Saturday, 4 November 2017

How Individual Civic Responsibility Can Improve The State of Warri

Good day everyone,

I can't thank @mysaltcity enough for creating a platform as this for us to deliberate on ways to forge a better city by ourselves and for ourself. I am truly grateful

I am speaking on How Individual Civic Responsibility Can Improve The State of Our City. I am privilege to share this platform and room with other forward thinking and ready-to-work individuals.
Civic responsibility is defined as the ‘responsibility of a citizen’ (dictionary.com). It comprised of actions and attitudes associated with democratic governance and social participation. Actions of civic responsibility can be displayed in advocacy for various causes, such as political, economic, social, environmental or quality of life success. 

Dating to ancient Rome, civic responsibility may have started with Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus in 519 BC. Generally, it spurs us to know that We the People of Warri, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our prosperity, do ordain and establish that Civic Responsibility is the way forward.

The Civic Responsibility of one man can influence a lot, once Pastor Tobore Adakakraza had asked me to work on a project called “We the People", this is not far from what budgIT is doing that is causing a unique change in our Nation Nigeria, and I'm positive that they are aware of what is happening here right now, because they where the first to retweet #newwarri first tweet about #Empirical.

We’re moving towards a new era. An era of smart cities with citizens actively involved in problem-solving, innovation and decision-making. Smart cities are often depicted to be about digital technologies only, but they aren’t. The technologies are simply the enablers. Smart cities are about their daily users, their citizens.

Smart cities and societies are about people who have awakened to the consciousness that they are the most the powerful office in a nation and they are utilizing every available resources to question and demand from those they have contracted to supply governance accountability, transparency, peace and progress.

In the last months I have immersed myself in civic engagement and co-creation and I will show you how little efforts have caused changes here in this city.
Last year after series of conversations with Pastor Tobore, I started the NewWarri dream and organisation that birthed CleanWarri, and other projects yet to be unveiled. In the last one year we have ran with this projects we have seen changes in this city in little bits and hope to do more.

After the Stakeholders meeting, held on the 03rd of December, 2016. Myself and other people with concern for the city, we went out for our first clean up at Airport junction and from there we've never looked back. Today, CleanWarri is becoming the city's rave or a social Jamboree as people from Ubeji, Ifie, Ugbowangue have come to join us to do clean up or in their own capacity carry out similar operations in their locations.

Guess the shocking part of CleanWarri, people are becoming to own the project, it's becoming their thing and my prayers is, more people join in to sustain this momentum.

Let me quickly list 5 Civic responsibility that we all can be involved in
1. Honesty — Warri needs you to always to tell the truth and earn an honest living.

We have to be honest and earn honest living. Our honesty will go a long way to determine how the outside world perceives us.

2. Unity, Warri needs you to rank unity over your opinion or your comfort.

Pushing cleanwarri has revealed our tribalistic nature.

As residents we must acknowledge differences, but appreciate our common bonds. We must prioritize our unity above our differences. 

It's your civic duty to unite after disagreement. You cannot participate in unity through isolating yourself from other’s opinions that differ from your opinion either. Remember, unity starts small, when it begins our from families, neighborhoods, cities, and then and only then can it grow and be displayed openly.

3. Peace — Warri needs you to be the peacemaker.  The reality today is that everyone wants to promote themselves. When everyone acts this way, we all lose.

We ought to go and make peace with those from different backgrounds and upbringing different from us. 

4. Respect and Value for Time — For Warri to be among the smart cities, we need to have mutual respect for one another and value each others time.
I have come to observe that one of the reasons people come to meetings late is because they place less importance or value to themselves. They feel they are of less important or not needed for the meeting or event to begin. This is an esteem issue that needs to be resolved.

5. Intellectual Participation — Warri needs you to exercise your brain to become a wise decision maker.

We are in a system of government defined as government by the people and for the people. When people don’t participate in critical decision making, we neglect their civic duty and rebuke individual liberties, To not participate is to sit and eat, never standing up to exercise and to be surprised when your cardiovascular system shuts down and kills you. If you do not participate in the system through exercising your mind with the contemplation of matters related to the government, with thorough examination and questioning of elected or appointed officials, you are ruining the system you were given through your willful neglect.

A system unchecked and without participation will destruct and cease to guarantee liberty to you and your offspring. Your mind and your decision making are critical blood flow to the systems of government and the structure of not just Warri, but Nigeria. Be a citizen and participate or you are simply a cancer, good for nothing but pain and whining.

You are not taking responsibility if you have only a consumers mindset. You must begin to think in terms of production and not consumption. The world is moving towards the sharing economy. We need to be able to identify areas of excess capacity or redundant capital.

You and l must commit to model humility, kindness, patience, discipline, compassion and commitment. We must begin from our homes, schools, offices and neighborhoods.

Need I shock you, many may disagree, it's also part of our civic responsibility to dress and speak well, you may not know it, the way you dress or speak can either leverage you or level you. Have you had that experience where people ask "Are you from Warri?"

And above all?
We the people must speak up and act.
Great conversations like #Empirical has birtedh landmark initiatives or achievements.

You have an opportunity to speak and the internet today has given everyone an amplified voice that can either leverage or level us as a city. If you really understand how amazing the era (Information technology era) we are living, you'll not allow any form of injustice slip by you. Yes, I am aware of the downside of the internet, but trust me, the Internet is a miracle that has given every sane mind the capacity to achieve, organize, advocate, relate, campaign and play your part to improve our society.

Many people are waiting for the first person to speak up and trust me when you do, they will join you to condemn and correct.

I share two stories briefly and I will leave your face.
I was walking past Airport junction on Thursday (29th of September, 2017) and I noticed that members from popular a church was sticking stickers on Kekes for their annual rally that takes place on the 1st of October. These members have messed up the place, and I spoke to the guys there, that they should ensure they cleared this place and one of the guys doing the sticking asked "how many place I don clean for Warri?"

In response I brought out my phone snapped and said I know your church, I'll speak to your church head with this evidence, while still speaking I noticed two women selling around the environment and some men passing by, joined in saying, "na the truth he dey tell una, four hours later, when I passed, the mess was gone."

Second story, On Friday I rushed to the bank to get some money, only to be told by the security that they've closed two hours before close time, I called the lady I knew in the bank and pleaded if she could do anything, unfortunately she said she's sorry.

This was between 3:20 and 3:40PM While I was still on the phone, a man drove to the gate and the security opened the gate for him and I asked him, "is this man a staff in this branch, that you're doing well done Sir?"

I picked up my phone, tweeted and the bank reached me and we continued in DM, after sometime they asked for my number and asked me to come to the bank, I went and they paid me at about 5:45PM with an apology.

Guess what I discovered, that branch closing by 2PM was not a directive from head office in Lagos or Abuja, but the branch manager who felt he could do anything he likes in Warri on the basis that they were having too many customers, his excuse to me.

At the end of that Friday Customer care received query and the branch manager was suspended.

Moral of these stories, You do not know the action that you speaking up can start, secondly when you speak up, people will begin to act right. Atleast for now none of the branch manager will dare that in this city any more because their job is at stake as the entire network of that city was copied.

You are a fire starter, the media armed with the internet is your lighter, let's go out there starting fires of change. You have got to be starting something

There's an opportunity here for you to write your name in history, don't miss it.

Thank you.

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