Change Is Still A Long Journey Ahead By Jude ‘Feranmi
Arise O Compatriots! Let’s celebrate the beautiful thing we have together achieved as a people. If this were to be other climes, books would have been written of how an incumbent president was unseated by a popular general who would now assume the most prestigious civilian title in the land. In scriptural imitations, what we have together done is wonderful and marvelous in our sight. Congratulations are in order as we transit from 16 years of selfish, pro-pocket, elitist rule to 4 years of what we all hope would be a direct opposite of our experiences for the past 6 years.
The hashtag #ChangeIsHere trends this week with Nigerians showcasing their sense of humor and sarcastic ability in the mood of celebrating the manifestation of the removal of incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan from Aso Villa through the voting process on March 28. To be considered a Nigerian, you possess an aggressive survival instinct that exudes an ability to find humor in some of the hardest circumstances. This is understandable, but those of us who keep finding out the path to a prosperous nation day and night know that CHANGE is a long journey ahead!
The last two weeks of the Jonathan-led administration gives us an inkling of what problems Nigeria really faces, how deeply intertwined and connected they are, the difficulty of the measures to be adopted in solving them and the sacrifices that Nigerians would have to make in seeing the problems become a thing of the past. Many a Nigerian expects the Buhari Miracle. Unfortunately, that miracle might take years to manifest. Everybody including myself would love a possible world where GMB would just wave a wand and all our problems would disappear, but such a possible world is epistemologically and metaphysically impossible.
Fellow Countrymen, this is a few things we should not forget in the midst of our celebrations and felicitations, CHANGE does not come in a day, nor does it come in a decade. Most times, CHANGE comes gradually. It took Lee Kuan Yew 35 years to turn Singapore into a success story he could write about after he was booted out of Malaysia with people of different tongues and backgrounds.
Now that we have successfully booted out those who think the luxury of power is the end of it, and we now have a party whose slogan is CHANGE, the greatest mistake we would make is sitting down and watching whether what we hoped for would materialize. We did not kick out PDP by sitting down, watching and hoping. This CHANGE of the people occupying the positions of power, the only CHANGE we have so achieved was not gotten by wishes and painting fantasies. We took ACTION. If we would achieve the true CHANGE; in our standard of living, in our industrialization figures, in the unemployment rates, in the level of corruption, ACTION and not sitting and watching and hoping, is what need to take.
Itemizing what the incoming government has to do will be boring you with rhetoric. However, I need to itemize one thing that we, the people, need to do. Demanding for good governance is priority. Without an active citizenry, a lot can go unnoticed and the government would be seen to be trying their best while we remain the way we are. One thing we should not forget is the capacity of the ruling party to maximize the media. The kind of Nigeria we get is the kind of Nigeria we demand. Favorable policies will not make themselves. When we keep reminding the ruling party that it is the people’s mandate that brought them into office, Only then would we achieve the true CHANGE that reflects in the average Nigerian’s life.
Jude ‘Feranmi can be engaged on twitter @juded27