Mention the year 2023 and minds go flipping, uncertainty grips everyone around the world because of a certain country from which much has been and is still being expected, disappointedly she has never met expectations!

Leadership has been her bane. She is endowed and graced, blessed and gifted, but for lack of leaders who will harness her graces and gifting of people and manage her endowment of resources, her children wander in lack!

Kano, a state in northern Nigeria is home to some of the richest men in the world today, yet she alone contributes 3.7 million to out of school children to the total pool of 10.7 million children wandering waywardly in want on soil fertile enough to feed the world seating on core enriched with minerals more than the whole of Europe put together.

Leadership is not a general affliction in Nigeria. The private sector is ever springing surprises and the youths are taking the world by storm, bestriding the world of entertainment! Their coordination during the last *#Endsars* protests has left the world asking, when will this generation be up for *#Endbadgovernance?* The day they do, will obviously put an end to public leadership that is ruining the efforts of visionary and hard working Nigerians!

Armageddon is a place, event and date in the future that suggests fear, terror, instills horror and activates nightmare!

2023 is a mix of feelings of Armageddon and Eldorado, but with our cultural attitude of ‘what will be will be’ towards political participation, I am afraid we seem to lean towards Armageddon!

Little can be done to tilt the balance in favour of our Eldorado of a country, but not with the Nigerian youths.

If they rise today, tomorrow will be the daybreak. I am most certain of that!

Elections in 2015 was thought to be the last in darkness. The elite class are no doubt the trouble of our nation. They were properly identified then by Presidential hopeful General Muhammadu Buhari, who promised to the poor, he will strip the rich of their loots and share them to the poor, but poverty unfortunately, has been deepened by this administration than any other in the history of this country, with per capital income standing at $2097, divide this by 365 to know how poor an average Nigerian is on a daily earning of about 10 dollars.

Nigeria today is the capital of global poverty, a total collapse of social welfare just made her number one in open defecation in the world according to UNICEF!

Hope and years have been tied in the past. First, it was the dark goggled General who was dreamt for and he saw the need for planning and projecting the way forward for the rising of our giant in the sun. Vision 2010 will be a good way to go and so 248 members were drawn from across the country with about 16 expertriates, with the mandate to fashion out an economic blueprint that would lead the country from poverty and under-development into a democratically stable and economically prosperous nation within a period of about 14 years!

They were in Abuja on tax payers’ bill for a period of 10 months. They came out with lofty and workable ideas that were not to be, because thinking heads have never been the working hands in our country!

Inspite of whatever be their differences, Obasanjo saw hope in the candle of Abacha’s vision 2010, and attempted to fan the flick left of it to flame. The blue print of Vision 2020 was launched by the former President in September 2009.

Nothing was to become of this document, because of the same affliction, capable hands have never been around to fix the thinking of able heads!

If our country will ever amount to anything, a disruption is inevitable! We can’t be doing things the same way and expect a different result. One would have expected that by now, given the terrible results produced by the Buhari led APC administration, that our culture of engagement would have moved from vote buying and voters inducement but, videos of rice and beans being bagged with pictures of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has gone viral! 

Could it be that this political General and his team have concluded that we, as a people live for nothing than food, and stomach infrastructure should be the baits!

I am yet to hear of any intellectual engagement from the Atiku’s camp. Tunde Bakare is more concerned about Buhari’s perception of him than all of us put together. Yemi Osinbajo is speaking through proxy, and we are not in search of a President by proxy. 

Tambuwa is stocked to Sokoto, his voice hardly heard. The only Amazon in the race, Funmi Adesanya, is not an unfamiliar face in the political space in Nigeria, like an astute professor of linguistics that she is, she has kept the communication flowing to the people through her many opinionated articles. There is a 72-year old man among the pack, truly 72, not adjusted, who has proven that age is nothing but a number, a part of the old generation but aligning himself with the next generation in thought and style. A recurring decimal in the drive for blue print for our country, one of the many thinking heads that has never been the working hands, for which great ideas have failed at the point of implementation! 

By every best global democratic standard of political engagement, Mazi Sam Ohunbumwa has set the benchmark of intellectual engagement critically needed by our nation in 2023. He has criss-crossed the country, not sharing rice and money but engaging the people and telling them how to get the country to work! When the chips are down, fixing Nigeria is a joint project, it is more of what we need to do individually and collectively to get it up and running that will take us to our much dreamt about promise land.

Done with Nigeria, he has moved abroad, meeting with diaspora community, while Tinubu is hosting Aspirant Kalu at Boudillon, Ohuabunwa is showing respect to Nigerians in diaspora telling them how fatherland can be built!

I have attended some of his town hall meetings on Zoom and can only wonder, where are others on the platform where ideas count and respect is shown to the next generation?

Okuwobi-led Endsars panel recommendations that our youth must be properly engaged with going forward, stares us in the face as the reality that can’t be buried, at least not anymore!

This political season must in my own advice be given to those bagging ideas and not rice! 

 Feeding on “bagged rice” of politicians will only grow us obesed in poverty, but will a hungry people shun their rice and demanded to be fed on idea? To grow wealth as individuals and corporately as a nation, idea is the nutrient needed. Our salvation as a nation is at the mercy of whatever we choose to feed on; idea or rice? Please, in the Interest of a better and greater Nigeria, join camps where ideas are being served.