We are in a season of change. Or so would those who want change for its
sake would want us to believe. It is a season where sloganeering seeks
trump reason as we are collectively being harassed to turn logic on its
head failing which we risk umbrage and assault from the very same persons
who profess change.
This desperation by a vocal minority is understandable. When you have no
confidence in your goods as a salesman there is logic to being loud to the
extent of sounding profane. Nigeria’s latter day adherents of change fall
smack into this category. They want the voting public to accept their
bellowing with the force of an edict spewing from a supreme being without
outlining in real terms the justification for the aberration they are
The advocates of “Change” hinge their demands on misimpressions or in some
cases outright falsehood. The best excuse they have for asking for change
is to claim that the present administration of President Goodluck Jonathan
is corrupt simply because people are not being clamped into jail without
due process. This singular claim shows that the change these people seek is
to again plunge Nigeria into an era of junta format, where the whims of one
tin god could land even a saint in gaol. Whereas, the real change Nigeria
has witnessed in recent years is the one where individuals suspected of any
wrongdoing are presumed innocent until proven guilty. Should we decide to
change this as being insinuated in a few quarters then we will throw people
into detention until they are proven guilty and they would have been denied
their freedom if they are proven innocent.
Innocent people have also died in a long running insurgency that the
advocates of change have identified, possibly rightly, as the singular
symptom to prove that the security situation in the country is bad. The
conveniently omitted part of the narrative is how the posture of the
demagogue of the change movement provided the spark for the insurgency
while his utterance fanned the embers of the resulting fire. Such unguarded
utterances have sadly not reduced but have instead increased as those
behind them become ever more desperate to be heard without thoughts for how
such words further compound the nation’s security woes.
Nigerians have also been inundated with proposed changes to the economy
without getting workable details that will prove that the utopian concepts
stand any fighting chance in an enterprise global economy that is
innovation and private sector driven.
One could carry on with puncturing the helium filled balloons that is
getting the change movement high – whether by lifting them above terra
firma or via that intoxication that comes from sniffing helium. But service
to the fatherland requires that the narrative be changed. Rather than
babbling from dreamland, it is more productive to examine what has been
achieved in the past four years and act wisely.
In the years President Jonathan has stayed in office, his administration
has allowed the Anti-corruption agencies to work at their own pace without
interference with the EFCC and the ICPC, strengthened in the bid to stem
corruption while the Pension Reforms, Fiscal Responsibility Regime gained
traction in addition to creation of the Sovereign Wealth Fund and various
The waste that has been stopped in the management of the subsidy on
petroleum sector is another significant plus for the administration as the
resulting SURE-P innovations has touched lives in all respect. SURE-P
investment in the transport sector brought about fleet renewal along routes
that were having dilapidated vehicles while the resulting expansion from
this directly created more employments. Youths, who were hitherto
unemployed, have been absorbed under different facets of the scheme
including the ones who are benefiting from the internship programme. The
entrepreneurial component of the scheme has also seen the birth of several
small scale enterprises that have seen erstwhile applicants creating jobs
and taking other applicants off the labour market.
As itemized by President Jonathan himself, there have been changes in other
areas that include our railway system, airports; roads network;
agricultural sector; electoral process; Almajiri education; and the power
sector. These are changes Nigerians can easily identify with because they
are realities that they live with daily.
These changes are certain, tangible and even measurable. Are these the
things we want to throw away for mere sloganeering in the name of “Change”?
For the discerning, the kind of change that will take the country into the
dark ages must never be contemplated and must be left to remain in the
realm of sloganeering. Nigerians, who stand to continues enjoying the
dividends of ongoing changes or to suffer the chaos from retrogressive
change, know what to decide by now.
Bombarding them with a call for “Change” is thus counterproductive as the
citizens would rather continue with this harvest of changes instead of
being force fed a change that is not certain and from a group of people who
have failed or simply refused to acknowledge what constitutes change.