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III: Now and Then




‘Now’ and ‘Then’ are two very important words when considering the Nigerian situation. What are we doing NOW to better the future THEN? What can we learn from back THEN so as not to repeat those mistakes NOW? If things continue as they are NOW, will we like what awaits us in the future THEN? All important questions when assessing the direction we are headed in as a nation. It is a fitting title for the 3rd book of his series and presents a question to society. What are you doing now for the then?

When quizzed about the performance of the current government, Baba said little but gave much away

“My dear brother, if I can refer you to my statement of 23rd of January, I’ve said all that I need to”1.

That was his response and for those of you familiar with that particular document then it would suggest that his stance towards this administration hasn’t changed. It also possibly explains his willingness to put aside his differences and forgive Atiku. Sometimes in the game of politics, the lesser evil is as good as it gets and if somehow you can entrench yourself in the camp of said ‘lesser evil’ then that’s great. The way I see it, it’s wiser to work with than complain about a government. One thing is for sure, Baba’s opinion and support carries great weight, and his watch is as active as he says it is.

“My watch can never be over, If you read to the introduction to My Watch, I made it clear, that by virtue of the position I have held in this country, it doesn’t matter what anybody may say, I owe it as a duty, having being honored by God to be a leader in this country, It would be irresponsible of me to then say, well, either I’m tired or Nigeria can go to places, No, that would not be right, So, I should be able to say yes, My Watch, what is it now? what does it consist of? to raise alarm, to alert people, to point out, that I believe is what a watchman’s duty is, to raise alarm when you see danger, to call attention to things that are unusual, to make people not to be complacent with evil, that’s what I believe my watch should be.”

Vigilance, raising alarms, refusing to be complacent; these are all key components of the watch. The absence of these things has greatly contributed to our current situation. Obasanjo once said that if there’s nothing we have gotten right in our 56 years of existence, then perhaps there is no need for our existence. A seemingly incendiary statement but one that proves a point; Nigeria has gotten some things right, and many still wish her success. This means that there’s still hope and something, if little, to build upon. Baba’s watch has been a lifelong campaign for the advancement of Nigeria. While you may question his methods, I don’t believe that he has ever worked against her at any point. Many forget that regardless of which side of the political battle you’re on, we all yearn for a better Nigeria.

“youth, if you have an old tired group that cannot deliver, let us gently push them aside and get young people to come. We have Macron at the age of 39 and he faces Trump, he walks with Merkel and I ask why must we be going for tired old people who have nothing…”

One thing is for certain, whether you support APC, PDP, APGA or any other party vying for power in this country, Nigeria is crying out for a dynamic leadership shift. An entire generation of leaders were skipped for various reasons and it has left us with an aging group, far behind the times. Whether they have the will and intention to take us forward matters little, they most likely lack the innovation and understanding of the times required to do so.

“you are digital. some of these people are not even analogue, they are paper-logue2. They are not analogue, you are digital, how can you use paper-logue to run the affairs of your country in a time of digital?”

Baba said this and got everyone in the room laughing3, but it’s far from a joke. How can you lead in a world you no longer understand?

This is why The Watch is necessary, for it is through our individual watch that we can begin gently pushing a ‘paper-logue’ generation out of power and usher in young capable minds that we have in abundance. I cannot predict the future, none of us can; but by joining the watch; You and I can shape it.

  1. Obasanjo wrote an open letter to President Buhari this year, a well worded document that discusses his failures so far as president and asks him to consider the option of bowing out gracefully.
  2. This is one of the funniest things I’ve heard this year and sadly it’s true. Many of our leaders are of a different generation. They didn’t have the best ideas THEN and they still don’t have them NOW.
  3. We had to edit the background laughter out of the video.

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