Hopes are naturally built on strong, abstract beliefs like (in Nigerian local parlance) “e go better one day”. Nigeria is a collection of people whose aspirations is purely of a greater country built on love, oneness and togetherness. Our people see a nation filled with milk and honey. A strong and reckoning force among the committee of nations in which our national prestige and image is recognized as symbol of modern society. A nation built on all-inclusive growth.
At this point, permit me to progress by quoting Robert Greene’s well-articulated book, The 48 Laws of Power. In Law 45, which states: “Preach the need for change, but never reform too much at once. Everyone understands the need for change in the abstract, but on the day-to-day level people are creatures of habit. Too much innovation is traumatic, and will lead to revolt. If you are new to a position of power, or an outsider trying to build a power base, make a show of respecting the old way of doing things…” will matter to us here. Having said this I ask, after massively trooping out to vote to enthrone the present administration about a year on but, Where is the change?
While we await patiently for the needed and needful change. It is amazing to think that this time last year, ban has been lifted, electioneering process took the center stage of our body polity. All manners of tactics and media strategies were adopted by the two leading political parties.- one representing ‘change’ the other, ‘transformation’. In the midst of a politically-charged atmosphere ridden in parochial and emotional sentiment, but the majority installed slogan- ‘change’ mantra!
Not quite controversial as earlier predicted and as fate would have it, the ruling party, People’s Democratic Party (PDP) lost to the opposition, which begot the slogan ‘Hero of democracy’, just to console our bitter politics of hatred before and after succession. May 29, 2015 did not only marked handing over (democracy day), in this current dispensation, it symbolizes the day the hailers turned wailers vice-versa; which can also be further categorized into three- of those who understand things for themselves; of those who appreciate what others can understand; and of those who understand neither for themselves nor through others.
The first and second sets of people can be marked as excellent and good respectively while the third set of people are not useful. Perhaps, they are useless because they never see anything good in something. They are quick to blame and condemn others even when the hen in their small poultry pen refused to lay eggs. May be these constitute the “5%”, negligible enough to be forgotten; since their relevancy and antics are of no use. These are people celebrating in their ignorance and I do not envy them!
Back to the matter, now that the (then) opposition has become the (present) ruling party, Nigerians are beating down the doors of government checking to see the change that they voted for. The current economic realities may not be favorably, especially those who benefited from the benevolent previous government in the face of economic nose diving. It is amazing, the high expectation especially from those who never believe in the present government neither did their voted for it. While it is common sense for us to call the government to order when it’s wrong; criticizing the government destructively is not the way forward just because we do not like the man in power. The recent hike in electricity rate without power supply is unfriendly and other anti-peoples policies should be condemned by all.
It is pertinent to note that the recent problems facing this administration is not remote cause of its policy but are rooted deeply in the failure of successive governments to diversify the economy to shift away from oil revenue. The recent drastically fall in oil price will be child’s play when compared to global warming of 2008, but we overcame it! How come we were able to weathered the storm without recourse to borrowing? How come during this global warming, Nigeria banks became first transnational corporations with more than forty branches outside its shore?
The answer is not far-fetched, it is corruption and lack of political goodwill that have kept us behind.
And we ask: where is the change? Can we see change when we are deeply enraged by prism of defeatism while the contestant has long conceded in good faith? Can we see change when our unpatriotic speculation is to see the government fail as previous successive governments? Can we see change when we harbor and celebrate the corrupt elements amongst us and show no sense of abhor to abominate the consequences of their corrupt practices?
How can we see change? As Nigerians and patriots, as Mahatma Gandhi said, “You must be the change you want to see in the world (Nigeria)…As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world – that is the myth of the atomic age – as in being able to remake ourselves…If you change yourself you will change your world. If you change how you think then you will change how you feel and what actions you take. And so the world around you will change.” The choice is ours, as no one would want to act the foolish royal attendant in Samaria, who doubted coming of change, and was cursed by the prophet, Elisha to see it come to past and never eat thereof-and he died from his foolishness.
Remi Otuneye is a Political Scientist and public affairs analyst based in Lagos. He sent this piece via firstname.lastname@example.org