Like an average Nigerian youth, I am inundated by issues concerning Nigeria. Don’t blame us, with nothing too exciting about one of the most potentially packaged nations for prosperity becoming home to the poorest of people in the world. That equation should discourage a data-driven generation. Compounded by no model to roll after. Abroad seems to be the only picture that fits. Hence the migration, we live in our dream nation online while waiting for a visa offline. Seemly our New Nigeria is built, though online, with the biggest political movement in Nigeria’s History. It is left to us what to make of it!

As I said, we are in rebellion against the system and justifiably so. But what do you do when within the rot you are gifted with a father like mine? Who you have grown to love so dearly. Who will take a loan at a 100% interest rate to activate a project on getting Nigeria to work and sit his family down to explain why WE have to do that. He is just different from the pack of parents I see around. How do you place a father who while preparing you for the school certificate exam says to you, the exam is simply the test of your ability, prepare very well, copy from nobody, shun the school’s arranged assistance, just your efforts whatever the results, I will take it proudly as your worth needing improvement on. That’s the writer of Happy Sunday Column on his blog who was busy building for ART Conference 2023; ONE MAN and took ill for stress. He mandated me to write on this topic. Be very sure he will be at ART, nothing strengthens him like Nigeria.

Quite recently, there has been an uproar in the country stirred by the written words of the Former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo. His baptismal name is Matthew, named after Christ’s disciple and writer of the longest gospel account having 28 chapter. Obasanjo is our National Episcopal Apostle and leader, no other comes near him in chronicles of letters written to Nigerians. The latest is to young Nigerians.
While his letter has caused a variety of reactions, I would like us to focus on the crux of the matter, taming our emotions and giving sense to our sentiments as you read along.

At the age of 39, Obasanjo reached the peak of his career as a military officer, becoming an Army general and military head of State in February 13, 1976 – October 1, 1978. He took over from another young Nigerian who was killed in a military coup at the age of 37, Late General Murtala Muhammed. Obasanjo’s value for democracy was concretized by his decision to institute it and exit as a military leader conducting an election that brought in Shehu Shagari as the President and Head of the Second Republic. That democratic gesture by Obasanjo was aborted by another military coup led by Muhammadu Buhari who had at age 34 became the Federal Commissioner for Petroleum in 1976. A couple of other people, young military men took advantage of Nigeria after him and raped the country till a combustive rebellion induced by the attempt to subsume the will of the people in 1993 took them out of power in 1999. Obasanjo who was before then a victim of the power game between the North and the South was in prison. When it dawned on the Oligarchy that the only way to dummy a dumb south was to make OBJ the President, he returned in May 29, 1999 and left in May 29, 2007. His game plan to reset the nation for North South power dichotomy seemed to be succeeding when Yar’dua Presidency gave way to Goodluck Jonathan’s Presidency. Jonathan was however too naive to understand the power of his office nor depth and details of what was at stake.

Obasanjo may not be a worthy tale of our past we should applaud, given his role in history. But no one is more qualified than Obasanjo to counsel young Nigerians on the way forward having been both a victim and fortunate beneficiary of the Nigeria power game to which we owe our present state of things.

In his letter to the youths, Obasanjo emphasized the importance of setting aside our differences, and taking back our country from the clutches of insecurity, inflation and poverty to mention a few. Obasanjo was very clear, this country is not ours!

He told the story of a Country once owned by the people before the military handed it over to the Oligarchy “I became Head of State at 39 and at 42, I had retired into the farm. When it was considered necessary, I was drafted back into active political life after twenty years of interregnum. I came back at 62 and by 70, I was on my way out.”
The Bible says in the book of Ecclesiastes that there is a time and season for everything. This means there is a time for leadership and a time for retirement. While we can agree on the fact that none of the Presidential Candidates are saints, we must look beyond the corruption of the party politics, and scrutinize individual personality.
To be a leader is much more than giving orders, it is about getting your followers or subjects to buy into your vision, think your vision and act your vision. In simple terms, they become like the leader.
Now Nigeria as a country, with an average of 200 million people who and what do we desire to become?
A town hall with different shades of blue, or a people vast in knowledge, understanding the role statistics and figures play in proferring solutions to our problems.

While the ball is in our court, remember that while the average 25 year old youth today is in awe of the stories told by our elders of a once great Nigeria, our childhood held better memories than they do now.
Gone are the days of five naira biscuits and candies, Gone are the days when #50 could get a variety of snacks. If we owe ourselves nothing, we at least owe the coming generation a better memory of Nigeria than that which we had.

My father once came back from a trip to Abuja for win9geria Conference and told me a story of a boy born in the middlebelt of Nigeria who was doomed to failure by life and its circumstances but who like Obasanjo was fortunate against the tide of life for being a Nigerian. He had the best of education, coloured with a Phd, not honourary like Bolaji Akinyemi and rose to become a Major General in the Nigeria Army. That “boy” is the chosen ONE MAN as the lead Speaker to help us find the path to A New Nigeria. I am eager to hear him.

Let me make this a letter from a young Nigerian to young Nigerians, the only way to turn our unfortunate situation to fortunate is make up our mind not to vote for a President in 2023, but for ONE MAN who as the President will mentor you. One Man among the 18 in the race whose character you will like your unborn children to mirror. That for me is the simple solution for one man to find his one man. Till we see at ART on Tuesday, its a happy Sunday.