THE NIGERIAN PROCLAMATION: ONE YEAR

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Well, it has been a year since The Nigerian Proclamation. I must confess that it has been extremely hard to remain faithful to the reasons why the Proclamation was written and at this point, I simply hope that future generations will live in the Nigeria of my dreams.

MY OBJECTIVES
For those that are unaware, I wrote the Nigerian Proclamation as a means to voice my concerns about the April 2007 Nigerian elections. In the Epilogue to the Nigerian Proclamation, I explained that,

"My goal was to give myself and others a way to express their disappointment and frustrations over the recent Nigerian electoral process and the state of Nigerian affairs, in general."
I wanted others to be able to use the 'Proclamation' to express symbolic protest against Nigeria's electoral process and various failings exhibited by Nigeria. Luckily, fellow Nigerian bloggers took the time to put up the Proclamation on their blogs. We were even supported by a good number of non-Nigerian bloggers who stood in solidarity with the principles of the Proclamation.

SURPRISINGLY POSITIVE RESULTS
The participation of so many bloggers served as a message to everyone, myself included, that Nigerians, and particularly, young Nigerians could focus on crucial Nigerian issues and find a unique and innovative means to come together and take a stand as they have with the current Brutish Airways debacle.

Not too long into the day, May 29th 2997, the BBC chose to focus on the Nigerian proclamation. This additional spotlight gave Nigerian bloggers the international attention that they deserve. For myself, the Nigerian Proclamation also provided the incredibly exciting opportunity to participate in a United Nation's report on the possibilities that the internet presents in reinforcing democracy around the world.

BUT, IN REALITY...
Despite this success and the various opportunities that ensued, I realize that despite my passion for Nigeria, and as much as I want to be a tool for constructive criticism and positive change, the road to the Visionary Nigeria I dream of, will continue to be a long, hard road to toll. Great visionaries like Awolowo dreamed of a close-to-perfect Nigeria and talked about the very issues that Nigerians like myself harp on daily. If they never realized the dream, who am I to believe that I will see the 'promised land'?

The fact that Nigerians continue to complain about the same things they complained about decades ago, has forced a change in perspective. Simply put, I only hope that my children will have the opportunity to witness a Nigeria that can feed and provide not only for itself, but the entire African continent. It would be amazing if my children witness a Nigeria where all have access to free education, free health care, free electricity and drive, ride bicycles or walk on safe roads or sidewalks lined with trees to provide shade. A Nigeria that is the envy of the entire world.

That is my dream for my children and as such, I will continue to commit myself to the principles of the Nigerian Proclamation. As such,
  1. I WILL CONTINUE TO DEMAND THAT ELECTED OFFICIALS BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS AND IN-ACTIONS.
  2. I WILL CONTINUE TO EXPECT DEMOCRATIC PRINCIPLES TO BE HONORED, RESPECTED AND MAINTAINED.
  3. I WILL CONTINUE TO BELIEVE THAT ALL NIGERIANS ARE EQUAL UNDER THE LAW AND SHOULD BE TREATED AS SUCH.
  4. I WILL CONTINUE TO APPLY MYSELF TO IMPROVING THE LOT OF EVERY INDIVIDUAL NIGERIAN REGARDLESS OF GENDER, RELIGION, TRIBE OR SOCIAL STATUS.
  5. I WILL CONTINUE TO STRIVE TO MAINTAIN A UNITED REPUBLIC DESPITE OUR DIFFERENCES.

I can only encourage others to do the same or more. And, I can take this opportunity to thank the various bloggers and individuals in my life that continue to remind me of the goals of the Proclamation and to whom I remain eternally grateful for their help then and now - Ugo Daniels, Oz Omodudu, M @ the Afro Beat, Dee and the Wise Old Man, to name a few.

AND, FINALLY,

I must also take this opportunity to send another message to Yar'Adua, the President of Nigeria. I read a small portion of your interview to the Financial Times. I noticed, in particular, your response to the question on your achievements in your first year as President. While I will reserve any judgment on whether your response is factual or not, I can only state that to tell the entire world that
"you find even in personal dealings, business dealings in the market place, between individuals, there is no respect for decent dealings that are governed by civilised behaviour. Respect for the rule of law is the basis for civilisation."
There could be an inferred implication that Nigerians are not of a great "civilization" and that only you, dear sir, can lead them to this 'civilization' via your 'Rule of Law' message. I cannot help but think of the Nok people, the Benin Kingdom, the people of Ife, whose religion has spanned the globe, or the Magajiya, Queen Amina the warrior whose name has been passed down to generations of Nigerians in absolute pride for her successful war skills.

Nigeria has been and continues to be home to great civilizations and for the nation's president to infer otherwise to a foreign publication, regardless of the current climate in the country is troubling. It simply confirms the stereotypes that many have of Nigerians and reinforces the fears held by many that Nigerian leaders, far too often, speak badly about and look down on their own people. Such talk cannot exist in an administration that has professed a desire to rebrand Nigeria. Consequently, I hope that Yardy will not express such an attitude and that other Nigerians will refrain from doing such, as well.

