Opinions: 6 things Nigerians need to learn from 2013

by Enenim Ubon


This has shown that people can come together to pursue a cause(good or bad). I might have reservations over the formation of the APC but it has clearly shown that when pushed to the wall, people can do anything to redeem themselves.

2013 for me has been a very trying year. A lot of ups and downs. Incidences that have tested my resolve and courage. Situations that broke me down totally. Yet I have come out of it all with a stronger determination to take my life to the next level(in the coming year) with God by my side.

Well, this piece is not meant to highlight my personal experiences but my understanding of certain occurrences and happenstance within Nigeria and outside in the year 2013(some of which I have already written about in other articles). I do believe that as youths,we should draw inspiration from whatever good thing happens around us, no matter how insignificant it may seem and learn lessons that would shape our lives forever, no matter how trivial it appears.

The following incidences are a few of the many that standout for me(in no particular order) and my interpretation of them.

a) The year began with football loving Nigerians looking forward to the Nations cup in South Africa. Very few were optimistic that the team under Coach Stephen Keshi would do well, following our abysmal performance in the recent past. The number further reduced after the first match against Burkina Faso. The rest as is said ‘Is history’. Everybody celebrated when the trophy was lifted, yet very few of those that celebrated believed in either the players or the coach.
Lesson learnt – whether people believe in you,your dreams or not, do all you can to be successful(you owe it to yourself and posterity).

b) Aviation Ministry Scandal: (I have written about this before and won’t say much on it again). Prior to the 250million car scandal a lot of Nigerians would have said the aviation ministry under Stella Oduah was doing a great job(at least outwardly), but after the whistle was blown on the shady deal, the integrity of the minister was greatly damaged and so far, no amount of ‘damage control’ has been able to get her off the hook(at least in the court of public opinion).
Lesson Learnt – Be careful of the actions you take, no matter how much you believe you are loved. One wrong move can cancel all your years of good work, and believe me integrity lost can never be fully regained. Think before you take any action in the coming year.

c) Death Of Madiba: The reaction of the world to the death of Mandela further strengthens the fact that “a good name is better than all the riches in the world”. I would have loved to ask him some questions if I had the chance but since I didn’t, I have no choice but to wholeheartedly join in celebrating a man who left a mark in the paths he walked.
Lessons learnt – Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was not a perfect man but inspite of his imperfections impacted a lot of lives and contributed in no small measure to turning around the fortunes of a nation. If he could, then I can. I can touch as many lives as possible and I have resolved to do so.

d) Election Of The Pope: (at the risk of appearing too religious). To the best of my knowledge Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio wasn’t a front line contender to take over from Benedict XVI. A lot of other Cardinals were touted to emerge as the new Pope. To the astonishment of many(and some of the contenders, I guess), the first ever Pope from latin america was announced to the world.
Lesson Learnt – ‘position’ yourself well, do the best you can wherever you are and in whatever task you are assigned; that way even your contemporaries will find you fit for high responsibilities. Not all those who crave for power will get it but when you do, what will you be remembered for?

e) ASUU STRIKE: After five(5) months of doing nothing, Nigerian students are finally returning to school after the yuletide, for this I am most grateful to the FG and ASUU for finding a common ground. A lot of things may have gone wrong, the students and their parents would pay a price for all the wasted months but I sincerely hope our educational system will be better off for it.
Lesson learnt – we have seen that tenacity pays(as shown by ASUU) but is all really fair in battle? Shouldn’t we be considerate when taking actions that would affect the lives of others?

f) Merger Of Political Parties: This has shown that people can come together to pursue a cause(good or bad). I might have reservations over the formation of the APC but it has clearly shown that when pushed to the wall, people can do anything to redeem themselves.
Lesson Learnt – If politicians(who often times are not interested in the well being of the citizens) can come together to fight a ‘common enemy’, isn’t it time that the youths of Nigeria rise in unison to put things in the right place? We can do a lot more that we can ever imagine, if we are willing to put aside our differences and work together for the good of our nation.

“All we can do is learn from the past and prepare for what the future may bring.”
I wish all Nigerian youths could find inspiration in the good things that happened around us in 2013, while letting go of the negatives, whatever they maybe. The future holds a lot but we have to be strong and face it with determination.

Have my best wishes for the coming year (2014).


Enenim Ubon tweets from @enenimubon

Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.


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