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Hope For Nigeria: The Ikeja Airport Hotel, Example

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By Rev Dr Deji Okegbile

There are signs of hope in Nigeria. In the words of Walt Whitman, ‘An individual is as superb as a nation when he has the qualities which make a superb nation.’ Tobi Amusan’s breaking news of a world record in 100m hurdles at the World Athletics Championships, Ese Brume, the first Nigerian to win a medal at two successive editions of the World Championships among others, are reminders to Nigerians that all hope is not lost.

Recently, there was breakfast fellowship meeting organised by the Nigeria Methodist Fellowship, North London at Methodist Church Stoke Newington High Street, London. One of the participants at the breakfast fellowship just arrived from Nigeria after a vacation. Someone had recommended Ikeja Airport Hotel to him and he lodged at the hotel for some days.

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He left the hotel to attend to other family matters outside Lagos. On the second day after his departure from the hotel, he discovered that he forgot an envelope containing a large sum of pounds he kept inside one of the pillows on the bed in his hotel room. He called the hotel and explained his ordeal. The person on duty asked him to call back one hour later. When the man called, he was asked few questions for clarification and was told that one of the cleaners working in the hotel saw the envelop with the money and handed it over to the hotel management.

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The man was asked to come and collect his money. This act of trust and honesty by a cleaner at Ikeja Airport Hotel, Lagos, is what Nigeria is about, the Nigeria factor, a sign of hope. Regardless of our present chaotic dilemma as a nation, we can be a sign of hope in Nigeria in truth and righteousness.

Symbol of a cleaner at the hotel points us to the secret of what makes a great nation. Nation building or renewal starts with individuals like the cleaner who is honest and not greedy. We are called to be like the cleaner at Ikeja Airport Hotel. Nigeria needs such an individual in our religious organisation, in our banking system, in our judiciary, legislative and executive arms of government. Nigeria needs such a cleaner in our governors’ forum, Academic Senior Staff Union (ASUU), Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), political parties, and our security agencies.

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Such an individual will make the people and nation feel better, safe, reduce corruption, greed and theft. Such a fellow will promote and boost trust, responsibility, honesty, transparency, and workplace productivity.

Symbol of the cleaner at Ikeja Airport Hotel, represents a knowledgeable person with a thorough moral and physical sanitation, and ‘the right cleaning know-how, even when it comes to tricky, high-traffic areas such as bathrooms and kitchens.’ Nigeria is in dire need of knowledgeable cleaners in our politics and economy who know exactly how and when to use certain tools and machinery to recover and restore the lost glory of our nation. The cleaner at Ikeja Airport Hotel, suggests a sign of dependable and affordable hope in Nigeria. The dependability and punctuality of the cleaner is testimonial to the hotel’s workplace rhythm and a counter-culture to the present complete disruption of our national political and workplace’s rhythm. Dependable and affordable cleaner provides dependable and affordable work, politics and leadership.

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It is about charging fair prices for services in contrast to our political and economic looters today, overcharging and overpaying themselves at the detriment of the masses. Symbols of the cleaner at Ikeja Airport Hotel, does not mean a “cheaper option” of leadership but affordable leadership within the budget and dependable. Readiness and openness to communicate in form of feedback or constructive criticism is a strength and trust that boost good public relations as demonstrated by the cleaner. Symbol of the cleaner is a sign of hope in Nigeria that works beyond expectation while giving attention to details. Nigeria needs such a cleaner that works beyond human expectation positively and giving attention to details in our construction industry, judiciary, armed forces, executive and legislative arms of government.

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