– Titus Adeolu Adekunle

From simple transitions like the Blackberry era to iPhone days, the rave of the #10yearschallenge was one to relish for a while. And while we cannot ascertain the origin, it is still a testament of how much mark time that life leaves on us-shaping us into our present being and eventually, our future self. Oh well, for some of us, our throwback pictures are better left hidden behind locked drawers. However, they still show us our humble beginnings and ultimately, how in 10 years’ time, we hope to be able to confidently throwback to this moment.

The creativity of Nigerians did not stop at teasing Bobrisky to reveal his throwback picture – when he was still a he-son or the desecration of Monalisa. The challenge went on to address more social and political issues. For instance, it was revealed that in 2008, President Muhammadu Buhari, then General, posited that Abacha’s loots are a myth. However, in 2018, he was said to have recovered Abacha’s mythical loot.

With the crises waylaying the Nigerian economy, drowning oil barrel prices and the Naira licking the Dollar’s boots every now and then, 2008/2019 brings the memory of when Naira was relatively strong. 10, years ago, 10 dollars would be 2,500 naira as against the 3,640 naira we have today. Also 10 naira would buy two satchets of water effortlessly.

Interestingly, in another 10 years, we would be a year away from the deadline of the Sustainable Development Goals. The next big questions remain, how well have we fared as a Nation and how far can we go in the next 10 years? With the Nation leading the League tables in poverty matters, number of out-of-school children (13.2 million, UNICEF) and fourth on maternal mortality charts (CIA World Facts Book), we are prepared to clinch the champions’ league of failures on the court of uncertainty with our government as the most valuable player.

From the things that change like political party members, manifestos and political promises to constant things like ASUU strike; in 2009, ASUU embarked on an industrial action that lasted about 4 months. It has remained obvious that in these many years, the country’s educational system remains a national joke. Following McPetty’s projections, in 10 years, schooling in this College of Medicine would cost people more than a fortune.

Paediatric ritualists to kidnapping for ransome, genital and mammary gland specialists to panty-heist and “Logo Benz” matters, Yahoo to Yahoo plus upgrade; illicit activities are not left out of the scope of transitioning. In 2009, Boko Haram launched her military campaign for Islamist rule. July that year, hundreds died in Maiduguri in attacks that left religious houses, a police station and prison in furious flames. 10 years down the horrific memory lane, the terrorist group is still ravaging the country and her neighbours.

In conclusion, the next 10 years would afford us 3 electioneering seasons – three opportunities to determine if the country would be safe and sane enough for our children to call their home. The last 10 years afforded us two of those opportunities and quite dramatically eventful or uneventful tenures. If this year would be really worth a throwback in 10 years, we all, as patriotic citizens need to understand our roles in governance, social engineering and nation building.

Our choices, virtues and actions would determine what pictures of the next 10 years will look like. This, is the ultimate #10yearschallenge.

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