One Nigerian, One Voice: The drive for self-determination by ‘Lakunle Jaiyesimi

At the current state of things in Nigeria, no one should be left out in admitting the need for a drastic change. Indeed, the nation, more than ever, urgently needs a wide-reaching self-determination at the individual level.

According to the United Nations, “…a state is said to have the right of self-determination in the sense of having the right to choose freely its political, economic, social, and cultural systems”, and ”…the right to self-determination is defined as the right of a people to constitute itself in a state or otherwise freely determine the form of its association with an existing state.” Culled from Encyclopedia Britannica.

The latter clarification of what self-determination means indeed feeds the former, as the former cannot stand alone without inputs from the latter, which aligns well with Kendra Cherry’s thoughts on similar subject matter. Kendra writes, “self-determination is an important concept that refers to each person’s ability to make choices and manage their own life.”

Like my grandfather used to say, each man’s destiny is in his hands. And indeed, democracy guarantees that reality if practiced as it should, where every vote (nay, voice) counts and matters in how the people are governed and how they live together.

Seeing that I am not in the caliber of political jobbers, who have become used to parading themselves as leaders for the sake of it, I bet I do not have the credential to make claims as to the trajectory of Nigeria into the future. Unfortunately, the political experience and experiments conducted by those who have led Nigeria up until now have not done much but failed the Nigerian people. Am I in error to say that?

To be moderate, Nigerians and their loved ones have been forever inundated by news of events coming from Nigeria and it seems there is no end in sight for such bad news.

Although without the credentials of a Nigerian politician, I have been taught in the art of going from the known to the unknown. From what’s in the hand (with which a future can be built) to what is desired (dreams)!

What do we have as a nation? Every four-years, we go to elections to cast votes on the basis of “one man, one vote”. That is what we know. Every man/woman has one vote; that is what we are told if the votes are made to count. However, what is unknown, or what we’re not often told, is that the “one vote” is created by the “one man’s” voice. Every voice creates every vote. Every voice needs to count in building that overarching sentence into the constitution of the nation that values her people as citizens, “We the people……Do hereby make, enact and give to ourselves the following Constitution”.

EVERY VOICE MUST COUNT. That is self-determination at the individual level, which necessarily gravitates towards the collective. While we proclaim “one man, one voice”, we should maintain “one man, one voice” because everyone’s voice must count!

The challenges of Nigeria are numerous, making it a complicated situation, what should rightly be called a “wicked problem”. From hindsight, It has become obvious that all efforts by extant political parties or players to redeem Nigeria have largely been futile. And Nigerians really should have come to a point where we see the deception for what it truly is.

Do Nigerians continue to rely on the “tested and failed”?
Do Nigerians use “what is known”, what abilities, tools and strength that we have, including our numbers, our creativity, our resilience, to make our voices heard towards building a nation(s) that value(s) the dignity of every Nigerian?

According to Kendra, every person has a choice to make.


‘Lakunle Jaiyesimi

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