A wise man once said “legacy is what a father leaves for his children”. This phrase highlighted in my pool of thoughts the words of our former president, Olusegun Obasanjo which made the headlines on the newspapers some few days ago: ‘My generation has failed Nigeria’. It takes a lot of boldness to come out to say this, I thought. I ran my eyes through his speech only to find out that he ran away from the theme he started with to a point where he excluded himself from the blame with respect to the state of this nation. Shoveling blames does not erase the fact that accountability is a necessity from anyone on whose laps responsibility falls on.
His generation which includes majority of those in power now have made a mess of what is supposed to be left as legacy for us the coming generation. At a point in his speech, he said “my sons and daughters, what will your generation do? Condemnation is easy but what will you do?” This part of the speech left me thinking; what exactly do they want us to do? To clean up their mess or wallow in the filth they have created.
Narcissism is the order of the day as our fathers take little thought of what life will be like for the coming generation and they major on the quest to make their comfortability their sole priority. Every election process has brought back the same set of people only that their offices have changed. Some of them take offices with virtually no knowledge about it but still they clamour about serving their fatherland. Education has plunged deep into the abyss with no means to resuscitate it. Students graduate with knowledge acquired in the 80s’ and degrees that cannot be defended confidently in the corporate world. Security eats a chunk of our annual budget but we don’t feel safe yet. Nigeria is no more “the giant of Africa” because we have ignored ‘strategic planning’. John C. Maxwell highlighted that “Strategic Planning does not deal with future decisions; it deals with the futurity of present decisions”.
The phrase made by this elder statesman is clarion call to the youths of this great nation to rise and take responsibility for their lives and this nation. Are we not tired of being used as political thugs to fuel the selfish ambitions of our fathers, isn’t it high time we stop living as leaders of tomorrow and take hold of our today? “The labour of our heroes past shall never be in vain” has been caressed by our small mouth till it was filled with teeth but that phrase has been taken with levity and contempt. Let us make this our drive and refuse to remain as babes because it is only a child that eats his resources. The wisest man that ever lived said “woe unto a nation whose king is a child and thy princes eat in the morning”. The names of our founding fathers cannot be removed from the sand of times because they laid a legacy for the generation coming and did not squander that which is to be inherited. What will be said of you is determined by the decisions you take today. We are endowed with the power to be whosoever we want to be.
Take that step, make that decision and let us stop giving irrelevant excuses. Remember, what will be said of us is determined by what characterizes our actions today. “Help our youth the truth to know”; the truth is before us now, don’t let it slip away.
I will leave us this wise quote to ponder on: “Let us not pray to be sheltered from dangers, but to be fearless when facing them” – Rabindranath Tagore.
Orebanwo Adewale is a fresh graduate from the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta. He is a leader with a core value in human capital development. He is a creative writer and a prolific speaker. He can be reached via Email:firstname.lastname@example.org or through +2347063643099. He can also be followed on Instagram: @orebs_adex.