The great African novelist, Chinua Achebe, said of his homeland that “the trouble with Nigeria is simply and squarely a failure of leadership.” The major problem is the unwillingness and inability of leaders to rise to full responsibility for the challenges of personal example, which are the hallmarks of true leadership. Now substitute Nigeria with my war-torn motherland, South Sudan.

Predatory politics and unchecked power have held South Sudan back in shackles, and the only solution is embracing democracy and political hygiene because citizens have been allowed to seek their own fortunes. Unfortunately, ethnic politics deprived them of life and hope, which is why they find solace in the sanctuary. I found fundamental freedom and peace in refuge in the pearl of Africa, Uganda. So, personally, I think the only sensible solution to tribal conflicts and tribal prejudices is separating tribe and state, faith and state. The government shouldn’t discriminate on grounds of ethnicity. Civil servants should be recruited on merit. Contracts should be awarded to bidders who offer higher amounts, and financial aid should go to the poor, not the rich.

The South Sudanese are open, friendly, generous, hospitable, and among the most resilient ones in Africa. Worst of all, the majority are stranded in the refuge since their motherland, Africa’s last born, is ravaged by civil wars and ethnic predatory politics. The country has vast, sparsely populated land, dominated by pastoralists, and traditional agriculturalists to a lesser extent.

Furthermore, underground, lies reefs of gold, petroleum, and other precious ores. Yet, the economic state of the country is in shambles. In most cases, minerals have not only been the main motive for war, but also the means for war as governments use the proceeds of war for their own gains while the common man is led to fight for their selfish cause. It is imperative to urge all political stakeholders, economists, and citizens to unite and turn harm into harmony in order to discontinue the misappropriation of God-given resources.

For the South Sudanese street kids, the prospects aren’t quite so good. They’re too young but unfortunately live in Africa, the poorest continent on earth and the only one that, despite all technological advances that are filling stomachs and pockets everywhere else, has finally grown poorer over the last three decades. With the majority living below the poverty line, the median African country has a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of only $2 million, roughly the output of a small town in the West. What makes my heart ache endlessly is that not even Africans went to invest in Africa; about 52% of Africa’s privately held wealth is hidden offshore. This can be curbed by eliminating unemployment, giving investors incentives and subsidies, as well as reforming land ownership and creating awareness among the general population. I’ll be vital in advertising so that surplus labour is absorbed by the job market. As a concerned citizen, I’ll also advocate for consumer-producer treaties. This will help curb economic evils like inflation and monopoly, which are slumbering in this economy, leading to severe poverty.

It’s not much comfort for Africans, however, to hear that other people were equally poor a hundred years ago. Even the cattle herders back in my native foothills know that today, the rest of the world is much richer than they are. Any African who occasionally watches TV can see that people in America live lives of unimaginable luxury, with bulging fridges, soft clothes, and big cars that even teenagers can afford. Why, they ask, is life in Africa not like that? So the sole solution to these economic crises is poverty alleviation, eradication of famine, investment in huge sectors like agriculture since my country has terrific

For Africans, it is not a comfort to hear that other people were equally poor a hundred years ago. Even the cattle herders in my native foothills know that today, the rest of the world is much richer than they are. Any African who watches TV can see that Americans live lives of unimaginable luxury with bulging fridges, soft clothes, and big cars that even teenagers can afford. They wonder why life in Africa is not like that. Therefore, the solution to the economic crisis is poverty alleviation, eradication of famine, and investment in sectors such as agriculture, tourism, and cultural diversity, which have immense potential. The development of such sensitive sectors will automatically lead to the diversification of the economy. Furthermore, our future prosperity will depend on how we adapt to new technologies. Personally, I will invest my time and energy to mentor my fellows in the outskirts of my country about the million wonderful technological innovations and progress I have been exposed to. As we move into the modern era, there is a need to embrace modernization, even in backwaters such as Swaziland and Madagascar. Technology doesn’t mean only high technology; even simple devices can transform people’s lives. Therefore, I will sensitize the masses to embrace free pollutant technology.

