Daily Trust

The challenges of time and change

In Nigeria today, the atmosphere is charged. People are increasingly becoming impatient with their leaders; leaders that they truly voted into different positions of representation through the electoral process in March and April this year.
The apprehension as being expressed boils down to certain issues among which is the question of liquidity in the society. By implication, it will appear like business is not as usual and governmental expenditure is at either very low level or in some cases nothing.
When we were rooting for change from the last administration, one fact which we told people in a loud and clear voice was that change was due to come because people had resolved they were tired of the old order; an order that almost saw the collapse of the Nigerian system.
The anger and desperation, which Nigerians were subjected to in the face of the glaring failures of the Jonathan administration in my view, were occasioned by the intense difficulties that the citizens faced by the collapse of basically all socio-economic and political infrastructures. Life was made difficult for most of people while a few indulged in squander mania in the full glare and everyone saw that.
The essence of this piece today is to remind the people that, as the common saying goes, it is very difficult to build but easy to destroy. It took time from the colonial period to the succeeding regimes in Nigeria to build but it was quite easy for a weak government to destroy or see to the destruction of legacies that have been built over a long period of time.
This defines the Nigerian scenario. It is no point continuing to say that the government of Goodluck Jonathan had brought virtually every aspect of this country to a standstill. Nothing was working but massive corruption and impunity.
Corroborating that with the hypothesis that suggested a breakup of the country, it was clear that things had to either change or destruction awaited the nation in not a long time. We all resolved and we have changed the regime. The problem now is the endurance that is needed to leak the wounds and move forward for the sake of Nigeria.
I think as a people we have a choice to make; a very critical choice for that matter. The nation was subjected to massive abuses and things fell apart. The act of gathering and regeneration is certainly going to be very tasking. I am of the view that we must make effort to give our today for their tomorrow, as General Babangida would say. We have the choice to continue to go lavish and the future for those unborn would be typified by serious crises worse than the ones we are facing at the moment.
I am of the view that we are going to face even harder times if change is to make meaning to Nigeria of the future. It is a sacrifice that must be made in order to actualise the meaning of change. Sure, Nigerians voted for change of fortune and not faces as Ray Ekpu would say, but for the fortunes to come, what we missed out of the recklessness of our leaders must be paid for.
Supreme price and sacrifice are critical. There will be pains arising from several government policies but we must endure. I do not expect that we will see flamboyance on the parts of those who call the shots at the federal and other levels of government. The guiding words should be leadership by example without ostentation so that the buy-in despite the harsh realities from the people would be obtained and change to become a reality in the nearest shortest time.
Without the pains, it is difficult to correct the rot in the system. Painful decisions have to be taken. The president and his team may have to be unpopular now so that they become more popular in the future. I agree that things are bad and so I am sure millions of Nigerians are in agreement. What we all need to agree now is that sacrifice is essential if the corrections would make meaning.
Change in Nigeria today is facing a challenging time and the brinkmanship of effective politicking and administration would be required to carry people along. I suggest that the political leadership must be proactive and creative because the mobilisation of the polity is equally a critical condiment of actualisation of meaningful change. Nigerians can make it, I am sure.
Change must be anchored on the platform of mobilisation. No doubt all Nigerians are tired of the impunity that characterised the previous regime and would want things to work aright even for the sake of the younger ones. This is not what we inherited and we cannot afford to bequeath it to the future. It will be a legacy of tragedy if we go that way.
I recommend the establishment of close synergies between those in political authority, the political class and the rest of the people. Any attempt to effect change outside the realm of popular participation may be met by unpleasant consequences. The times are truly tough and the change we require will come only after we persevere and endure.

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