Sober Reflection at forty five. By Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah
It’s been 44 long and hard years since my birth. The journey to where I find myself today has been rocky, to say the least. First and foremost, I would like to give all thanks and praises to my Father in heaven for the gift of life. His grace is the reason for my continued existence and all glory must be given to him.
In the midst of all that currently defines the world we live in, God has been faithful, extremely faithful. His blessings in my life are too many to mention, such that they cannot be enumerated.
May I use this avenue to thank everyone who has contributed both positively and negatively to my journey through life. At 45, I feel very fulfilled. I count myself a man highly blessed by God in all ramifications, starting from family to friends to employees and to business associates, be it financially, cerebrally and otherwise.
Today marks the beginning of my 45th year on earth, a day I have chosen to reflect on a country I love so much and a nation so blessed by God. Inasmuch as I would have loved a birthday celebration bereft of publicity as I soberly reflect on the unflattering happenings in our dear country, I recognize the fact that I cannot restrain well meaning Nigerians who desire to wish me well via the pages of the newspapers and on different social media platforms. To these people, I wish to say thank you very much for the public display of affection.
All efforts to put myself in a celebratory mood for reaching yet another milestone has proved abortive. I even had to take time off work to travel with my family as I needed to spend ample time with them as well as give myself some room to reflect in sobriety. If I am to be perfectly honest, in the midst of all the blessings God has so much bestowed on me, the current state of our nation Nigeria has rendered me an unhappy man.
How can I be happy when all I see around me are people who are wallowing in hunger?
What is happiness when my fellow Nigerians can no longer engage in business activities because of the escalating rate of the US Dollars which now exchanges for over N400 per Dollar?
Where will happiness come from when Nigeria’s inflation rate keeps rising and prices of common commodities are fast getting out of the reach of the average Nigerian?
Nothing is being done to empower our women and some people are able to find happiness?
Nigerians are losing jobs everyday and I am expected to find joy in celebrating?
I cannot! It is just not possible as I sincerely believe there is nothing worthy of celebrating. My heart is heavy, saddled with so much to reflect on as thoughts on the way forward for our beloved country clouds my mind.
In a country with over 180 million people, I can boastfully say we possess the capacity to turn this nation around. Nigerians are very resourceful and highly industrious. The fact that we have not been able to get it right after 55 (soon to be 56) turbulent years beggars belief. As Nigerians, we need to learn to work without greed. Contentment should be the underlying feature in everything we set out to do.
As a nation, we must fashion out a multi-policy intervention scheme that will not end up on the screens of our televisions and the pages of our books, but policies that will open up our system for job creation and reduction in the rate of poverty. Our problems are man-made and same man who made it can make things right. But first, those saddled with the responsibility of steering the ship of our nation must favour a government of inclusion. They must open the doors to Nigerians (irrespective of one’s ethnic or political leaning) who possess the requisite skills, knowledge and ideas on how to get Nigeria back on its feet.
Earlier in the year, I came out to tell Nigerians that the escalation of the Dollar could be reversed if given the chance to proffer solutions and I meant it. I also challenged the Government of the day to do the needful which entailed making consultations which I offered on a platter, even staking my life’s work to see that this ugly trend is reversed. Regrettably, my advice was not heeded to and my calls fell on deaf ears. Nigeria’s current problem is beyond academics. It is also beyond the vocabulary technocrats are known to toss around. There are other components and qualities needed alongside the technicality associated with education to create the right mix as we seek solutions to the poor state of our economy. I believe that I am one Nigerian who possesses some of these components. I am highly confident in my ability to provide answers to most of the problems Nigeria is faced with and hopefully, God will give me a chance if man would not.
Permit me to state this loud and clear to avoid being misconstrued: when I discuss the public policies of the government or make suggestions on alternate policies for our government, it is because I want the government of the day to succeed as their success will make Nigerians happy. I am a Nigerian who derives joy in seeing our people happy.
After all said and done, I wish to rededicate myself to the service of humanity. At this stage in my life coupled with the achievements I have made and the milestones I have reached, I believe it is high time I channeled all my resources (financially, intellectually and otherwise) to promoting humanity, starting from Nigeria with Anambra state being my first port of call.
My biggest regret in life is that I have not been able to help humanity they way I would have loved to. We can never get things right unless we put conscious efforts into promoting humanity. In view of this, I pledge this day to continue serving humanity to the best of my ability and as the Good Lord permits.
At this juncture, I would like to expressly appreciate those who have made my journey through life a laudable one.
First and foremost, special thanks must go to my wife and beautiful children who have been my firm pillar of support and strength throughout my journey. Your presence in my life has given me wings to soar as high as I can dream. For this, I remain eternally grateful to all of you.
Also, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to my employees across all sectors that I am actively involved in which includes Oil and Gas, Media Publications, Sports, Construction, Agriculture to mention a few. Your belief in me has never wavered and your support for me has stood the test of time. Even at the most difficult of times, you all rally around me, giving me the needed assurance that we are in this race together. My belief in the depth of God’s love for me and his immense blessings upon my life stems from you all. Thank you.
To my friends and well wishers, I wish to also say thank you for being there. Your prayers and words of support have gotten me this far and I would not trade you all for anything the world has to offer.
To Ndi Anambra, umu nwannem, this piece would be incomplete without expressing the depth of my gratitude to you for all the love and support you ceaselessly showered on me. How can I forget my humble beginnings? How can I forget how my beloved brothers and sisters contributed immensely in shaping the man “Ifeanyi Ubah” and all he has achieved today? From the bottom of my heart, I say daalu umu nnwannem. Let us endeavour to keep our leaders in our prayers as we continue in our quest for greatness.
My fellow compatriots, our strength lies in our togetherness. Let us keep praying for Nigeria and her leaders. Let us keep believing in our country and strive to ensure that we make the best out of our nation. We have no other country to call our own. We must make Nigeria great for ourselves and for the generations yet unborn.
To our leaders, I wish to remind you all that the position which you find yourselves in today is God given and has a mandate attached to it. I implore you all to do all you can to better the lives of those who voted you into power. The welfare of the masses is paramount and the betterment of their living standards should be the driving factor behind every action of every leader.
In everything we do, we should always remember that a day of reckoning will come and we will all be made to answer to the creator. On that day, would the Almighty be happy with your report?
Once again, I wish to thank everyone for the birthday wishes. I feel highly blessed and honoured.
God bless you all.