It was Henry Wadsworth Longfellow who said: “The heights reached and kept by great men were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.” This was exactly the lesson Ifek’ego Nnewi, Professor Kingsley Moghalu was teaching Nigerian young adults in his recent writing titled ‘My Journey: A Personal Story’.
It is certainly not the first time anyone is reading about Professor Moghalu and his struggles to make his dreams of becoming a global force come true. But this particular revelation of his travails is important for two main reasons. First is that it comes on the heels of the massive restlessness that currently defines the plight of Nigerian youths. They are worried at having no money to pay school fees at a time national scholarships have become the prerogative of the rich and mighty in the society, people who can afford to pay for their children’s education, even overseas. They are troubled about having no jobs after their education at college or university.
The revelation came when many young Nigerians have become so frustrated that they are inadvertently drifting into criminality in an attempt to survive in a land of plenty that has in the same breath been largely touted as the world’s poverty capital. And again, the write-up comes at a time ethnic minority groups in Nigeria are all clamouring for a breakup of the country because things seem to have ‘fallen apart’ and the centre can no longer hold. It was the same way the young Moghalu was troubled about his future. But help finally came.
Two illustrations here will clearly explain the lesson Professor Moghalu was imparting on Nigerian youths in the article. One was that despite the fact that Professor Bolaji Akinyemi was a Yoruba man, and not an Igbo man like himself, it was Akinyemi who took on the responsibility of writing to the authorities at Tufts University, pleading with them to give him financial support – to which they obliged. That financial support by an American organization through the recommendation of a Yoruba man he had never met before was what propelled him to his destiny.
Now, suppose Professor Akinyemi who was also an alumnus of Tufts University was a bad student who proved to be a problem to the university authorities in his student days, would he have had the confidence to recommend the young Moghalu for financial assistance? And even if he did, was it possible that the university would have obliged him?
This goes to show Nigerian young adults that even in school, they must realize that what they do and how they behave could have serious consequences in the future. They must not limit their vision to their graduation, clearance and the stint of time they spend in the National Youth Service. Their vision should travel beyond those.
The second issue is the fact that it was an Hausa man, not his fellow Igbo man who invited him to become the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, a position that brought him socially to the forefront as an important personality in Nigeria, and possibly paved the way to his political ambition. First, it was a Yoruba man and next, an Hausa man who mentored him. What this also means is that ordinarily, the people of Nigeria have no problems among themselves and that just as it has often been touted, it is some tribalistic political and unscrupulous religious leaders that are actually creating the conditions of enmity between ethnic and religious groups that traps them at some point.
What it also means as a consequence is that, with a credible and trusted political leadership, it would be very possible for all the youths in Nigeria to come together under one banner to support anyone of them who can salvage Nigeria from the pitiable condition of anomie it finds itself as a country. They can all come together again to vote into the high office of President one who can feel their pain and, as a result, take back a drifting Nigeria and turn it again into a land where every citizen would be proud to be called a Nigerian. They did it during the ≠EndSARS protest when all Nigerian young adults, irrespective of state of origin or religious inclination stood together to fight the despicable police brutality that haunted their society at the time. They did it then. They can do it again, in a different, more refined way. But from where do they start?
After he vied for the Presidency under the auspices of the Young Progressives Party in 2019, Professor Moghalu’s eyes were opened to the political realities on ground. He followed them up by establishing an organization he named “To Build A Nation” (TBAN). TBAN is a non-partisan citizens’ movement determined on enhancing the structural, political and electoral reforms that are necessary to foster a united, peaceful and prosperous Nigeria.
State Coordinator Adeleke Adefioye (USA) State Coordinator Cordelia Ndego (USA)
The 2019 elections opened Moghalu’s eyes to the fact that a huge part of the problem with the Nigerian electoral system was that most of the voters were completely ignorant of their voting rights and privileges. They could not make informed decisions on their own. They had no knowledge of who or what party to vote for. They had to rely absolutely on the recommendations of their ward or religious leaders who mostly sided with the highest political bidder. They didn’t realize that accepting money from political office seekers to vote them into office was tantamount to mortgaging their children’s future for a pot of porridge.
They didn’t know that each of their representatives in government must have a constituency office and that they must attend a constituency meeting of all stakeholders at least once a month. They did not know that they should have the opportunity of meeting with their representatives in the local House of Assembly, Federal House of Representatives and the Senate to discuss issues bothering them, whether the issues were medical, educational, social or something else. They did not know that it was their right to recall any of their representatives who was not delivering on the party’s electoral promises and so on.
State Coordinator Alhaji Lasisi Azeez (USA) State Coordinator Dr Violet Smart (USA)
The result was that once they had collected the peanuts they called money or some bags of rice and garri, they would vote greedy political office seekers into public offices to siphon all the money budgeted for development and channel it into their private local or foreign bank accounts. Moghalu saw all this during the 2019 election period and decided that because of his presidential ambition, he had to set up an organization which would be saddled with the responsibility of educating Nigerians on their electoral rights and privileges. Today, TBAN has spread widely, having branches in many countries of the world including the UK and America. Their local headquarters can be reached on +23480 2348 or in the USA on +1 (888) 546 7921 for those who want to stand up and be counted among them that made Nigeria good.
I am one of the men who believe that given good direction and a genuine political leadership, Nigerian youths can stand up to the challenges that had all but crippled socio-economic activities in the country over the years. Given good directions, and a leader who understands and can grapple with the socioeconomic problems Nigeria has had the misfortune to face over decades of misrule, the youths can turn around the fortunes and social attitude of the people of Nigeria for better and give their country that place of pride it deserves in the comity of African nations and the world.
They must stand up now to be counted. They have been deprived like slaves in their own country for far too long. And they must understand that freedom is never given. It is taken. They can take it with their votes. But first, they must register with TBAN so that they can also help to spread the gospel of the need for a real change of Nigeria’s brand of politics from the archaic politics of power to the modern politics of service delivery. With good leadership, such that a widely educated man with the exposure and experience somebody like Professor Kingsley Moghalu can offer, with a good team and the continued support of those who helped him climb the ladder to success, together, Nigerian youths can salvage their country before it becomes late. Let’s do it, guys.
Nigerian Young Adults During A Lecture On The Future Of Their Country