‘Youths must learn leadership because Nigeria has no leaders…we only have politicians’

Orodiran Oluwatosin is the Director of Pathfinder Motivations, an organisation geared towards achieving societal rebirth where individuals are fulfilled. In this interview with CRISPNG, Oluwatosin, an advocate of good governance, examines major challenges facing the country and how the youths can salvage the situation.

Tell us about yourself

Thank you. I am Orodiran Oluwatosin. I was born some decades ago in Ogbomoso. I had my Ordinary National Diploma in Mass Communication in The Polytechnic of Ibadan. I proceeded to study linguistics in Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba where I obtained my B. A Linguistics. I am currently having my masters in Linguistics in University of Ibadan. I am a writer, I write mostly on success, politics religion and I am also a poet. Maybe I need to add this, I am learning leadership. Currently, I am the director and visioenêr of Pathfinder Motivations.

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How did Pathfinder Motivations come about?

It’s a great vision birthed out of passion and God’s instruction. The kind of environment where I grew up was also a motivating factor. If you noticed African setting few people get to the top ladder of their careers. When I was in secondary school, I observed a lot. I discovered almost 70% of the adult friends I had didn’t really make it. I began to think and learn why and where they failed in life. I started building up chances for myself, really and having our society in mind. I have this impression of helping others get their ways. If everyone is lost, then we have a problem as a society. So, I think one of the best ways to make our society better is to find the way and show others the way. Perhaps, that’s why the vision is named PATHFINDER. God gave this vision in 2013 while I got enrolled into university. I started early 2014 and since then, we have been trying our best to reach out to people. Some of our weekly write ups have been published on different blogs and social media platforms. We have not made a lot of successes but we are a work in progress.

What are the core visions of Pathfinder Motivations?

We are committed to helping the youths, especially on the soil of Africa. Pathfinder is a vision bigger than us. It’s a multi-dimensional project. We are looking at a time when we can incorporate business empowerment, creation of jobs and putting people on different scales of success based on their different areas of strength. We are starting here today because that’s where we need to start and maybe where God wants us to start. To achieve the above mentioned schemes we need to build a capability and that’s what we are doing. Our vocal stance is to help our youths. We noticed that the environment we have here is not encouraging. The youths get tired easily and forget their tomorrow because of societal frustrations. It’s our burden and we take it upon ourselves to minister life and make sure they get back on their tracks. We write to encourage and teach people better way to continue even when they think there is no way. Also, the youths need to learn how to help our nation too. It’s only a fool that keeps doing same thing the same way and expecting a different result. We cannot continue to rob this nation with our old habits and characters then expecting a better Nigeria. It’s a daydream. So we teach values and character. Most times, what we need to succeed are these things.

Our vocal stance is to help our youths. We noticed that the environment we have here is not encouraging. The youths get tired easily and forget their tomorrow because of societal frustrations.

Now, let us go fully into issues affecting the youths. In present day Nigeria, unemployment is a big issue. The government is claiming most of the graduates are unemployable. On the other hand, the youths are claiming there are no opportunities. Where do you stand in between these two sides?

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Let me start by saying that I agree that some of Nigerian graduates are unemployable. Yes, it’s a reality. But I have just two questions for the government and perhaps, one for the youths. For the government, 1. Who created the system that makes the youths unemployable? 2. Are there really enough opportunities, for the few that are employable, or are there programmes to help this situation? I think we need to reason along those two questions. One of our problems in this country is that we are irresponsible, I am sorry to use that word.

Governments don’t want to take responsibility for their failure. I think when they (the colonial masters) handed over this nation to us, it was not like this. Then, we have to accept that we have failed over time. Our government is not helping the situation. The government has to review the system. Most of the courses our universities offer are out of touch with reality and so can hardly make our graduates employable.

Then, let there be a system reformation. I believe in this country but I don’t have total trust in the operations, I mean the way we run our affairs. We get a lot of chances to be a better nation. Our issue is just character. Why is it that our governments don’t have people in mind? Why are they creating a society that’s not meant for all but for the few? So in this matter, governments have blames and they must be taken.

