Moving Nigeria forward will involve thinking the unthinkable and daring to do what no one else has done before

By Ayo Akinfe

[1] Today is September 20. I have decided to rechristen it World Futuristic Day because on this day a lot has happened over the centuries. Men and women of unbelievable courage did the unthinkable on this day, changing our world forever

[2] For the world's black nation to join the ranks of humanity's greats, we simply need to start thinking similarly. I keep telling my people that if Nigeria comes up with a formula to travel at the speed of light, discovers humans on another planet or figures out a way to cure cancer within a week, all these minor problems including ethnicity, religious intolerance, Fulani herdsmen, secession, cabalism, etc, will fade into oblivion

[3] Do you know that on September 20 1519, a Spanish expedition led by Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan set off on the first successful circumnavigation of the globe. Before then, everyone thought the world was flat but these guys decided to disprove that theory. Magellan was killed on route but they made it back and after then, it was accepted that the earth was round

[4] It was on September 20 1854 that the Battle of the Alma, the first major battle of Crimean War took place as the British and French alliance defeated the Russians. As a result of the casualties of that war, a lady called Florence Nightingale decided to help the doctors. She then went on to found the profession of nursing which has established itself in every nook and cranny of the world today. Can you imagine a world without nurses today?

[5] On September 20, 1870 Rome was captured by the Italian army, leading to Pope Pius IX surrendering to King Victor Emmanuel which unified Italy and ended the 1,116 year reign of Papal States. That basically brought about the end of theocracy in Europe

[6] On September 20 1893, the first gasoline-powered car debuts in Springfield, Massachusetts. Today, we take petrol-powered cars for granted but it took someone with guts to launch the initiative

[7] It was on September 20 1909 that the British Parliament passed the South Africa Act. It called for a union of Cape Colony, Natal, Orange River Colony and Transvaal and the adoption of both English and Dutch as official languages. That was the genesis of Apartheid as the was no provision of Africans in this act. So, when we condemn our brethren for their mindless xenophobic attacks, we need to understand that it is borne of ignorance. They do not know who their real enemies are

[8] On September 20 1932, Mahatma Gandhi began a hunger strike against the treatment of untouchables. Maybe if he had adopted a similar stance against the treatment of blacks in South Africa when he was there, apartheid and racism would have been dealt a major blow. Gandhi opposed any form of discrimination against Indians but this did not extend to the African Kaffir

[9] It will shock you to know that on September 20 1951, Swiss males voted against female suffrage. Also, on September 20 1963, President John F Kennedy proposes a joint US-Soviet voyage to the moon. Today, we take moon travel for granted

[10] I look forward to the day when I will travel from Aba to Lagos on a high speed train like the one above, arriving within two hours. I look forward to the day when I will live in Ijebu Ode and work in Ibadan and be able to travel to work in an hour, or the day when we build an artificial moon in Abakaliki that acts as street lights in Afikpo. Who here would not to be able to travel by a high speed river boat from Lokoja to Kaduna in under two hours? That way you can live in Lokoja and have a job in Kaduna but only travel there once a week, returning in a day.

Be prepared to think the unthinkable my people!