Sonala Olumhense Syndicated (SOS): The Youth Of Nigeria

Sonala Olumhense Syndicated (SOS)
Columnist: 
Sonala Olumhense

I am embarrassed that on his second visit to Africa, United States President Barack Obama again refused to set foot on Nigerian soil.
Those who are in the know say Nigeria campaigned extremely hard to be one of Mr. Obama’s stops. His choice of respectable destinations were Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania.

Actually, he made it all quite clear during his first visit four years ago when he said at the Ghana parliament he favoured responsible, strong and sustainable democratic governments.

“This is about more than holding elections - it's also about what happens between them,” he noted. “Repression takes many forms, and too many nations are plagued by problems that condemn their people to poverty. No country is going to create wealth if its leaders exploit the economy to enrich themselves, or police can be bought off by drug traffickers. No business wants to invest in a place where the government skims 20 percent off the top, or the head of the Port Authority is corrupt. No person wants to live in a society where the rule of law gives way to the rule of brutality and bribery. That is not democracy, that is tyranny, and now is the time for it to end.”

He did not, but could also have said:

“No country is going to make progress when its leader asserts he does not give a damn about personal probity, and in effect, about the content of his own character.

“No business wants to invest in a place where the government confers the nation’s highest honours, in broad daylight, upon the most dishonourable thieves or appoints them to high office.

“No self-respecting person wants to live in a society where transparency and accountability may be spelling challenges for the public, but not performance issues for public servants.

“No country is going to make progress when the hallways and lobbies of the executive and the legislature look more like the Main Wing of a maximum security prison than the revered chambers of men and women trusted with power.

“No business wants to invest in a country where Mr. President is afraid to tell the First Lady that she is not Mrs. President; and that the law does not provide public resources in his name for rabble-rousing of her own definition.

“No person wants to live in a society where governors forget they are not visiting sovereigns who come once in a while to pick up cheques, but are supposed to live and work in their States.

“No country is going to make progress when governance is defined as Wednesday morning contract distribution to friends and cronies, and the rest of the week to conspicuous consumption and travel.

“No self-respecting person wants to live in a country where the leadership grades its own performance and brags about how well it is doing.”
Mr. Obama did not say those things, but they were all implied in his call for change in Africa, especially in Nigeria.  Four years later, the danger is not simply that things have worsened; it is that Nigerians are being told they have never had it so good.  

Obama did not say those things, but the United States has not fundamentally got around to helping Nigeria, as opposed to the government of Nigeria, either.  While the United Kingdom has taken a proactive legal role in challenging corruption and atrocious governance in Nigeria, the United States does not seem uncomfortable when some of Nigeria’s greatest beneficiaries from bad governance and corruption come shopping.
But Obama did say something especially significant in 2009: The triumph of the future, he said, would be won by the youth.  “You have the power to hold your leaders accountable, and to build institutions that serve the people,” he told them.  

He assured African youth they can accomplish a lot if they took responsibility for their future. “It won't be easy,” he warned.  “It will take time and effort.”

On the part of the US, he said, “What we will do is increase assistance for responsible individuals and institutions, with a focus on supporting good governance - on parliaments, which check abuses of power and ensure that opposition voices are heard; on the rule of law, which ensures the equal administration of justice; on civic participation, so that young people get involved; and on concrete solutions to corruption like forensic accounting, automating services, strengthening hotlines, and protecting whistle-blowers to advance transparency and accountability.”

Four years later, while Nigeria rots, the US has not delivered on this critical promise or outlined how it is to be implemented.  Partly as a result, while countries like Ghana and Tanzania can at least speak in terms of hope, Nigeria is hurtling in the reverse direction, overrun by the most insipid and cynical government in 53 years.

It is no surprise that, with mediocrity on the ascendancy, incompetence a state value and political promises casually ignored, only the greediest investors come to Nigeria.  We guarantee neither life nor limb.  We are committed to neither water nor clean air.  Today’s story is the same as that of yesterday.
It is no surprise that the youth of Nigeria is surviving on crumbs and leftovers, serving as drivers or thugs, or in kidnapping and assorted crime.  Mostly, Nigerian youth is idle, not because it is lazy, but because it lacks opportunity.  Governance is a treasure, just as unemployment does not matter.  

But it is not by coincidence that Jessica Matthews, co-inventor of the sOccket, the amazing electricity-generating soccer ball that was presented to Obama in Tanzania last week, is a Nigerian-American.  In Nigeria, she might have been selling “pure water” in traffic, as are thousands of our educationally-orphaned kids.

The lesson is simple: while the US can achieve a lot in other parts of Africa, unless change takes root in Nigeria, change will not come to Africa.  And no change will come to Nigeria unless we liberate and empower its youth.  

That is why it is to the youth of Nigeria that SOS is targeted, and dedicated.

 

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Akpos1 my brother make you take am easy o. You may filling uncle Jonah's head with sweet nothing least he develops serious delusion if grandeur. I agree we the SS/SE nation need to have a strong hold on our destiny but you shud let uncle Jonah know when he miss step because wahala dey front.

