January 2, 2019

Why our change is stalled

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By Sunny Ikhioya

WE have a lot of dreamers in Nigeria, that on its own is no problem. The problem is: while others are making conscious and deliberate efforts to make their dreams a reality, we are here wishing it to happen.


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That is why the population trooping to Churches, Mosques and other worship centres are on the increase. The yahoo-plus phenomenon has taken a new dimension with parts being plucked out of human bodies while the victims are still alive.

The best of the world in diverse fields – aviation/aeronautics, fine and virtual arts, nursing, law, medicine, literary arts, computer engineering, business and more, we have them; but why have these not been harvested towards meaningful progress for our country?

The answer to this question will help us understand why the so much sought-after change has eluded us. In an article posted on his blog and titled: “Community Initiated Development And Sub Urban Economy”, Dr. Charles Apoki wrote: “When a community is not ready to initiate development, it is very difficult to help them develop. When a couple is not ready to live in peace and improve on their marriage, there is hardly anything you will do to help them.”

That is the situation with Nigeria, the people are not ready for the change; therefore, it cannot happen. It is only when we are ready to enforce it, that the change will take place. For consecutive weeks, over two months now, we individuals clad in yellow/green jackets in the streets of different cities in France, trying to force government to reverse policies that they considered unfavourable to the people. What are we doing in Nigeria?

Praying. There is nothing wrong with praying but even the Bible tells you that prayers without work will yield no fruit. We cry about our desire for   change and everyone is running to the PDP and APC parties; no one is giving a thought to other alternatives because we always want the easy way out.

We want standard health care established in the country, yet all our top officials are travelling abroad for their medical check ups. What will it cost to have just one standard hospital here that will take care of our President and top officials in the country? We want to encourage local manufacturers, but the government will not patronise Innoson Motors – even if it is just an assembly plant – and designate it as its official vehicle supplier.

We want our educational institutions to be of world standard, but the children of almost all of our leaders school abroad. So, how do we expect the change to take place? Our leaders and politicians are now going back and forth- PDP-APC-PDP-APC-PDP and so on. Nothing new as it is a case of putting new wine in old bottles, same solutions that have failed in the past. They have started to deceive and bamboozle the poor masses and we want change to happen?

A few months ago, a law was passed to encourage youth participation in political leadership. How has it fared? The obstacles put in place by cunning and conniving leaders have made it difficult for this to be actualised. The passiveness of the Nigerian populace has made it easy for our politicians to dribble us always.

According to Senator Shehu Sani, on his twitter handle: “Northern political elite are silent on the frequent killings and kidnappings in the North because of any of these three reasons: Fear to be seen as opposing the government, belief that the President is doing his best; indifference because it’s the poor that are dying”.  The senator is referring to the North here because that is his constituency and also, that is where the killings are prevalent. But the attitude is that of Nigerians generally, towards those in public office and positions of leadership – apathy and docility.

So bad is the situation now that even the educated amongst us would see a melon seed in a pot of soup and call  it a piece of meat. How low can a nation sink!  We now slaughter and massacre human beings more than cows? As I write, another massacre had just taken place in Zamfara State. Meanwhile, our politicians are campaigning. Who will wake up the people from their slumber? Who will bring the leaders to their senses? Who will make them to understand that unless the problems of this country are tackled in an unbiased and rationale manner, the nation is doomed?

Things have never been so bad in this country, with extreme poverty pushing our youths in droves into foreign lands where they are treated worse than animals, where they get involved in yahoo-plus gangs of ritualists and murderers. The nation has been debased.

Who are the leaders that can change the situation? In a recent conversation was with a friend, he asked: “Sunny, where is your third force?” I could not respond to the question because I have no answer to it. The Nigerian people have let themselves down again, with a golden opportunity beckoning on them to effect the much needed change through the instrument of the ballot; they have decided to run-after the APC and PDP parties, going back to their own vomits. Senator Shehu Sani, one of the politicians I believe still has character in the country, just moved from his APC to the PRP( Peoples Redemption Party).

How many people are following his footsteps? Haven’t we had enough of the APC’s and PDP’s bitter pills? There is a lady who has been crying over the years, the leader of Kowa party; she has been consistent over the years in her stance. Have we given her a try? What about the SDP, a resurgent of the old progressives?

What about others such as Moghalu, Sowore, Durotoye. If we are afraid of trying new people, we will not move forward. The ones we have there now have failed us. It’s time to make the change happen. If we must change, we must change indeed, both the personnel and the structures must be restructured for us to have effective result. We cannot keep on recycling the same people over the years and expect that something different will happen. If in doubt check out ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo’s first and second tenures.

Also, check President Muhammadu Buhari’s past tenure and the present; they have one common denominator: hardship. The leadership we have in Nigeria today has displayed a total lack of capacity to manage the very delicate strand holding this country together. We are not talking about palliatives here, we are referring to the cure. If we want a permanent solution to the rot we have in place, we must be ready to change the status quo and the people must be ready to effect the change.

It is time for the leadership to come out with the truth about the situation in the country; a leadership that will be able to lead solely on the basis of the rule of law, that will be impartial in all ramifications. It is time for the people to kick out these incompetent politicians.


Twitter; @SunnyIkhioya