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Walking into 2021 with spirit of gratitude

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Sir: So, we have closed the door on 2020. The year ushered in one of the worst pandemics the world has seen in decades and even as it comes to an end, the second wave of the pathogen is raging in many countries and Nigeria is not exempt.

The past year, aside from the virus, was marked by an untold wave of unrest following the #EndSARS protests. Never-before-seen youth anger swept through the land, leaving a trail of death and destruction in its path. In our country’s North and Central regions, it has been the constant tale of terrorism, banditry, kidnappings, and general insecurity. We nosedived into another economic recession and to many people, it feels like there’s no end in sight to bad news. Indeed, this was one of the most tumultuous and challenging years.

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But no matter how dark things get, there’s always a reason to be grateful. We are still here. With over 83 million infected with the coronavirus, close to two million dead, and millions still battling with the virus, if you are alive and well, that’s one reason to be grateful.

The spirit of gratitude happens to be something we need to cultivate at a time like this. Gratitude is scientifically proven to help reduce stress and improve physical health. It increases mental strength, fosters resilience, helps overcome trauma, enhances empathy levels, and reduces aggression. Gratitude also rewrites our brain’s signature to unlock abundance. These are what we need to set us on a path for winning in 2021.

It’s a new year and a fresh opportunity to seize the moment and write a new script. I anticipate great new opportunities to make an impact this year, and I also look forward to raising my people’s consciousness about the richness and profoundness of positive human connections.

Year 2021 happens to be a defining year for my people in my beloved home state of Anambra. We will be heading to the polls to elect a new leader. I am excited about the prospects before us to re-chart the trajectory of leadership in our state. I believe that by November when the governorship election will hold, the choices before my people will be clear. Either to cling to the same old dysfunctional, ineffectual and divisive leadership that has crippled our social systems and stalled our growth; or to choose a brand new path by selecting a fresh leader with an abundance of competence and compassion to lead them into a brighter future.

I am convinced that what Nigeria needs at all levels of leadership is a new mind. We need to usher in a new era of compassionate leadership that genuinely cares for the people. This year offers a chance to demonstrate that we are determined to make our lofty dreams for our future come true by doing what it takes to rewrite our story for good.

My earnest prayer is that the Almighty God would bless each of us with the wisdom we need to make the right choices, the courage we need to take the right steps forward, and the grace to endure until we break through the tunnel to the light.

Valentine Ozigbo is the immediate past president and group CEO of Transcorp Plc.

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