@tola adenle: GEJ is not the mess, Nigeria is the mess.

Dear Tola, Not standing for that Deri man, but you must be sincere to even yourself to acknowledge that GEJ is not the mess in Nigeria, and that Nigeria itself is the mess. You have a country with a an unworthy political system decreed by military fiat - a unitary system of government in a multiethnic and multicultural country. It has never worked, it shall never work. GEJ inherited all the problems inherent in the political system. If your grouse is why GEJ has not kicked against the system, okay, but laying the blames of the rot on him is not it. Shall Obama tell Nigerians to restructure their unworkable polity? No. Blame game is not it. No messiah can rescue Nigeria from its downward spiral unless its people sit down on a table and agree on a suitable political system and structure.

DERI, your blogging here MUST be your job, I guess

Deri - or whatever your real name is - THIS must be how you earn your livelihood, and this is coming from an old lady.  Or, may be you are an OLD Ministry official who "monitors" SR as a career.  Didirin t'o nse agbe gan mo pe diplomatese ni America gbe fun agbaye as excuse which you also know as not being the real reason of the US prez not dignifying Nigeria with setting foot here and thereby supporting the way the Nig. Govt is running things in the country. Your PATHETIC takes on issues show why you cannot use your real name because they are high work of art in sycophancy at the very best - to humor you - but guerrila tactic of misinforming the gullible and diverting the attention of others who cannot keep their focus on the terrible mess that your patron has made of the country.  You still have my best wishes for a change in direction OR keep your mouth shut - OR, come out from behind your mask. 

The responses to this article

The responses to this article show the kind of people we are.Imagine pretending that Obama's refusal to come to Nigeria is OK. Talking about spying on other countries, tell me what Nigeria can hide from Togo let alone America. I know it is a "sour grape" reaction. Most countries who started the race of development with Nigeria are far ahead of us today. By the way that includes Brazil,India, Singapore, Malaysia and the list goes on. The youths have allowed PDP to continue to recycle dead woods who stole the country to the dust and yet such an entity still has voice in Nigeria.

why do u want obama to come

why do u want obama to come to nigeria? for what? we dont need him here. stop!

Sonala Buharimania?

Abeg, make una leave sonala alone. Anybody can make mistake. The fact that he made mistake of backing Buhari and buying a NY-Lagos Airplane Ticket To campaign for Buhari at Bar Beach Lagos so the Fishes can vote Buhari should not mean that he should keep shut forever. As a Nigerian, he is free to take a leave from attacking "Mrs President" and engage in this distraction. Obama will help Nigeria fix its youth - and he is right! After that Buhari will be drafted in to continue the Bar Beach Show!

Give it to Sonala he has made some very valid points in this piece but focus of our youths should be things said or done by Nigerians. Otherwise Nigerian youths will see heroes and seek help only outside the borders of Nigeria - being under illusion created by this type of piece.

Grandpa SonalaO colonial mentality glorifies a puppet's...

...visits to slave ports, pay tribute to comatose “good-boy Charlie” Mandela, or visit "animals" game reserve while lecturing “Africans” on shamocratic ideals as Egypt's shamocracy falls to military coup 2 days later. Isn’t it about time Africans ended this one-dimensional relationship where "Masta" tells "slaves' what & how to behave, when Africa should be asserting its best interest. Arguably, "Masta" Bush ironically does more for Africa than the so-called first "Black" Pres. Mr. Obama actually does Nigeria a favor by staying away to save us from the West's condescending, paternalistic platitudes while our tribal masqurades entertain them in songs & dance, thus setting Nigeria free from the apron strings of the imperialists. Mr. Jonathan does the right thing by heading for China to team up, in a mutual beneficence, with a fellow "3rd World" country that is about to take over the world's mantle as #uno. Free at last, thank God almighty… Good riddance!

Very Nice, Sonala

After your 'Just Look At The Time', some of us thought you were bowing out for good, frustrated and disillusioned by many but fruitless years of doggedly fighting the Nigerian system and cause.
As I commented in that piece quitters never won any battle, the determined always (without exception) have the last laugh. I want to believe with your latest outing that good sense has prevailed and you have once again picked up the gauntlet.

Having said all that, I always enjoy your very well written articles; I have always however disagreed with you on Gen Muhammadu Buhari. He is NOT the messiah Nigeria is looking for, trust me. With this article targetting the youths, it would appear that you are at last beginning to think with us. The old cargo has NO solution to the problems of this country. We must learn to look forward.

open the space up

the buhari stooge is back-open the space up for us to read about his views from edo state-

Welcome Back

Welcome back! It has always been a pleasure to read from your pen. Your patriotism oozes from all your articles, others may think differently. God help Nigeria!

I'm not optimistic!!!

Welcome back Sonala!!!

Thanks for these thoughts on Nigeria and her future. I also believe that the youths hold the key to the changes we clamour, but I'm very pessimistic about it.

Though there's pervasive poverty, there's nothing to motivate the youths to change the status quo...partly because crime pays as only few "unlucky" criminals are caught by the police. And fewer are punished! Therefore, why change the status quo?

