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.
Which reminds me of a recent conversation we had on our WhatsApp platform. I advised our members to stay away from statements and people who instigate hatred and division among Nigerians. That, many of our politicians and leaders have used these tactics in the past, and are still using them to divide and keep us fighting among ourselves, whilst they loot and mismanage our national resources.
As a Community Organiser, you MUST have empathy and absolute respect for each other and for life itself. Learn to put the needs of others first before your own – be selfless because true love (for your community) cannot exist without it
Within this new circle, there are neither servants nor masters, and men and women are equal. Let your work be not governed by religion, region and tribal sentiments.
Therefore, seek not to lead but let your humility and selfless service to others nominate you for leadership.
For a day will come when your peers would want to know what you have done for your people, and the wider community. Be the light that lit-up dark places and share our message.
Let’s go into 2020 and beyond, in the hope that the future will be better. Above all, thank you for wanting to contribute to finding solutions to the issues affecting our people; and for choosing to walk this path with me.
Christian Ikezuagu Ihejirika