Nevertheless, God bless Nigeria and all its people. And may the principles of the Nigerian Proclamation and the good intentions of those committed to Nigeria's greatness come to pass in my lifetime.




Related articles:
- The Nigerian Proclamation
- Epilogue: The Proclamation
- The Nigerian Proclamation: Making A Statement
- Nigerian Proclamation on BBC
- 2 Years Later: Nigerian Proclamation


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33 Curiosities. Add Yours.:

TheAfroBeat said...

Amen Amen and Amen to our prayers, dreams and hopes for our country.
I've updated tAB per our conversation on Monday(and stole your idea of interviewing mummy ;), well actually, i asked both parents, aunties and uncles, but because of the short notice, only my mum got back to me on her reflections). Thanks for being a great inspiration and thought partner!

Till we get there!!

WWN said...

We at WWN are solidly behind all what the proclamation, proclaims. We have the banner hoisted and we will have our say as march on.

WWN believes' that in Nigeria, it best; We Talk, Walk & Involve, together we will find the way for Nigeria.

Waffarian said...

Well done for keeping the hope alive. Nigeria does not need to be in the state it is in, we have so many people that are willing to work towards a better future...but these people need to be given a chance!

As for Yar'Adua, my "bone of contention" with him will be that he has still not solved the Niger-Delta situation...people are still being kidnapped...it has been one year!!!!

Good job to everybody at home and in the diaspora that continue to challenge Nigerians to be a better people and a better nation!

rethots said...

Beautifully written, you know what really matters in achieving any desire hope is the zeal. "A few good men" 'thas been said is all that is needed to make a great nation.

That we still have the 'newer' with these brilliant thots & hope for our dear fatherland......i can see Nigeria -as the future of the world.

Let us (even in our physical distances by location) join hands to bring to realisation our collective dream of the Nigerian Project.

Nice one, Nigerian Curiosity.

NIGERIA POLITRICKS said...

Nigeria gives me pause........I am speechless!

Tininu said...

what does it take to comment first on one of your post...it seems like there is a still a way for nigeria, but everytime the governemnt has one clever idea, and it seems to be working when the post is vacated, the backlash of the soo called clever plans are soo detrimental....

but let us hope for the best

Kemmie said...

a friend of mine today was telling me abt this Proclamation day just this morning...I thot it was joke. It had to be.....I think she called it "Demonstration of Craze". maybe a little harsh but there may be a point there.

We'll there...even if it's at a snail's pace.

Standtall said...

I love this. I will put this link on my recent post. Talking about minds that are passionate about changes

Oz said...

Like I mentioned at the Afrobeat blog. Yardie has dissapointed me. He managed to loose me as a fan in the last 365 days. This anniversary is a stark reminder of hopes and dreams that have gone the same ole way in Nigeria. This time last year I was so hopeful and with the Nigerian proclamation thing I had a sense of "our time has finally come". Personally I thought the general mood had changed for good. But 365 days later, after lots of flip flopping, debates and distractions like Ettehgate, I am on the verge of declaring citizenship for Burundi. (Yes as far as I can get away from Nigeria). Yardie has disappointed us. I remember writing up so many "give Yardie a fair chance" posts. I'd try to put mark (with a thumbs down) the day.

Olamild said...

This is wonderful
I didn't know about this blog until now

I thank solomonsyddelle

guerreiranigeriana said...

amen, amen, amen and well said...despite the slowness and seeming lack of change, we must stay inspired and hopeful always...we will bring the change we wish and dream of in naija...thank you for reminding us...wish i knew how to post banners...

...as for yard-head, when he actually does something tangibly good, maybe my sentiments towards him will change...as of now, he is useless...

...i'm almost ashamed to express my lack of knowledge about queen amina...please, do share...or maybe i should go research her and post a blog...kisses to you ssd....you inspire in so many ways!...

Shubby Doo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shubby Doo said...

Happy Nigerian Proclamation Day

I once read that ‘...constant development is the law of life, and a man who always tries to maintain his dogmas in order to appear consistent drives himself into a false position’...this seems 2 continually b the case with our leaders in Nigeria

'...as human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world...as in being able to remake ourselves’

Each of us needs 2 contribute positively 2wards remaking Nigeria...this method is not the only way forward but it is one that i applaud...slowly but surely if we all continue to strive for the 'better', I know we can...we will...get there united.

Sherri said...

Happy Nigeria Proclamation Day!
(singing)
Nigeria go beta, Nigeria go beta, na my eye e go be....

Africa go beta, Africa go beta,
na my eye e go be....

naijalines said...

I am almost speechless. Yardy really said that? Keep up the good work sista. Remember, a lot of us did not think Mandela will be released alive. He was not only released but became president of his own country and ended
two hundred odd years of oppression,... 'apartheid'.

