In the past weeks nothing has inspired me to believe in the failed Nigerian system more than Dele Momodu's column, Pendulum(Thisday on Saturday). Mr Momodu has been talking about The Search For Our Own Obama. While we have been branded as a country of conmen, advance fee fraud practitioners with the misfortune of an embarassing leadership one must wonder if this is the country that brought t o the fore knowledge of the world the likes of Wole Soyinka, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, King Sunny Ade, Peter Akinola, Nwankwo Kanu, Emeka Anyaoku, John Momoh,Dele Olojede, Sade Adu and Ngozi Okonjo Iweala. We are a country of achievers, determined human beings who want to get that paper. My mind flashes back to the year 2007 while on a trip to America while getting my hair cut when I told him my nationality and he replied "Nigerians are a bunch of driven people who wanna get that paper." That is testament to the Nigerian spirit of hardwork. While our critics would say that it is this detemination to get that paper that leads us to the fraudulent activities prevalent among Nigerians. Here's an answer, Which country in the world does not have fraudsters? Bernard Madoff, the man behind the greatest fraud in history is not Nigerian.He's from God's own country. Look at the works of Babatunde Fashola in Lagos State and you will discover good governance does not come cheaper. Donald Duke is another example. I tell you for every bad egg you have you get one fresh egg. For Faridah Waziri, you get Nuhu Ribadu. For Maurice Iwu, you get Ayoka Adebayo. For ineffective governors like Lucky Igbinedion and Joshua Dariye you get quality governance with testimonies being Emmanuel Uduaghan and Babatunde Fashola.
Listening to the likes of M.I, Naeto C, Banky W and Wande Coal make us realize that the top can definitely not be our limit but our stepping stone. M.I is the best rapper in the third world( Everywhere apart from America and Europe). Naeto- C is one of the greatest trend setters of our time. P, Gidi, Kin Big Deal and Yes Boss have been added to the vocabulary of the African Youth. The ankara hoodie worn in his Kini Big Deal video is testimony of his creative style.
Reading the works of Reuben Abati, Ayeni Adekunle, Tosyn Bucknor, Chiamanda Adichie, Chinua Achebe and Sefi Atta are an indication of a country with literate people who have the world at their feet. Reuben Abati is one of Nigeria's most respected journalists and his column in Friday's Guardian is the stuff legend is made of. Ayeni Adekunle is the best Entertainment Reporter I have read of. His column in Friday's Punch is undoubtedly the best in the land.
Nduka Obaigbena has succesfully organized events that has had the likes of Colin Powell, Bill Clinton, Jay-Z, Beyonce, Ne-Yo, Fat Joe, John Legend, Diddy, Snoop Dogg, Chris Brown, Rihanna and Chris Aire in attendance. Another indication that our country can perform at the big stage. John Momoh runs Channels Television, a news channel in the mould of CNN and he is another example of the Nigerian success story. Dele Olojede is a Pullitzer Prize winner. He runs Next Newspapers, a paper which looks like it's a heaven send.
Ours is a land of opportunity. Though our country gives us a thousand and one reasons to whine( Poor Electricity, Poor water, Incessant traffics), we stick with it. That's patriotism. Till the day we get things right, our citizens would continue to make things happen. This are the things that make me proud to hold a Nigerian passport. As the billboard at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport should do I welcome you to the land of Achievers