Over the years, my country has been ravaged by wars. We have been suffering in the silence of marginalization and shackles of violence. As a child growing up, gunshots were the only sounds I heard. I have been divested of peace since childhood, and still, the specter of death is still displaying the faces of men in my nightmares. I fled home on the run because bullies had maxim guns and AK-47s, and I learned that bullets are more lethal than any poisonous snake bite on earth. No matter how brave you are, when bullets rain down, you have to escape for your dear life because you can’t become a meal for the ravens. Looking back, my life was a narrow escape from death since I saw many innocent souls perish in cold blood, children starve, and mental health become a luxury after battling war traumas. Thankfully, God paved the way for me to achieve mentorship in the refugee camp, which molded me into a peace activist, preaching against impunities and speaking up for the voiceless poetry. Even refuge was a safer haven for me because I grew up in a house full of guns. As a peace activist, I will change that for those coming behind me to grow up in a house full of books by writing journals and articles about peace. Since peace is an elusive ideal, any human would appreciate achieving peace, people ought to be free. This means no one should have imperialistic pursuits over the other because it’s not needs that must be respected but rights. And humility means being willing to learn as much as we can about our experiences outside of what we know and do what we can with what we have to leave a space better than we found it. So basically, I’m going to use my war experience to speak up for the marginalized because they need justice, and this is the work of the living since the dead can’t speak.

We all know that health is wealth. In my country, health is hanging on a single thread. Imagine a hospital where the water is contaminated, where tuberculosis is rife, and where the so-called doctors are incompetent that a patient has a fifty-fifty chance of living or benefiting from a medical consultation. Imagine too that most of the drugs are expired, and some are poisonous, which is a huge threat to humanity.

I Can Participate in the Development of my Nation by Becoming a Leader

I Can Participate in the Development of my Nation by Becoming a Leader- A Submission by Kareena Jindal

The issue above raised can be answered as: I can Participate in development of my Nation by becoming a Leader.

In contemporary world. the word leader is usually referred as someone who controls or guide or be a part of the Administrative framework to govern the people. But here, by becoming Leader means to help and guide people in their action, like A.P.J. Abdul Kalam said: ‘A teenager proclaims:- I want to do it alone; a young person says:- Let us do it together; but a Leader says:-What can I do for you?[1].

So, we want this kind of attitude to be there in the citizens of our nation, who not just think of their development or how can they achieve excellence in their field or are just there to follow the crowd. But we actually want citizen to become a guiding lamp to other people leading to prosperity of all natives as a whole.

There is also a notion that becoming leader always means to become an Entrepreneur or start a firm, rather than being in the conventional path of becoming an employ of some. I think a person can be Leader in both the ways, where people do their work with utmost sincerity; but during that process if they would also consider the needs of other people or guide them, like a senior employee guiding its junior. So, this mutual collaboration among people for doing best in their respective work, would automatically lead to progress of nation as a whole.

Leadership can also be done by creating opportunities for those who actually need it, like when people start an NGO, a literate person teaching the population basic words for their daily use, or by starting a Blog which become a source to spread information or bring new opportunities.

I would like to take the example to explain the above of a Company or an MNC. Now, these companies have so many employees working for them, in the way of the people in the office, goods supplier, creditors, other Stakeholders, etc. Now, as according to law these company fulfil the interest of the employees by giving them remunerations, and for the other stakeholders, there is a concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), which means to cater the interest of those who got effected by the working of company indirectly. E.g., the pollution caused by company, harming its neighbors, for which they need to be compensated by the company. But in reality, these Corporations rather than giving these allocated funds to the aggrieved people, instead, spend this money on by giving to those institutions or invest in urban places, where this money is not even needed; and it is usually done just to show the amount spend on CSR of the balance sheet in the General Meeting. So, instead of doing the above practice, the company actually uses this money for the development of people though other ways like, by building school or a health centre in a Village where it is in scarcity; or by cleaning the environment or planting tree. These activities ultimately lead to development of the nation as a whole.

