Nigerians have been in a celebratory mood. And for good reasons too.

For the first time in 16 years, NIGERIA was not listed in the top ten most corrupt nations in the world. This is an indication that the war on corruption which Nigerians are bravely and courageously waging, is slowly but surely bearing the desired fruit. Investors and tourists are now queuing at Nigerian foreign missions, for visas to Nigeria. International community leaders and institutions are applauding our leadership and commending them for the reforms they are fighting the established interests to bring about.

Secondly, MOST Nigerians love President Buhari. THATS AN INDISPUTABLE AND INFALLIBLE FACT!
Only the corrupt and the criminally minded elements hate him and his guts for venturing into their territory to clean them out, and restore a semblance of sanity, probity and accountability in our nation.

So with the misinformation that was going on about his health status, many Nigerians were obviously devastated to hear from passionate but corrupt lying sources that their beloved President was never going to return alive.

Nigerians were understandably, in a celebratory mood when first, representatives of APC Governors Forum and later, representatives of Nigeria Governors Forum which included PDP Governors, brought back photos and good news about the state of the health of the man we fondly call, "Baba".

I was nearly "mobbed" by some joyous traders at Wuse market, ABUJA, where I periodically go to explain Government policies to traders. They kept shouting, "You been talk am oo". Of course I had reassured them that Baba was not on Life Support. But they became despondent when they were bombarded with counter information by passionate liars who claimed to have evidence they are yet to release, till date.

But who can blame Nigerians for falling into despondency? With the history we have of PDP and late President Yar'Adua, it was hard to convince many people that the circumstances are totally different now.

Now, some well known Nigerians who expressed no concern as to the well-being of Baba since he travelled to the UK are now wishing him "A speedy recovery". It's also been noticed that some, who tried to put a wedge to differentiate between our Baba agba and our Baba Kekere, are now attacking Gov. Pinocchio, sorry, Peter Fayose for insulting Baba agba! We sidon dey looku looku!

President Buhari is well loved, and why not! He's leading our nation in the direction we have always wanted and only dreamed to go. He is building structures and institutions, and strengthening existing systems so they can work effectively for all of us. He has put plugs in the loopholes that easily facilitated massive heist of public funds. It's a work in progress as some of our institutions are still struggling with effecting change and enforcing consequences. For example, why would little Nnamdi Kanu break all his bail conditions and he's still walking free, going around the South East, intimidating traditional rulers and Monarchs? The answer is, work in progress.

While President Buhari is away in the UK, governance has gone on. The solid structures he and his team have put in place and continue to put in place, are being ably driven by the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo. He is acting well. The Ministers are ministering well too. That governance is going on in his absence, is a testimony of the solid system Pres. Muhammadu Buhari has, and continues to put in place.

In a society with a culture of discrimination, injustice and inequality, we need a strong man, who is stubbornly fair, to bring about change in attitude and revive the values we held sacred which our parents inculcated in us as children.

We were taught not to take what did not belong to us. The Holy books teach us that if we have clothes to wear, food to eat and a roof over our heads, we must be content with life. Many Nigerians have lost this value. They are now hoarding fortunes they need a thousand lifetimes to spend, while 11 million children were out of education and went to bed hungry.

We were also taught to be respectful of others, especially those older than us. But our respect for one another today, is all about social and economic status. We respect men and women who have stolen our common wealth and hidden them away from us, impoverishing us in the process. We hail those who promote Tribalism, nepotism, religious bigotry, etc. We no longer have regards for those who shun vices in our society because they are not as rich as the sinners.

We were also taught that reward and dignity come with hard work. But that too, had gone out of the window. We now have a culture of begging, where 35 year old men, present themselves as "It's, me, your Boy". Dignity and maturity totally discarded. How can one respect a full grown man, who sees himself as a boy?

But one cannot totally blame our young people alone. How can they work hard when there's no work to be engaged in?
How could they exude confidence when they were still wearing the same clothes and shoes they wore at the University ten years prior?

But this Buhari administration is bent on changing all that. Young people are finding their feet again in different fields of endeavour, especially in Agriculture, where many youth who reluctantly ventured into farming, are now settled into it because of the huge profits they are making in crop and animal farming.

Others are being engaged in Apprenticeship schemes, Retraining, empowerment of their Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), Work Experiences like the N-Power, etc.

Our young people are being empowered by the Buhari administration to regain their lost self confidence and self esteem. We can now  see them demanding equal footing in participation in politics by running a successful campaign, "NOT TOO YOUNG TO RUN". They have now passed the stage of "Give me" and carrying bags for corrupt men and women. Now they have a voice. They are speaking. They are "Demanding" equal stakes in running their nation. With their own money! It's a thing of joy to see our youth, rising from the ashes of degradation through handouts from those who stole from them, to where they are today, being empowered and speaking up for themselves.

Nigeria is on the mend. Our youth are seeing clearly, the light and the lifeline President Buhari is handing to them and they are grabbing it with both hands. Nigeria can only get better with an independent minded youth population. That's where we are headed.

We can't wait to have our President back home to continue the RESTRUCTURING of our nation. Those who are planning to turn the executive arm of the Nigerian government into a CEREMONIAL PRESIDENCY should be made aware, that Nigerians, ordinary Nigerians, call the shots in today's Nigeria.
Our youth have also woken up and would not stand for any shenanigans from any quarter. God bless Nigeria.
Lauretta Onochie.


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