Sandra Okpara®

My Nigerian Dream


My Nigerian Dream

I read a tweet a while ago that has had me thinking, it read, what is the Nigerian dream? I replied, 'Being on top of the food chain, regardless of the weather of the economy’ and the reply ‘I’m sure this is the average Nigerian’s answer.’ This reply got me thinking about the reality of being a dreamy Nigerian living in Nigeria, was I average like everyone else? It seemed so. Nigeria's National Motto since 1978 is Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress, all of which are unaccomplished. 

At the core of the Nigerian Dream is the pursuit of economic empowerment, Nigerians aspire to build thriving businesses, create jobs, and achieve financial stability for themselves and their communities. Today, businesses are failing, and when you think you’ve reached financial stability you can trust the heavy tides of corruption to shake you down. An example is when the founder of Okadabooks, Okechukwu Ofili, who started the publishing company to simplify distributing and selling books in Nigeria, announced that OkadaBooks would be closing its virtual doors on November 30, 2023, because the challenges they faced were insurmountable.

Political stability is crucial to realizing the Nigerian Dream. It is fostering democratic governance, upholding the rule of law, and promoting transparent and accountable leadership. Nigerians aspire to live in a society where their voices are heard, their rights are protected, and their government serves the common good. In 2023, a president was snuck into the presidential seat, and, like me, many young Nigerians woke up to a president and vice we didn’t vote for. Well, there goes that dream and a journey towards ‘what ifs’ and ‘I wish’.

The Nigerian Dream celebrates the country's rich cultural heritage and diverse population. It embraces the values of unity in diversity, mutual respect, and tolerance. Nigerians who would aspire to build a nation where people of all ethnicities, religions, and backgrounds coexist harmoniously, drawing strength from their differences and shared identity as Nigerians. Today, this dream is not a reality. 

My Nigerian dream is a Nigeria without borders, traveling to Bauchi or Jos from Abuja shouldn’t be as hard as it is. A Nigeria with fewer people in poverty every day, a Nigeria with a fast and effective healthcare system, and a Nigeria where hard work pays faster than nepotism. My Nigerian dream is finishing university at the stipulated time, it is not having to worry about saving every bit of cash because you never know when prices will go up, it is not worrying about my friends and family living in certain states. A Nigeria where solidarity and compassion transcend ethnic, religious, and socioeconomic divides. This is my Nigerian dream. 

And to be honest, I don’t know what 'THE' Nigerian dream is. I could go on to say it’s political fairness, moving abroad, or earning in dollars remotely. Fair judgment and trials for all citizens regardless of their position. Or a higher minimum wage. The Nigerian dream is limitless without borders, which is funny because our passport sure creates borders.

What is your Nigerian dream?

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