Monday Musings: Sorry Peter Obi, Nigeria Is Not A Failed Country! But, You and Your Friends Have Failed….Tiwa Savage, Wizkid, Mayowa Nicholas And The Youths Will Make Nigeria Great


Should I really write this or not? That was the question I queried just for a few seconds, yet in between those couple of heartbeats, I know this was something that needed addressing. Afterall this is about fashion, music, sports and ultimately to the discerning mind, Nigeria.Nigeria? Not because I particularly care about another Independence anniversary rhetorics of the Federal Government or the public holiday that comes as a bonus with the anniversary for Nigerians, politicians and even governors – some governors will declare public holidays for any reason possible.So why then? Why use 20 precious minutes that you will never get back to write about Nigeria? Nigeria, the country that a lot of people argues needs restructuring, the ‘proscribed’ Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) are asking for a referendum, Arewa Youths have momentarily issued Quit Notice to other ethnic groups, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) wants autonomy, the terrorist Boko Haram group are still attacking regions, workers have not been paid their salaries (ONLY 4 months for our prospective next president, Governor Ayo Fayose), the economy is officially out of recession but people’s pocket is still recessing, the list goes on and on.And to add salt to the open injury, the President’s brilliant daughter is lamenting about the presidential Villa’s health clinic. Are you kidding me? C’mon, the Pope is not my father! So why write about Nigeria? Every Nigerian can tell you about these problems and issues, thousands of journalists do that everyday and even more on social media. OK, I GIVE UP!Nigeria is not worth dying for or writing about! Too many hassles, please let’s catch up on Stella McCartney or Giambattista Valli’s Paris show, but just as we are about turning our attention to fashion’s glam and glitz, then I heard and later read former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi’s comment that Nigeria as a country has failed. That is it, this is the tipping point. That is the moment I knew that most politicians – serving, retired or whatever they do when they leave office (they cannot leave politics) is the problem with Nigeria. Nigeria as a country IS FAILING but we are not a FAILED country. Nigeria cannot and should not be written off just yet.Ok, Aristotle, how and why can anyone reason that Nigeria has not failed? That answer was provided this week by Tiwa Savage’s estranged husband – Teebillz (By the way, why he cannot get his act together and be with Tiwa is an issue for another day, because they make each other better). Teebillz shared a video of my favourite (male) singer, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, rocking to Tiwa’s new EP Sugarcane….And just like everything that has to do with Chris Martin, it was Dope.It was the same Chris that sang “Lost” from the Album Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friendswith the popular lyrics “Just because I’m losing. Doesn’t mean I’m lost. Doesn’t mean I’ll stop”.C’mon, you think Nigeria has not failed because of a Coldplay song? Yes, but not just that! Yesterday, Wizkid was trending on social media just like Nigeria’s Independence anniversary, and the reason Wizkid was trending is that he just became the first AFRICAN AND NIGERIAN, to ever hold a sold-out concert at London’s Iconic Royal Albert Hall.The hall is one of UK’s most treasured and distinctive buildings and was commissioned by Queen Victoria in 1871, it is the home of the BBC Proms and British Academy Film Awards. So Is Wizzy your reason to say Nigeria has not failed as a country, whilst the roads are bad and no electricity? God NO, Not at all! Remember I told you this is about fashion too. Ok, let’s talk fashion. Early September as per usual, I pack my bag and head to New York, and if there is one show I always want to see, even if it means I sit on the floor at the back, that show is Tom Ford and this year I wanted to attend even more not just because of the enigma called Tom Ford but because of a young Nigerian Girl called Mayowa.I have always respected her craft from afar and I wanted to see how she will perform on the show that kicks-off New York Fashion Week. Joan Smalls and other were strutting but I was anxiously waiting and wearing a vibrant tangerine coat, there she was a young Nigerian girl killing it for arguably the best designer in the world. I left New York a few days later a very happy Nigerian.A stop-over at home in London, head to Milan and touchdown in Lagos and then, next stop Paris. And this is the point of the whole write-up, Nigeria is blessed with talented young men and women who on the international stage are excelling – my guy, the world heavyweight champion Anthony Femi Joshua, has a big tattoo of our beloved country on his arm.The fact is Governor Peter Obi is not in any way different from the other politicians that are ruling and running the country, most of the people in the ruling party or opposition are behind closed doors friends, friends that only defer based on ‘perceived ideology’, hence why they are in APC today and whichever party tomorrow. They are all telling us lies and we as youths (and a society) are tired of them putting the country down or giving us the impression that if they were in power they will do considerably better. They are all friends and birds of the same feather!The problem with Nigeria is leadership, but not leadership as Peter Obi and his cohorts makes us to see it. They are stealing the youth’s future and the only thing the wealthy old people, cannot get back or buy is youth. Aliko Dangote like my billionaire British mentor, will easily give away all is money to be young again, that is the truth. Yet, Nigeria is blessed with youths, amazing young minds and like Wizkid, Mayowa or Tiwa are equal to any of their contemporaries anywhere in the world. I believe Peter Obi might be an upright man, but the ideology of leadership or restructuring will always be defeated if it is not started from every family and individual entity in Nigeria.Nnamdi Kanu and his IPOB members, Arewa and similar groups will never have thrived if we as a society, have good leaders. The leaders are often more interested in their personal wealth and battles, than they are about the country. Ahmadu Bello, Obafemi Awolowo and Nnamdi Azikiwe did not care so much for their personal wealth, as the ones we have today. The issue is that we must go back to the basics, we must know how to ensure our babies have the required health and support from birth, our children have books and meals in school, our pregnant women have adequate health care, our workers are paid at the end of EACH month, our old people get their pensions and entitlements on time and our security officers are provided with the best housing, equipment and support. We must use our money, talent and resources very well.The problem with Nigeria is NOT that we do not know the issues or even the answers but how to go about it. How do you tell the traditional rulers that the money we give them each month will provide for free food and books for all our children? How do we tell government officials that they have too many people that actually do nothing? How do we tell our senators and house of representatives that the money we are paying them, is draining resources from our hospitals and ensuring we have good roads?How do we tell our states and local government officials that their roles can be simplified and they are a burden that we do not need and that scrapping some of their offices will ensure that we have more teachers in our children’s classroom and better amenities? How do we tell former governor Peter Obi and other formers, that we cannot be giving them huge salaries and provide security like before? How do we tell our religious leaders that they should practise what they preach and pay their taxes? How do we change and amend some of the things in our constitution that is preventing us from progressing? And ultimately, how can we love our neighbour as ourselves? Nigeria is failing BUT do not be deceived, we are not a failed country like Somalia, Sudan, Afghanistan, Chad and Iraq.And before you start retweeting and supporting governor Peter Obi or his friends, who we have paid to somehow lead us into this situation, remember that none of the five failed countries listed above have the resources, talent or population as Nigeria. Is it possible for Nigeria to fail as a country? Possibly, but only if we do not address our issues NOW.This message was aptly summarised by Tom Ford ahead of his show, which was essentially to “come back to the spirit of the clothes of the Nineties, but I also wanted to streamline everything,. I love what’s going on right now, but there has been a trend for a few seasons now where more is more is more is more. And I just wanted to strip that away, but in a contemporary way. I didn’t want to recreate a look I had done in the Nineties, but I was trying to capture that energy again.” We need to not be stuck to systems and structures that does not work but embrace and harness the modern way to recreate something that is special.Photo Credit: Getty

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