You see, we are very good at ‘managing’ as Nigerians. We have become extremely good at it.

Kenneth Obi

I have a message for my countrymen and women. And my heart is both warmed over and fired up by this urgent message. So let’s get right into it. You see, we are very good at ‘managing’ as Nigerians. We have become extremely good at it.

And no one should blame us for this, to be honest. We have believed and believed so many times  and we have been disappointed. We have invested hopes and dreams in people. We have gone on strike at different times, marched on the streets at different times, shut down the nation at different times, stood in the sun to vote at different times, and we have been disappointed, sorely.

So, we have learnt to lower our expectations. We have learnt to dream in black and white. We have learnt that we don’t deserve nice things! That the things we truly want are not possible. We have tried too many times and failed too many times that we believe the problem is trying too hard. Let’s just manage the one we have.

Let’s manage the recovery of 165 girls. It is impossible to get back all 265. Let’s manage a President who is not personally corrupt, it could always have been worse. Let us take the Governor that promises a few flyovers but chases poor people out of our cities as if they are not human. That’s the cost of development. Let’s pretend that 60 percent of our federal revenue doesn’t go to maintaining just 1 million people. After all they haven’t killed anybody. Let’s manage the one we have, we tell ourselves. Because we can’t really get what it is, we truly want.

We are always very angry about many of our leaders. They take us for a ride, as they jump out of police vehicles to mock our justice system. They insult our youth, calling them lazy, even though they spend more time in the hospital than at their duty post. They insult our intelligence, claiming they will fight corruption, when they cannot even get visas to visit the United States because of their past crimes. We are angry at them, because they steal our agency, they steal our hopes, they steal our dreams, they steal our capacity to imagine.

But you know what? These leaders laugh. And you know why they laugh? Because they know that no matter how angry we say we are, they are almost certain that nothing will change. They are sure because they know that in our hearts of hearts, we don’t truly believe that Nigeria will change. We don’t believe it. We are condemned by our conviction that this is how things will always, always be. These guys know this, and so for them the party will never stop.

We the masses of Nigeria need to overcome our primary challenge which is the 'manage it” attitude and sadness masking as worldly wisdom and cynicism. How do I convince people to believe the only one  thing that has ever been true in the history of humanity, that there is no force more powerful than a people who have decided that enough is truly enough?
We have done it in Nigeria. We did it in 2011, when we together voted a minority president in a country where they told us it wasn’t possible. We did it in 2015 when we elected an opposition president in a country where ruling parties never lose national elections. We just have done it for people that we were ‘managing’, because we didn’t think we could get what we really deserved.

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What I have seen in Nigeria in the past few days, has convinced me of something powerful about the hungry, angry and oppressed masses of Nigeria. And I want our corrupt leaders to listen very carefully to what I am about to say: Nothing, absolutely nothing is stopping us from getting the exact kind of leadership we want. Nothing. We are ready, we are able, we are clear. We just don’t believe that it can happen. We just don’t believe that it is possible to get the kind of leadership we desperately need. That’s the spirit all over Nigeria. Young men believe there is no hope in Nigeria, and they must follow a man who promises them freedom if only they break away from this giant disappointment. They just don’t believe that it is possible.

My article speaks to the core of the Nigerian elite class, and I have a message from the streets of Nigeria to you: people desperately want a leadership that can deliver results for our economy, but they want someone who can convince them that they are not wasting their time, that they are not wasting their emotions. And they want you to know that they are enough of people like them across the country who will stand up to make it happen when election season comes.

Something definitely will change. The oppressed people of Nigeria will follow their hearts when election day comes in 2019. I know for sure in my heart that we can disgrace those who think themselves the owners of Nigeria, the sharers of its national cake, the custodians of the limit of our possibilities?

Are we not ashamed of what we manage? Are we not ashamed of the leaders that we have? Are you not fed up with their embarrassment of our country of Nigeria?

You are. I am. And so this is my invitation to you: Join me in shocking this system come 2019. Join me in shaking it to its very roots with our votes. Join me in proving to ourselves that this thing we have been saying for decades is truly possible.

That’s my message: to insist that you must believe that what you think impossible is in fact possible. My message is to ask you to ignore those who will tell you not to waste your vote. Those who will tell you there are only two choices. To ignore those who will tell you that our electoral fate has always been decided in Abuja.

That is a lie from the pit of hell. They know what they are doing when they tell you this lie. But let me tell you the truth: the only vote that is wasted is the one that doesn’t make it into the ballot box. Every time you vote or don’t vote, you are making a choice. And the enemies of our country, they are counting on the fact that you will make a choice not to show up this year to campaign, to donate or next year to vote and get those you love to vote. Or that when you show up to vote, you will choose the familiar over the necessary.

‘They’ only get to win if they win the battle over your heart and your mind. They claim to have extensive structure that no one else can beat. I have gone round the country, I have seen those structures. Those structures are human beings. Human beings like me and you at the ward level, at the state level, at the community level. We are building an alternative structure that can beat that structure.

We need you to believe that it is time to deliver Nigeria from dinosaucracy -a politics of dinosaurs, for dinosaurs, by dinosaurs. These dinosaurs have infected Nigerian society with ideas and attitudes that have long since been discredited.

Our choice as a people is stark today as it ever has been: we have a choice between dinosaurs and deliverance. If we continue to be led by these dinosaurs and the people they endorse, the sunlight of our hopes for Nigeria will continue to be blotted out by dark clouds of incompetence, corruption, economic illiteracy and primitive tribalism.

It is time for all of you who are tired, like I am tired. It is time to make things happen. Time to pump fresh ideas into solving our problems. It is time to drive the point home that Nigeria is nothing without the people and the people need to come first from now on.

It is time to shake the table of Nigeria’s current political class. It is time for us to get off the side lines and come together as one to change the course of this nation. There is no need staying in different camps if we can come together to shake up this system. If you are not one of those benefiting directly from this nyama-nyama version of Nigeria, then it is safe to say you are of those who future is being mortgaged.

Our time has finally come. Let us shock these dinosaurs with our resolve, and our collective capacity. Let us take Nigeria back from those who believe that it belongs to them and their children. Let us be proud of Nigeria once and for all. And you better stop telling yourself that it cannot be done. God bless Nigeria. Let’s get to work!

Citizens for Righteousness and Social Justice is the Best way to Go Raising Anti Corruption Crusaders fighting Injustices in a Violent and Immoral Society of Nigeria by getting your Voters (PVC) Cards for a Better Nigeria 2019.

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