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The Nigerian Dream

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by Ayo Ogundipe    •    396 Views    •    likes, 0 dislikes    •    5 Comments



Note to thyself; the delusion of a man to mistake fantasy for a dream or purposeful vision, and work hard at this fantasy, would only lead to frustration and futility.

Much has been said of  “ The Nigerian Dream” - an ideal to be celebrated, sought after whole heartedly by the average Nigerian, and upheld on the premise of patriotism.

Altruism is the soul of patriotism.

I believe patriotism to be the acknowledgement of a citizen’s liberty to pledge allegiance to the State’s mandate as divine probity, and willfully act within such right(s) as governed by the State’s constitution for the progress and capital development of such state, with the compensation of security, and economic dividends. It is therefore a moral debt owed by it’s citizens, where any counter act is liable to treason.

I also believe the “Nigerian dream” is a common ideology shared by the the average Nigerian (on the street).  It is not a task, but the faith in, and will for national prosperity, that accommodates all in it’s dividends. It is a reflection of self in the mirror of nationalism.

However, today in Nigeria, there is a dream ... a dream of prosperity alright, for one's self. Legend has it that there is a place where a pauper goes to bed today, and by some quirk of fate, wakes up a king/kingmaker tomorrow (not necessarily a noble man). This is no gainsay, this unfortunate irony is our very reality in Nigeria.
A dream that flatters to impress, where there is no pedigree, no antecedence of promotion or strategy. A dream which by the way, is only available to a privileged minority, who are required to role-play as knights while in the capacity of pawns - an aberration of leadership. Much more, one that defies egalitarianism in every sense of it. The ‘Animal Farm Political Science’. The nightmare of a national ideal. This paradox is thus known as the “Nigerian Dream”.

Hence, from the foregoing, I can assert and categorically deduce from the premise, that the Nigerian dream is a lottery ticket; and the winning number is ... rigged! For every king, there is a king-maker. So we take a chance and flip the coin -(a one-sided coin that is.), ‘gambit the knight’, as we roll the dice to have the perfect combination of numbers to the safe, wherein lies our financial security, job security, etc. (However, to stack the odds in our favour, and position ourselves in the sample space where fortunes are changed at twilight, a patronising affiliation to some political alliance is required - ‘service to nation’.)

But riddle me this; how can you have a sustained national agenda based on probability, and superstitions. This is the damning verdict on Nigeria’s future. A superstitious approach to practical problems. A square peg in a round hole.
This insane rhetoric ‘divine permutations’ follows an impractical formula i.e. ‘A chosen one’ by the hand of providence to lead without a corresponding accurate tally of the ballot box"...The just shall live by faith" innit?

So, we wait. We wait for that someday while holding steadfast to our lottery ticket, when our number would be announced. We wait for divine intervention... by his outstretched arm... all is well!! But when would that wait (for the Messiah) be over?
Eagerly anticipating a breakthrough, rather than work-through the problem. The prefix of our ‘getting past’ the problem suggests the preference for superstition than pragmatism. Even the holy book exhorts “...faith without works is dead...” (James 2:17).

A man who dreams for too long is in a state of coma, while life passes him by.
Every dreamer must wake up, to the reality of things as they are, and work hard to the proposition of his belief and his life’s design (destiny).
A dream that often requires the intervention of a third-party to charge it to life, is like a man in coma requiring CPR. We must each take charge of our lives. (what are odds, being Nigerian?)

So shall we propose a new dream then? After all, dreams fascinate us with interest (passion) that charge us with hopeful aspirations (ideals) and pursuit, to win against all odds (patriotism) inspite of adversity. What is your common point of interest with moral value dear Nigeria?

Fellow country men, charge your glass with me, as I propose a toast to a dream:
I propose a Nigerian dream as a clarion call of compatriots, servitude not given to lip service, where we are bound by the strength of unity and purpose, driven by the merit and mettle of leadership. Leadership of ingenuity, invention, forthrightness, and capacity.

A Nigerian dream inspired of altruistic motives, and discipline.  A dream that is a lease of hope, for those that dare to dream and dare to become. The commonality of our native tongue. A commodity of common interest, not bored with the expressions of superlatives and rhetorics, but candor and measure to savour as a national heritage.  Where the purchase of austerity, is the crest of our dignity.
And while in our pastime, we'd be singing songs of heroes past as mantra of camaraderie, where the reward of ultimate sacrifice is martyrdom.   

A dream where clergymen have all things in common with the common man, and the common man has all things in common with the clergyman.
Where a nation of journalist are bound to the freedom of press, as vanguards of truth.

A dream that begins with a place to lay my head to dream a dream, and a time as now, to wake up to the reality of this high calling of a dream - the true sentinel of our salvation.
A dream worthy to be called the NIGERIAN DREAM.







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Tosin Oye\'

11:33 am, Sat May 2014

You asked what ideals I would like to see in our nation. When I was in college I was very radical and idealistic. I had this utopian perspective of how Nigeria should be and I still very much believe that we can be the ultimate, best, and supreme in our economy, governance, polity, society, and thinking. For that, Nigeria must embrace and imbibe 1. Character/Truth, 2. Egalitarianism, 3. Hardwork/Excellence, 4. Love/Social Justice and 5. Accountability.rnrnAs to the roadmap I would devise for bringing these ideals to life, for me it’s very simple. To develop Nigeria, we need to better maximize and harness our LABOR, our LAND, and our CAPITAL. These are the three factors of production and the major determinants of growth and development. We have all three in abundance but we mismanage them.rnrn1. LABOUR: Nigeria must create a welfarist state. That is, its foremost priority should be the citizenry/poor masses whose livelihoods must be secured. To this end, instituting fr

Ayo Ogundipe

05:42 am, Tue May 2014

Thanks for your contributions thus far everyone. Tosin, what ideals would you put forward as the Nigerian dream, as we all have to reach a consensus after all for this sovereignty. And then, what road maps can you put as definite strategy (reason) to set us in motion in achieving this dream as we are a people who are full of passion already, however selfish or misguided.

Tosin Oye\'

05:00 am, Tue May 2014

The Nigerian dream as it stands is grossly contaminated as you’ve rightly pointed out. We need to start again on a new drawing board; we need to think through the ideals we want to ascribe to and imbibe as a nation. However, even the purest and noblest of dreams for Nigeria and its people constructed so far have been stuck in rhetoric and didactic. When do we start connecting our dreams to tangible realities? The dream cannot be static, set once, agreed to by all, then left alone. That is the crux for me. It intrigued me so much that it saw me move my personal academic journey from law to development. When dreams are not simplified and broken down into achievable milestones, they lose meaning. We must pursue the Nigerian dream with passion and reason!!!!

Sola Obatola

17:49 pm, Thu May 2014

"altruistic motives and discipline" right on!

Rahman Are

13:31 pm, Wed Apr 2014

wow.... great article bro...