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Towards 2023: The Nigerian ‘can-do’ spirit and positivity – Richard Odusanya


Towards 2023: The Nigerian ‘can-do’ spirit and positivity – Richard Odusanya

Winston Churchill an inspirational statesman, writer, orator and leader who led Britain to victory in the Second World War. Churchill once said: “The price of greatness is responsibility” Believing you can do something is key to believing in yourself, and self-esteem – some might have quit, but a determined-mind persevered — showing an exceptional determination that forged his strong work ethic and ability to solve problems that others could not. 

“The buck stops here” said the sign on former President Harry S. Truman’s desk. As the leader of the country, he knew that he was ultimately responsible for all American outcomes…good or bad. Interestingly, the price of greatness is responsibility. If the people of the United States had continued in a mediocre station, struggling with the wilderness, absorbed in their own affairs, and a factor of no consequence in the movement of the world, they might have remained forgotten and undisturbed beyond their protecting oceans: but one cannot rise to be in many ways the leading community in the civilized world without being involved in its problems, without being convulsed by its agonies and inspired by its causes. If this has been proved in the past, as it has been, it will become indisputable in the future.

In the same measure from whence cometh the strength of the Americans: Nigerians – we can do it! It is possible; it is about our heritage, collective responsibility, togetherness and can-do mindset; it is doable, let no religion or ethnic Jingoism put asunder in what the Almighty God divinely put together – our ‘Nigerianess’ is a unique providential grace. It is far beyond the rhetoric of “I give shi-shi or I no give shi-shi” a seemingly popular ongoing ‘coinage’ that seems to resonates with many of our citizens, particularly the social media people. Unfortunately, it is driven by sentiments/emotion and Infiltrated by the elements of separatism. It is in these regard that the series of articles widely published across the globe “Mind Restructuring” will suffice. Hence the need for awareness that the Nigerian story is not one entirely of doom and gloom – we have in our abilities; our can-do spirit even in the face of overwhelming difficulties. I therefore, invoke that NIGERIAN CAN-DO SPIRIT.

Clearly, one thing is certain that I know for sure is that we need to change the narrative about us as a people and to do that, we need to ask ourselves, who is the Nigerian? What do we stand for, believe in or hold dear? What is our general outlook on life and what do we believe life should be about? It behooves us to truly understand who we are and to promote it with much gusto, plenty of swag and much clarity to the world. We need to be intentional and deliberately project our strengths and virtues. Essentially, prayers are very important. However, many of the problems we carry to the prayer houses can be easily solved by positive changes in our work ethics, attitude, and character.

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Believe it or not, Nigeria is a blessed nation destined for greatness. Until each and every Nigerian sees the success or otherwise of our society as a collective responsibility, we will remain where we are. No, you cannot leave it all to government unless you see yourself as having less stake than government and its officials. You don’t. Therefore, we should not encourage religion, tribal and cultural Supremacists to continually increase tensions in Nigeria for any primordial dwarfism. In the words of Victor Hugo: “Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise”. Our beloved country Nigeria will rise again.

On the other hand, positive mindset and optimistic attitude, is an essential ingredients for the journey of a nation in dire need of rebirth – the practice of focusing on the good in any situation and optimistic attitude is certainly the best way to go. It can have a big impact on journey – physically, emotionally and mentally. That doesn’t mean that we should ignore the reality on ground or make light of the problems facing us as a people. It simply means that we approach the good and the bad with renewed mindset of positivity, expecting that things will go well – this is the way to go, our compatriots home and abroad are incredibly helpful, happy and wonderful people.

Building a positive framework for your thoughts is not about being bubbly and annoyingly cheerful, but making an investment in yourself and your future. It’s okay to feel down or think pessimistically sometimes, but choosing to respond with optimism, resilience, and gratitude will benefit you far more in the long run. Positivity doesn’t always refer to simply smiling and looking cheerful, however—positivity is more about one’s overall perspective on life and their tendency to focus on all that is good in life. It is, therefore, a time to re-set, re-adjust, re-start, re-focus…….As many times as you need to. Positive mindset, optimism and social reengineering is the key.

Conclusively, permit me to use the words of Kristin Armstrong a mother, a writer, and a runner. Kristen famously said: “I write about the power of trying, because I want to be okay with failing. I write about generosity because I battle selfishness. I write about joy because I know sorrow. I write about faith because I almost lost mine, and I know what it is to be broken and in need of redemption. I write about gratitude because I am thankful – for all of it.” “Times of transition are strenuous but I love them. They are an opportunity to purge, rethink priorities, and be intentional about new habits. We can make our new normal any way we want.” Nigeria will rise again, the African giant will not be on ground any longer.


Richard Odusanya is a Social Reform Crusader and the convener of AFRICA COVENANT RESCUE INITIATIVE ACRI

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