‘A Walk in the Desert’: Author Charges Nigeria to Emulate Morocco in the Area of Accountability

Says Fixing Nigeria Requires Collective Efforts

ABUJA: Nigeria and Nigerians have been called upon to emulate countries like Morocco in several areas, especially in the area of accountability, so as to fix the country.

This call was made by Mrs. Taiwo Mise, a Foreign Service Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Author of the book, “A Walk in the Desert: The Diary of a Nigerian Scholar in Morocco and a Call to Building the Nigeria of Our Dream”.

Mise while speaking at the launch of her book which covered her journey while studying in Morocco, noted that people start and finish projects in Morocco and Nigeria ought to emulate that.

She disclosed that she was inspired to write the book to bring change to Nigeria and to show the need for young Nigerians to treat Nigeria like it is really theirs, adding that people do not really believe in Nigeria so it became imperative for someone to ignite hope in young Nigerians to know that they can achieve their dreams.

According to her, “I left for Morocco at age 17 and kept a journal as I was determined to document my experience and was fascinated by the infrastructure and everything in Morocco and I wanted a replica in Nigeria.

“I was convinced that many young Nigerians like me needed to know about life outside Nigeria and my journal made me realise that we needed to love Nigeria more and treat the country the way we will treat anything valuable to us”.

She stressed that the responsibility to fix Nigeria is not for the government alone, but a collective responsibility of every citizen, adding that “fixing Nigeria starts with us”.

“I hope the book inspires you to believe in yourself first that you can be anything you want to be irrespective of your challenges. I hope it reminds you that we all have individual and collective responsibility to do right by Nigeria”, she concluded.

Speaking earlier, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, stated that it takes a special kind of confidence to write a book, noting that he was fascinated listening to Taiwo Mise describe how she coped in Morocco and walked in the desert with faith in her heart and a lot of courage.

“Taiwo is a special talent and the title of the book captures the challenges we all face as individuals as we are all walking in our own deserts alone. When you share your experience you teach and inspire other people and I felt inspired listening to her experience”, he said.

While assuring her of his support and that of the Government, he said, “I have no doubt that Taiwo will walk out of that desert into an oasis and all the very best that this world has to offer”.

The Book Reviewer, Ambassador Ozo Nwobu, former Nigerian Ambassador to Mozambique and former Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the book has 12 chapters and 175 pages and Mise is listed in the Library of Congress as an author.

He noted that Morocco was not on the first list of her preferred places of study and her dream was to be a great surgeon but was forced to settle for International Relations.

In his words, “Her student life in Morocco was not all about school and academic work but she took time to socialize and expose herself sufficiently to the Moroccan culture. The food, the culture, architecture and advanced state of their infrastructure is in sharp contrast with what is obtainable in Nigeria.

“The book called for a better Nigeria as she refused to fall into one of those who sees no future in Nigeria. She is working hard to better the country and is contributing to nation building. he said.

He added that Mise believes in the soft power of the Nigeria creative industry and a strong advocate of the common Nigeria identity.

“She is a patriot whose destiny has changed her life, and I have no doubt that this work will someday be incorporated into the full edition of her autobiography when she’s ready for that.

“It will certainly be a delight to read. I strongly recommend the book, it is easy, readable and unputdownable”, he remarked.

Taiwo Mise is a Foreign service Officer, a wife and a mother.

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