We have our first guest blog. Whoooo!!! It's from Boluwatife Akinyemi
I want you all to watch this video before reading what I have to say.
For someone who has spent the better part of my childhood and adulthood in the diaspora, Nigeria weighs so heavy on my heart. No one believes in the future of Nigeria more than I do. I have dedicated the better part of my education to the political development of Nigeria. I am going into ridiculous amounts of debt to get better my future which in turn is Nigerias future. I was at a party last night and someone asked me, well now that you are an American citizen do you still consider yourself a Nigerian? Without hesitation, I responded hell yes! My citizenship now belongs to the United States of America, but my nationality, my heart, and my soul belongs to Nigeria. I identify with my nation (my people, my culture and our struggles) no matter what state gives me the licence to cross international borders.
Nigeria's elections are this month, and the election process has been marred with one issue or the other, most recently the postponement of the elections. INEC (Nigeria's election commission) has dedicated so much money and resources to the process, infact this is the most expensive election Nigeria has ever held -being that this is Nigerias third election this isn't really saying much- but nevertheless, I commend Nigeria's civil society for taking much responsibility for this election. I have never seen so many youths, and local organizations be involved and be so enthusiastic about the future of this nation.
It saddens me however, that the vigor and quickness with which we believe in Nigeria, so quickly we can lose that hope and lose faith. Don't get me wrong, I know it's easy for me as someone who lives in the diaspora to talk the way I do, because I dont live in Nigeria and I dont live with the daily frustration. But you must remember I lived in the country a few years ago and no matter how long I have been out of my father's land, I forever remain a Nigerian. The saying goes, "Rome was not built in a day", so Nigeria and the future we want to see cannot be built in a day, or even during one presidential election. Even if this election goes smoothly without any rigging and is declared free and fair and there are no more casualties from today onward. The issues that plague Nigeria will still be evident, there will stil be massive corruption, traffic will still be hellacious, we still won't have constant electricity yet THIS DOES NOT DIMINISH OUR SUCCESS. The work that needs to be done in our nation requires decades of effort and dedication, it requires that many of us become involved in the political process, both directly and indirectly.
This post is for all the Nigerians who have watched the elections, who are crying out on twitter, facebook, blogger, tumblr, etc, this is just the beginning. I commend you and thank you for being a part of my future, for showing me that there are still people who believe in Nigerias potential, that there are people who know what is right from wrong. I promise you that your efforts have not gone unnoticed! As TY's video said the future is not a timezone yet to come, the future is everything we are meant to be but are yet to become. The future is us, the future is now!
I urge you to stay strong, I urge you not to lose hope. If we continue and if we hold our leaders accountable, not only that they take their positions responsibly and remain loyal to the Nigerian people, but we ask and fight for reputable and stable state institutions, Nigeria will be a force to be reckoned with. The giant of Africa has not fallen, we are a strong mighty nation, a people who fight for what they believe in. Lets shy away from apathy and take up arms (not literally) but arm yourselves with your votes and understand that in a fragile democracy like Nigeria, your vote absolutely matters.
The political development of Nigeria is my heart, my soul, my dedication and my passion! All I ask is that you find a way to bring yours and my future to fruition. Lets bring about a Nigeria that our parents never saw but fought for, for us. I grew up in a political household, my father taught me from a very young age the importance of my political voice. I always knew I would be a game changer, I always knew I was born to make a difference in my country, and now, I know just how I am supposed to do that.
I have never written a more emotional post, and I hope you are able to find some sort of encouragement in this post.