AMEDU LAURETTA UNEKWU
The word change is now the most common word most Nigerians are familiar with. Having passed through several hardship from governments of old, the Nigerian populace decided to vote-in President Muhammadu Buhari who was reputed for zero tolerance for corruption. His party the All Progressive People’s congress came with huge promise to liberate the common man from the untold poverty that has bedeviled them for long. This is the hope of the average Nigerian citizen. The very thought of the tasty manifesto presented by the party were so hypnotizing that many Nigerians rallied support for the former General.
However, the masses, failed to understand what change is all about. Not the literal meaning per se but what it takes to bring about change in a country with a population of over 160 million people. If they do, they should have understood that in spite of all the testimonies about the fore General and good records of achievements, the president is not a miracle worker. This is not to say that he does not have what it takes to bring about positive change in a country with much decay from past negligence and mismanagement of resources.
Are Nigerians really prepared for the change they voted for? If the answer is in the affirmative, then Nigerians should know that it takes a gradual process to transform a nation. Injuries sustained in a day cannot be healed in a day not to talk of one from over a decade. In dressing the wound to rid it of bacteria that may prevent it from healing, there is pain and sometimes, tears may be provoked. After all the pains there is much to rejoice over. Therefore, if Nigerians have this in mind, they might as well support this government by patience and careful watch on government policies to make sure it does not suffocate them.
There is a need to understand that change is a participatory process. Each and everyone needs to contribute his or her quota. Some changes can come through enforcement of certain laws but some need independent and personal decision. For example, if all Nigerians decide to change their habit of indiscriminate refuse disposal, and start disposing waste in only designated areas, we would have a clean environment. Similarly, in an attempt to diversify the economy, we can all decide to give more priority to home-made products.
President Muhammadu’s orientation program tagged ‘change begins with me’ is a welcomed idea. This is because there is a need to reorient the people about the change promised. Nonetheless, the federal Government should not turn blind eyes and deaf ears to the plight of Nigerians. Proactive measures should be taken to alleviate the situation of the masses. Even as it plead with the citizens to be patient, the promises change must not take forever to come.