Before 2020, I tell youths that want to leave this country that,”if you have no cogent to go, you should stay back”, because I thought the country was enough to find a path. But from October 2020, I’ve been rethinking my stance. What I do today is to tell young people who have the opportunity to leave, to leave. I tell them to leave not because I don’t believe in the Nigerian dreams anymore but because now, I realize that for some, their dreams are not tied here. And me telling people to stay back might just be me selling my dreams to them. So now I tell young people, “if you have no clear reason to stay back, then you should leave.”

 

The only place you need a reason to stay back is back here in Nigeria. Even if you’ve got no clear cogent reason, if you get to a place where things work, you’ll find it easier to find your path there than here. 

 

I remember sharing this with some of my mentees on a WhatsApp group a couple of months ago, I said, “if you think you have a reason to stay, you might stay. If your reason is not strong enough and if in 20 years you think you might doubt that reason, then I’ll advise you to go, by all means, leave.

 

I say this not because I don’t believe in the Nigerian dream, but because of the trajectory of the nation— the realities of now and the prospect of the future does not support any justification for holding people back. I see a lot of people who advised me that staying back is the thing to do—my mentors, pastors, people whom I looked forward to whose words carry a lot of weight— all out of the country today.

 

Thus, I emphasize, if you have no cogent to go, you should stay back. When I mean cogent reason, I’m not talking about a job or a house which can be there today and not there tomorrow. This is a country where there’s a lot of instability. I’m talking about a big dream. something beyond you. Something you believe in. Something that gives you a sense of fulfilment. Something if you left the country you’ll feel incredibly miserable about. 

LEAVE, BY ALL MEANS — FLEE

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