Zeal without knowledge is foolish and, in fact, dangerous. What Nigeria needs now is not folks who are zealous for religion, tribe, or money…
The momentum is gathering as the nation prepares for the general election, the biggest competitive event in our political calendar. The star prize is the Presidency and politicians will do anything to get the Number One office in the land. Religion and ethnicity is the two-edged sword we use freely in great political battles like this.
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Any nation like Nigeria where religious affiliation, not merit, is one of the criteria for appointment or election into public office would always function below par. Such a nation is destined for the lower rung of the ladder in the global development index. The ripple effects of this can be seen in the endemic poverty and sectarian violence ravaging the land. And our young folks are usually the victims while their sponsors keep their own children in Ivy League schools in safe havens abroad.
Our youth must realise that Nigeria’s problem is not religion but development. We are now impoverished by the reckless stealing of our public funds by rapacious political elite and their cohorts in the armed services. These partners-in-crime are responsible for the economic adversity of Nigeria, the collapsed public infrastructure and the general dysfunction of the national economy.
This is why our resource-rich nation cannot pay its bills, has become import-dependent, and is reeling under the weight of moral degeneration and criminality. The onus is now on our youth to take control. How do you take control of a failed republic like Nigeria, with its many complex problems of mass poverty, illiteracy, ethnicity, sectarian crisis, disunity, xenophobia, endemic, widespread ignorance and cultural myths/superstition?
If you want to take charge of things in this nation, you must be fully in control of yourself. You first prove to your folks that you are in charge of your life before you can rule over others. Our current leaders failed because most of them are failures in their private lives, homes, businesses or in their professions and affiliations. Failure in private life cannot produce success in public vocation.
Therefore, live a life of purpose and be focused on your mission. Succeed first in your primary calling, vocation, business and home before you venture out to pursue public office. A footballer first becomes a star in the home league before foreign clubs sign him to play on the big stage. You should be the captain of 10, 20, hundreds and thousands, before you aspire to rule over millions. If you can’t govern a local government, you can’t govern a state. If you haven’t governed a state successfully, how can you rule Nigeria with a population close to 180 million? Start small and master small projects before you aspire for the big ones. A young man must have a clear vision and the ability to pursue it to the logical conclusion. No matter the obstacles, you must never give up. That is how to be a winner.
Manage your private space brilliantly. Others will notice you and, before you realise it, you’ll be called to lead. It is better to go through the ranks and work your way up. Some folks want to be governors or presidents, when they have never managed any institution of note before. How do you get the experience to run a state or country, if you have not been tested in small projects? You don’t become a General the day you join the army. It takes time, training, drills, tests in real combat situations and then you rise through the echelons to become a General.
Zeal without knowledge is foolish and, in fact, dangerous. What Nigeria needs now is not folks who are zealous for religion, tribe, or money; we need youth who are zealous for the right knowledge to engender self-development, national prosperity, peace, internal cohesion, technology, hard work and clean morals. We need youth who are keen to serve the fatherland with qualifications obtained on merit, not by quota, sex-for-marks or ghost writers of exam papers.
This nation will be transformed before our eyes within record time if our youth could turn their amazing creativity and energy away from criminality to worthy enterprises. Crooked leaders hide under religion to mislead our youth into mindless
violence in order to seize power and control our common patrimony. They promote religious bigotry across ethnic borders to pump zealous commitment into youthful adherents of contending faiths, who are then sent on sectarian battle grounds to fight for religious hegemony over others.
The 2019 general election is close. Very soon, you will begin to hear the sounds of war drums. Folks, don’t heed the call to battle. Be zealous, instead, for knowledge, for self-actualisation, progress, peace of Nigeria, national development, prosperity and good governance. Invest your precious time in worthy causes. Ethnicity does not develop any country, rather, it brings devastation and untold suffering. Look at South Sudan and see what ethnic violence has done to the people there.
In the North-East of our country, you have seen what Islamic insurgents have done to the people there. Afghanistan, Libya, Myanmar, Yemen are now in shambles over sectarian wars. Citizens of these countries are now perishing in high seas as they embark on perilous journeys in search of safe havens abroad. Take control of your nation so that you do not fall into such calamity.
God’s heart is never for you to die prematurely or live a life that is miserable
– Joseph Prince
Okay folks, let’s do it again next Friday. Stay motivated.