America, Buhari, Nigeria, Trump & the world
Okay, so much has gone on in the world in the last two months. Is it just me or are we all watching the same things on the news, and reading these stories in the papers? I would like to look at these things as I see them, and maybe in a little fun way. Let me start with the biggest story –
Its constitution has always said ‘Government of the people, for the people, and by the people’. I don’t know what happened in America during the elections, because I did not vote. Why didn’t I vote, well, because I am just 14 and I can’t vote yet, at least not till the next election. The country talked a lot about the elections and how important it was. But when the results came out, I saw a lot of people were upset. But, everyone got a chance to vote, so why were some people upset? Okay, enough about America.
Now my next topic, Buhari
I was privileged to meet and talk to President Buhari about a few months ago. First, he is a real person you know. I asked him a lot of questions about himself, his priorities for Nigeria, and what he wants Nigerians to know about him and what message he wanted to send to Nigerians. He answered all my questions in details. He seemed like a very busy person. Then he went on vacation like people do. I don’t know why he went, and I hope to ask him when next I meet him. But all the news in the papers, on TV has been that he is ill, or things like that. Okay, enough on this now.
Who is next – Ah, Nigeria.Do I know Nigeria? I think I do a little. Part of my roots are from Nigeria, I have lived in Nigeria, my favorite Naija foods are Eba and Egunsi, and in the evenings, Beans and Plantain – maybe that’s why I’m a little tall. I like how in some cultures, they greet by doing a half knee, or they use the back of their hands to tap each other. It has a rich culture. But sadly, that’s not the Nigeria people talk about outside of the country. All the news the last few weeks have been about the Abuja Airport being closed. I saw a few days ago on the cover of The Wall Street Journal of February 22 an interesting headline.
The title was “Crocodiles, Bandits, Potholes and Hundreds of Flights a Month”. I stopped, looked at the heading again, scratched my head, looked at the picture of the crocodile below, and then read it again. Let me say this very simply. The article was not a good one at all, about Nigeria. It talked about how a country doesn’t have a functioning airport in its country’s capital, and how airlines are no longer flying to Nigeria. Okay, enough about Nigeria for now.
Trump. If you remember, I did an editorial for the Guardian on August 30th titled “What Would Trump Clinton – Leadership or Character”? I was trying to share the little I saw about both people. Back then, I said this “I think when it all comes down to the wire, it would be about Leadership, and then Character. Leadership of the election team, leadership of the campaign, leadership within their teams, and leadership in communications.” Before the elections, people said many things about Mr. Trump, and many were negative. They showed some things he said in the past, and they were not nice things at all.
They said he abused some women, and that is just not cool. No, not cool at all. But guess what, nobody was looking at how he ran his campaign. Instead, they were talking about how his campaign was not as organized as Mrs. Clintons campaign, or they were talking about how there was no leadership, and people were getting fired. I think he ran his campaign like a business, instead of like a campaign. For businesses, the shareholders want to see dividend at the end of the business year, as I always read in my economics class. They don’t care too much how the management does it, they just want it. People were caring too much about the process President Trump was using, but he gave his shareholders dividends. Isn’t that cool. Now to my last focus area.
The World. On one side of the world, people are still sulking about Brexit. Some leaders in Europe are sulking because the UK is leaving the European Union. On the other side of the world, there is a big uproar about a travel ban, that is not a travel ban, but looks like a travel ban, and the ban affects citizens from seven countries, of which three are in Africa. Then down on the southern tip of Africa, Nigerians mostly, and some other Africans are having a very tough time in South Africa. I don’t understand at all how someone can wake up and then decide to do mean things to other people, then go to bed at night, with a smile on their face. Sad. That’s enough about the world.
How I See Things
I wanted to share these various things, to show that we youth see the same things as adults, but we understand it a little differently. For example, someone in Nigeria had US$9.8 Million locked up in a safe I a remote builidng, even though there are banks in the country. So, how does he go to inspect it, at night when there is no power and electricity. Why keep all of that money when it could be used to build schools, put drugs in hospitals, repair roads, hire and pay teachers, and feed more children.
Here is the Quiz I wanted to ask. Of all the things enumerated above, how many were about youths under the age of 25? But the youths have to share in the challenges of these things, even though we did not create them. And we have no real say in how things are run too, or how the problems are solved. And guess what, by the time we get there, in what state would the world be?
So, I am learning also that Hashtags don’t get much done. If they did, all the Chibok Girls would all be home now. Right? Actions work better than Hashtags.But If we youths are able to share a little advise right now, or if I was President, here is what I would say.
So the elections are now over. Make sure you vote in 4 years’ time.
If I was advising President Buhari, I would ask him to say something like this. Hello Nigerians, it’s been almost two years and we are still working to help build a stronger Nigeria. Honestly, the job is not easy, but I’m trying. Anyways, I am taking a well-deserved medical holiday, but don’t worry, I would take some work with me. The Vice President and the cabinet and all Nigerians are capable of running things and encouraging one another, as we are in this together. What would this do? That way, I think maybe Nigerians even though they are not excited now, would think they need to hold things together till he returns. I have never been a President before, but I have met many and I understand how difficult things are at times.
What is the single biggest thing everyone likes to see change in the country? Each one of the citizens should work to accomplish that thing, starting from where they are before December 2017. Imagine what the country would be like, if 170 million people got up today and began that process. It would be a cool and different Nigeria.
It might work better if after winning the Presidency, to tell all people around the country something like this. Good morning everyone, I am your new President. I am new to this job, and have some ideas. But compared to all your ideas, I know very little. So I need all your help and assistance to help to ‘Make America Great Again’. What would this do? I think people would react very differently to how they are right now, and maybe he too would get a lot more sincere help from Americans . A little humility also would make things run a little more smoothly.
Here is a Quiz for the whole world. What if youths were in charge of things just for one day. How bad would things get? I say no worse than It is now. First, we won’t start wars, because we don’t want them. Also, we would speak our minds, we would run as fast as we can because we only have one day, we would ask many people to join in because we want to see things work, and we would ask for help at every opportunity, because we know we don’t have all the answers by ourselves. So why don’t adults work this way?
Question – would this day ever come for us to run things right now? Maybe it would, at least in our dreams. Or maybe one day, it would, in reality. Whatever the case, I am free to explore this, as a dream, as a hope, or as a request to world leaders and adults. After all, I’m just sharing an idea – a simple idea, as a youth. That’s what we do as youths - we share everything!!!!