Selling Hope in a Time of Hopelessness -By Pius Adesanmi

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Pius Adesanmi

Pius Adesanmi


A few days back, I was finally able to pay an official visit to the DAWN Commission in Ibadan. When your name is Development Agenda for Western Nigeria, we must assess the quality of the cloth you are promising to sew for Western Nigeria by the quality of the cloth you are wearing.

Dipo Famakinwa, the Director General of the Commission, is a man of culture, exceptional taste, and great intellect. He is into minimalist aesthetics in terms of space decor and furnishing.

When a Nigerian is into minimalism, respect him or her because s/he is at the apex of culture and taste. Because of the absence of culture and taste among the rich and privileged in Nigeria, you enter billion-naira homes in Lekki, Ikoyi, and Maitama and you are introduced to ostentatious spaces of crudeness and unculture where too much is happening aesthetically and chaotically.

You spend half a billion naira on furniture to achieve crudeness and tastelessness. But when you encounter the minimalist homes of Bamidele Ademola-Olateju in Lekki and Muhtar Bakare in Ikoyi, you heave a sigh of relief in contemplation of taste and high culture.

The office spaces of DAWN is a breathtaking ode to minimalism. I was taken on a tour of the office spaces. The team that put together such a space is wearing the proper cloth to envision the development of the South-West. After the tour, I made a short slide presentation to the team on a project I am leading for them.

Wherever you find me, you find my partner in crime, Bamidele Ademola-Olateju. She and her intellect were there. After my presentation to the DAWN team, we moved to a second conference room where Bamidele and I had an interactive session with social media youth assembled by the energetic Paul Adepoju.

That was the toughest part of the day for Bamidele and I. Patriotic Nigerians in their twenties. You look into their eyes and see so much passion for Nigeria. They ask questions about hope. They want you to give them hope.

To give hope to this restless and brilliant Nigerian demographic, you have to be able to look at the public and political spheres and point out the symbolism of example.

Yet, I looked outside of the expansive windows of DAWN on the 20 somethingth floor of Cocoa House and I see Bukola Saraki, Ahmed Yerima, Ali Ndume, Lamborghini-Champagne Melaye and so many scatological characters crowding the public space of example and making laws.

How do you look into the eyes of the youth demographic and sell hope when a bank robber, a paedophile, a Boko Haram indictee, and an ostentatious materialist have happened all at the same time to the democracy running their lives? That was the tough situation that Bamidele and I had to handle in Ibadan on that day.

So we talked about the dangers of resignation and fatalism. We talked about the resourcefulness and energy of their generation. A generation which took koboko and whipped the blights that were GEJ and his yams of corruption out of our lives must not book an appointment with hopelessness now.

With tenacity, that generation will eventually take care of Saraki, Ndume, Yerima, David Mark, and other infestations threatening to abort a new dawn in the National Assembly.

Nigeria will rise again.