The nation is mute and deaf…only miracles will do

June 17, 2016 OPINION/NEWS

Goran Tomasevic/Reuters

 

By

Prince Charles Dickson

 

Two events occurred over the last week that both sobered, and got me reflecting about Nigeria. I must confess I think a lot more about Nigeria than I reflect, because when one reflects about this nation it is scary. And more often than not, it is safer health-wise and for the purpose of sanity to do the latter rather than reflecting.

The first event was the graduation of a colleague and friend’s son Agbonsuremi Austin Okhiria. In Austin’s own words “Now the dream has come to pass. My boy, 21 years of age, …has graduated with honours as a Civil Engineer at the foremost University in Canada, the University of Toronto.

I honestly do not need to comment but please permit me to do so in this admonition.

The peak of the story is that he resumed his first job as a construction management Engineer with one of Ontario’s biggest construction giant, Dufferin almost a month before his graduation. Canada won’t let him go. He got the job as soon as he completed his course work.

I will try to tie the above paragraph with the last comments Austin made, “We are so grateful to God for this Canadian Education miracle.” Very quickly it is not a miracle, it is the function of a society that works, a system that has been built based on years of discipline. It is not a miracle at all, because many a colleague of ours, also are benefiting from this Canadian Education Miracle, and I know hundreds of Nigerians that are partakers of these kinds of miracles abroad.

A miracle that only sounds like magic in Nigeria, a miracle that seldom happens any longer, in a nation that is trying an untested social security for some 500,000 unemployed graduates, that would be teachers. We cannot get a miracle! It is also not a miracle, because the construction giant and even dwarfish companies in Canada all do some form of headhunting in these Universities to get the best.

It is no miracle my dear brother that he read a course and has got a job in his chosen field, if it were typical gam-gam style, my apologies I mean Naija style he would have come home to a job in the Central Bank of Nigeria, depending on the battery level of your man-know-man.

Anyway, Austin nearly ruined the toast to a worthy man, by stating “We will encourage him to come home to serve his fatherland in NYSC in due course.” I dare ask, “Was that you talking, or did you take a few spirits in the course of the celebrations? You honestly think that even Julius Berger, PW or RCC would have cared? Would you allow the lovely boy I saw in those pictures serve in the creeks as a teacher in some of those waterside schools or in Yobe state. However congratulations my dear friend, and In shaa Allah we live to see the Nigerian Education Miracle.

 

The second event that got me reflecting was Obama’s speech endorsing Hillary Clinton, while I do accept that sometimes there is a lot of hypocrisy and pretense in those speeches, permit me to share excerpts of the speech. It was all but 3:15 minutes, but packed full.

 

For more than a year now, across thousands of miles and all 50 states, tens of millions of Americans have made their voices heard. Today, I just want to add mine. I want to congratulate Hillary Clinton on making history as the presumptive Democratic nominee for president of the United States. Look, I know how hard this job can be. That’s why I know Hillary will be so good at it. In fact, I don’t think there’s ever been someone so qualified to hold this office. She’s got the courage, the compassion, and the heart to get the job done.

And I say that as someone who had to debate her more than 20 times. Even after our own hard-fought campaign, in a testament to her character she agreed to serve our country as secretary of state. From the decision we made in the situation room to get Bin Laden, to our pursuit of diplomacy in capitals around the world, I have seen her judgment, I’ve seen her toughness, I’ve seen her commitment to our values up close. I’ve seen her determination to give every American a fair shot at opportunity, no matter how tough the fight was. That’s what has always driven her. And it still does. So I want those of you who have been with me from the beginning of this incredible journey to be the first to know that I’m with her. I am fired up, and I cannot wait to get out there and campaign.

This has been a hard-fought race. I know some say these primaries have somehow left the Democratic Party more divided. Well, they said that eight years ago as well. But just like eight years ago, there are millions of Americans, not just Democrats, who have cast their ballots for the very first time. And a lot of that is thanks to senator Bernie Sanders, who has run an incredible campaign. I had a great meeting with him this week, and I thanked him for shining a spotlight on issues like economic inequality and the outsized influence of money in our politics, and bringing young people into our process.

Secretary Clinton and Senator Sanders may have been rivals during this primary, but they’re both patriots who love this country. They share a vision for the America that we all believe in, an America that is hopeful, an America that big-hearted, an America that is strong and fair and gives every child the same chance that we had. Those are the values that unite us as Democrats. Those are the values that make America great. Those are the values that are going to be tested in this election. But if we all come together in common effort, I’m convinced we won’t just win in November, well build on the progress that we have made and we will win a brighter future for this country that we love.

 

Let me finish by sating that the above is the American Political Miracle, and just like the Canadian Educational Miracle, these nations continue to pull it out of the hat, they simply get it right despite all the shortcoming because they see, they hear, they have a perception of where they want and should be. Sadly our beloved Nigeria is either grazing, or avenging, run by leadership that is mute and deaf; until we start to honestly listen to ourselves, change may still be far off, but for how long—Only time will tell.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

princecharlesdickson

Prince Charles Dickson

Currently Prince Charles, is based out of Jos, Plateau State, and conducts field research and investigations in the Middle Belt Region of Nigeria with an extensive reach out to the entire North and other parts. Prince Charles worked on projects for UN Women, Search for Common Ground, and International Crisis Group, among others. He is an alumnus of the University of Jos and the prestigious Humanitarian Academy at Harvard and Knight Center For Journalism, University of Texas at Austin. A doctoral candidate of Georgetown University

Born in Lagos State (South West Nigeria), Prince Charles is proud of his Nigerian roots. He is a Henry Luce Fellow, Ford Foundation grantee and is proficient in English, French, Yoruba Ibo and Hausa. Married with two boys, and a few dogs and birds.

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