OBAMA’S STATE OF THE UNION SPEECH: A LEAF FOR NIGERIA

There is this notion that the average Nigerian holds at the mentioning of America, which I would brandish a “psychology of the defeated”. The average Nigerian hides its mediocrity when in comparison with the USA under the age of independence. But on a second thought, if we go by the age of independence, a 55+ old man should be stronger and more lively than a man of 240+ years. Therefore, it is expected that America should be in extinction owing to its age, while nations in the prestigious 50+ should be making waves. However, it is pathetic that the mediocrity of Nigeria makes it look like a foetus yet to be conceived or a gerontocrat at the dying bed.

Behind Mr. Obama was Speaker, Paul Ryan and Vice President/Head of Senate, Joe Biden enthusiastically listening to Mr. President and at intervals, taking to ovation in respect to the truths and hopeful truths dished out by the first African-American President. This connotes the presence of constructive collectivism in government which we all know is a feature in absentia for the green nation that has refused to come to a pragmatic consensus on constitutional projects that would remedy the factors that obviously bring division.

The fact that Mr. Obama could thrash out all national issues extemporaneously, shows passion in the act of governance and statecraft. He never handled all said with no knowledge or half knowledge, despite the largeness of the USA. If Nigeria wishes to grow and develop, it should learn to choose its leaders, having extreme and obvious intelligence as a key factor.

At the beginning of the address, Mr. Obama quickly highlighted four key areas which he called the “four big questions” and specifically paid respect to future generations. In succinct, these areas centered around: equal share of resources and security for all, exploiting advantages of technology, sustaining its world leadership and stimulating advantages of politics to reflect the best for citizens. Wow!!! If these four areas stay bear, what on earth would take away development from a nation? The four big questions show the strength of America’s arm. By this standard, Nigeria’s arm is muscleless, let alone being strengthened.

I was so thrilled listening to a leader who had enormous respect for his predecessors and his colleagues in government. Mr. Obama showed this in the way and manner he quoted and referenced the likes of Lincoln, John Kennedy, Joe Biden, Paul Ryan and among others. All we hear in Nigeria as put forward by our leaders centers just on the ills of past, present, future and unborn government functionaries. This is a generational menace coated in our present day values. Though, this tradition would continue for as long as Nigerian leaders refuse to live up to the hallmark of excellence, so as to be excellently referenced and quoted in future times.

Mr. Obama was 200% positive over the state of the USA regardless of all of its challenges that we are conversant with. Important statements he made that took me to tears as regard how optimistic a leader can solidly be include:

“When you take on America, we come after you. It may take time. But we have long memories and our reach has no limit”

“The spirit of discovery is in our DNA”

“That’s the American strength; that’s the American leadership”

“We make it easier for citizens to participate”

“Democracy grounds to a halt without the willingness to compromise”

“Anyone who works hard should have its fair share”

“No hardworking student should be stuck in the way”

“We must change the system to reflect our better selves”

“America is the strongest nation in the world with the strongest military…” The ovation at this point was so resolute and emotional. With this great faith, tell me what can stop a nation from being a pinnacle one?

These and many more totally express a people-centred and an optimistic leader. Of course, the lessons are obvious for Nigeria and its leaders to learn from.

Finally, Mr. Obama helped the Nigeria’s APC to define the meaning of change when he exclaimed –¬† “I believe in change because I believe in you!!” At this point, you must be forced to ask yourself if your nation has the minutest form of believe in you. The honest truth is – no nation can develop beyond the intelligence, love and strength of its leaders. It is for this reason that it seems our disabilities as a people in Nigeria are now permanent and seem unchangeable in an era of change.

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