|Image Source: Sahara Reporters|
Could there be change in Nigeria? When would things really start getting better for the majority? What indices should be used to assess change when it occurs? I wondered as the 2011 elections appeared. My thoughts were ripened by the happenings that lingered around me in the vicinity of Aare Avenue in Bodija Estate. My eyes sensed for information and assessment. My ears sought for encouragement and opinions. My body followed the flow of traffic towards the ballot box.
I was very eager to arrive at the polling booth. I felt very concerned about the issues of leadership, politics and development. I had schooled in a university of Technology. My days as an undergraduate included moments of receiving tutelage in unfavourable circumstances marked by strike actions and the Akala-Oyinlola power tussle. Reflection upon what could be done to solve the problems of erratic power supply, relatively expensive internet service, underemployment and unemployment, and the everlasting issue of fund misappropriation (or stealing, as defined by Mr President) was constant. So, I wanted to see change. Positive difference. Real betterment.
Mr President had floated the transformation agenda as the heartbeat of his tenure manifesto. He had been patient in experiencing the transition of political power and headship incumbency from the loyalists and beneficiaries propping the status of his former boss. The loss of his former boss had asked for a transfer of baton. Except for the presence of the beneficiaries in the corridors of power, the presidential stage seemed vacant to those outside Abuja and Nigeria. Pressure for a prime leader based on Nigeria’s constitution gradually sank in from outside. But, it was regularly met by the thickness of unconfirmed assurances from inner Asokoro proponents. When the pressure finally arrived at its striking point, it kissed away the lies and shouldered the reality for all to see. Then, the truth was revealed. The dead was buried and Mr President’s promotion was effected. Hence, during his own campaign for electoral favour, he flagged the transformation agenda and later became the President-elect.
Power was given priority. The euphoria was much. The noise of the agenda loomed everywhere. Former cabinet members mixed with the new and good work began. Okonjo Nweala, Olusegun Aganga, Omobola Johnson, Chinedu Nebo, Alison Madukwe, Reuben Abati, Lamido Sanusi and others began to reappear or appear on the scene.
This year, the euphoria of political interest shifted from power to change. The masses joined the train of change and #GMB received preference over #GEJ. Many of the areas where the idea of transformation once sold greeted transformation with the chime of change. The results of the 2015 elections primarily tilted towards the pro-Buhari team. Rice or no rice. Ankara or no Ankara. Ghana-must-go or no Ghana-must-go, votes were counted and the accounts were broadcasted. #GMB tweets emerged as the winning chirps.
It would be recalled that General Mohammadu Buhari (rtd) had been attempting to reach the position of democratic presidency since the ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo era. However, this is his first time of becoming the candidate of the majority and assuming the position of president-elect. Therefore, he must be careful of the manner with which he would manage the realisation of his own agenda. Otherwise, the euphoria of change would diffuse with underlying issues and the outcome of his tenure would overcome nothing more than what the incumbent president has already recorded as achievement. To whom much is given, much is also expected. Truly, there is much work to be done.
Though many thanks to the entrepreneurs that supported him, in actual words, it appears that the deceivers of Mr President have now abandoned him. The more honest ones may have decamped. His true loyalists are probably still in touch. Many others are apparently off-radar. News has it that his old friends have now abandoned him. Yet, it is known that Mr President wants his incoming successor to marry transformation with change. Eyes are watching to see how this would happen.
The lesson here for team #GMB is to look out for wolves amidst the sheep, clogs in the wheel of progress and stealthy corporate bandits lest
CHANGE = or < TRASNFORMATION eventually.
In the world over, there have been great leaders. In Africa, there are emerging change makers. In Nigeria, there would still be dynamic youthful leaders. But now, is change really coming? Is this really it? Are we about to see it commence? The world is watching and, the young ones are waiting to move in.