To Fear Not is to Do Something by Pat Utomi


Happy New Year. Despite the prevailing uncertainties, characterized by economic fears, security threats, and a sense of instability, the message is clear – fear not, be not afraid.

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This moment echoes historical parallels, reminiscent of Abacha times, when fear loomed large, and people sought exit visas. Pope John Paul II’s parting words to Nigerian Catholic Bishops during his visit in 1998 resonate: “Do not be afraid. You have not been given the Spirit of timidity.” Shortly after, Abacha’s regime came to an end.

The call to action, “do something before you die,” reminiscent of Ghanaians’ plea to President Jerry Rawlings, becomes pertinent in addressing Nigeria’s challenges. The trouble lies in self-centered politicians devaluing the nation’s brand, eroding hope in its promise.

Economic hardships are tangible, blamed on previous administrations and policy shifts. Drawing parallels with Malaysia and Indonesia during the Asian financial crisis of 1997, leadership commitment to people’s struggles made a significant difference. Nigeria’s current circumstance reflects a disconnect between policymakers and the people, lacking empathy and accountability.

Beyond the economy, the detached response to killings in North Central Nigeria raises concerns. Governors’ inadequate leadership worsens distress, compounded by the government’s demolition activities without mitigating citizens’ suffering. Such actions deepen the state’s alienation, questioning its legitimacy and escalating power erosion politics.

The root malaise lies in politicians neglecting institutions and values crucial for human progress. The relentless pursuit of power has damaged institutions, culture, and values. Corruption is celebrated, modesty ridiculed, and nepotism considered acceptable. A collapse of culture hinders societal progress.

The call to action involves driving the founding of a new tribe – a non-partisan gathering of Nigerians valuing character, integrity, and the dignity of the human person. Championing the collaboration of political parties and social movements to establish a party with clear ideology and policies is crucial.

In the 20 years since founding the Centre for Values in Leadership, efforts are underway to expand leadership development programs, including gamifying ethics for secondary school pupils. Building an army of ethical young entrepreneurs could contribute significantly to the country’s economic transformation.

The collective effort to save Nigeria is an investment worth making.

– Patrick Okedinachi Utomi, Political Economist, Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Lagos Business School, and Founder of the Centre for Values in Leadership.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Naija247news is an investigative news platform that tracks news on Nigerian Economy, Business, Politics, Financial and Africa and Global Economy.

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