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UN-JAILING THE MIND OF THIS GENERATION



It was Williams Shakespeare who said that, there is a tide in the affairs of men which if taken at the flood, leads onto fortune, omitted, the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and miseries. This admonition debunks the notion that man can be reckless with his mission without invoking upon himself a consequence commensurate with his deeds. In the opposite, an ambition for those things that make society beautiful and progressive attracts good fortunes. 

It might look like a hard rule because a society like Nigeria continues to produce in abundance men and women reckless in the use of power and appear to be enveloped in a cloud of good fortunes. This perception is made relevant because society sees the display of illegitimate wealth as good fortunes.
Take note, a society of the illegitimately extremely rich minority and the extremely poor
majority needs decisive actions to correct it skewed orientation or it will be consumed by the many negatives that it produces in the form of armed robbery, terrorism and other extreme social vices.
Crass materialism driven by illegitimacy represents the highest level of misfortune a people will have to deal with. Wealth acquisition is not wrong when it follows the economic path that leads to industrialization and economic boom. But the type that leads to the strangulation of the poor majority causes the voyage of a country to be bound in shallows and miseries.

Countries where men and women of wisdom are in the saddle achieve greatness by the fortunes of "good-wisdom". It is not good-wisdom to mortgage the future of a country and inflict upon it a desperate and impoverish citizenry. That is the case in my country. The beginning of good-wisdom in our own circumstance is to deviate from the character of leadership that encourages societal ills. Leadership ought to be the ultimate teacher, but in the absence of it, a society must discover itself and begin to reform leadership.

The dark shadows we see today are a reminder that a new generation of leaders is urgently needed to find our glory. It has become important to take to heart the admonition of Frantz Fanon that every generation must mind its mission and it has the option of either fulfilling it or betraying it. History is always our witness in this regard, because it is the record of an encounter between character and circumstances.
The worry is that, if this generation of Nigerians is not guided properly, it stands the chance of being a wasted one like that before it. 
The time to rework the mindset of this generation is now.

The time to jangle the keys and release the minds of the people from the prison of the jailers has come. 


[A section of my June 12, 2017 lecture entitled "June 12: The Past, Present, and Future of Nigerian Democracy  delivered at Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU). The event to commemorate June 12, 1993 election was organised by the University's Students Union]

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