*Can’t a few people change anything in Nigeria?
When your friends gossip you, spread rumours about what you did not do but you are guided by good intents and they tinker lies to bring you down, conjecture what you did not do. They say ‘that is Nigeria for you’ but here that is not the truth.
Doing a U-turn from such friends quickly seems always the best diplomatic channel to be able to go on the journey of life alone, lonely but with God and your conscience.
We decided as former and aging athletes 13 of us. Only Dr Umar Bindir and Alhassan Yakmut were not invited but present. We discussed, agreed and called the rest on phone to explain the outcome. Shaibu Amodu, Sunday Bada, Mary Onyali (with her new baby boy), Innocent Egbunike and Bose Kaffo were physically in. that was the seed. It was planted and groomed since then. Venue was Suite 54 of Nicon Luxury in Abuja.
We decided that having passed through cols of life laced with stones, sticks, broken bottles, pais, maladministration, self-conceit etc That children coming behind us should not go through half of such pains. We picked solutions we know are humane and resolutely modern. We agreed to use the Nigeria Sports Development Fund Inc (NSDFI) to drive it.
We worked the tills. We paid personal funds to get training of sorts. We held this stubborn but stupid view to be the change agents. Our friends snitched “see, they want to change Nigeria, fools they are.”
January 2016: A friend of ours, Tajudeen Abdulkareem. Ironically, we met with him in the same Nicon Luxury but this time at the pool side. He linked us to Aare Afe Babalola (SAN) in Ado-Ekiti. On the eve of the trip, an Islamic cleric we never knew from Adam, peeped and said, “one of the three of you (pointing to us) does not believe in this journey but hasten towards all that is good. You will succeed.”
I thought it must be one of the three persons on that trip to Ado-Ekiti. Later, I observed, there were three organisations in the journey of the project. Like a distraction, we waved the cleric aside but I kept the message leaving out the messenger. We ran on faith towards the good pole. Events of the last three months showed that one of us never believed in the race.
The principle of ‘good’: Eyes that were designed to cry (if we are not doing what we are doing) must not cry in pain but for joy. Here we are, we want to build bridges to stardom, we want to create champions and rulers of the world. These values alone drive our craze (that is how we are seen).
Begging is abhorrent. We have to beg. We carry our names, pride, image and individual records to beg people, politicians, corporates, academics, students etc we want to beg for N10billion in one year. To engage one million children in four years to be better than all of us who initiated this process.
No Nigerian child will pass through the same frustrating paths we passed. We saw them go through hell on the road to Rio de Janeiro. That will be the last, we swore under our breathe. Yes, the very last. We are determined. We shall run this battle with our convictions. We shall live this ‘good’ with principle.
Morals and ethics are no religions: these two are and can be religious planks. Its moral and religious to pray that our children should never know half of the pains we know while growing. So shall it be in this case.
Two, our children shall be greater and better than us. So shall it be. From the efforts we lay down, the GenerationNext will achieve what we could not achieve.
Its ethical to watch, work and pray for the goodness our Jerusalem, Nigeria. We can change this nation. Just I and you. We don’t need a crowd. Many are called but few are needed. We need only 10% of Nigerians. Know today that everything that is Nigerian is godly. Everyone who aspires to a greater Nigeria will receive the blessings of Abraham.
Rise up today. Be counted in the few. No nation on earth is as endowed as Nigeria. God designed you Nigerian for His glory. They say Olajide Fashikun has stepped on toes. Olajide Fashikun is like a stupid messenger. Leave him. Take the message.
What we saw when we did: 94 children live and in the last one year plus had been training in the hilly, cold, feral and mountainous terrains of Vom, Shendam and Jos. With a little hand of support, they will rule the world and prove the greatness of this nation in middle and long distance. I believe because I know.
90 kids in Taekwondo, Athletics, Wrestling, Weightlifting and Tennis will enjoy N35million budget in four years. They will live, train, and explore greatness from here. I believe in them.
36 small communities will enjoy about N100million budget to teach their children in sports. Offa in Kwara State nominated by Chief Ruth Ogbeifo-Balofin is the first in the country.
Six states will have the National Sports Development Centre. Six schools, a primary and secondary, from each of the Senatorial districts will be our centres of excellence. Ekiti state is the first.
From 2018, 15 leagues should commence activities. Five team sports. Five individual sports and five para sports. They will have N100million budget. Disability will suddenly not stop any Nigerian from becoming a millionaire.
27,704 professionals including journalists, cameramen, accountants, lawyers, financial advisors, travel agents etc will enjoy a new lease of life of fulfilled professional careers building these GenerationNext.
In two years, if we all work this mill, the factory products will make us proud Nigerians. Do we need government? In three years, if we go to Tokyo 2020, some of these kids will stun the world. I believe so.
In four years, imagine what sports would have done to the one million children we desire to have recruited.
This is the very stupid vision 11 of us had and designed to change our nation. Coach Shaibu Amodu and Sunday Bada did not see today but they saw the distance beyond today. I and you are alive, can we keep their hopes alive? Yes, we can! Yes, we shall! Tomorrow, we shall dance and remember it is good to be Nigerian.