Nigeria Will Be Great – Adebayo Bakare

Could you introduce yourself to netizens

My name is Adebayo Adisa Bakare. I hold a BSc degree in mathematics and statistics from Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) formerly University of Ife (Unife), Ile Ife, in present day Osun State.

What’s your nationality

I am a Nigerian from Ajasse-Ipo in Irepodun Local Government Area in Kwara State.

What was growing up like

I am from a very humble background, my parents were only rich in morals and uprightness. I grew up in Lagos. Both my primary and secondary schools were in Lagos. Though from a poor background but I never felt poor because communal life was common then and you could easily eat in your friends’ parents home without you asking for food. All it takes for you to be well fed was strolling in with your friend when it was lunch or dinner in their house and you will be served with your friend in the same plates or you are given equal measures in different plates. I started noticing the sharp difference between the poor and the rich in the university where class was openly emphasized.

You must have visited other countries. Could you compare other countries you’ve been to with Nigeria

I have been to India and the US several times, China once and some European countries. I have also been to many African countries, mostly West Africa. On the basis of basic ammenities like power, potable water and infrastructural developments, we are lagging seriously behind the developed countries but we are not doing badly overall, compared to other  WestAfrican countries.  North and East Africa and seem to be doing much better than other African countries.

 What’s the problem with Nigeria

I don’t like to see my country, Nigeria, as having problems. I see Nigeria as a work in progress with challenges, though not all that daunting but in need of sincerity of purpose and selfless commitment  in surmounting them. I believe in looking at things from an optimistic point of view but be practical at the same time. A glass filled halfway could be seen as half empty or half full, they both describe the same quantity but from different perspectives.

Optimistic perspective motivates one to action while pessimistic demoralizes and makes taking action difficult. In fact, one major challenge we have as a country now is how to manage the level of pessimism of many in this country. This pessimism stemmed from an inordinate expectation of what the country can do for the citizens. We made the mistake of taking the size and resources endowment of the country to mean ready prosperity for all. Because of our size we developed a false sense of being powerful and because of our natural resources we developed a false sense of prosperity.

Our pioneering leaders failed to impress upon us that size and resources are only means to power and prosperity respectively  and can only be transformed through intelligent and sincere handling. This is the origin of the challenge. Our first set of educated leaders sought for independence for egoistic and selfish reasons rather than adopting pragmatic and broad-minded approach to seeking independence. They were more enamored with control over their respective regions rather than building a country. They were not tolerant of one another’s peculiarities as evidenced in the mutual distrust they had for one another and which they have transmitted down the line to the present generation . A union is not formed simply by people coming together, they must work to build a bond . This was where we failed.

 I deeply respect our pioneering heroes and I venerate them but if we do not look at our history with a view to correcting the errors of the past, the greatness we earnestly seek might elude us for a very long time. We can venerate our predecessors in spite of what they did wrong, we must honour them but we must respectfully point out where they went wrong. But it is not late to build a country if we are ready to jettison the errors of our founding fathers.

Ordinary Nigerians don’t care what part of the country you are from but there are those who profit from chaos, who always want to divide us along tribal and religious lines. We need to see that we can be one country even as we cherish our individual peculiarities. It is logical and natural. A competent businessman can do business with those with whom he has nothing but common interest of making profit. We can look at the larger picture of what we all stand to gain as Nigerians instead of thinking we could do better as separate entities. We must intelligently surmount this mountain of mutual distrust we inherited from our founding fathers, we do not need it .

The principle of synergy says the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. This means we all stand to gain more as Nigerians than citizens of separate countries. We are also lucky to have, right now, a president who, though misunderstood and dreaded by many, means well and possess the main attributes of a leader needed at this point of our evolution: integrity and courage. I am sure Nigeria will be great, we are only at a particular  stage of our evolution. A lot of work is needed to be done but the attitude with which we approach doing this work is more important, we must see ourselves as partners in progress. That is the only way we can efficiently utilize our size and other material resources we are endowed with to build a just and thriving Nigeria. We need to stop wasting our energies in fighting ourselves, that makes the task of nation building almost impossible.

Adebayo Adisa Bakare

 Don’t you think people like you are needed to fix Nigeria

Nigeria has all the brains it needs to take the country to greatness. We should clearly see the need for teamwork, talkers may not be doers. That’s another common error Nigerians make. The fact that someone has oratorical powers does not mean he will be competent at doing what he talks about. Most boxing coaches cannot win any belt, yet the champions need them for guidance, for training. That’s team work. We need those who can talk and write but they must not be mistaken for those who can competently handle positions.

A stammerer may be amazingly courageous, if courage is what is needed to fill the leadership gap, then the stammerer should lead. That is pragmatism. God told Moses to take his brother Aaron with him to go ask Pharaoh to release the Israelites. God, in His wisdom, did not ask Aaron to take over leadership from Moses because the former was an orator and the latter a stammerer. . We need all hands on deck.

In which ways have you been helping the less privileged

Sometimes I don’t want to use the word less privileged because it has been abused by many fake do gooders in the country, thereby confusing the so called less privileged  the more. When Jesus Christ asked us to love our neighbours, he qualified what he meant by ‘neighbour’, he said anyone you are in a position to help is your neighbor. I don’t make a show of helping the less privileged. The man next door, who is supposed to be in the same social stratum with you financially, may be distressed at a point, to me, he has become less privileged at that point in time and needs my help. He may need just some words of advice or encouragement . I help as the need arises. I enjoy. Another point is  you don’t have to  wait till you are comfortable before you help fellow human beings who may need your help. You must see helping as an end in itself and not as a means to an end like so many so called non profit organizations.

Could you tell us the happiest day in your life

The day I got admission into the university. A senior cousin of mine was deriding me when he saw me filling JAMB forms in those days. He told me I was wasting my time, that they gave admissions only to the children of the rich. I told him they must take at least few people on merit and I was sure I will be among those few. So, it was a  thing of immense joy to be offered admission into the university. I was walking with my feet off the ground.

Tell us the most embarrassing moment in your life

Because of my ability to write well and answer comprehension passages well in my secondary school, I was nominated to be the chief speaker in a debating team. We were to conduct a series of debates to prepare us for interschool debates. The day came and I was shocked to find the hall filled with students and teachers. I was called upon to open the debate for my team and I could not utter a single  word, nobody taught me how to speak before a crowd. I was thoroughly embarrassed, the second speaker rescued me by taking over. I left the hall in a daze. Instilling confidence early  in our children should be given top priority. Thank you very much.

One Response to Nigeria Will Be Great – Adebayo Bakare

  1. Bashir M. Badmus July 10, 2021 at 4:51 pm

    Whao!

    A great submission on Nigeria. I share the great views of Mr. adebayo Bakare and hope as well that Nigeria we resume her greatness in no distant time.

    Reply

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