The above-mentioned examples are just few ways by which a person can cater to the development of the Nation. But it for sure that if all the citizen of a country, would work the best and with utmost sincerity in their respective sectors like Agriculture, Manufacturing and Service, which results in development of all the sectors a country, as otherwise growth in only one sector wouldn’t facilitate overall development of a country.

Thus, there need to be development of all the citizens irrespective of their demographic status (urban/rural), and improvement of their education, health and employment; would lead to DEVELOPMENT of the NATION.

[1] A.P.J Abdul Kalam | ‘Indomitable Spirit’ | Rajpal & Sons | 2010 | p.53



Every citizen has a responsibility towards their country and can contribute to its development in
various ways. The development of a nation requires active participation and involvement of its
citizens. Here are some ways in which you can participate in the development of my nation:
1. Voting: The most fundamental way to participate in the development of my nation is by
exercising my right to vote. Every vote counts, and my vote can make a difference in electing
leaders who can bring about positive changes in the country.
2. Volunteering: Volunteering is an excellent way to contribute to the development of my nation. I
can volunteer for various causes like education, healthcare, environmental conservation, and
more. I can join local NGOs, charities, and community organizations that work towards the
betterment of society.
3. Paying taxes: Paying taxes is a crucial way of contributing to the development of my nation.
The taxes that I pay go towards funding various government schemes and projects that benefit
the country and its citizens.
4. Following laws: Following laws is essential for the development of a nation. By following laws,
I help maintain law and order in society, which is crucial for economic and social development.
5. Participating in community development programs: Many communities have development
programs aimed at improving the living standards of the people living there. I can participate in
such programs by contributing my time, resources, and expertise.
6. Promoting education: Education is the key to the development of any nation. I can contribute
to the development of my nation by promoting education in my community. I can volunteer to
teach or mentor students, donate books and other educational resources, or sponsor the
education of underprivileged children.
7. Supporting small businesses: Small businesses are the backbone of any economy. By
supporting small businesses, i contribute to the growth and development of my nation. I can buy
locally produced goods and services, promote small businesses in my community, and provide
financial support to budding entrepreneurs.
8. Protecting the environment: Environmental conservation is crucial for the sustainable
development of any nation. I can contribute to environmental conservation by adopting
eco-friendly practices, reducing waste, conserving water and energy, and promoting the use of
renewable energy sources.
9. Participating in civic activities: Civic activities like attending town hall meetings, participating in
public hearings, and engaging with my elected representatives are essential for the
development of my nation. By participating in civic activities, I can voice my opinions and
concerns and influence decision-making processes.
10. Donating to charity: Donating to charity is an excellent way to contribute to the development
of your nation. I can donate to charities that work towards healthcare, education, poverty
alleviation, and other social causes.
In conclusion, every citizen has a responsibility towards their nation, and there are several ways
in which you can participate in its development. By voting, volunteering, paying taxes, following
laws, participating in community development programs, promoting education, supporting small
businesses, protecting the environment, participating in civic activities, and donating to charity,
you can make a significant contribution to the development of your nation. Together, we can
create a brighter future for our country and its citizens



