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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Will Nigerians Change? – By Zaharaddeen Muhammed

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The 2023 general elections have exposed many Nigerians to the obvious fact that we are. not ready for the positive changes that we have railed for in the past. Sadly, some, if not all, Nigerians’ minds were wrongly changed on the eve of the election to the so-called “sachet of spaghetti” and cellphone recharge cards in the form of vote-buying.

It is seemingly clear that our blabbering is only a tea spot junction story and not a thorough action to vote competency instead of oppositely. How could we yearn for optimist transformations for a couple of years but, annoyingly, be one day changed by subscribing to daylight electoral malpractice? This only happens in states where ignorance is prevalent.

Nigerians shouldn’t be deluded into thinking that these politicians who make every effort to obtain political power at all costs are doing it for the public good, and this kind of rice politics is what makes it difficult for us as a democratic country to produce competent and committed leaders.

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To be honest, the Nigerian political system too needs to be restructured. The high cost of purchasing a ticket to contest the presidential post in the major political parties makes it difficult for responsible and capable poor Nigerians to contest, and the cost of campaigning is also high.
The politicians who spent more to get themselves elected don’t see leadership as a responsibility but as a means by which one enriches oneself. People judge candidates best on how much money they have and are ready to offer it to them during elections, regardless of considering the sources of the money. But to do justice to ourselves, the day we will begin to have leaders that will serve us will be the day we start to give more priorities and emphasis to ability, decency, integrity, and records of leadership performance in the process of electing leaders.

The change we want to achieve most begins with individual change; “we can’t achieve the change unless we act against it.” Because change is an action-oriented phenomenon, the action has to be collective. If you ask the ordinary Nigerian masses, what changes do they want to achieve? They will start mentioning things like; improved health care system, better security, having millions of jobs for various categories of citizens, declined poverty, having nice meals on table and so on but if you ask them that what efforts did you make? The answer will be no, and change was never miraculous. We expect the change to be administered by the government, but it is unknown to us that people like me and you make the government.

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Therefore, it can’t be denied that “a development-oriented leader can’t achieve development without having development-oriented laws, for he can’t act contrary to the constitutional provisions in the cause of administering development.” Thus, the constitution too needs to be changed for development, and consequently, we need to restructure our minds too.

Zaharaddeen Muhammed
Writes from Azare
Bauchi State.

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