By SANNI, Lateef Omogbolahan.

Naija go better, a song of hope. Just two weeks ago, the sonorous voice of the Fuji Star, Osupa Saheed on the track “Naija go better” was on my playlist repeatedly. I was lost in thought, whether the hope is really worth it. I remember I got attached to “Naija go better” in my early teens. Well, even my Mum of 61 years could affirm it as a slang that has been around while she was growing up. Of course, she is as Old as Nigeria. I guess, we have more than 20 years more to hope on.

Despite the long years of corruption, poverty, insecurity as a Nation our audacity to Hope is the greatest Achievement. Hope has been a commodity sold to Nigeria in their everyday life. Is there really hope for the Future? National Bureau of Statistic shows that the unemployment rate rose to 33.3% in March 2021, that’s an increase from 27.1% released in the second quarter of 2020. The Nation produced more graduates each year, with a future that is uncertain. The slogan of an average Nigerian youth is “I wan Japa” or “Japa”, the implication of this is that in 20-year time more brains will be out of the country, after all, most politicians also craved for western countries’ Permanent Residency.

Today, it safer to be in your home than be on Nigeria road. It’s more like a death trap to go on a night journey. If VIPs with escorts can be ambushed, It means average citizen are practically their own shield. Just 2 weeks ago, A Governor ran 100 meters to be safe and people laughed over it. This things ‘No be Cruise o’ it is a time bomb. In 20 years, another person might need to race 1000m to be safe. Two decades from Now, Insurance policy on Kidnap and Ransom will definitely increase. Kidnapping is on the rise, it has been a lucrative crime and some desperate people have seen it as a new cash-out business.

Transformational and reform Leaders are those that can change the Norms, that’s definitely the problem of Nigeria. The Late Professor Chinua Achebe once said our major problem is the “problem of Leadership”. To me it’s beyond political leadership, the religious leaders are not spared. Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman is doing that in shoving the negative influence of religion and crude culture in the State affairs of Saudi Arabia. Nigeria in 20 years, cannot be more than what Nigeria has been in the last 20 years if religion is our priority.

Recently, in my state, while Parents should be concerned about the state of education; classroom without chairs, library without books, Laboratory with inadequate facilities, outdated curriculum. They are much concerned about the religious attire their children wear to school. As if hijab should be the concern of a parent in this digital Age while other children around the globe are learning digital skills as basic knowledge in School. It tells me, Nigeria in 2040 will still be a Nation of Hope, Naija go better.

(c) SANNI, Lateef Omogbolahan 2021