We did not think the Berlin Wall would come down. But it came crashing..., China... the Eastern block... Anything is possible. The world is changing. The tide will turn and Nigeria will change... in our lifetime. Amen.

Porter deHarqourt said...

Happy NPD!

It's been a rather disappointing 365 days of the Yar Adua administration.

Beyond mouthing 'the rule of law' into irritating clichedom, little has been done.

Our Servant Leader has been slowin his service, and the direction of his leadership is far from certain.

the Iniatives that will ultimately pull our beloved Naija back from the brink have to come from you and i. the Proclamation is one of those initiatives. thank you for your foresight my sister!

Allied said...

Happy Nigerian Proclamation Day

A BIG Amen - Nigeria will raise and i pray we will all be here to see it.

osita said...

@ Naijalines, You have a member in me if you open that church or democratic institute.

Nice one!
We must find the Way for Nigeria in our generation.

aworan said...

I've only just read this proclamation, so thanks for that. With regards to Yar'Adua, I'm not at home for me to pass any judgement, but according to folks, the jury is still out.

Sorry for not dropping by often, dude. Just manic down my end.

akin

Beauty said...

Dear solomonsyddelle, congratulations on your great achievement. Has it been 1 year already? It seemed like yesterday that I commented on The Nigerian Proclamation. Our country has barely moved is my reason for adding this. It may seem like peace but the war continues as more people discover the excellent effort on going here. There is still so much work undone.

When your neighbour dies from measles, during child birth, in a car accident, rather than conclude it was as "God wanted it", think, ask and act on the failures; the missed chance at vaccination, inadequate antenatal care or non-existent emergency services that might have prevented these deaths. The alternative would be to conclude that God really has a problem with us Nigerians; why else would he let so many of us die from causes no one else is dying from? We will ask the hard questions.

Doja said...

You have really done a good job, as one who agrees with your proclamations I wish you continual good blogging in advancement and achievement of the proclamation.

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Solomonsydelle,

Democracy and democratic ideals are not obtained nor experienced in a short time span. It is a continuous evolving process that goes from infancy to maturity. And there is no perfect democracy.

On the other hand, there also is no single type of democracy.

But I like the fervor that you express and the determination that you manifest for your country. Even if the road is long and full of pitfalls, if your efforts are rooted in love of country and to see your people free and prosperous; you will get there, despite the mistakes.

The proclamation is sufficient for now as it identifies general principles. Later on, you and your countrymen may have to refine it and be more focused so that its interpretation will not be very confusing nor conflicted.

Thanks for your visit to my site and your comments. I will be a visitor here more often. :-) --Durano, done!

imnakoya said...

Kudos!

This statement from Durano: "Later on, you and your countrymen may have to refine it and be more focused so that its interpretation will not be very confusing nor conflicted" expresses my thoughts. What is next?

The events in the past 365 days in Nigeria have been most troubling. I believe there are ways this initiative can be pushed to the next step - is this in your grand plan?

wellsbaba said...

omo thinking bout 9ja n her problems wears me down but i dont give up anywais...i must praise you on ur feat!rivetting d UN's attention on proclamation day is quite unbelievable but true!nice work more grease2ur elbow,funny enuf my nxt post is on 9ja........My question still remains...."wat is d way out?" n "Y are we still in our present situation if not worse?"

princesa said...

May the principles of the Nigerian Proclamation and the good intentions of those committed to Nigeria's greatness come to pass in our lifetime...
...amen!

Nice work Babes.

chikwe ihekweazu said...

With people like you...there is hope.

controversial said...

Well, I can't say that I disagree with the ideals you have put forth. In general, hey make a lot of sense and if most Nigerians committed themselves to even one of them, we would be on an incredible and visionary path.

That being said, I also lend a voice to your readers who want to know what the next step should be. It could be instrumental to the nation's development.

I applaud you, nonetheless. (And I don't ever do that easily).

Novbe said...

Now this is what i call a move for positive change. i strongly support the proclaimations. Great site here. will love to place a link to this site on my page. Care for link exchange? visit at www.myblogspiration.blogspot.com and let me know. leave me a comment and visit often. looking forward to seein ya. thanks

Naija Idol said...

AMEN!i totally agree wiv u. a nigeria where kids will have free education will be amazing,a nigeria dat can not only provide for herself but for the entire african continent and beyond. well written.

Kritzmoritz said...

Its been long I came here and I have forgotten how good you write. I got a lot time on my hands now so i guess I will be coming more often now. I do wish I can exercise patience and really write like you

More mportantly, there has to be a way for Nigerian bloggers to collaborate to really change Nigeria or atleast put the country in the spotlight all the time. I run a hugely controversial blog but do I care? I will continue makig my noises and god damn anyone who tell s me to stop talking.

Parakeet said...

Wow...I saw this late and am kicking myself. This is so well done. I thank God for your wisdom and amen to all the prayers. More power to your elbow.

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