Getting a job in this country is hard, getting a good job with a good pay is worst, during my university days, after my studies, entertainment comes next, I find myself organizing and managing events, coupled with the fact that I do a lot of graphic designs every week. Of my three years in school, I bagged three awards; two from the Rotaract Club District 9125 for been the Most Creative Student(Twice) and Wukari Entertainment and Meritorious Awards (WEM Awards) for the Best Graphic Designer.
After graduating from Kwararafa University Wukari in 2016 with a BSc in Sociology(2.1), I got home and the question I asked myself is “what next”?, one year later I joined a formidable team filled with young people; Connected Development (CODE) a Nonprofit organization that provides marginalized and vulnerable communities with resources to amplify their voices with independence and integrity while providing the communities with information that ushers social and economic progress to enhance effective democratic governance and accountability through its Follow The Money initiative, CODE focus on community outreaches, influencing policies, practices and knowledge mobilization.
My skills as a Graphic designer gave me a spot in the Communications Department, the first month at CODE was a hell month, I was tasked to do things I’ve never done before and I was expected to deliver in speedy time. Even when I mentioned that I don’t have an idea of the given task and I am new to this organization and the communications field, Kikelomo Togun (Kiks as I call her) will always say “I am also new here”, in my defence I will tell her but you studied mass communication and for me, this is the first time. I felt like leaving but the organization’s mission and vision is not one you will want to part ways with. Day to day I learned from the extraordinary Kikelomo and Hamzat Lawal (Hamzy) the CEO that calls me his colleague. Hamzy will always encourage you and make you see the best in yourself.
The first time I was on the radio, Hamzy called me 22 minutes before the radio show and said “Wilson I want you to go on cool FM and talk about the Not Too Young To Run Movement and encourage people to come out for the Peaceful March tomorrow” instantly i felt serious chills, I was sweating, How can I address thousands of Nigerians on a delicate issue with zero radio experience? Ese Akhigbe said “Wilson can do it” and surprisingly i think i did well. Connected Development Partnered with YIAGA and a coalition of CSOs to push the Not Too Young To Run Movement, with series of meetings and press conferences, advocacy march and media engagement the bill was signed in law by Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari on 31st May 2018. “Overtime Billion of dollars in government funds and international aids has been set aside for development project in rural communities across the continent, unfortunately, most of these funds never get to these communities, in most cases community members are not aware of these funds and even if they are, they lack the will or capacity to challenge those in authority and ask them questions.”
I was given a contract to work for one year and in the tenth month, I don’t think I will want to renew this contract until I see the system change or I will join the system in a good position which I can bring about positive change, it disturbs me to continuously work for a system that has failed in so many ways: a system that only a few care about the development of its people, a system where funds are siphoned, a system which preaches development while funds go into few pockets.
As a Corp Member (NYSC) serving my country, Nigeria pay me N 19,800 ($54.92) which is below the international poverty line to $1.90 a day, a system where development is mostly done on paper, a system where corrupt politicians loot funds for the well-being of its people, people in rural communities are faced with deficit of quality education, Primary Health Centers, Portable Drinking Water, Clean Environment and Security. I am glad to fire my Boss “Nigeria” at the end of my service year, I will keep trying to make this country a better place by amplifying voices of the people, especially those marginalized grassroots rural communities and I will make sure I find my way into the political space or bring about positive change from the inside.