APC-toon

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

asking for.

 

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

privatization programmes.

 

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.

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