SONALA will never change even

SONALA will never change even if u wash him with 12 packets of family size Omo-(United States on Tuesday hinted on the reasons why President Barack Obama won’t visit Nigeria during his upcoming three-nation trip to Africa.According to US officials, the ongoing insecurity is responsible for the exclusion of Nigeria in Obama’s second visit to the continent. What else does SONALA want Jonathan to do-crawl on his knees from Nigeria to the USA to plead with Obama-All sonala yearns for is to to create the impression that he refused to vist Nigeria because of the pardon granted Alameisiegha period. Mumu buhari pikin-let him tell us the latest on his edo governors certificate palaba ati tinubu-at least he is from edo state-oba son 4 d matter

Re:Sonala Olumhense Syndicated (SOS): The Youth Of Nigeria

Welcome back Mr Olumhense.

We must not keep our eyes off our sick governments and their soulless agents and officials but they should be used only as a mirror for all of us to check our individual state of moral and spiritual health. None of us can do better than those in charge under the ill-constituted and ill-constructed political structure of Nigeria.

I agree with your last paragraph that our hope is definitely on the youth of Nigeria. They need our guidance and prayers to survive the polluted political climate of Nigeria. Please see http://samabbdisrael.com/2013/05/04/the-testament-of-a-wasted-generation/ for some words of wisdom to Nigerian Youth.

Syndicated Sonala, GEJ is a war-time president.. Obama can't vis

Does it even occur to Sonala Olumhense that:
- unless Obama is a dare devil US president, he could not have dared set foot on Nigeria's soil - Nigeria where the police headquarters - of all places - and UN buildings have been bombed by Nigerian Islamic terrorists;
- Nigeria is in a war with a terrorist group
that is anti everything Western.
- President Jonathan is a war-time president?
- money Nigeria has spent on fighting Islamic terrorists of Nigeria is big enough to do a drastic development job in Nigeria?
What does Sonola Olumhense want of President Jonathan? The president must don flack jack and go to the streets to fight terrorists? Sonola syndicated by Boko Haram apologists.

Sonola O. In Exile, Unrepentant Buhari Apologist, Come home.

Sonola O., come home from exile, leave Obama's gesture aside. Nigeria's economy, especially in the south, is roaring. It is now branded among the Lion Economies. Our roads and airports conditions are fast improving. Electricity situation - no other government has been sincere enough more than Jonathan's in reviving the sector. Education sector? Those who really went to study do get out educated, while those who depend on hand outs still lag behind. There are so many Jessica Mathews in Nigeria.
Sonala Olumhense, if oil were in the north, Arewa would have declared its republic long ago.
Sonala Buharimania., Buhari the septuagenarian in Aso Rock may be asleep when politicians are signing away Nigeria's money and resources. GEJ is not harbinger of Nigeria's problems. We hope he cures them if given the chance. He is a war president.

The Youth of Nigeria!

Good thoughts Sonala. But the youth, Hm! The youth of Nigeria!! Bankole the youth. Abati the youth. Oil importers the youth. What Nigeria needs is someone with a selfless heart of sacrifice, a vision unbeclouded by greed with an intrinsic value of a "messiah" ready to step on toes, caring less whose horse is gored in the discharge of a non-ambitious service that can salvage and possibly eternally redeem this entity called Nigeria. May it be young or old. Age as in youthfulness is no longer the yardstick for the person that will set the nation on a good course of greatness but a heart that pants after an haven of rest for us all. May that individual arise quickly

The Grand Mission

"Each generation must, out of relative obscurity, discover its mission, fulfil it, or betray it"

Franz Fanon.

What we are witnessing today in Nigeria is the culmination of a pernicious culture of corruption that began shortly after the civil war. The unbridled looting of public funds, the laziness of the political establishment and its tenacious defense of the status quo have all brought our nation to the edge of a dangerous precipice. No change will happen in Nigeria unless we the people, acting in concert, demand it. As the group with the most to lose, the youth of Nigeria must begin the process of galvanizing progressive forces for a national movement that will eviscerate the present breed of thieves posturing as leaders. It is time to go back to the barricades!

Aluta continua, victoria acerta!

I am delighted Obama did not visit Continent Nigeria

Hear Sonala: "I am embarrassed that on his second visit to Africa, United States President Barack Obama again refused to set foot on Nigerian soil."

First of all, let me remind Sonala that Obama visits countries NOT continents. Nigeria is not a country but a continent. One would have expected Sonala 2 understand this simple fact.

Wait a minute! Why are people interested in hosting a country that spies on every other nation?..a country that reads our private emails & text messages even on Valentine's Day?..that keeps nuclear weapons but says others shud not have it...that have soldiers who pee on dead bodies (war casualties)...where kids are kidnapped & released 20yrs after...a country where police can kill or beat a black man to death for no reason. Sonala, If it is Ching Hi Kiung, I will understand. Obama, NOWAY! Long live United Rep of the SS&SE

Liberate us with the tools that you have

It is also true that Nigeria has the highest density and spread of mobile phone users and twittering as well as Face booking can organize the youths. Who wants to start the show?

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