We are exhausted by the talk, talk and more talk. Seeming great speeches characterised by empty rhetoric. Our entire lives are littered with missed opportunities and the broken promises of our leaders. I am not here to bore you with the tales of our tragic sojourn, we haven’t gathered here for a pity party.
We have gathered here to remind ourselves that we are at the threshold where Nigeria must work; work for us today and most importantly for our children tomorrow. We dare not, I repeat we dare not hand our children a Nigeria that is worse than we met it. For if we do, posterity will judge us harshly!
Dear distinguished guests and friends, we are here to get things done ourselves, in trying to get the things done, we have to learn to do them differently, we have to be methodical, we have to be strategic, we have to borrow a third eye, we have to put our best forward, so that in the end we don’t repeat the mistakes of our fathers and leave the generation that comes after to blame us for doing nothing.
We are only a year to the 2015 general elections and we should as much as we can enlighten ourselves on the need to get a voters card and exercise our franchise.
The Independent National Electoral Commission did promise to start the continues voter registration process this month if i am correct. You and I, everyone one of us gathered here should get a voters card. Secondly it shouldn’t stop there we should organize town hall meetings to sensitize ourselves and persons in our community on how to recognize and elect credible leaders and what to do on election day.
For example, thousands of votes are declared invalid because those of us that even go through the pains of voting do not know how to thumb print on the paper. A voter once said to me she thumb printed on her ballot twice because she heard a political party merged days to the elections. That’s an invalid vote right there…
Let us remember to use our numbers at the ballots, the 70% of us that make the voting bloc can decide the faith of whoever presides over the affairs of this nation. We championed OccupyNigeria at Ojota, we have occupied with our smart phones. We should use the anger to get our people to vote and do so en-mass. I have observed elections in Nigeria and even at the last general polls, I saw 50-70 year olds, our parents queuing to cast their votes while young people were occupying the streets playing soccer.
We have to re-direct our anger at the ballots. If we all turn up to vote at the polling booths, say a 2000 registered center, it will be difficult for anyone to rig the elections, but If only a 100 turn up. We would have succeeded in handing over that polling booth to those who continuously take us down the path of retrogression.
We have to understand the power we wield as young people… We have to break down the barriers to get the Nigeria that we want, a Nigeria that binds us together as Muslims and Christians, Traditional worshipers and Atheists. We have to start working towards a skilled generation empowered to face the future. Only those with the requisite skills will drive the future.
We now import plumbers from neighboring Benin Republic, we now go for the university certificates we cannot defend. We have to do things differently.
More than 70% of adults in Nigeria, Africa’s most populated country – own mobile phones but none of it, is manufactured here and you wonder- Africa is rising, to whose benefit?
Imagine the millions of mobile phones we use and none of the companies run a manufacturing plant on our shores. It is time we to start asking ourselves the hard question, why have we outsourced our needs, goods and services to advanced economies?
We have to engage ourselves, those of us gearing to join the various parties ahead of the elections, we have to follow up on our candidates and see the policies they are bringing to the table. It is time to stop the blame game and cure ourselves of this “Blame Paralysis”. We have to be committed and ACT!
I’ll share a few tweets to wrap up..
Japheth Omojuwa wrote: “Nigerian youths are deluded if they think Twitter and Facebook will make them oust the conventional politicians. Acute Delusion.”
Feyi Fayemi on twitter known as DoubleEph wrote, “when we vote for a govt, it’s not just about what we want them to do, what do we want them NOT to do. Very important” We should never forget that as a people.
Our very own Elnathan John also wrote, “The people must change. One good man in power in Nigeria will only get himself killed or impeached. It is the people that must change”
Finally Ladies and Gentlemen, a critical mass is needed; we can no longer continue to leave it to them. Let us break this cycle of indifference, remember politics must not be left to the politicians alone. If Nigeria fails we all have failed, if she succeeds of course we would have succeeded. Nigeria’s problem is ours and not theirs alone. If you truly love Nigeria, you will stand up for her now or never.
Thank you and God Bless Nigeria!!