In his best selling motivational book aptly tittled what’s your excuse? John Foppe an American from illiniois , born without arms but went ahead to earn two masters degrees ; can do what most able bodied cannot do including swimming, cooking, typing etc, . During his visit to Nigeria some years ago at the invitation of a bank and later the Federal Ministry of Youths and Culture as it was then known, Mr. Foppe challenged Nigeria and every Nigerian youth to stop giving excuses for our backwardness and non-achievement as what we need to be a great nation is already in us. Foppe said he has long discovered that his disability lay in his mind, not in his body.
For Nigeria, what is our excuse for not being among the comity of great nations despite our endowment by mother nature, the narrative have been shifting, moving like the Russian roulette: from pre colonial nationalist schools exemplified in Walter Rodney’s seminal work, How Europe under developed Africa (read Nigeria), to the curse of military intervention early in the life of newly independent Nigeria, to misrule and corruption among the new class of political elite. The narrative has always been the same, sipped in persimism and inertia.
We at The New Narrative acknowledge these primodial sentiments and challenges but we believe the time has come to change the narrative. Can we continue to blame the colonial masters, the military and the politicians for the woes of Nigeria. At our own little conner, what are we doing to maximise our individual potential to achieve greatness in our life. Yes our military and political elites have messed up but have we held them accountable enough. Can the Arab spring that brought down some governments in North America happen here. We have a docile population that is afraid to challenge the oppressors or at best is contented with little crumps from the table.
That is why we at The New Narrative salute some NGOs that have stood up for accountability and good governance such as the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) Our Mumu Don Do. Beyond these, we should all be solutions to the challenge facing Nigeria. It is time every citizen took ownership of Nigeria and see the country as “my own” instead of those in authority. We have left too many things in the hands of public officials for too long that we don’t have any sense of belonging again. We can not continue to look the other way when things are getting wrong by the day.
We at The New Narrative will chamapion the cause for citizenship partcipation and ownership of the political space. We shall report government activities , interogate public policies , hold public office holders accountable and demand openess and transparency in the management of our commonwealth. We are blind to religious, ethnic or political party colouration and hence shall be fair to all in our reportage. Lets do away with our old narratives that tends to divide rather than unite us. We pledge to champion the cause of a new Nigeria able and willing to play in the first eleven of a nation of the world. Never again shall the green back passport be a laibility in major internatioinal airports in Europe and the America. Never again shall our able bodied young men and women smile and laugh in front of camera of international media organizations as they are sold to slavery in Libya, Italy and other countries. Nigeria should be made conducive for them to remain and earn a decent living instead of embarking on fatal journeys in the Mediteranean.
Please join us every Monday as we embark on this arduous trajectory of changing the Nigerian narrative from blame game to total ownership ; from pessimism to optimism.