I was on Twitter one beautiful day and a lovely picture popped up on my timeline. It was a pretty sight of a very familiar place: Lagos. If I didn’t know better, I’d have thought beautiful places like this didn’t exist in good ole Naija. But they do. Which brings me to why I’m posting this (sincere apologies for the long hiatus…national service is over and done with…hallelujah 🙂 ). The gentleman who tweeted the photo had started a #NigeriaisBeautiful campaign, tweeting beautiful pictures of the country we call home. I decided to feature him on “The Nigeria I See” articles because he saw a need for us to remind ourselves of the beauty in our country, in spite of all the violence and negative situations that abound. The pictures were screen-grabbed from his twitter account @iamLumide.
His full name is Ojikutu Olumide Opeyemi, and he’s based in Lagos, Nigeria. He runs a gas company called Paramount Gas, and his One Planet Foundation is in the works.
I got into a convo with him via Twitter and BBM, and he told me why he started to tweet these pics. Here’s what he had to say: (after the cut)
“Firstly, I LOVE my country. No matter what anybody says about Nigeria, I’m Nigerian and proud of it. Now, two things made me pioneer the #NigeriaIsBeautiful campaign.
Few months ago Nigeria got extreme attention from the international community because of the actions of the Boko Haram militants and this gave the world an extremely bad impression about Nigeria! When in reality Nigeria is an extremely wonderful country and despite our domestic problems I believe we are still far better than most African countries and arguably all.”
“An average Nigerian believes that any other country is better than Nigeria. This is not true. Most of the people who verbally run down this country are mainly uninformed, educated illiterates blinded by negativity. They have chosen to only see the negative parts even if a positive thing is right in front of them. This is what made me start the #NigeriaisBeautiful campaign! I don’t want someone who doesn’t even see the good in himself not to talk of the good in the country to corrupt innocent and positive minds.
Nigeria is changing, it’s growing! Things are becoming so much better, we recently have leaders who are at least making a change no matter how little, I’m not trying to be political but since the launch of the transformation agenda by President Goodluck Jonathan Nigeria has been improving! Even in Lagos, Governor Babatunde Fashola has changed and improved Lagos tremendously!”
“Nigerians need to understand that Rome wasn’t built in a day, it takes time and patience. The sad thing is most Nigerians just believe they should sit at home and the government should put food on their table. A lot of us Nigerians just want 24/7 electricity overnight, some believe they should sit at home and the government should present an employment letter to them. But I feel things don’t work this way, the government doesn’t owe us “Everything”. This is why I started the #NigeriaIsBeautiful campaign, to showcase the beauty of Nigeria and its people! Show people the positive sides of Nigeria and to appreciate the work that some of the good leaders in Nigeria have done and are doing.”
Nigeria is indeed beautiful, blessed with wonderful natural and man-made creations…what’s there not to be grateful for? Yes I know there’s a lot of stuff to be worried about, what with the terrorist attacks and bombing…but while we pray for peace and stability, let’s at least be thankful for what we do have…enjoy the rest of the pics…one love…
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