Once again, a Nigerian on the world stage, Akinwunmi Adesina, is flying our flag high. His re-election for a second five-year term as the president of the African Development Bank (AfBD) was preceded by malicious propaganda and scandalous aspersions cast by a top official of the President Donald Trump administration.
It took a high-powered probe to establish his innocence. His unprecedented landslide victory in his re-election, where he scored 100 per cent of the votes cast, showed that the stakeholders have great confidence in his integrity.
Adesina weathered the storm and made us proud. His victory is our victory. His re-election is an overwhelming endorsement that has put his accusers to shame. For once, America was humiliated as it couldn’t swing the vote to remove the AfDB president on frivolous claims of nepotism and abuse of office that couldn’t be substantiated.
The fact that Adesina went through a probe and came out clean is something to celebrate. Certainly, that was the precursor of his re-election. The gentleman made himself proud; he has brought glory and honour to our great country, which, at the moment, is suffering from an absence of good governance at all levels across the nation. Again, good news and glad tidings are coming from abroad.
Our diaspora narratives used to be about our compatriots who were awaiting execution in foreign jails. At the last count, about 750 of them would someday go to the gallows for various crimes, mainly drug- related. What the world sees abroad is the ugly Nigerian, a crook, drug pusher, rapist, financial crime expert, credit card scammer, etc.
Thank God, Adesina has changed that for the moment. When our people carry the green passport at foreign airports, the image of Adesina would flash through the mind of the border security officials before they think of us as the ugly black faces who have fraud in their DNA.
When the Muhammadu Buhari/Tunde Idiagbon military regime began to execute drug pushers, Nigerians screamed and vilified that government for its alleged brutality. Gen. Ibrahim Babangida (IBB) toppled that government and, in a bid to gain legitimacy, abolished the so-called draconian measures put in place by the Buhari military junta, including the death penalty for drug pushers. Since then, scores of Nigerians have been executed abroad for drug-related offences.
Under IBB, corruption ran riot. The advanced fee fraud (419) festered and grew wings, settlement (bribery) became the order of the day and Nigeria sank deep into the cesspit of pandemic corruption. We are still in it today. Worse, our youth have exported it worldwide. Corruption and fraud or other criminal acts have become synonymous with Nigerians.
However, Adesina and other folks like him have begun an image laundering process, which, if continued and emulated by our people, could redeem the image of this country. Little Ghana is trying to push Nigerians out of that country, ‘Nigeria-Must-Go’, by introducing harsh business conditions. We are not wanted in South Africa and many other countries because of our alleged predatory business practices, irresponsible behaviour, criminal tendencies and corruptive influences.
Our youth should take note. Not that we are hated by other nations for no just cause, it is our attitude, our lack of decorum and disregard for law and order in the way we live and work, that foreigners are angry about. We are loud, boisterous and given to revelry. Societies that are calm, orderly and law-abiding resent this and sanction such conduct without mercy, because discipline is their watch word.
Nigerians abroad are known to be loud, rambunctious and a nuisance to quiet neighbours. With a few dollars in their pockets, our people organize loud parties and cause noise pollution everywhere they are. This is the problem we have with other nationals, and we must learn to be disciplined, law-abiding and orderly, everywhere we go: “When in Rome, act like the Romans,” it has been said.
Mr. Adesina showed us all these, even when he was under fire, he never lost his cool for a minute. He faced his accusers and put up his defence with documentary evidence that the probe panel could not fault. His colleagues at AfBD corroborated his evidence and testified in his favour. No wonder, he was returned with an emphatic 100 per cent mandate. And we know that nobody quarrels with integrity; you don’t fault success. Even, the erratic Trump would be impressed with Adesina.
Now, the shock. It is unbelievable that Nigeria’s toxic, corruption-soaked polity could produce this Adesina we’re celebrating. It is amazing! Like I always teach, not all Nigerians are evil. Not all political appointees are corrupt.
I admonish youth in this country to study the life of people like Akinwunmi Adesina and live like them. There are thousands of role models in Nigeria we can follow. Young people should stop being thugs to rogue politicians. They will destroy you. Thuggery does not pay. Cultism does not pay. Their reward is death and destruction.
There are several young Nigerians abroad doing genuine business. Some are in school studying hard. Many are in factories and workplaces, struggling. These folks send more than $25 billion home every year. These remittances have kept our economy from going under completely. I applaud these great Nigerians. We should be proud of them.
Weekend Spice: A seed is a tiny beginning with a huge future – Mike Murdock
Ok folks, thanks for reading; keep safe, Covid-19 is real. Stay motivated.
•Ayodeji is an author, rights activist, pastor and life coach. He can be reached on [email protected] and 09059243004 (SMS & WhatsApp only)