Nowadays my country faces an unstainable debt and severe balance of
payments crisis, which is having a negative impact on growth and poverty.
The fluid political situation and heightened fiscal, external and financial
sector imbalances pose significant uncertainty its economic outlook. The
growth outlook is subject to high uncertainty and will depend on the progress
of fiscal consolidation debt restructuring and growth enhancing structural
The current account deficit is expected to decline due to import compression.
Poverty is projected to remain above 25% in the next few years. Reduction
in poverty will require an expansion of employment in industry and services
and a recovery in the real value of incomes. According to these issue, as a
student I have a huge responsibility to develop my nation.
I can be a volunteer my time, volunteering my time can be an effective way
to contribute to the development of my nation in several ways. Look for local
non-profit organizations that are working on projects related to areas that
interest me such as education, healthcare, environment or community
development. I can volunteer my time to assist them in their work and I can
also organize my own volunteer group and initiate a community service
Many people in my country are in need of support particularly those who are
living in poverty or marginalized communities, by volunteering my time I can
help provide services and support to these individuals such as tutoring,
mentoring or providing food and shelter. Education is a key component of
development and many children in my country do not have access to quality
education. By volunteering as a tutor or teacher I can help improve access
to education and provide students with the tools they need to succeed.
My country is home to a rich biodiversity and unique ecosystems, but many
of these are under threat due to environmental degradation. Volunteering
with environmental organizations can help conserve natural resources and
preserve its unique flora and fauna. Volunteering can help build social capital
and strengthen social networks within communities by working alongside
others in my community. I can help foster a sense of connection and
collaboration which can help contribute to broader development goals.
In addition I can donate money or resources to organizations that are working
on projects that I care about. I can also donate to schools or colleges to fund
education for underprivileged students or donate to organizations that
provide health care services to marginalized communities. These days my
country faces economic crises as mention above so as a citizen I have a
responsibility to support local businesses as much as I can.
When I buy locally produced goods, I am supporting the businesses that
produce them. This helps to keep money circulating within my community
and can create jobs. Instead of outsourcing services to large companies,
look for local providers. This includes everything from my neighborhood
plumber to my local accountant. I can encourage my friends and family to
support local businesses and share information about the businesses I love
on social media or leave positive reviews online. In addition I can attend local
festivals, fairs and farmers’ markets to show my support for local businesses.
I can also purchase items at these events to help support the vendors and
consider investing in local businesses that show potential for growth. This
can help to create jobs and stimulate the local economy.
Education is a critical component in the development of any nation. It helps
to individuals acquire knowledge and skills that are essential for better job
performance. A well educated work force can increase productivity, which
can lead to economic growth. Education fosters creativity and critical thinking
which are essential for innovation. Innovative ideas can drive economic
growth, create new industries and solve social and economic problems and
it can lead to the development of a well informed electorate that is better
equipped to make informed decisions about their governance. This can lead
better policies increased accountability and transparency.
And also it can help to promote social progress, reduce poverty and
inequality and contribute to the overall well-being of a society .Educated
individuals are more likely to be engaged in their communities, promote
social cohesion and contribute to positive change. Another thing is I can
attend public meetings, vote in elections and get involved in local politics by
participating in government, I can advocate for policies that promote
development and help address the needs of my community.

How Can I Participate In The Development Of My Nation

How Can I Participate In The Development Of My Nation – a submission by Precious Chiamaka

Nigeria has moved from an underdeveloped nation to a developing nation. But we seem to be stuck at this level, struggling to make progress to become a developed nation. We have about 63% of the Nigerian population living in poverty according to National Bureau of Statistics. We have about 37% of Nigerians who are unemployed according to the Nigerian Economic Summit. The death rate in Nigeria keeps increasing due to poor health care and emergency service. All these are signposts that show there are still a lot of work that need to be done. Hence, the need for all hands to be on deck in playing their individual role for the development and advancement of the country. As a student and as someone who believes things can get better in this country, I have a part to play in the development of my nation. And I’ll be explaining them below.

    I may not have all the funds to correct certain problems in my country, but I can volunteer to organizations who are already doing so. I can volunteer my skills, time and money to them. For my skills, I can offer my writing and graphics design skills to help advertise whatever project they are having so they can connect with people who are willing to support them financially. For my time, I can join them physically to help out in any assistance they may need in making their project a success. For my money, yes I may not have the millions now, but if I give the little I have and others also do the same, it will all sum up to become something big. which will contribute to making their project a success.

    Another way I can participate in the development of my nation is to create a personal impact project targeting any of the problems my country is facing. Stopping the ship from sinking may not fully be in my power but I can seal up the holes with one project at a time. Rather than waste money doing birthday showers and parties, I can use the money to pay a child’s school fees, purchase stationery for children in rural areas or even buy food items and clothing and share it to children on the street. I can also purchase sanitary towels and distribute them to girls in any public school around me. There are just so many things I can do on my own and to be honest, I’ve started doing some already.

