I was invited to Ife to speak in Ile-Ife, Osun State (Nigeria) over the weekend to the students of the Student Christian Movement where I once served as a member of the executive committee. Having gone there once last year, I decided to leave very early to avoid the death traps and the traffic gridlocks on the road. True to my calculations, I gave up counting accidents when I got to 13 on the pothole-infested roads, while my bus avoided accidents twice. I couldn’t imagine travelling every weekend on these roads. I got to Ife and things had changed. I was actually treated like a fresh undergraduate when I was taken to a new 1000-seater auditorium being constructed in a location which used to be a market! After giving up on trying to find my around the campus, I headed to the venue where I was supposed to speak to the students.
I delivered the message titled “My letter to Idris – 10 lessons to an undergraduate”. I spoke extensively on these lessons as they relate to life, leadership, academics and relationships. I enjoyed myself while sharing personal examples and principles that I learnt the hard way, the easy way and the ones I learnt after the fact. I intend to post the presentation once I finish sorting out the technical issues involving my website.
But going through the Ife – Lagos highway, I could literally point out potholes before we got there even after not being on that road close to a year. I thought about the numerous accidents I saw, the countless number of lives lost and families in grief because some people refused to execute their responsibilities. I thought about our challenges of power supply which have defied all possible approaches. When people rise into leadership in Nigeria, do they become helpless or conscienceless?
We need men in power, men and women with courage and a conscience; people who have come to understand leadership as a call to destiny and not one of the necessary rites of life. When the right people don’t show up by election day, people will vote for the ones available, and if we don’t show up to vote, some people will vote on your behalf. Will the next president please show up early enough?
We don’t have to vote for experienced incompetence.