*** Presented at The Nigerian Leadership Summit organized by Anabel Leadership Academy in 2013***
I, IHEJIRIKA FRANCIS, a proud Nigerian and a student of king’s college Lagos am here to make a presentation on the topic “My Role in Nation Building”. The highlights are (i) My role (ii) Nation (iii) Nation building.
I am very sure a large number of us here do not know who we are but I know who I am.
I am that guy, who lives in Nigeria with so many trials and tribulation; one who lives amidst corruption, cultism, tribalism, nepotism, vandalism and violence. But I am still that guy who sees a light at the end of the tunnel. I see a bright future ahead for our nation, Nigeria; I see a future where we live in peace and cooperation, where we show love to one another, where we live to fight against all those external forces that try to pull us apart and I see a future where we defend our unity and uphold our honour and glory. But, who are you?
When I look at Nigeria, I am proud to say we are a nation. Yes, we are a nation because a nation is a race of people who share history, traditions, culture, sometimes religion and language. Nigeria is a nation because we share a common history, we have traditions and we have culture, but it pains me so much when we (Nigerians) do not believe in ourselves. A Nigerian once said, “Nigeria is not a nation. It is a mere geographical expression”. He said that the word “Nigerian” is merely a distinctive appellation to distinguish those who live within the boundaries of Nigeria and those who do not. The question is “do we really believe we are a nation?”
Are we growing as a nation? Are we constructing and structuring our national identity in the right way? No! We are not; and even if we say we are, we are doing so at a very, very, slow pace. Who do we blame? Is it the government? Somehow. Is it our leaders? Maybe but most importantly, I blame you and I; I blame us because we have refused to do what we are expected to do.
I apportion more blame to the youth of this nation because we always forget who we are! We have forgotten the princely position we hold in this country. We have forgotten that we are the leaders of tomorrow, and not only the leaders of tomorrow, but also the partners of today.
One thing is certain, and this is we cannot change this nation with just a snap of our fingers, but I believe we can move this nation forward because we are still young. We are young and you can be young only once but if you work it right, once is enough.
What do we do to change this nation?
- Let’s us sacrifice selfishness for selflessness; laziness for hard work; procrastination for immediate action.
- Let’s us think dedicatedly
- Let’s enhance and perceive our skills and talents and develop them
- Let’s conserve and preserve mother nature
- Let’s follow simple rules and regulations
- Let’s shun cultism and vandalism
- Let’s stop cheating in school examinations
- Let’s have respect for authority
- Let’s shun prostitution, drug abuse and other self-destructive behaviours.
- Let’s examine the ethical dimensions of our individual & societal life
- And let’s be who we are.
I believe we can change this nation.
And if you believe that this country has what it takes to be like all those reigning countries in the globe, then do your job diligently, inspire others, be a model to others and lastly, make a change!
The change begins with you!