Also, to the youths, why don’t we create our opportunities? I think if the country has failed us enough, we shouldn’t fail ourselves. We know and it’s obvious that our leaders are not helping due to corruption. But we can make it better if we decide to look inward and bring out creativity that can change the situation. Most of us believe more on education because that’s what they trained our mind for. But it’s high time we decided, either to be loyal to this ‘sick education’ or think outside the box and do something for ourselves. Nigerians, especially youths are brilliant and highly intelligent. We just need to “rechannel” our focus and start making ways. Let’s forget the government and face what exactly we can do. If there are no opportunities, let’s create some. I think it’s better to create opportunities than waiting for opportunities to create you, the latter might not happen anyway.

Most of us believe more on education because that’s what they trained our mind for. But it’s high time we decided, either to be loyal to this ‘sick education’ or think outside the box and do something for ourselves.

Using your own experience, do you think there are job opportunities in Nigeria?

As I have said, there are opportunities if we create them. The governments have failed to know that it is their responsibility to do this. I think we have no choice for now than to create our opportunities. I know we can help ourselves. Recently, I was developing a scheme that would be launched in few years, anyway. I discovered we can lift ourselves out of poverty, if we have an inclusive mindset for the society.

Few youths that have made it, what are they doing? Are they not creating more openings for others to come in. We can build a society we want only if we are committed and ready. This is not about race, ethnicity, colour or religion. This is about being humane. We need to do something for ourselves. Don’t let us deceive ourselves there are no adequate spaces to absorb everyone into the workforce of this nation.

The country has failed in this regard. But do we have to fail? No I don’t think so. Therefore, let us be smart enough to work ourselves out of this mess and do something unimaginable. A failed government has nothing to offer, but the people have something to offer a failed government. This is a call on individual, churches, mosques and all well-to-do, to work towards creating the Nigeria we want. I am sorry to say this, the money some churches are using to build structures, buy jets, expensive cars among others can be used to build factories that will empower this nation. It’s a bitter truth. The efforts of people to Islamise or Christianise this nation is enough to change this country. Let’s get it right, we are the government, as pointed out by Rev. Sam Adeyemi. Let’s pick up the baton and race for a life full of values.

A failed government has nothing to offer, but the people have something to offer a failed government.

Another major issue in the country is youth inclusion in political offices. Proponents of this course are of the view that the youths can address the leadership crisis rocking the nation, if they are given the chance. Do you also belong to this school of thought?

Yes, I believe the youths can fill the leadership lacuna in the country. But how do we know if they are not given the platform to prove this? The youths are fundamental and instrumental in developing the so-called great nations today. We need to get to the point of allowing the youth to take up positions of authority and use their young minds to impact this nation positively.

Solomon was a youth when he ruled while David was not even up to a youth when he started as a king too. We have to learn from the past and see if we can give some things space to creep into our operations. I observed the youths are too young to rule in this country because the elderly ones refuse to leave the show for their greed. Though, it takes a good leader to know that others can do what he is doing. That’s why I once said that Nigeria don’t really have leaders, we just have politicians, people who hold offices. Our fathers should trust what they have taught us, if truly they have done anyway.

Also, I will like to point this out, the ball of this nation will remain inside same court unless the youths also learn leadership. History has made us realised that most of our fathers failed us because they didn’t learn leadership. It’s not about our certifications, it’s about experience of being a good shepherd. In Africa, we think people know leadership by default. No, it’s learned. A leader is not born, a leader is made. Youths should learn as we yearn for our right to lead this country, so that we won’t fail where our fathers failed.

That’s why I once said that Nigeria don’t really have leaders, we just have politicians, people who hold offices.

What advice to you have for youths in Nigeria?

Youths should not give up. Everyone that knows me knows this slogan. At a time like this, I will like to leave us with Noam Chomsky’s message “In the final analysis, we always have two choices: We can choose to descend into pessimism and apathy, assuming that nothing can be done, and helping to ensure that the worst will happen. Or we can grasp the opportunities that exist — and they do — and pursue them to the extent that we can, thus helping to contribute to a better world.”

I strongly believe if we agree that it’s not over, we can still birth the good out of this situation. God bless Nigeria.

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