May 29, 2015: What would change after Today? Orukotan Ayomikun Samuel
Yesterday, it was still a dream, a hypothetical guess and a probable event. But just like each day becomes a reality after the breaking of a new day, it is now a reality that the president of the vast majority of the people have emerged through the power of the ballot box and on the 29th of May 2015, just like yesterday, General Muhammadu Buhari was inaugurated as Nigeria’s new president. Meanwhile, for the avoidance of long repetition of time of event, 29th, May 2015 will be used analogously as “Today” in this piece.
It is thoughtful that the major hoo-hah is what would change after this historic day, the day in which joy unlimited beget joy indubitably, expectations dethroning expectations and emotions swaying heightened feelings. All, owing to what is expected of tomorrow. Mind you, tomorrow is not the next day after today neither is it three nor four or even ten weeks after today. So do not mess around with my polemic tag- “what would change after Today.”
As a country, history is here again to make or break us but how well should we rewrite these endless repetitions of not providing dividends of democracy to the Nigerian people. How robust shall we tackle the problems of electricity in Nigeria- mostly, the distribution and the transmission problems) and how vigorous shall we confront those aforementioned vicious cycle that affects almost all of us as a people in the nation. As history makers and actors plot a course through a new era, some things are needful and you must be reminded of a few cogent ones being the number one citizen of Nigeria.
Before negotiating with history this time round, let us consider the things that do change history if and only if undivided attention is paid to them.
Today is absolutely an historic day but let Mr President be apt to the task ahead of today. Never forget the pains of the internally displaced persons in the Northern part of Nigeria. Remember that many people put their lives in line to support this change mantra, remember that our educational system is in its dire strait begging for better funding, remember that the housing scheme and policies at present all over the country (especially places like Abuja, Lagos, even Port Harcourt) need some sane reformation. Bring to mind the near-total collapse of infrastructure in our Skill-Acquisition centres (Higher Institution of Learning), whose index in laboratories are almost bare of practical aids, shorn of necessary equipments, chemicals or reagents to perform experiments; library shelves coated in dusts, mildewed and out-dated literatures all over the place; poorly ventilated offices and lecture rooms which are not conducive for real learning. Remember that the cost of governance must be immediately reduced to give room for more employment opportunities to our teeming unemployed citizens.
Sir, remember that you will also give the full account of your stewardship here on earth to God after the end of time, so continue to be a man of integrity as you have been dubbed by many. Also, never be economical with the truth about the true state of our economy and even the country at every point of the way just like your recent predecessor did and more importantly, remember that as a nation, we are almost at the lowest rung of the ladder in terms of economic stability, infrastructural development, employment generation and many more. Besides, remember we have lost our prestige as the giant of Africa; nothing is giant in us anymore, may be a pangolin comparison fits us better, remember what remains for us as a nation is the relic of our very old self, remember, we have subconsciously become a butt of both local and international jokes and also remember, Nigeria is gradually dividing into a stratified society (a class of the rich and the poor), soonest, the poor might fade away like a 1-G network because the poor keeps getting poorer and the rich (political thieves) keeps getting richer. Do not also forget that the subsidy fraud only favours the rich, political opportunists and the influential but the poor are simply the disfavoured. Nigerians, especially those in the hapless and ill-starred category anticipates saying good bye to the days of insecurity, unemployment, sectarian crises, and ethnic militias’ and other vice that still eke out a living in our civil society after today. Hence, you must start in earnest the work of rebuilding the nation before our unborn brood call us big fools that lived but left nothing to show for living.
I have brought this reminder course not because you are not aware of the farce that defines our fatherland but rather to submit the querulousness of Nigerians in view of reality and truth. Moreover, the pertinent needs of an average Nigerians must not be under-sampled when you get to that much-coveted seat of power. That seat that made almost all your predecessors misbehave; that powerful seat that can undermine the collective will of the people, the seat that can pare down the freedom of the press (a society on its own). At this point Sir, I join many cultured other flesh and blood to wish you success in your new assignment but just like Carl Becker, the United States historian wrote in his piece titled, “Everyman, his own historian” said and I paraphrase:
“The history that lies inert in unread books does no work in the world. The history that does work in the world is the history that influences the course of history, the living history, that pattern of unremembered events whether true or false, that enlarges and enriches the collective specious present of Mr Everyman.”
Sir, your story in this course of four democratic years from Today determines whether history will be changed or not, but much more it determines the fate of the many Mr “what would change after Today”.
Mr President, I wish you Success in your exams.
Orukotan Ayomikun Samuel