    Also, I can contribute to the development of my nation by taking advantage of the power of social media to create change. According to Statista, Nigeria has about 32.9 million active social media users, this makes social media an easy platform to share information and create awareness. Through social media, I can create awareness on the importance of digital skills and how it can benefit the youth in terms of becoming self employed. This awareness can in no small way help to reduce the percentage of unemployed people in the country. I can also create awareness on the negative effect of gender inequality and why we need to see ourselves as being equal or the danger of female genital mutilation and the need for NGOs to start channeling their project in that direction.

    In conclusion, If I put in my little effort to bring development to my nation and every other person also do the same, in less time our little drop of water will sum up to make a mighty ocean that can bring about massive and tremendous transformation.



We are in a time where various nations are facing challenges that are testing the bonds of unity and shared prosperity amongst them. This is evident from the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, banking and financial institutions crisis in America, ethnic clashes and insurgency in many countries in Africa as well as identity and religious crisis in the western world. Depending on the narratives one chooses to propagate, Nation building is paramount to addressing the rough edges of diversity and pave way for integration and development.
Nation building is a call to service. It is an admonition for citizens to remain faithful, loyal and honest, to defend their nation through lawful means while upholding its honor and glory. To participate in the development of my nation, I must be Patriotic. As love is to a relationship, so is patriotism to the development of a nation. It ignites the citizen’s affection, unity, purposefulness and humanity; this means, no one will be left behind in the act of nation building. Patriotism entails lending ones voice to constructive criticisms that will shape and skew the fortunes of the nation towards positivity, economic well-being and growth. This act encourages citizens to participate in electoral processes that will produce highly refined leaders whom shall be at the fore front in ensuring the development of the nation. In the words of Professor Yemi Osibanjo (GCON), “we have to build a nation and live in harmony, so that posterity would be proud of us. A nation cannot grow when there is trouble.” This underscores the relevance of patriotism to critical development of a nation and nation building.
The world has fast become a global village with the proliferation of technology and artificial intelligence. This has provided various opportunities for individuals to harness and use for personal gains. These opportunities when transformed to skill sets and human capital development will not only leap-frog the economic fortunes of a nation, but also create an enabling environment for national cohesion and security. This responsibility can be undertaken by individuals who have the requisite resources as a philanthropic gesture or as a group project, all being in the interest of nation building. Indeed, I will generously avail myself the opportunity to co-operate with like minds towards the achievement of such projects.
Furthermore, in the act of nation building and development, a corruption free society is a virtue that must be upheld by citizens. Corruption is multifaceted, multidimensional and not personality phobic. A corruption free society promotes the rule of law, national dignity and respect as well as peace and social security. To foster the importance of a corrupt free society to national development, I suggest this mantra, “I am a citizen of my great nation, excellence should be my nature, a corrupt free society is my responsibility”; to live in the sub consciousness of all well meaning country men and women, young and old, to always do the right thing in the interest of national development.

Education as a Tool for Development

Education as a Tool for Development – a submission by Nancy Kyeremeh

Growing up, I was always taught that society was there to shape me, my values, my beliefs and even worse, my thoughts. I could not object….. in fact, I would not object. I dared not, not with the strict rules that were set by my parents. My every action was always controlled, my every word felt scripted all my actions looked like acts. I must say, I enjoyed it…. Especially with the kind of  distance and respect or so I thought, my friends gave me. I was living the picture perfect life. It was not so bad……until I turned eighteen.

 For my 18th birthday wish, I was allowed to spend 2 days with my grandma. She was my favorite person and I had always imagined how it would feel and look like, to spend more time with her, somewhere aside home….my home. My overprotective parents drove me to her place and left rules that I was supposed to follow. They swore they would be watching me, even though they would not be there.

