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Children: The Future of this Nation

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I am the future of the world

I am the hope of my Nation

I am tomorrow’s people

I am the new inspiration

And we’ve got a song to sing to you

we’ve got a message to bring to you

we’ve got a dream

for you and for me and tomorrow (tomorrow)

If we all can agree, there’ll be sweet harmony

tomorrow, tomorrow

and we all will be there, coca cola to share

feeling so real and so (feeling so real and so true)

promise us tomorrow and we’ll make a better world for (make a better world for you)

Those are the lyrics of the 1986 advert song for coca cola. I remember singing it then with a lot of gusto even though I didn’t know all the lyrics properly. Apparently, I didn’t understand it fully as well. I didn’t know that in singing that song, I was making a commitment to the world and my country. I didn’t know I was articulating a message that was so deep.

As Nigeria celebrates children’s day today, I cast my mind back to how much of an adult I’ve become and much I miss from being a child. How much hope have I given my Nation? How much of an inspiration am I or have I been? 

This song seems so right for Nigeria. If only we can all agree, there’ll be sweet harmony. Why is there so much negative competition between the North, South, East and West. What does federal character mean? Why isn’t the job given to the best man suited and available for it? Why is a particular tribe seemingly more powerful and influential than others even when they can’t necessarily match or exceed the intellectual capacity of the other tribes? Why will certain children from certain regions enjoy privileges their counterparts in other regions don’t?

I am currently very passionate and very involved in Nation building in Nigeria. My sleeping and waking thoughts are filled with a Nigeria that is getting developed progressively even though my environment screams out otherwise everytime I check. We currently seem to be sinking into the directionlessness we suffered in during the pre-democracy years. Our leaders are bereft of ideas. They are plundering the treasury and living fat on the wealth of the Nation.

There’s no common wealth anywhere. The Federal Government is currently at war with Niger Delta militants for control of the oil-rich region. The militants have made common the practice of kidnapping people, sabotaging equipment and shooting the place up. They have become menaces in the arena but you can’t really blame them. They are simply products of the environment. Victims of the prevalent greed and lust for power around them. Having served previous governors and top politicians to intimidate and kill people, snatch ballot boxes and rig elections, they have beome monsters that are simply uncontrollabe even by previous godfathers and benefactors.

These young children are the future of the world. They are the hope of this Nation, though they don’t seem to be giving any hope currently. They are the new inspiration. Imagine if all our children grow up in this hate-filled, corruption over-run, greed saturated country. What will the future of this Nation be?

I read a story today of a father and step mother who tied a 10-yr old boy’s hands and legs and left him starving for 3 days because he was alleged to have stolen N10. What wickedness!! What kind of a future would one expect that child who has a been a victim of such cruelty and hate to create? Why would one expect him to grow up having love and compassion for his fellow citizens and the world at large after having been treated like a common animal?

We need to rise up and help create a world of love and a nation of values for our children so that they can in turn give us a great future and make the world a better place.

The children of Nigeria are thus crying to us grown ones today saying “Please promise us tomorrow and we’ll make a better world”. What are you and I promising them with our lackadaisical attitude to proper governance, values and development.

Will they witness a better future because of you and I? Or will these children and your children look you in the eye and ask “What did you do to make Nigeria the most desirable nation in the world”. “Did you do nothing and just talk or did you rise up and influence change in the Nation”?


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