Has This Generation Failed The Nation? – By Orebanwo Adewale

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:orebanwoadewale@gmail.com or through +2347063643099. He can also be followed on Instagram: @orebs_adex.

2016 in Nigeria’s History Books – By Orebanwo Adewale

A wise man once said that “life itself is a learning process”. With this thought floating amidst the ocean of thoughts in my head I decided to pick it out and see why it is waving the white flag. After much pondering on the subject I understood fully well that every stage in life we get to or every part we experience teaches us something that will be needful in the coming years. With the euphoria of this newly acquired knowledge, I decided to look back and see if truly have learnt one or two lessons from the year 2016 and here began my adventure to revisit my school of thought.

The teacher employed in my school of thought decided to do a quick revision on the lessons learnt during the ‘2016 value-adding session’; he reminded me how in our quest for change, we could no longer afford, the demands Change was pushing to us. It seemed as if the change we were clamoring for was going to be our own demise but we still hanged to the hope of a better Nigeria. From this lesson I learnt “Change is not in a person’s words but in a nation’s mindset”.

He also highlighted the stress we went through trying to keep the virus of recession from eating holes into our money bag. The word ‘recession’ is on every lips whenever you try buying something below the fixed price or when you call home for reimbursement or when you even board a cab. The poor now believes it is a distant cousin that has now decided to come pay them a visit, the rich believes it is an opportunity that can be exploited to their advantage while the government believes it is a period to sell our assets. Yet with this, many are not affected by this virus because they have skills, they have added value and they have wisely utilize it to stay at the top of the food chain. I learnt from this topic that “recession is also an opportunity depending on your viewing point”.

He further explained how we were caught in the crossfire when trying to fight for what was supposed to be our right as students (reparation saga). We tried speaking out so our voices would be heard but we only ended up talking but with no sound emerging out of our mouth, we fought hard but only succeeded in beating ourselves hard in the back. I could not forget how this experience caused a university that runs two semester in a session to automatically have a third session. In this topic I learnt something important and valuable, which is; “You can’t fight a brand until you are one”.

One lesson I won’t forget is that of the President of our great nation Nigeria. Tracing back time to his interview with a news media. I remember what he said about his wife ‘belonging to the kitchen and the other room’. This harmless phrase took a toll on the social media and it was rephrased in different ways that almost could paint him as a conspirator in the discrimination of the female gender. From this short lesson I grabbed a great deal of life essentials which is; “Talk is cheap, so don’t waste it blabbing around”.

Furthermore, a lesson that most Nigerians are still learning from is the advent of online schemes and platforms to increase wealth. I won’t say much on this but I learnt something critical to living life to the fullest which is; “Not everything that glitter is gold”

In order to manage time, other lessons were overlooked but my teacher emphasized one that cannot be ignored which is the election of the “world president” as everyone has accepted them to be. Despite the distance of the country in question from the shores of my fatherland, I could see the impact of whosoever emerges on education, standard of living, technology and terrorism. I learnt two lessons from this topic, which is; “influence is a proof of greatness” and “there is no resting until you cross the finish line”.

Despite the failures and success in this year, I was made to believe that the panacea to most of the failures in the year 2016 is centered on adequate planning and willingness to accept that life is a process and must be followed one step at a time. Before my teacher relinquishes his role, he stated clearly that the central theme in the 2017 impact-full session will be more of value-adding activities and spiritual growth.

Stepping out of the adventures my thoughts took me on, I remembered the words of a wise man: “Counsel in the heart of a man is like deep water; but a man of understanding will draw it out”.

  • 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:orebanwoadewale@gmail.com or through +2347063643099. He can also be followed on Instagram: @orebs_adex.