Fast forward, I was done unpacking and ready to enjoy my excuse of a vacation. My grandma came in with a girl that looked nothing more than a year older than me. She was a beauty, I told myself. Lucy, as I got to know her name was, was “the maid”, and she would be keeping me company. She was excused but right after that, granny gave me strong warning, to never be seen talking to her as anything more than a maid or a slave.

 Society and my parents had always taught me that, I was a master and I was never supposed to come down to the level of a maid…..but you know that thing called instincts, it had other plans. That is how I found myself in Lucy’s room, later that very same night. She was scared and asked me to leave, but I was bent on knowing her. I promised her I would leave, but on the condition that she told me about herself…..

“There’s really nothing to know….I’m Lucy as you already know. My parents are farmers and I am your maid. Before you even ask, I cannot be your friend because you’re educated and girls are not allowed to go to school here”. These words lingered on my mind the whole night as I tossed and turned in bed. No girl child education? What are we…the great grandparents of our forefathers? I did not love the stress of schooling, but I loved the fact that I had the chance at being educated.

The next morning, I feigned sickness so my parents had to come back and get me. It was when I was leaving, that I saw what Lucy really meant. Most of the girls were on the streets selling and hawking their lives away. For the adults, it felt okay…..but I felt really bad for those small girls that looked no more than 15.

It was at this point that I knew I had to do something. Once I got home, I locked myself up in my room and started designing  flyers like the ones that I had seen, whenever my friends threw parties. I was not doing this because I was rebellious, but because that was the only thing my instincts was making sense out of. After what felt like two eternities, I was done with a flyer, that screamed girl child education is a must, in capitalized red letters. I sent it out to my friends and every other teenager I knew…because my parents would not support me, and I knew it.

That, was how I started, and before I knew, Lucy and I were driving to school together, after an NGO saw my campaign and showed interest in it. It might look weird and sound cliché, but even today, most individuals are deprived the right to education. Young girls, especially the ones in the villages are brought up not as leaders, but as wives. Resources may be inadequate, but that should not kill and deprive others of their rights. I started out as a young girl, that had every right to be spoilt and rotten, because of my rich background, but I used that instead, to help the people around me. I could have chosen not to care, but care chose me.

Though in the end, I helped a lot of girls, I also broke free from the chains of society. I learnt society was not always right. That society could shape your thoughts and beliefs, but never make them. That I could always start something with the little I have and most importantly, that I could help develop my nation, just with education, because in the end, it is the only weapon that can be used to fight the world…..

Taking Ownership of Our Education: A Pathway to Nation Building

Taking Ownership of Our Education: A Pathway to Nation Building – a submission by Joseph Boateng

For an unemployed and underachieving young person, the idea of contributing to national
development may seem daunting, leading one to dismiss themselves as inconsequential in the
grand scheme of things. However, history has shown us that national development is not only the
responsibility of political leaders but also of common citizens who possess unique skills and
perspectives. Private Odartey Lamptey’s contribution to Ghana’s independence struggle serves as
an excellent example of this.

As I reflect on this question, I realize that many young people are not conscious of the task of
adding quality to the growth of our country. In this essay, I aim to explore this apathy and
propose a solution. I believe that I can contribute to national development by re-sensitising
myself and others to the call to participate in nation-building, specifically by reconstructing what
I might have known to be the purpose of my education.

My journey towards re-sensitization began when I overheard raised voices and shouting in my
school dormitory corridor. The Finance Minister had announced that the government payroll was
full, and young graduates could not be employed moving forward. Conversations among my
peers revealed a prevailing political sentiment, agreeing that the government did not care about
the younger generation. They also thought that even if jobs were available, corrupt practices
would prevent their employment. As a result, they concluded that we should leave the country
for better opportunities and focus on making money as it was the only thing that mattered in the

These conversations revealed seeds of apathy and disaffection growing within us for our country,
rooted in the belief that our education would not guarantee a good life. I noticed that we saw the
privilege of our education only insofar as it is a means to an employable end. However, I realized
that education is not just about preparing for the workforce; it is about developing critical
thinking skills, creativity, and the ability to communicate effectively. These skills are valuable
not only in the workplace but also in everyday life. Education helps us to become well-rounded
individuals who can think critically, solve problems, and communicate our ideas effectively. It
helps us to become informed citizens who can engage in civic life and contribute to the
development of our nation.

