Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Nigerian look at the Barack Obama's Speech in Cairo, Egypt

Now I can’t recount every word the US president said in his speech in Cairo, but it will make a whole lot of sense if you can listen to it yourself, just incase you have not heard or seen it. It’s easily accessible on Youtube.com

I think all the issues addressed by the US president, in this thought provoking and to me most powerful speech yet, is as much as relevant to the people he was speaking to, as it is equally relevant to the Nigerian nation ,even if we are not the ones being addressed directly in Cairo.

The key issues of US/Western world and the Moslem world relationship, the Israeli, Palestine’s conflict, Democracy and democratic governance, Religious freedom, Women rights, education and empowerment and finally Economic development and opportunity stretches into the Nigerian situation in many ways than one.

Now some of these issues looks like it has nothing to do with the Nigerian situations, however if you are familiar with the Nigeria situation and you have equally listened to president Obama speech, with Nigeria at the back of your mind, then Put that speech in context : I believe every single word and statement can be linked to the Nigerian situation and it hold concrete truths that Nigeria as a nation, its Government and People must embrace as we seek to solve our PROBLEMS!.

There’s no saying, we have gone down the wrong road for way to long, but more painfully and shamefully it seems even in the present era under 10 years democratic structures, however built on almost 49 years of a checkered history , we are still heading down the wrong path for nationhood.

Just a few days ago, I watched again the speech of the former US president Bill Clinton, as he addressed the joint parliamentary session of the Nigerian legislature.

If one could write those words of reinforcement spoken concerning our then tender democracy, line by line, sentence by sentence, and compare with what we have on ground today. It’s like our leaders (with due respect to each and every one of them), all had ear plugs on, as president Clinton spoke, and yet we wonder why president Obama is not visiting Nigeria just yet. Most if not all including the then president, never ran governance with the veracity, or the passion exhibited by Clinton as he gave his speech.

Party Politics, is killing Nigeria, a band and crop of people are riding on the destiny of hundreds of millions.

Let’s Stop, Look and Listen, we can’t go on this way, that’s my call to us Nigerians, our leadership, and its people each and every single one of us.

To close this, let me use some quotes from the US president speech, which speaks to us, particularly our Government and the restive Niger Delta.

“…. Abandon violence, resistance through violence and killing is wrong and does not succeed ……”

“….Violence is a dead end; it is a sign neither of courage, nor power….”

“…Suppressing ideas, never succeeds in making them go away...”

“They are some who advocate for democracy only when they are out of power, once in power they are ruthless in suppressing the rights of others…..”

“…So no matter where it takes hold, Government of the people and by the people sets a single a standards for all who will hold power, you must maintain your power through consent, not coercion, you must respect the right of minorities and participate with a spirit of tolerance and compromise, you must place the interest of your people and the legitimate workings of the political process above your party…”

“… All people yearn for certain things, the ability to speak your mind, and have a say in how you are governed, confidence in the rule of law, and the equal administration of justice, government that is transparent, and doesn’t steal from the people, the freedom to live as you chose….”

God bless Nigeria.

Wilson Kumesine

June 2009

1 comment:

Lost at The End said...

Nice piece. Keep up the good work o.