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Fola Daniel Adelesi: Getting It Right As a Nation



Just some weeks ago, I was privileged to anchor a forum, and one of the issues that came up was why so many young people are jetting out of the country at every available opportunity. Today, while thinking about what to write, I stumbled on the Facebook post of a revered friend who simply said, ‘Huh! Sometimes I just look around, pause and ponder on what this great country can get right!

I understand that comments like this can come up in the wake of renewed attacks on innocent citizens and the government is busy facing the opposition rather than attacking the issues on ground. It seems clear that things like this will come up when all citizens provide their own security and their own electricity. Some Community Development Associations are the ones even creating their own roads and providing basic social amenities for the citizens, yet the government will take over those things and collect money from them.

My response to his post was everything. We can get everything right when we stop thinking that election results are predetermined, and that the electioneering process is a charade. We can get everything right when we have the guts to remove sentiments and kick non-performing leaders out. We will get it right when we answer questions thrown at our leaders in form of challenges rather than give everything the colouration of the oppositions effort to discredit the incumbent.

For years we have been arguing if a country deserves the kind of leaders that it gets. For once I think we truly deserve the ones we have been getting because many of those who think right and who know what is right in this country hardly vote. They say they already know who will win so there is no point voting.

Sometimes when I listen to some suppossedly intelligent people talk about politics, I just start wondering where the thoughts came from. We are not helpless as far as the leaders we have are concerned. We, and that means majority,  made a choice so we have to live with the consequence of our decisions. Our only choice is to ensure that the next opportunity to take a decision regarding leaders is well maximised.

I still see those who think that everyone going into politics is a thief. I am not to speak for their intentions as I do not know their minds. But if we continue to see politics as dirty and the participants as thieves, they will continue to stain our international image  since politics is dirty  and always still what belongs to us. How come we know something is dirty and those in it are thieves yet we just fold our arms and watch them?

We can get things right in this country and the way to get it right is to start from those of us who are citizens. Until we wake up,things will not change. I believe it was a former US president who said in his inaugural address that there is nothing wrong with America that cannot be fixed by what is right with America. Permit me to turn that around and say there is nothing wrong with Nigeria that cannot be fixed by what is right with Nigeria.

The sentiments that have beclouded our judgements have to be taken away. Leadership does not come right just because someone is a Christian  at least there is someone out there proving us wrong consistently in the last few years. To lead effectively and get things right in this nation has nothing to do with religion.

You will be surprised that the only unfortunate thing is the mess we are in as a nation will continue until the citizens truly get tired, stand up and fix things. Here is what I think we can do:

Not many of the citizens who have been pointing accusing fingers can boast that they have been doing things right in their offices, homes and on the roads when there is no law enforcement officer. Let us start with ourselves and do things right always even without anyone watching us. There are so many people stealing from their offices and they are shouting about the government stealing money. We need to get it right first.

We have to be good models for all the young people around us. There are people watching you in your little space, but the question is ‘have been providing the right example for them?’

It’s important for us to be law abiding citizens ourselves without giving any excuse for moral failures or justifying the law breaking moments.

You have a franchise and it’s your right. Go about exercising it the right way. Don’t sell your birth right for a morsel of bread.

Remove the scales of religion and don’t force your religion into the space of other people.

If we don’t get things right first, we may not be able to get it right as a nation. We have to do our part first. Once ours is cleared we can begin to talk about what other people and the government needs to do.

How well are you playing your own part in the building process of this nation? If you don’t get it right then we as a nation cant get it right because it begins with you and I.

Fola Daniel Adelesi’s articles are copyright protected and should not to be reproduced without clear written permission. Violators will face legal action.

Fola Daniel Adelesi (also Fola Daniel Speaks) is a Professional Public Speaker, Learning & Development Expert, Communications Professional, and an author of more than 13 books. He's a highly engaging training facilitator who holds his audience spellbound when speaking at gatherings. Apart from his several platforms which include banks, insurance companies, and religious organizations, he has been part of some national television shows and he spoke so intelligently. Some of his published books include: - Get Up and Hit That Goal - Basic Skills for Outstanding Leadership - Breaking Grounds Despite Backgrounds - Writing Business Proposals - Indebted to Ignorance He's also a highly skilled master of ceremony with excellent poise and diction who is endeared to many corporate clients. He was on the Debaters TV reality show Season 1, he presented 'You Can' on Radio Continental in 2011 and he did motivational segments on Galaxy Television from Dec. 2008 to August 2009. He currently features consistently on Channels Television and Television Continental, two of the leading TV stations in Nigeria to discuss national and youth issues. He keeps a vlog at and his books are available on or


  1. Joshua Zhinno

    November 27, 2014 at 9:29 am

    Well said sire.Ghandi said ‘be the change you want to see in this world’.we love pointing fingers,but we forget that we ourselves aren’t even doing any thing to make this system become better.

  2. efe

    November 27, 2014 at 9:46 am

    As per the election thing,went to Ikeja Local Govt. to collect my card since the TVC is missing and l was told to give them the Polling unit number,how am i suppose to know that,it is their duty to check it up their list and then the way the treat people all because of the PVC,had to leave my office on two occasions to get the card but na so so gist and then at the NIMC Office the attitude of those staff very very bad,they need to give the contract to a private company to handle the issue of National Identity card,people spend hour at the office with no one attending to them. God will have mercy on us and people have to buckle up to their responsibilities.

  3. Daisy

    November 27, 2014 at 10:28 am

    I agree, leadership starts with every individual and if every person displays good leadership and integrity in the private sphere, it will definitely materialise in the public sphere as same individuals occupy the latter.

  4. Ephi

    November 27, 2014 at 11:32 am

    “There are so many people stealing from their offices and they are shouting about the government stealing money. We need to get it right first.”

    Infact, I can’t add any more to the statement above. Lots of Nigerians break traffic rules, give/collect bribes, commit small-scale fraud and still have the guts to accuse govt of the same crimes.

  5. Nigeriana

    November 28, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    I have always been a firm advocate in the fact that we Nigerians are the cause of our own problems. We forget that when we point a finger the remaining four are pointed in our direction. My heart bleeds for this nation. For how long are we going to continue in this vicious cycle. When i see the way some adults behave i wonder what they teach their kids or younger ones at home. Its just a vicious cycle because the young keep learning from the old how to do things the wrong way. And to them it becomes the right way because they do not know better. Or how do you explain a young chap who uses office supplies for personal purposes because of the “na where you dey work you go chop ” mentality. Or the one who gets to work at 8:05am and signs 8:00am. Or the cashier at Shoprite who hisses at you because you asked for your N4.00 change. These actions may seem inconsequential but its what builds character in the long run.
    I personally think that parents have failed this nation. YES! We have failed to lay down the “first principles” for our children. We have failed to be examples of morality. We have raised children with dead consciences. Children that cannot decipher the difference between good or bad, right or wrong. People who stand by and watch another human die because they do not want to enter into police wahala. For God’s sakes that person’s wife or mother or husband may be waiting for him/her at home. For God sakes it could be you lying there, helpless and thinking of your aged mother at home who you are sure the news of your death will completely devastate.
    My heart bleeds and my eyes fill with tears as i write this. I love this country with a passion but sometimes things feel so hopeless. I ask myself if we are still human, if that milk of human compassion still flows in our veins and if- as the writer said- if we can ever get it right. YES WE CAN. i strongly believe that. but it starts with YOU. YES YOU!! Not the government, not even our pastors or our parents. It starts with me and you. Progress may seem slow and painstaking. Our generation might not even live to see it. But it will come. Surely it will come.

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