My example of re-sensitization involves reconstructing the purpose of education. Education
cannot be seen anymore as a means to an end but as an end in itself, that sets up for other ends
that accrue to the benefit of our society. It is a journey that leads to discovering one’s
competencies, building on them, and using them to contribute to a worthwhile cause. As young
Ghanaians, we have a responsibility to take ownership of our education and use it as a tool to
solve societal problems, be globally competitive, and contribute to the development of our nation
and the world. It is imperative that we become lifelong learners and view our education as a tool
for personal and social development, not just for economic advancement.

I intend to re-sensitize myself and others to the call for nation-building by taking concrete steps
towards this goal. For example, I have decided to take up a teaching offer from a certain school,
which I initially rejected because I felt it was beneath me and that I needed a more reputable job.
Through classroom teaching, I will share my reconstructed view of education with my students
and encourage them to take ownership of their education and use it to contribute to society. By
doing so, I hope to inspire them to become lifelong learners and active citizens who are
passionate about the development of our nation.

In conclusion, national development is not only the responsibility of political leaders but also of
ordinary citizens who possess unique skills and perspectives. “Arise Ghana youth for your
country…we are all involved in building our motherland” are lyrics of a song that most Ghanaian
students have once marched to, and we must have this at the forefront of our minds in all our
daily engagement

For the Country that will Tower Up

For the Country that will Tower Up – a submission by Adesina Ajala

“Ask not what your country can do for you— ask what you can do for your country” John F. Kennedy, January 20, 1961.

Lately, that word, “Japa”, makes a phenomenal entry into the lexical repertoire of the people of my country. The word connotes “Escape”— that unfettered longing to break free, to seek a better life in developed nations of the earth. I am in a Sienna car at a park in Lagos when I decide to chat with Kolawole, my intimate friend.

“Kola,” I start, “I’m on my way to Ibadan, and I’ll like to put up with you as usual.”

“I left with my family for the UK last week.” He then apologizes, “I’m sorry, I forgot to tell you.” My eyes widened as I let his words remind me of many friends. This has become my recurring experience.

My friends told me of the sheer beauties of those countries they japa to. We would stay on video calls till I am numb with all the nuances that speak to the deliberateness of the citizens of those nations to develop their birthplaces, and I often wonder why we cannot become intentional with ourselves too.

The things I have heard about those developed places now haunt me that I keep running into myself, into that space where the question, “How can I participate in the development of my nation?” finally seeks me for profound answers. The answers do not keep me waiting; they yield themselves in ways that jolt even me. They yield themselves into this essay, where the love for country compels me to write and write, to hope and hope.

To participate in the development of my country, I realize I need to reach out for the light within me, and shine it to dispel the darkness hovering over my tiny sphere of influence. I must cultivate and demonstrate positive values— these time-honoured cultures of integrity, hard work, altruism and community service. The changes I seek my country to come into also yearn for the loam of my heart to sprout up like foliage. I am the change-maker. Joshua Bennet puts it more aptly in his poem, “Say it, Sing it as The Spirit Leads”: “I am not invisible, I am a beam of light.”

Furthermore, like phoenixes, the answers keep rising inside me. I understand that to participate fully in the renaissance of my country for development, I must inspire others to the same ideal. My light needs to light the light of others. Say beginning with my clique of friends, say beginning from my workplace. As I dutifully clasp my burning candlestick in my palms, it will embolden others to shine their lights too. We would soon become a legion— a constellation of lights, replete with the ethos and etiquette that will propel this country into the limelight of development, into the luminescence of greatness and the incandescence of glories.

