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Sunday was the best day of my life. I woke up with an unimaginable feeling. There was a word in my head that said:

“A new Africa is born. Things will change for good. My son will live in a different Nigeria. He won’t be in the same mess I endured.”

No, I don’t expect any politician to birth a new country – far from it. I thought that finally; the people have taken the power. We can now give it to whomever we want. The hope was too real I could feel it, but didn’t last for too long.


Even without ever having something working for me, I have never thought of leaving this country. A part of me sees this country not only as my cradle but as my grave. I have lived through the days that preceded the Bakassi boys. I woke in the middle of the night to watch my helpless parents panicking as robbers had field time in the neighborhood. How many nights have I stayed awake as the bullets from hoodlums rained on top of our roof? What, then, is left to be seen? But still, I never thought of leaving.

From time, I was condemned to reap only from a field I tilled. There is nothing significant in my life that can be tagged an unmerited favor. I watched some kids back then in the University as they sailed effortlessly, but my few successes were always tied to the effort I put in – which was not too great. I embraced my destiny and for that reason, till today, I have never spent a kobo trying a lotto or a dime on any betting platform. Everyone and everybody in this world can get lucky in that, but Ozioma will not.


I didn’t waste my time when the American lottery was popular. And when people say: apply for a Canadian Visa, it sounds like a lucky dip for me. A part of me believes Nigeria will be good someday. Why I hold this belief so strongly, I still do not know.

I tried, God knows, I tried not to get involved in this 2023 election. I nearly cruised through the entire campaigning season without getting too attached. But that part of me that believes that things will change someday wouldn’t allow me.


I have no personal interest in any candidate. Those that approached me sensed it from my attitude. I didn’t even put too much hope in any candidate – not even in Peter Obi. But I started trusting the system and the process. I started believing that this election will be a true reflection of the people’s choice. And seeing the passion in Nigerians from different tribes and locations, I thought that a new day has come. I thought a new Nigeria has come.

I weep not just for myself; I weep for Nigeria.

Ozii Baba, a TedX Speaker, is an Onitsha-based storyteller and social entrepreneur. He works directly with children and young people.

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