FEATURE ARTICLE

Sunday, October 2, 2022
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Arizona, USA
NIGERIA AT 62: A CHANGE FROM WITHIN OUR COLLECTIVE SOUL

lease, don't read this message if you aren't a realist and an inquisitor! Nigeria is a poetic scenery and potentially a bountiful harvest! This message is carefully written for my contemporary Nigerians as Nigeria celebrates its tumultuous 62 years of independence from the former brutish British colonial masters. Though, we're cautiously looking forward with optimism or pessimism (depending on the isle or divide you belong to) to the nation's rebirth and into the promising future! We are the architect of our collective fortune and misfortune in Nigeria. Our mindfulness of success or failure resides in all of us.

Unfortunately, Nigeria still faces self-induced crises and challenges amidst great opportunities and possibilities! Nigeria, at 62, is still crawling on a challenging journey to nationhood. The citizens of Nigeria still wanton to self-deceit to face reality. The country is dampened by the hypothesis of hypocrisy, jealousy, and falsity of religion. Most of Nigeria's rueful unanswered questions are still begging for answers. The gnomes in Tinubu, Buhari, Babangida, Abacha, Atiku, Sowore, Obi, and other past Nigerian leaders' political DNAs are the exact moral and political DNAs in all Nigerians.

Intuitively, Nigerians are good at exploring the

"short-long-way" of achieving success. Rather than looking at the short-long-way, that is, looking at the mountain top, we must first focus our attention on the (long-short-way), that is, the foreground of the mountain. The long-short-way (of looking at the mountain top) is hard, but it is the best way to reach the mountain top and enjoy lasting success. Nigeria is currently cruising or adrift on a short-long-way to fulfilling her fate or destiny. Short-longer-way signifies desperation or a sense of instant gratification; the consequences are dire! Therefore, we must always internalize moral standards and good behavior.

Seriously, recouping Nigerian success doesn't reside in these candidates contesting for president in Nigeria; instead, the greatness or backwardness of Nigeria resides in the hands of all Nigerians. None of these candidates (Tinubu, Atiku Obi, Sowore, etc.) can bring the crucial change we yearn for in Nigeria. Revolutionary CHANGE can only come from (within our collective SOULS as a nation) the leadership and followership change in behavior. Unfortunately, Nigeria is currently nuance I call a ('naytion,' i.e., no-nation) rather than a nation.

Realistically, before attempting to change Nigeria's woes, this piece is meant to change our behavior. Our action or behavior does not depend on CHANCE or FATE. Somewhat, our efforts are influenced by how we perceive, think, and feel about situations in our lives. Our thought processes and reactions to situations determine the outcome of our behavior, which invariably leads to negative or positive consequences. Therefore, we are primarily determinants and makers of our own fortune, misfortune, and future.

The existential way to success is how we use your MINDFULNESS to approach failure to succeed. How we harness our minds determines our success or failure in life. We must never allow our minds to be used as an experiment for personal, parochial, or political gains. Let's not allow our minds to be controlled or navigated by negative thoughts or situations around us; let's develop self-control over our complicated feelings or emotions. We must expect failures and disappointments on the steps we take to greatness; these are the two significant nuances that will enhance our collective journey to success.

Potentially, there are hidden treasures and opportunities locked in every precarious situation we're facing. So let us endeavor to rediscover and liberate ourselves from ourselves. Let us not make excuses for our failure, no fulfillment, or defeat; let's strategize a new way to achieve success and avoid the old path that initially led to our fraternity with loss and foundering. Let us run after success, make it our staunched friend, and avoid pitfalls or failure as a potential acquaintance.

Failures and obstacles are like a shadow; if you run away from them, they run after you, but if you run after them to conquer, they run away from us; and we will become conquerors. Most opportunities come to us as problems, the ways we tackle problems determine our success or failure.

Meanwhile, let us develop self-control and an intelligent approach to high-risk situations with RACE, i.e., Recognize, Avoid, Cope and Evaluate. First, let us recognize high-risk situations, and we should not be too reactionary to every situation that confronts us; let's discern difficult situations that can lead to severe consequences. Then, having recognized the high-risk situations, let's devise means to avoid them. f we cannot prevent them, let's develop a coping mechanism to enable us to evaluate high-risk situations; high-risk situations are potential inhibitors to troubles and failures in life.

Last but not least, we are a work in progress. Let's work in tandem with reality. Nigerians have the willpower to do an incredible or new thing no country has done before. Let's rediscover ourselves; we actually possess the key to unlock our success; let's grab the key today! And be purpose-driven to unleash our potential to the admiration of our friends and foes.

Happy Independence Day to yet-to-be emancipated and liberated Nigerians.

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