Right before millions as President Obama took the stage to take the oath, I saw the anticipation in the eyes of the Americans, CNN showed not just pictures but the passion of the people, not just for the president, but also for the nation, not only the nation but for the belief that we can make a difference. Tears were flowing freely, some muttered prayers unconsciously, the electricity of the moment was inspiring… but that was not all.
Right in my office in Nigeria, everyone left their work to come watch one man take the center point of attention all around the Globe. People watched in excitement, phone calls and txt messages flew into my phone. Even Skype messages from other offices told me most people were not working. I was glad. Nigerians indeed are not docile, they can be passionate, and they can be mobilized. They love making history, but then… Obama is not the Nigerian President.
Though I wish it were true, but we have to work for our own, the Ghanaian elections have also proved, while being stretched to test the sinews of its democracy, that a sound elections is not American in colour- it can be African, then it can also be Nigerian. Where are our inspiring leaders? Men and women who will inspire hope in this our quagmire of crises. People who will mobilize the nation to make profit from the waters of the meltdown, people who will win elections by the sheer brilliance of their ideals not generosity of their pockets
What was making us watch? This is what we have been longing for, we tell ourselves, and this is the song we’ve been longing to sing. Searching, we have been waiting for someone to lead our nation to change, to grow. The future is here and we are already late. Today we can make a difference of our own.
“Even in the face of the depression, we need a very strong leader in our country. A man who will do what is right for the nation as an entity and for the people. We need a man who will put programmes and policies that will lift the ordinary man from the doldrums of poverty to happiness. We need a man who will stand against all forms of social injustices; the most paramount is corruption.
“We need a man who will deal with corruption with his life. We need a man who will put God first. You put God first when you think of the interest of the man in the street. If you say you are a religious man and you want to put God first, you have to do what Prophet Mohammed did; you have to do what Jesus Christ did. Christ and Mohammed worked for the poor and died for the poor.”
“You should look at God first by ensuring that people don’t die of hunger. You look at God first when you come to the hospital and every hospital is equipped with modern equipment that can diagnose problems and the people have access to the most modern treatment on earth. You look at God first when you don’t pick dead bodies on the road as a result of accidents caused by potholes on our bad roads.
“You look at God first when people who want education will get education. You look at God first when you go to the universities, secondary schools and so on and you can say ‘I am proud of these institutions. You put God first when the wealth of the nation is used to promote the interest and welfare of the people.
“You put God first from the way you behave and how people around you live. Nigerians are dying from poverty. Their children cannot get access to institutions they want to get to. The country is not being run. We are retrogressing; our country is retrogressing daily.”
Those were not my words; they are the words of Chief Gani Fawehinmi, who fought for democracy and the equality for all men. Same man who is on a sick bed today because hospitals misdiagnosed him, he is still waiting for that NEW Nigeria. The passion is still there, but no energy and time. We have the dream, not only that the time and the energy- it’s our time, it’s our turn!
Who will be our Obama, when the time comes will you stand and be among the people who helped shape history?
THE FUTURE IS HERE! WE WILL DELIVER THE FUTURE!