Nigeria is speedily gearing up for another electioneering year and more people have started declaring their interests in various political positions in the country. Of major significance is the race for the Chairmanship position of the main opposition party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and one of the contenders is High Chief Raymond Dokpesi, a media mogul, businessman and the founder of Daar Communications Plc. This is not his first time of trying to be the chairman of the party and as one who has a huge stake in the media in Nigeria and Africa, he is utilizing his influence very well.
In an interview with the Vanguard Newspaper, the PDP chieftain said some interesting things to underscore his goodwill and ambition to reposition Nigeria using the vehicle of their party. Of particular interest is this quote from the interview, “I am very sorry and I apologize on behalf of my generation and the generation before me. We have failed this country and we must seek ways of correcting the mistakes we made because there is no reason South Korea can be the 12th wealthiest country in the world today and we are in the lowest rung of the ladder and still parading ourselves as the giants of Africa”.
Firstly, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi needs to be applauded for understanding and accepting the failure of his generation. If one is to go into the details of that failure and unravel the many things not covered in the media, he might be found wanting in many ways. However, the failure of his generation borders on bad leadership, non-thinking leadership, selfish leadership, weak leadership, a lack of proactiveness in solving our problems and the decimation of the trust of Nigerians on government and those who occupy leadership positions (including those who mean well).
Secondly, many nations like the South Korea you mentioned in your quotes have gone truly far and ahead of us. They have built companies that export the many commodities that service the world and this they did with little natural resources. South Korea is a success story of American aid and Nigeria which your generation presided over is blessed with natural resources and have equally been receiving aid since independence. Truth be told, the failure of your generation has done more damage (beyond creating wealth) of making Nigerians live in fear, disappointment, apprehension, anxiety and despair at the mention of government.
Thirdly, Raymond Dokpesi speaks with so much passion and he might mean well but to think that a failed generation that brought us to where we are today still needs to be the ones to correct things is not ideal. Yes, you can have a role to play (in an advisory capacity) but Nigeria of today needs dynamic and mobile leaders to drive speedily the developments we desire. We are over 3 decades behind other countries and to make good and timely progress we need those who have the strength of their youth intact and uncompromised. We don’t need people who will give us an excuse of age to impede or neglect the fact that there is an urgency of now. The world has moved on and the many things your generation still holds dear like oil has equally moved away from us and the next generation needs to mop up your mistakes and position us for what is to come in the future. You can use your platform, stakes, position, influence and age to play advisory roles to the next generation who will preside over the daily affairs of governing Nigeria.
Nigeria is like a business that needs to make a profit for every stakeholder (citizens) and as such, we need a board of directors, patrons, matrons and advisers to make good progress. As it is, your generation cannot run it daily and actively and no generation after you can advise and neither can the ones after you advise you. We humbly ask High Chief Raymond Dokpesi and his generation to do us a favour, do posterity a favour as well and push for the development of Nigeria in advisory and mentorship capacity with no stakes or nothing in return. We desire mentorship and not godfatherism from your generation. You have all paid your dues, you have finished your race, you have achieved, built empires and made names for yourself and it is time to allow your children and the next generation to shape their destinies.
From the interview with Vanguard Newspaper, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi has proved that he understands the problems of Nigeria in retrospect and this includes the plight of the young people. With all due respect to you and your generation sir, you have had your time, allow the next generation to take up the baton of leadership while you guide us in this journey.