Wednesday, 18 January 2012 07:10

From Occupy to Open Eye

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Occupy forced us to let go of our cosseted complacency.

Occupy moved us to action.

Occupy made us recognize that we are all in this together – Muslim, Christian, Male, Female, Patriot, and Dissident.

Occupy forced us to open our eyes to the magnitude of corruption and maladministration of revenue in Nigeria.

Occupy revealed the nakedness of our leaders; a rabidly bellicose and corrupt bunch.

Occupy showed us that these leaders have sold us as slaves to international financiers.

Occupy spotlighted that our worst problem is not corruption but the leadership's lack of vision – a total, abject, cataritic, dim-sightedness.

A lack of national vision allows our leaders to swallow obvious lies about free trade and open market as instruments of nation-building. It promotes their peddling IMF/WB policies as home grown while they mortgage our national political economy, identity, and future to global capitalism, western states, and increasingly, China. Myopia numbs their consciences as they lease land, mines, and oil wells to expatriates for 99 years paying kobos on the naira.

To camouflage their lack of vision, these leaders throw out decoys – ethnic violence, religious intolerance, even sexual tension - to send the populace on a fool's errand while they stumble around blindly following deleterious orders from external powers. And local government fiefs whine about how they are not getting enough of the national cake.

If they had any vision, our leaders would build critical infrastructure of education, healthcare, transportation, manufacturing, and refining – like we did in the 1970s. Had they any plans, they would behave like Raji Fashola who decided to turn Lagos around by dusting up a forgotten master plan and bringing it to realization. Leaders who build have the vision to build not a restraint to be uncorrupt.

Indeed, it is a lack of vision that causes leaders to self-aggrandize shamelessly and to allow others to partake in a national 'free-for-all.' Arguably, corruption is rife in many countries particularly during their early development but within corrupt systems were nationalist visionary leaders who created master plans to build states such as Britain, U.S., South Korea, and China. Thus, corruption does not kill a country, lack of vision does.

Occupy should sharpen our vision and remind us to keep our eyes open.

Occupy should make us demand a national budget, declaration of assets of public officials, balance sheet of every government enterprise from local to national, and public accountability.

Occupy should encourage us to use a national vision as a yardstick to measure whom we vote in or allow to remain in office.

Occupy should force us to hold our leaders accountable for developing our country.

Occupy should keep us unified – male-female; Muslim-Christian; diverse ethnicities; varied classes; all Nigerian.

All demanding a progressive Nigeria.


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Abi Adegboye Ph.D

Abi Adegboye began writing as a young girl growing in western Nigeria.  In a culture that reveres boys, she was born the second of three girls.  Certain she had to be her family's 'boy,' she climbed trees to harvest fruit, dressed chickens for dinner, caught mice, and whatever else required male-handling.  She also loved to read, write, and draw.  Her initial efforts yielded publications in local newspapers and newsletters.  However, she was advised to get a day job which turned out to be as a professor of political science.  This opened to her, a different avenue for publication in her areas of research including African women and development, women migrants, and the impact of public policy on women’s political economy.

On her 40th birthday, she rekindled her creative writing with the publication of Butterfly, a picture book and Reflections on Nigerian Christianity, a social commentary.  Since then, she’s co-authored Owanbe! Yoruba Celebrations of Life (2010), a cultural anthology and published Wanna B Prez? 10 Life Strategies from President Barack Obama’s Journey to the White House (2012), a YA motivational YA book, and Renike comes to America (2016), a novella.  

Abi writes multicultural fiction and nonfiction for children and young adults.  She shares her writing through speaking engagements, performances, storytelling, and classroom visits. 

For more information about Ms. Adegboye’s publications, or to connect with her, visit her

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