By Jérôme-Mario Chijioke Utomi
In recent times, the debate on the interdependence of equity, justice, peace and development is one of the most discussed topics on the face of the earth.
The reason for this endless debate stems from the age-old belief that without fairness and justice, there will be no peace. And without peace, no society, group or nation should consider development.
Accordingly, for a programme/action to be characterized as development-based/focused, development practitioners believe that such program progress should result in overall improvement, a process that builds on itself and involves both individuals and social change.
This requires growth and structural change, with some measure of distributive equity, modernization of social and cultural attitudes, some degree of political transformation and stability, improved health and education so that population growth stabilizes, and an increase in urban life and employment.
As a backdrop to this article, it is common knowledge that in the early decades the world paid little attention to what constitutes sustainable development. Such a conversation, however, gained global prominence via the introduction, adoption and pursuit of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by the United Nations (UN), which lasted between 2000 and 2015 and aimed, among others, to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger as well as achieve universal primary education, promote gender equality, reduce infant mortality, improve maternal health, among others.
Without going into the specific concepts or approaches contained in the Program Performance Index, it is evident that the majority of countries, including Nigeria, performed below average.
It is this reality and other related concerns that have come together to give birth to the 2030 Sustainable Agenda, a United Nations initiative and successor program to the MDGs, with a set of 17 global goals formulated among other things to promote and care for people, peace, planet, and poverty and is centered on partnership and collaboration, ecosystem thinking, co-creation, and alignment of diverse public and private sector response and development efforts. Civil society.
Certainly, Nigeria is plagued by development challenges such as widespread poverty, insecurity, corruption, gross injustice and ethnic politics and desperately needs the attention of interventionist organizations (private organizations and the civil society) as required by the agenda.
However, given this legion of challenges plaguing the nation, the question may be asked: why is this piece obsessed with discussing a subject? Ajaja: good governance and development? Why is it a personality, in the person of Smart Madu Ajaja, a registered nurse, entrepreneur, writer, speaker, political commentator, Rasta, animator and human rights and environmental activist with a deep interest and a passion for socio-economics, civil, penal and environmental? Why does it come at this critical juncture when Nigeria as a country is going through the throes of insecurity in addition to the aforementioned development challenges in the country? And in the period when the nation has recently slipped into its worst economic decline in nearly four decades? Why is it not centered on calling for interventionists and development-oriented organizations to save Nigeria?
Essentially, besides running an organization codenamed Open Nigeria, a group strictly about Nigeria, not north or south or Christians and Muslims, and focuses on equity, justice, peace and development, one possible explanation for the above questions is that this author realized with satisfaction that Smart Ajaja, from his actions and inactions not only mean different things to different people, but his socio-political ideology, if adopted and applied to Nigeria’s nagging challenges, will act as a tool tremendous to realize the Nigeria of our dream anchored on good governance and development.
Take, for illustration, for some he is a fearless, hyper-patriotic, courageous, passionate and uncompromising personality and a social crusader whose strong voice has continued to ring and resound over the years in matters of justice socio-economic, good political representation, responsible leadership and politics in general in Nigeria and beyond. For others, he embodies (and rightly so) the gentleman par excellence: humble, respectful, sympathetic, empathetic, generous and above all, a man who loves all humanity without distinction of tribe or creed, a man who also the eternal fear of God. engraved in a big warm heart.
Smart Madu Ajaja is indeed all of the above and more and even for any observer or casual associate. What definitely and generally stands out about him is his seemingly divine inclination and passion for selfless service, compassion for humanity, and peace through justice. This iconic Nigerian human rights and environmental activist, born in Abavo-Delta State and based in the United States, has demonstrated these strong traits all his life. He is an advocate for good governance and development.
An accomplished professional nurse, Smart Ajaja, now an independent case management consultant to various healthcare providers in Texas, has extensive experience in general, orthopedic, industrial, correctional, oncology, pediatric and geriatric nursing with licensure in three countries and worked in elite hospitals such as MD Anderson Cancer Hospital based in Houston Texas and corporate healthcare facilities in countries such as Nigeria, South Africa and the United States.
As the inventor, Smart Madu Ajaja has designed and deployed a non-patented dynamic immobilizer for the management of ischemic Volkmann contracture, an orthopedic condition resulting from complicated cases of fractured elbow dislocation resulting in reduced l blood supply to the muscles required for flexion and extension of the elbow joint as Head of the Orthopedic Unit at Bethal Hospital, Bethal in the Mpumalanga Province of South Africa.
As an entrepreneur, he is the founder and CEO of Allied Vision Group LLC, a company specializing in the purchase, sale and distribution of textbooks in the United States and around the world.
As a writer gifted with analytical thinking and creative writing, Smart Madu Ajaja has authored tons of breathtaking essays and articles on local, state and national issues related to leadership, corruption and socio-economic injustice on the Nigerian mainstream media and social media, especially on Facebook, bringing to the attention of its global audience credible information on the challenges of corruption in Nigeria and how it has had a negative impact on people’s lives and mindsets and also offering solutions on how to get out of it and how to create access to opportunities for all so there will be no more need for the people to struggle at the middle of Nigeria’s abundance.
As a philanthropist, Smart Madu Ajaja co-founded the Austin And Grace Foundation as a platform to provide assistance through scholarships to needy students from all socio-economic stratifications in Nigeria in her effort to inspire energy necessary to overcome ignorance through literacy from which many unheralded Nigerians have benefited to this day.
As a broadcaster, Smart Madu Ajaja hosts two radio shows, including nigeria now and The nurses stand up on Nightingale Radio Worldwide broadcasting live at 8pm and 7am on Saturdays and Mondays respectively.
He is also a founding member and leader of the Anioma Voice Worldwide Foundation (inc), a non-partisan social-cultural organization in Delta North where he has also deployed his resources and funds in concert with others for charitable and empowerment efforts of the group for all. The Aniomas.
Smart Ajaja, a rare pearl, is a mixture of charisma, tenacity, courage, honesty, kindness, compassion, transparency, responsibility, simplicity, humility, sensitivity, sensitivity, responsibility and incredible intelligence that we cannot afford to ignore without tapping into the eminent qualities he possesses especially at this difficult time in our nation’s history.
His quest for selfless service in Nigeria inspired him to a new and stellar issue-driven senatorial run in the 2019 elections to represent Delta North Senatorial District in the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on the Congress platform. of African Action (AAC), now and the fastest growing political party in Nigeria.
Smart Madu Ajaja, always restless and dissatisfied with the way Nigeria and Nigerians are locked down with no access to opportunities, coined a new global commonsense political-philosophical ideology which he named Open Nigeriawhich he believed would unleash Nigeria’s potential for all Nigerians and set the country on the path to true nationhood and true greatness.
Utomi Jerome-Mario is the Program Coordinator (Media and Politics), Social and Economic Justice Advocacy (SEJA), Lagos. He can be contacted via [email protected]/08032725374