Change and ‘the people’
There is no gainsaying the fact that, the current situation in the country is a far cry from this people’s expectations. Happenings in the country are beyond comprehension and even the people in government will attest to the fact that they least expected to find the nation in this present state. Interestingly, they are quick to blame it on the global crash in oil prices and, the very sorry state in which the last administration left our treasury, to mention but a few. However, Nigerians are no longer interested in the excuses as many have concluded that those at the helm of affairs have failed woefully because they were not really prepared for the task of governance. In as much as they are entitled to their personal opinions, their conclusion is debatable and subject to scrutiny. This is in view of the fact that a lot of bold steps have been taken in the right direction and, it is a matter of little more time before the positive impacts will begin to manifest. Therefore, some of us are still comfortably disposed to positing that, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
What we are presently experiencing in the country is a confirmation of the fact that our problems are beyond what an individual can tackle. It will require the genuine positive contributions of those in positions of authority and the support of other well-meaning people to put the problems under control. However, it is pertinent to mention at this juncture that, in this part of the globe, we are quick to make governance the sole responsibility of only those at the helm of affairs.
Therefore, it is not surprising or new for people to point accusing fingers at Goodluck Jonathan (for the woes of the immediate past administration) and at Muhammadu Buhari (for the crises and sufferings we are presently going through). But, if we look at the situations critically, it is obvious that the problems of the past and present administrations in the country were caused by ‘the people.’ However, in other not to create confusion and unnecessary arguments, it is pertinent to separate the wheat from the chaff by clarifying that ‘the people’, for the purpose of this review, are the ‘enemies of the nation’. They are those who wield negative influence on the leaders and people in authority; they promote selfish interests against national interests; they instigates religious and ethnic intolerance; they engage in wanton destruction of lives and properties; they carry out all sorts of activities to convert the commonwealth of the nation to their personal coffers; they use their influence and wherewithal to take advantage of the poverty stricken masses for electoral gains; they plant their cronies in strategic positions and manipulate them at will for inordinate ambitions and; they cause confusion and disharmony in the polity to mention but a few of their atrocities. Thus, with ‘the people’ in and around the government, even if the most intelligent and successful person in the world is made president in this country, he or she will crumble.
In Nigeria, ‘the people’ remain very active in business and are present in every nook and cranny of the polity. Therefore, it is not surprising that things are not moving on smoothly as envisaged, despite the fact that Buhari took over mantle of leadership since May 2015. In as much as he and others are putting in their best to making positive changes to assuage the sufferings of the citizenry; ‘the people’ are playing to the gallery and are not bothered about the plights of the common-man on the streets. Some of them are in the corridors of power to make up the numbers as a result of partisan considerations and principle of federal character without making any meaningful contributions to developing the nation. They are propagating falsehood through every available media to deceive our leaders that things are in order when in actual fact; they are strategising to take political advantage of the deteriorating situation in the countdown to 2019. They are causing distractions and confusions to dampen the burning determinations and patriotic zeal of Mr. President in effecting the much desired changes.
Expectedly, the masses are always at the receiving end of the fallout from their antics and little wonder why we are presently groaning. Sadly enough, the unpleasant situation will continue to run in a circle, if the right things are not done at the right times.
Consequent upon the aforementioned, even if Buhari has the brightest ideas to transform the country into a land flowing with milk and honey; he can only exercise his powers and carry out the functions of office within the provisions of the constitution. Thus, he needs the unequivocal positive support and contributions of all well meaning/patriotic Nigerians and co-operation of genuine friends of the country. Therefore, we should begin to see the war against ‘the people’ as ours and not just that of the leaders. We must imbibe the spirit of oneness in the fight against corruption by blowing the whistle to expose the bad eggs in every sector of the polity. We should stop pointing accusing fingers and trading blames on the sorry state of the nation because we have all contributed in one way or the other to the problems.
Oise-Oghaede is a public policies analyst/commentator in Lagos.