Deja Vu Everywhere
Michael Ovienmhada

Some cheering news which I believe many people may have missed, hit the airwaves last week. It was reported that scientists had recorded a breakthrough in Nuclear Fusion.

In simple terms, what has happened is that after so much work, so much money by way of research grants, and many years of failing, a technique has been discovered to harness the power of the Sun on a mega-industrial scale to produce electricity to power the entire planet in a renewable way. The fuel for the Power plants will also be renewable—-Sea water!!!!! Free fuel!!!!

It is not the breakthrough itself that gets me excited as much as the process, the minds, the courage, the vision and the depth of resources committed to such wild possibilities and dreams. More often than not, this is the stuff of science fiction, except that it is not. It is the result of men and women of courage, and vision daring to explore, and conquer new frontiers, sometimes, many times, to the end of great personal loss, but gain for humanity.

In rallying support for America’s mission to go to the moon within the decade of the 60s at the podium in Rice University in 1963, JFK said among other things—“We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade, and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win.”

I speak to this at this time to shine a light on the difference between developed nations and “refusing to develop nations,” and those who want to develop by prayer and fasting and prophesies.

Let it be clear that God is not unjust. Nations are like individuals. He who dares, shall stand to gain.

Figures from 2021 show China and the US with over 500,000 patents each. Compare that to South Africa with 6,500 and Nigeria with 500. It is laughable therefore when prophets come out to prophesy that Nigeria will be great when no one provides money for research, when the institutions that should primarily be doing the research are shut for 9 months of the year because teachers are not paid, cannot be paid, or will not be paid.

What is the way forward for a country like Nigeria and its dismal record on research?

I believe our governors must take their eyes away from an inefficient Federal Government and get laser-focused on making their individual States great by harnessing internal resources, and deploying talent in a way essentially that will make the State a nation within a nation. My State, Edo State in Nigeria, by land size, 18,000 sq km, by population, 5.2 million people, is bigger than 64 countries, Qatar included. This is a fact that an aspirant for office needs to have under their belt.

Does it matter to them?

In the last week, news was that Iran had sentenced over 13 people to death for asking for liberties from religious impositions, while a Sharia Court in Northern Nigeria proudly sentenced a man to death for blasphemy.

What is blasphemy in the scheme of all the challenges the North faces?

Nigeria needs to get serious. As 2023 beckons, we need leaders who will dare to take us to the starting line in our quest to join the modern world in the March of Civilization through research, vision, and tenacious execution instead of religious dogmatism.

The State must be separated from Religion.

The World Cup is holding in Qatar, and here is the religious makeup of the country:

Muslims form 65.5% of the Qatari population, followed by Hindus at 15.4%, Christians at 14.2%, Buddhists at 3.3% and the rest 1.9% of the population follow other religions or are unaffiliated. Qatar is also home to numerous other religions mostly from the Middle East and Asia.

If their singular achievement, with a population of 2.9 million people does not send a message to a country like my beloved Nigeria, nothing ever will.

Qatar, a predominantly Muslim country has shown us how a country can make progress in spite of religion by showcasing their culture wrapped in technological ingenuity, and architectural excellence in the staging of the World Cup.

As the year winds down and we huddle with our families, let us have this conversation around the dinner table. Research or Religion, which one is more beneficial to a nation?

Lest I forget, the much touted documentary series by Harry and Meghan is on Netflix. It is interesting to watch, but puzzling to imagine how this could have been allowed to happen.

Who dropped the ball?

This may signal the beginning of the unraveling of the monarchy if Charles be not a wise father, first, before he be a wise king.

Harry is Diana. More fittingly, Captain Harry served in the military for 10 years, and rightfully attained his rank. Here’s a fellow who went on two military tours of duty to Afghanistan, and you want him to spend the rest of his life attending monotonous events, shaking hands, and smiling.

All the man said was: I want to work for a living and also be able to serve as a royal when I am needed.

The reply he got was: You are either in or out.

Is there anything really wrong with a man saying: I want to work?

What their reply did was to give him ammunition. Harry is a soldier.

The young man did not need Meghan for him to do what he did. He was primed to do what he did. Harry is your quintessential rebel with a cause. The pain of walking behind his mother’s casket is a nightmare that would haunt him all his life. In watching the series, that was what jumped out to me the most. Having lost his mother to the concept of expendability of lesser beings for the preservation of the monarchy, he was not going to allow his wife to also be expendable.

This was easy enough, one could have imagined, considering that people are paid to think to help preserve this highly revered institution.

The thinkers, if there are any, are the ones who dropped the ball.

As God wills, I shall be seeing you again in one week, as I complete a summary of the high points of the year, 2022.

Enjoy the holidays.

Michael (O’meekey) Ovienmhada.
Author, Poet, Playwright, and Public Affairs Commentator.
[email protected]

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