2017 New Year Message From CSAAEINC Founder and President
Rev. Fr. Dr. Godswill Agbagwa
Happy new year! I have received several New Year messages, all filled with beautiful wishes and prophecies. You probably received even more. While it is nice to wish ourselves and others well, our wishes will never become realities unless we work for them.
As the Founder and President of the Centre for Social Awareness, Advocacy and Ethics, Inc. (CSAAEINC), an international organization facilitating development in Africa through free ethics, excellence in leadership and entrepreneurship programs for undergraduate and graduate students, I hate to say that many Africans are living in a fool’s paradise.
We want a political leader who would lay down his life for us, but we are not willing to contribute a dime towards his or her campaign. We hate the fact that police officers are collecting bribes from us, but we give them bribes anyway. We want a crime free neighborhood, but we are too afraid to expose a relative or friend who is a criminal. We want a clean environment, but we throw rubbish around. The list can be continued.
Whine all morning. Complain all day. Curse all night. Cast, bind and prophesy to the hearing of the deaf. Our wishes will NEVER become horses. Our dreams will NEVER be realized. Our prophecies will NEVER come to pass. A better Africa will FOREVER remain an illusion because, there is only one path to it: Hard work, 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration. So, stop wishing. Start working.
An example of hard work is refusing to give bribe to anyone under any circumstance. I do it all the time to those police officers on the road. One day, two of them kept me for about two hours asking for every conceivable vehicle document. But I refused to give them a dime. They were frustrated with me and eventually let me go. They were the biggest losers because within those two hours, they could have collected thousands of naira in bribes from gullible drivers. If more Nigerians refuse to give bribes to these roadside police officers, soon, they would give up the idea. It is hard to wait for two hours. But, it is doable. That is why it is hard work.
2017 is another opportunity to work hard for a better Africa. From my experiences working with emerging Nigerian leaders against corruption while providing innovative solutions to various community problems, I feel confident that a better Africa is a possibility and could be realized sooner. All we need are a few more people resisting any form of corruption, staying committed to common good, thinking for Africa and encouraging others to do so.
Again, happy New Year. Keep up the good work. Together, we can make Africa a better place.