I can still lend myself wholly to the development of my nation by supporting folks, firms and forums that are already neck-deep in this onerous task of reclaiming this land from the callous grip of retardation. I can volunteer for them; I can donate my money and other soft resources in my possession. Through this, I can help precipitate a critical mass— those fulcrums that will throw this nation up the lofty heights of progress and prosperity.

Politics is a crucial wheel for driving my nation to the destination of development. One brave way to throw weights behind the task of nation- building is by becoming politically-aware. I can participate in the development of my nation by being present in its politics. If I support individuals who have shown capacity for good leadership, I’m participating in the liberation of my nation. And, yes, I can make deliberate efforts to appear on the ballot paper too!

For the country that will tower up, this nation, Nigeria, these are duties worth my (and your) most noble ambition. These are the works we must do so that the labours of our heroes past shall never be in vain.

How Can I Participate in the Development of My Nation?

How Can I Participate in the Development of My Nation? A submission by Mayode Christopher Eniola

The various political and economic upheavals, corruption, and failed policy implementations that characterize African society have crippled any hope for prompt transformative efforts from the leadership of its member countries. There is an alarming growth in the number of uneducated and unemployed people, coupled with a lack of technical skills for young people to build businesses and pursue industrial initiatives and technological advancement. Still more is the high crime rate, hooliganism, and drug use that shape much of the youth culture. This situation has fostered in concerned citizens, capitalists, and non-governmental organizations the vision that the way forward is to look to individual efforts, which will corroborate into the force for transformation that our society needs.

National development, is a process of reconstruction and development in various dimensions of a nation and individual development. Several countries have been designated as developed because they have advanced in all areas of development. The yearly Human Development Index (HDI) collects and analyses dozens of data points from many sectors to assess human development in countries worldwide, including GDP per capita, literacy rate, life expectancy, political stability, and access to electricity. Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Hong Kong are the top four listed countries. Nigeria, on the other hand, is classified as a developing country. However, for Nigeria to continue to climb the development ladder, it must address some significant challenges, such as economic crises, ethnicity, resource management, corruption, terrorism, and thuggery. There will only be solutions if the government and the public implement workable strategies. The point is that the government, corporations, and citizens all have a role to play in developing their country.

This needed collaborative effort made me realize the role I can play. Given my vocation, I have an advantage. I’m currently receiving pastoral training at a reputable theological institution in Africa. One advantage of studying theology and pastoral counselling is that you are equipped with tools to assist in individual and societal transformation. Notable theologians with such records are John Calvin and Abraham Kuyper, who brought significant transformation in Geneva and the Netherlands, respectively.

The bulk of my work has been to help addicts, drug users, and young people involved in fraudulent activities, such as ‘Yahoo Boys’, who are prominent for internet and financial fraud. Additionally, many young people today participate in rituals and kidnapping activities. In search of quick wealth. After successfully quitting the use of marijuana and engaging in fraudulent behaviour, I have taken it upon myself to help others escape this way of life and find purpose.

Like many of these young people, I thought escaping such a life was impossible. My conversion was providentially triggered by a series of talks and books I came across. With the partnership of your organization and my experience, I can reach more young people than I have in the past. The goal is to get in touch with these people and let them know they can improve. Different strategies for their rehabilitation and education will be implemented depending on their level of involvement and lack of education. 

This passion inspired my 2022 book, “You Will Conquer,” which has inspired many young people. Recent among them is a middle-aged man who used to smoke and gamble incessantly but began to transform when he came across my book. Today he testifies that his personal and family lives is changed. I have also been contacting many secondary schools where I discuss my traumatic story so that they might gain wisdom from it. In these talks, I expose teenage students to the dangers of engaging in fraudulent activities (like Yahoo) and their potential to reduce their chances of benefiting themselves and society.

            The development task is not easy and does not require an easy-fix answer. The social and educational change we desire in our nation can be achieved through strategic interventive projects and well-designed social tools. However, in agreement with the Precious Fountain Foundation ideology, I know it can be done “…one person at a time.”