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How to Revive Nigeria Through Active Followership – Deji Adeleke

by Olufemi Awoyinka
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The struggle and clamour for a new Nigeria that is economically strong and infrastructurally developed is only possible with very active and responsible followership, Pro-Chancellor of Adeleke University, Dr Adedeji Adeleke has declared.

Delivering his address at the 9th undergraduate and 5th post – graduate convocation of the university on Sunday, the business mogul and founder of the university challenged the stereotype of blaming only the national leadership for the poor state of the nation, affirming that Nigeria cannot get out of the wood unless the followership accepts responsibility in nation building.

In his address titled “Change Begins with You“, the Chairman of Pacific Holdings Limited lamented the increasing rejection and maltreatment of Nigerians in several countries and posited that most challenges drawing the nation back are traceable to both followeship’s refusal to take responsibility and the leadership complacency in the face of willing citizenry.

Emphasizing the critical role of the citizenship in nation-building, the founder of the Adeleke University told the new graduates that they can build a new country by making a difference through responsible citizenship.

In Nigeria, we blamed the leaders. What about the followership? Citizenship comes with responsibility. Building a nation does not rest on leadership alone. When everybody contribute their quota, the nation grows and develop“.

You can start by holding your leaders accountable. Developed democracies are what they are because of active citizenship. Young ones can still build a new Nigeria. There are many reasons for my optimism. If you are determined to change the narrative, to make a difference, you can do it within ten to fifteen years.

Look at Nigerians in diaspora. Best minds in American medicine are Nigerians. In IT, Nigerians are next to India. They do well because they function in a society where followership holds the leadership to account for good governance.

Change the narrative. Let the change for a positive and new Nigeria starts with you. Let not have youth corpers colluding with election riggers. Let’s stop followers vandalizing public infrastructures. Let’s put an end to young graduates engaging in thoughtless money rituals instead of entrepreneurship.

Followers should redirect their frustration to monitoring and policing the leadership, to stopping election rigging, and to active participation in the governance process. It is not late for Nigeria. We are blessed with a young, brilliant population. You can turn Nigeria around. Everybody must contribute something. We must not just blame the leaders”, the top power investor admonished.

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