; an optimist to a fault. I cannot help it as my steps are formed in faith. I believe that the best is what is available to us in grace and the best is what we must get. I believe we all need to step to the table as we all must become political to ensure we can move the needle back, yes back to the Nigeria of my childhood. A place with potential and growth, and not a place to escape from. We need to all go back to the ground floor, go back to our villages and states and effect change.
As a project manager I can state clearly that the problems we face in Nigeria can only be solved in small parts. Imagine improvement in every state simultaneously, it would make a better Nigeria.
We must look around us and say to one another, this will not continue to happen to us.
This is not about who did or did not do something to us.
We did this to ourselves.
We must be in pursuit for advancement of all Nigerians.
The change we need will take a man, you!