Before I moved back to Nigeria, I was based in the United Kingdom. Back then, even though I had studied International Relations, I never followed politics closely. The reason for this is that I didn’t really need to. When you live in a country where everything works, you really don’t need to pay attention to politics. You don’t need to know who your local representative or Mayor is. Yes, you may know the Mayor of London, but do you really know what his responsibilities are? Do you really know how to influence him? For me personally, the answer to the previous questions is a resounding no. In the UK, the only time I really paid close attention to politics was during the Brexit ordeal which was followed internationally.
Now let’s move on to Nigeria. I moved back with the intent to understand what the problems in this country are. For many years, Nigerians have left the country and moved to the diaspora for a better life. I did the opposite to the surprise of many of my friends. It was not actually a difficult choice. The reasons for moving are many. The first is the homesickness. Before moving back to Nigeria, I had been watching a lot of videos on Africa by a YouTuber called Wode Maya. These videos inspired me to do a trip across West Africa. During this trip, I visited a few countries. I went from Senegal to Gambia, Guinea, and finally Sierra Leone. It was a beautiful trip and I learned a lot about my fellow West African neighbours. The people in these countries were welcoming and I also met some that extorted me a tiny bit. It wasn’t anything I couldn’t handle, but some of these experiences soiled the trip. Senegal was great. I loved Gory Island and Kedougou. From Kedougou, I took a long road trip to the Fouta Djallon region and ended up in a town called Labe. To this date, Labe has been my favourite town in West Africa. One day I will get a house there.
It was sad to see that each country I visited had its own problems, and this ironically inspired me to move back even more. When I first moved back to Nigeria, I knew nothing about Nigerian politics. I spent quite a bit of time on the Clubhouse app because, at that time, most people were isolated. It was from these clubhouse rooms that I discussed the key issues affecting Nigeria. I asked many questions and probed as much as I could. My mission was to get to the bottom of the key problems affecting Nigeria. In order to find a solution, it is very important to understand what the real problems are and not the superficial ones. After a couple of months, I found myself following the major news channels on youtube. I knew who most of the governors of each state were and I was able to hold an intellectual conversation on politics. I am quite proud of my newfound skill and will continue to probe in order to identify the right problems and thus the solutions to Nigeria’s problems.