By Oludare Mayowa
The recent tragic passing of the young musician known as MohBad, whose real name was Ilerioluwa Oladimeji Aloba, draws striking parallels with Nigeria’s own story.
MohBad’s untimely and mysterious death mirrors the nation’s struggles, offering insights into his life, the surge in his popularity posthumously, and the enigmatic aspects of his biography.
While MohBad was relatively unknown during his lifetime, he was undeniably gifted, hailing from a disadvantaged background that limited his access to quality education due to poverty. His journey reflects the narrative of resilience and determination as he overcame adversity to discover and ascend the ladder of fame.
Tragically, just when he should have been reaping the rewards of his labour, his life was abruptly cut short, extinguishing a promising talent in the shadows of a powerful and opaque underworld from which he sought fame.
Much like MohBad, countless Nigerian youths face adversity due to a hostile environment that stifles their creative potential. Bursting with energy, talent, and a dynamic spirit, they are often left with no choice but to seek better prospects abroad, a trend known as “japa.”
However, many lack the resources for such an escape and persist in pursuing their potential amidst challenging circumstances that could break the strongest spirits. Some embark on perilous journeys across deserts and oceans in their quest to reach Europe via illegal routes.
Nigeria has failed its youth and citizens in providing a conducive environment for realising their potential and improving their living standards, which would contribute to the nation’s growth.
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If MohBad had enjoyed access to quality education and equal opportunities for career development, his tragic fate, though inevitable as death always is, might have demonstrated that Nigeria offers a level playing field that safeguards its citizens from danger and oppression.
Despite the challenges posed by corrupt leadership, Nigeria remains a land of immense promise. Its fertile soil, diverse climate, abundant natural resources, including gold and crude oil, and rich human capital base are unmatched. Nigerians in the diaspora are making significant contributions to the global economy, with many excelling in various professions.
To harness this potential, Nigeria must focus on its strengths, nurturing its rich culture, tourist centres, traditional festivals, and agricultural capacity. Properly developed, these assets could attract millions of visitors and generate substantial income.
The nation’s abundant resources, including cocoa, palm trees, cashew nuts, rubber plants, and wood, have significant export potential. Moreover, Nigeria possesses vast reserves of iron ore, gold, bitumen, and gas, which remain largely untapped.
Efforts should be made to create an enabling environment for young innovators and entrepreneurs to thrive, curbing crime and social vices that arise from the frustration of neglected youth. Quality education, equal access to opportunities, research and development, and local production capacity should take centre stage in building a prosperous Nigeria.
While the journey may be challenging due to the entrenched political class that benefits from the status quo, Nigerians must unite to free the nation from their grip. Shunning divisive politics based on religion, ethnicity, and class, the focus should shift towards rebuilding and strengthening the nation’s capacity for inclusive growth and development.
Good governance at all levels, prioritising education and opportunity, and fostering an environment conducive to entrepreneurship are key steps. Nigeria holds immense promise, and with dedication and hard work, it can overcome its challenges and fulfil its potential.