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The currency of hope

The currency of hope
February 28
11:32 2024

Hope has been defined as a source of eternal and inexhaustible strength in any or most situations. To Martin Luther King, Jr. “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope”. King’s thought rhymes with Desmond Tutu who opined that “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all the darkness. Robert Green Ingersoll romanticised hope in all its nature’s effect when he said, “Hope is the only bee that makes honey without flowers”.

Paul Tremblay’s definition is scary as he went financial in his assertion which sees “Hope as a desperate man’s currency” and that brings us to the question of whether hope is a currency that is expendable and exhaustible. For the sake of this article, I will answer in the affirmative.

However, I belong to the school of thought that in the developmental journey of any nation, hope remains a currency (not one of desperation), especially of the masses who in a democracy will always have the choice of choosing their leaders every four years as practised in Nigeria but a “desperate wake-up call to the leaders on whom “all rises and falls”. (John Maxwell).

With every sense of responsibility thousands and I served with all my strength and might in the Renewed Hope campaign team where we took on the very challenging issues of religion, regional bias, et al. No regrets then, no regrets now and for some of us eternally no regrets and this is because a lot of us have for many years been silent students Of ‘The Bola Ahmed Tinubu School of Democracy’ which is anchored on fast track development, reward system and belief in an egalitarian society. It was just a matter of time for him to someday lead our great country and that moment presented itself.

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Everything we marketed during the campaign not just as APC PCC members but as patriotic Nigerians and as defined in the Renewed Hope action plan for a better Nigeria document encapsulates the doctrine of that school of thought. Of course, governance isn’t politics and leadership, especially of a multi-ethnic, multi-interest and highly or as some will say overpopulated nation like ours can’t be a walk in the park.
Some of us teach leaders that their popularity comes to a halt after the campaigns and the win for the next leg which is governance comes with decisions and policies that if not carefully thought through and executed deepens that thin line between love and hate.

Our president came in prepared. His words were deep which can only come from someone who is indeed ready and has a plan (in fact a strategy) of how to bring the people and nation to a prosperous position. He indeed hit the ground running fully abreast of the burden he had requested we don’t pity him for the job he has taken on. He has said repeatedly that he hears the people, after all, “the ears of a leader must ring with the voices of the people”.

As Nigerians stand today, is the currency of hope still strong? I guess not. Even the propagators of the currency have taken cover; some are tired of the trolling, some are angry and disappointed, some are unsure… but we must encourage ourselves that we can’t renege or give up on the Renewed Hope mandate we marketed. Our hope as an idea and reality must remain strong and this leads to what is happening to our currency of hope, we couldn’t have so soon spent it off. Have we? How can?

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In another light, a leader is as good as his team, thus the current team must be encouraged to give their utmost best at not just playing their roles but understanding, supporting and equally marketing the policy thrust of this administration. The team must tell the leader what he needs to know and not what he wants to hear. They owe the president that much, they owe the nation that duty. Many might have to learn fast and learn hard for a team can’t call the people to buy in on a policy or policies they cannot interpret or implement!

Nigerians are a great people: industrious, patient and with a never-say-die spirit! Nigeria as a country is respected and still has the subregion, in fact, Africa as the focal centre of her foreign policy. On these, our President, H.E Bola Ahmed Tinubu is holding the former and latter together and with our heads high.

However for the many people of Nigeria, particularly we the masses what matters is having a modest lifestyle with food on the table, medicare, and security in our homes, schools, farms and roads. Good infrastructure, an education system that can compete globally, employment that guarantees a decent life and tempting enough to “tempt” all citizens leaving in their droves to come back someday. Truly, good governance can be seen, felt and touched!

The information managers and publicists of the government must do more because communication is the art of governance. The National Orientation Agency (NOA) has been revived which is great however we must speak to the people at their levels, in their languages and locations using the very best practices of mass/public communication.

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Mr. President recently appealed to the governors to do more. That appeal should be followed up and followed through for they control the states and local governments and that is where the currency of hope is worst diminished.

Technocrats, bureaucrats, financial experts, economists, publicists, policy analysts, politicians, statesmen and stateswomen, every group, everyone that can keep this currency of hope afloat should see this period in the history of our nationhood as a call to patriotism, in fact, a call to duty not for a political party, not for a friend or foe but for Nigeria, a country we dare to call our own.

Currently, the entire global space is seemingly challenged with different riots, protests, strike actions etc. Nigeria isn’t in isolation however every strong nation with hope keeping citizens and leaders that lead with capacity and sincerity of purpose know that rebound is possible.

Policies especially as they affect the people can be smooth sailing at times and sometimes painful, we owe the led continuous engagement and leaders must proactively keep evaluating, and re-evaluating policies which can equally be tracked and measured by the citizens, these will also avoid unnecessary policy summersaults.

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Our currency of hope is strong in form and spirit reaching out to every zone in Nigeria and offering a non-bargaining seat at the table, especially in the centre for politicians are quick to show where this particular “currency of hope note” is torn or where the coin is cracked. We need the buy-in of the majority of the led and urgently too.


Bello, (Ph.D.), academic, publicist, public policy analyst and author writes from Abuja.

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