Perhaps we need to start this second part of our discourse with a reminder that Nigerians need to accept the fact that both failure and success are results rather than children of random chance. I had concluded the first part of the discourse with a declaration that no other government in our national history has ever had to contend with the complexities of the present hour and stated that this was the reason why the quote of Obafemi Awolowo July 16, 1952 is probably more relevant today than it ever was then.
When Obafemi Awolowo said: “It is our duty to aim at the erection of a new edifice, much nobler in conception, more artistic in design and more imposing in structure and extent than any that have hitherto been erected or contemplated,” his prophetic sight was in full throttle.
The present clamour for a return to the old dreams of Biafra, Oduduwa Republic, Fulani expansionist dreams and other antiquated ideals are instinctive responses that should not be discountenanced.
The slavery experience (colonialism inclusive) often produces broken souls and other despondencies that include an inability to carry the burden of true freedom.
Every time the freed Hebrew slaves of ancient Egypt were confronted with problems they clamoured for a return to the comfort of captivity when the meals were regular and captives were guided by regimen.
The best way to wean people fractured by enslavement away from such nostalgic traps is to reignite the national spirit and rekindle hopes by painting a fresh vision in vivid colours. This was the reason why Obafemi Awolowo called for the construction of a totally new Nigeria even though he understood the obstructions that denied his generation the opportunity.
Drawing from his western region experience, Awo believed that the courage, creativity and discipline needed to create that noble, beautiful and efficient new Nigeria, was something that could be mustered if we joined hands across the divides.
The sage was no fool and it is my belief that Obafemi Awolowo, where he alive today would be advocating for a rapid advance towards that awesome new Nigeria as a first option instead of seeking the lost glory of the defunct Western region disguised as a fresh vision of an Oduduwa Republic.
This is consonant with the idea that Nigeria has now reached the point where all its cultural nations within should have gathered the maturity to make unique Opinion contributions towards the new Nigeria Obafemi Awolowo envisioned on July 16, 1952.
I daresay that the national dream Obafemi Awolowo was denied because of the constraints of his time can easily be installed in the present generation if leadership gets it right.
The major contribution that the Southwest should contribute towards our new Nigeria can be extracted from an upgrade of the legacy he left behind. To present the upgrade of Awolowo’s insights as a modern application, we just need to replace his pebble glasses with contact lenses or apply corrective surgery.
What this means in real terms is that the modern advances in artificial intelligence, quantum computing, genomics, robotics, nanotechnology and technological applications that did not exist in Awolowo’s day can now be factored into his prophetic projections to produce a plan. Rauf Aregbesola attempted to do this in the state of Osun when he introduced the computer tablet into primary school education and tried to go paperless.
That is for example the kind of thing that Obafemi Awolowo would be pushing for today as a solution to the combustible Almajiri challenge. Working with a decent budget and a fraction of what has been wasted through the years we could within 18 months transform the neglected Almajiri into a viable national asset employable anywhere in the world using such disruptive technologies. If this is what the Southwest can dream up you can then imagine what the South East could contribute to the Almajiri common wealth given a chance.
This by no means is a one way street because the North would be injecting its own treasures into the new dream too and I know a couple of northerners who can expound on that.
To achieve this new dream we would have to encourage a shift in the present administration from good to exceptional leadership that can brave the problem of our fractured selection programme.
Without going into great detail the destruction of a natural leadership selection process was by far the greatest poison injected into the soul of our nation by the colonial force.
You can imagine the result if the natural order in a building construction team was compromised to install an electrician as the final authority over and above the architect, engineers and all specialists.