Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Today I recall a day early in January when I was in a discussion with some of my colleagues in the office. Everyone was unilateral and emphatic in their agreement that Obama could never win the presidential ticket he was seeking. It is not possible they said. He is a black man with an African father; a minority! It can never happen. Mine was a lone voice. Do not underestimate the power of possibilities, I said.

In my whole life I have never followed a campaign like I followed this one. I watched him, I listened to every speech and I was not surprised when he won the democratic ticket over Hillary Clinton.

And today I am not surprised that he is America' s 44th President with a landslide victory at the polls. He needed 270 electoral votes and he got 338. The crowds continued to swell at his acceptance speech. Tears flowed ;cheers soared. A defining moment indeed!

In all this, I see the power of vision and inspiration. Martin Luther King saw it 60 years ago. He had a dream, that one day in America, colour would no longer matter. Even though Africans were brought to the United States, bleeding, naked and chained together like animals; today an African American has taken the charge to lead that country.

More than 2000 years ago, a young 17 year old boy was also taken in chains from his fatherland to Egypt, the most powerful country in the world then. With the hand of God and within the space of some time, that slave, called Joseph, became the ruler of Egypt.

How did Obama do it? First he too, like Martin Luther saw it. He has a sincere heart for the people and he gave them his heart. I have not yet seen a leader rejected, who gives the people his heart.
He was rewarded with their growing trust. Obama planned and he pursued his vision. The people needed a change and their heart embraced what he offered. He laid the foundation with his heart and the people joined hands to build the house of this miracle we are witnessing today.

There were threats to his life and attacks on his person but he relentlessly pursued his vision.

I am happy for the American people.

But then my heart goes to Nigeria.

Where, O where is our own Obama. Where is that man who will stand up and lead the charge for change in this great country, Nigeria. A man who will be ready to serve rather than rule. I can see a change, I can see a new Nigeria.
But that man needs to take a cue from what Obama has done and needs to step forward. There may be threats to his life and attacks on his person, but if his heart is right, and he trusts in God, Nigeria will also find the change that we so much desire. I pray he steps forward soon.

1 comment:

Favoured Girl said...

I'm so happy for Obama, he has proven that barriers can be broken and dreams can become true. As the incoming president of the US, he has a lot on his plate to deal with. Now I just hope the people that elected him as president will be patient with him and know that the promises he made will not happen overnight.

I too, await the day when Nigeria will have a leader like Obama that we can believe in, who will serve rather than rule.