Can a Good Person Survive in Nigeria?

There must have been a point when music videos became defined by tits and ass. In the same way, there must have been an inflection point in Nigeria, when good governance became about building roads, digging wells and commissioning bridges. The irony is, those roads often lead nowhere, for Nigeria has an uncanny ability to go forward, only to go back.

If a measure of good governance is the creation of an enabling environment, then is Nigeria a place where young people can fulfill their potential? It appears a good number of Nigerians live, thrive and prosper despite Nigeria, not because of it. In this country, it seems like if you possess values, character and uncommon talent, you have a better chance of succeeding outside Nigeria, not in it.

I think there are many “good” people in government. But, I imagine they are deeply frustrated going to work each day, knowing they are up against governmental demons in human form. I wonder how they feel, armed with the intimate knowledge that their children may not progress in this country. They must feel like Lot in Sodom.

You know, when I was much younger, I was told to participate in governance. I learnt that I could have an impact where I was. And so, I volunteered for political campaigns. I contributed funds, participated in street mobilization, publicly campaigned and also wrote policy documents. I recognised that my strength wasn’t running for office and so, I gave my time, energy, money and brain instead.

I think it’s time to pass on the baton to the next generation. Perhaps, they will have a better record of success than I did. They have a reservoir of idealism I no longer possess. I will still participate in governance, but will do so with armour around my heart.

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