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A New Year Message to Our Community Organisers Membership in Nigeria

I have always believed true change can only begin in Africa when her citizens stop accepting mediocrity, bad governance, mismanagement and corruption as the norm and start working together for common goals.

I know the harsh economic and social climate in the country have not been kind to many people. Some of you are either going through or had overcome various levels of personal challenges, including the loss of loved ones, etc.

Yet, despite all these, you have remained steadfast in your belief that tomorrow can be better if we utilize the power of our diversity.

Frankly, I count myself blessed and very lucky to have met all of you.

We recognise the obstacles and targets facing us as a nation because we are constantly reminded by our everyday realities. We are also reminded by past events and our training that being neutral or keeping quiet in the face of oppression has never produced a positive outcome for those affected. As a nation, we seemed to have forgotten our shared values and collective responsibilities to each other.

Hence, those who have lost their voice find neither comfort nor identity within our dream of a united country where everyone matters.

Ours is the same fight – a fight for a fairer, safer and an inclusive society where poverty, high unemployment, hunger and hopelessness are not a way of life.

So, the challenge facing us as community organisers is, how can we organise and reconcile a society such as ours, which seemed to had given up on itself and its roles? The questions are many but the answer is simple – we deserve accountable leadership, good governance, infrastructure and an enabling social system and environment.

That’s why we must continue to organise in hope for a better Nigeria, one that is full of people-centred agenda and possibilities.

But first, we must re-evaluate how we talk, listen and look at other people because the old ways have only taken us this far. A new way of thinking and mindset is needed – we need to listen more and better.