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“Describing the Nigeria of my dreams”
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“Describing the Nigeria of my dreams”

Musa TemidayoDreaming of the future while acknowledging the difficulties of the present, Musa Temidayo, 24, a Commonwealth Correspondent from Nigeria, describes the hopes everyday citizens hold for their country.

“All men dream, but not equally.” T. E. Lawrence

The topic “The Nigeria of my dreams” is one of the most talked about issues at different levels of education and at various spheres of age groups. Many of those who have contributed to these talks shared a characteristic of always telling “the Nigeria of my dreams” from their own personal individual standpoint.

With over 200 ethnic groups when Nigeria gained her independence – though I was not born then – the clips from the celebrations shown to us gave me an insight to the great expectation that heralded the event. If the likes of Sir Tafawa Balewa and Chief Obafemi Awolowo were asked then what, in the next 50 years, would be the “The Nigeria of my dreams”, I can say it would not be where we are in the present situation in this century.

But alas! Here we are and still asking ourselves “The Nigeria of my dreams”.

Nigeria today, where life expectancy is one of the lowest in the world; where the health sector is more or less comatose. Even our so-called leaders and lawmakers will travel outside the country to have their medical check ups and treatment. Whereas the fate of that child with a hole in his heart is fastened to such. The mother, probably a petty trader whose capital is not enough for a television subscription, hits a road block because she can never afford to save and send her son abroad for surgery. In her state of despair, if asked what “The Nigeria of my dreams” is, she will tell you that a free, accessible and quality healthcare system is all that clouds her thoughts.

Millions of my fellow students will graduate and have graduated without employment. It is so saddening and makes me wake up in the middle of the night weeping. If we are to ask each and every one of them, they too will tell you their own “The Nigeria of my dreams” story.

While someone decides to spend three billion naira of taxpayers’ money on feeding, some children are going to bed without hope of knowing where to find their next meal. Young Fatima has been robbed of her childhood experience because she has been turned into a bride instead of being allowed to be the child that she is. Some of these street children only have one set of tattered clothes. Meanwhile somewhere in Abuja, our lawmakers are fighting over wardrobe allowances.

Even when sleep became a luxury that some cannot afford because of the rings of poverty, they still keep on dreaming.

So if you still wish to ask me “The Nigeria of my dreams” I will tell you that it is the dream in the heart of that young girl who comes back from school every day, only to hawk for her mother so as to add more money for her to save and get her more text books.

I will tell you that “The Nigeria of my dreams” lies in the heart of that father who lost his house and belongings to fire because the fire service did not respond on time.

I will tell you it lies on the sleepy eyes of that young man who has to wake up 4 am to catch a bus going to lekki to get to the office on time, so that he would not lose the job and risk his ability to put food on the family table. He comes home so late in the night that he cannot help his kids with school assignments.

I will you that it lies in the tears of the old woman selling by the road side, who is so unlucky that anti-street trading officials came to seize her wares because she cannot afford a shop.

I will tell you that it lies on the sweat of the school gateman who earns a small salary as we walk by everyday without saying hello or getting him a chilled coke.

I will tell you that it lies in regrets of students that had to write university admission and matriculation tests four times because there is a limited capacity for enrolment that each public university can admit.

I will tell you that it lies in the pain of those who kept praying for a Nigeria that is free from all forms of terrorism. A Nigeria where the Muslims can go to mosque and the Christians can go to church without having fear of being blown to smithereens.

The Nigeria of my dreams is to live in a new Nigeria where everybody’s dreams can be achieved.

Reach me on Twitter @Simply_dayor

Image URI: http://mrg.bz/q6RndA

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About me: I am from Nigeria, currently studying International Relations at Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife Osun state. I’m also the Editor-in- Chief for the department. I love travelling and singing, and have  interest in Management and Developmental Issues.

Aside from studying, I work as as the Chairman of my department’s magazine. I want to be a Manager-Human Resource & Conflict Management, and also hope to serve in the Nigerian foreign service.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response.
To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/commonwealthcorrespondents/

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