PUBLIC OPINION: TOBI AMUSAN AS THE METAPHOR FOR A NEW NIGERIA

Jul 25, 2022 | Sports | 0 comments

Written By Fakunle Sheriff Ekundayo

By Fakunle Sheriff Ekundayo

While we’ve been intrigued by the euphoria of a new national spirit, as we gather at dawn and admire the moonlight after the heroic feat of Oluwatobiloba Ayomide Amusan, the Nigerian track and field athlete who broke the world record by setting a new one of 12.06 seconds at Hayward Field in the 100 metres hurdle at the world championship in Oregon USA. This national pride should serve as a pointer that this moment must not fade away with sentimental emotions in celebration of a Nigerian athlete, but must be sustained and exploited for a reformed national orientation which had been rendered irrelevant by the bizarre religious pettiness ravaging our political sphere as a country at this sensitive moment of political re-awakening for a better Nigeria, writes Fakunle Sheriff Ekundayo

It does not matter who has interest in the track and field genre of sporting entertainment in Nigeria, what counts at this moment is that Netizens have been engrossed by the online trend of how Tobi Amusan, a Nigerian 100 metres hurdle specialist, brought back the Nigerian pride at the world stage.

The volkgeist about Nigeria has never been this beautiful after Chioma Ajunwa and the Dream Team won gold medals at Long Jump and soccer for Nigeria, at the Atlanta 1996 Olympics. The feeling from these conquests culminating into global pride was what guided Nigeria into the Fourth Republic in 1999.

It is a statement of fact that sporting activities is an antidote for a united Nigeria, and at such, it had generated memorable moments of compassion for the seventh most populous country in the world, starting with the first Nigerian Olympic medalist; Nojim Maiyegun, who won bronze medal in the Light Middleweight category at the 1964 summer Olympics, held in Tokyo, Japan. The victorious soccer team at the 1973 All Africa Games held in Nigeria rekindled Nigeria’s unity after it had been ravaged by a civil war that ended with no victor, no vanquished. But the all-conquering ‘Green Eagles’ of Nigeria in 1980 Africa Cup of Nations, and which was led by Christian Chukwu {MON}, served as the climax of unity for a better Nigeria going forward.

And while sports, which have remained as the only cord that bound a nation with over 450 languages, is becoming teary with its twisted strands wearing off in a tug of war that is stoke with political sentiments and skullduggery, across the six geo-political zones of the country, Nigeria, online platforms which serve as the new media has gradually taken over the spotlight from the mainstream media, having satisfied some of the attributes of news dissemination, hence 70% of the Nigerian population rely on news currency from Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp among others.

This information has undoubtedly open doors for informal news consumption among the active youths that constitutes 80% of the country’s population. This on the other hands of its relevance has enabled the use of improper language, inciting comments, derogatory remarks and diabolical propaganda geared towards libelous defamation of character or group of people through a deliberate means of online transmission.

According to data gathered from Statista.com on Nigeria’s online usage and penetration; 2018-2022, it says: ‘Internet user penetration in Nigeria saw a slight increase between the years 2018 and 2022, going from around 26 percents to over 38 percent. As of 2022, the estimated number of internet users in the country was more than 108 million. Moreover, the share of the Nigerian population using the internet is expected to grow to 60 percent approximately by 2027.”

The level of frequency and self-growth on the use of social media platforms by millenials has successfully made news accessible at all forms, and this is the weapon many have adopted in the use of divisive language in a country as sensitive as Nigeria.

Sequel to the aforementioned, the active youths in Nigeria must use positive development on the social space to strengthen the cord of Nigeria’s existence. Tobi Amusan’s victory is symbolic and organically healthy for our national institutions. The youths should take advantage of this to promote oneness and collective growth in the sustenance and development of our commonwealth.

Her victory is a metaphor for competency. It is a symbol for consistency and diligence. The youths must sustain this new culture of individual optimism into a collective mindset of possibilities for a new Nigeria. That optimism must not be polarized with tribal colourations and religious ethnocentrism at this critical moment of our country’s political trajectory.

Just like the etymology of her name; Oluwatobiloba, her conquest at the world athletic championship is a signal that the evolution of a new Nigeria has begun and has been ordained by the Supreme Being. It is indicative of the volkgeist mien that is inherent in every member that adorns the Green White Green flag of Nigeria at the global stage. This is the Nigerian spirit that the Super Falcons emulated in Morocco before a hostile 45,000 fans; they stood for the flag, and the Nigerian spirit reached the crescendo of national pride and global stardom when they refused to bend and bow to pressure after two players were sent off before the 70th minutes of play.

This is us. If the brave 9 Super Falcons and Tobi Amusan can dare the world, then the youths in this country must brace up for a united and progressive Nigeria by promoting unity, and discouraging religious and tribal sentiments by putting Nigeria first in their daily endeavours.

There is strength and love in unity, if Tobi Amusan and the Super Falcons can do it, then the youths can sustain a better nation by making Nigeria first in everything they do. It is either Nigeria today or Nigeria tomorrow!

Written By Fakunle Sheriff Ekundayo

Fakunle Sheriff Ekundayo is the editor at Project 3:16 Metro, an online news platform for rural and urban areas. He is also the Principal Partner and Editor-in-Chief at Project 3:16 Metro Newspaper. His youth advocacy and academic drive have made him discover the need to bridge the gap between youths, communities, and government institutions through his journal; Project 3:16 Metro. This he has also modified with the company’s website page, www.metro316.com.ng.

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