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Why We Need A Paradigm Shift In The Nigerian Way Of Life - Politics - Nairaland

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Why We Need A Paradigm Shift In The Nigerian Way Of Life by Perotti: 12:04am On Oct 08, 2017
It was a sunny Friday morning and as we sat in a restaurant in Downtown Fort Collins, having breakfast and awaiting the arrival of the Chair of the Agriculture committee of the Colorado State House of Reps, all sorts of questions and thoughts formed in my head. Is this really happening? What if she sends a rep? Can a Nigerian Professor schedule a meet with a member of his/her state rep without any hassles? Can I ever get this opportunity in Nigeria? Finally, she arrived, dressed as modest as possible with no trace of flamboyance characteristic of the agbada-wearing, siren-blowing and larger-than-life honorable and senators I am accustomed to. This meeting was scheduled by my thesis supervisor to push for a bill to give grants and incentives to Coloradoan farmers to practice sustainable Agriculture for the long term benefit of soil health which is crucial to mankind’s continued supply of food, fibre and fuel. As they both ironed out the details of this bill and how best to present it, I sat and absorbed what was going on like a fish out of water. It was interesting and educative, but even more inspiring. More inspiring not just because I have never met a Nigerian Rep face-to-face but here I am witnessing how good governance works and not the empty rhetoric I was used to. We really need to wake up in motherland Nigeria. For a Nigerian Prof to schedule this sort of meeting will not just involve knowing multiple “Ogas at the top” but even the PA to the Rep could be a stumbling block let alone other bureaucratic bottlenecks in the system. Rhetorics like ‘be the change you envisage to see in Nigeria’, ‘4 years is not enough to make a difference’ and other similar ones that has been used by Nigerian politicians has been used as a camouflage for the crass ineptitude and inefficiency of our political class. Instead of ‘leading by example’ some of these jobbers prefer to hug the famous ‘do as I say not do as I do’ mantra. During the inauguration of the late President John F. Kennedy of blessed memory, he inspired millions of Americans and indeed the entire world by his eternal wordings of ‘Ask not what your country can do for you, ask for what you can do for your country’, and this wasn’t empty rhetorics. He led by example in countless ways. If we all want a better future for Nigerians both living and unborn, we must shift our way of life from a ‘chop-I-chop, man-know-man’ mentality to a system that rewards hardwork, integrity and uprightness. Beginning from our student union presidents in our universities, to the top echelon of the political class, we must begin to imbibe and demonstrate virtues such as selfless service, humility, true patriotism and honesty. This is not a choice to be made but a price to be paid for local, regional and international greatness. Rome was not built in a day and America was not built in a decade but Lee Kuan Yew’s Singapore was built in less than 30 years. Malaysia, Taiwan and other Asian tigers were mostly beneath Nigeria economically in the 60s but today they are all far ahead of the so-called ‘giant of Africa.’ Fellow countrymen, we need to wake up and shift our mindset and way of life!

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