‘Nigeria Will Be Better Than This’ – Segun Adeniyi


Segun Adeniyi

– Segun Adeniyi, journalist and former media assistant to President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua

How has it been since leaving government?

I’m back to my beat as a reporter. I’m back to my comfort zone and I’m happy.

Nigeria has just celebrated its centenary. How do you see the next 100 years?

I’m optimistic about Nigeria that in the next 100 years, we will be better than this. In the last 100 years, we had our challenges but you could also see the opportunities – young people, the advancement in education, qualities in terms of manpower. Yes, we have our challenges but I’m still optimistic about Nigeria.

It is obvious to all that Nigeria is not where it is supposed to be. What do you think has been the inhibition?

We all know it; it is basically that of leadership at all levels and in different cadres. And when we talk about leadership, we are not only talking about the government. You can see what is happening in the church, you can see what is happening in the society. It is the absence of values at practically all levels. That is the main challenge that we have in Nigeria. You can look at it from different ways and you still come to the same conclusion. I believe that is an area we have to deal with.

What are your solutions?

It is incumbent on everyone to decide the kind of person they want to be. If you are put in a (position of) responsibility, whether in the church, whether in the mosque, whether in the market, there has to be a kind of shift, a kind of change in our perspective.

While UNESCO is celebrating learning and education in Port Harcourt, with focus on the youth, Nigeria has over 200 girls in captivity, students who are supposed to be in school. What is your take on this?

It is sad. They have been in captivity now for almost 200 days; it is a blot on all of us as individuals and as a nation. For somebody who is a parent, I can’t imagine, especially for somebody like me who has two daughters. I cannot imagine what the parents of those girls are going through. But we are still optimistic that very soon, those girls will be released. That is my prayer every day.

What advice then do you have for the Nigerian youth?

They should try to inculcate the right values. As you can see, there is so much desperation on the part of the youth. They just want to make it overnight. But it doesn’t happen like that. There is a saying that the only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary. But many people today just want to make it; they don’t care how. And that is the kind of orientation that has to change.

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