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[OPINION]: Is this change? - Fola Ojo

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Is change, according to the creed and credo of Muhammadu Buhari and his All Progressives Congress co-crusaders, having a hard time breathing? Is change now packing its bag and baggage and heading for the departure lounge to a destination unknown?

For how long do we douse the terrain with sermonettes of patience and sacrifice as despair refuses to expire; and desperation to escape it grows stronger wings? Have things changed for better or worse in Nigeria? Is this change?

The alluring nature of “change” is why many Nigerians in this time and season seek it for all levels of our government. When citizens believe that their captain has signed on to a fetid and foul confraternity with policies and ideas heading for the abyss of failure, they will demand change. When the people believe that their leader appears ever clueless, ever incognisance, ever kowtowing to, and cuddling of certain nepotistic groups and crippling cabals, they will demand change.
 
When the people, instead of experiencing positive dividends from what they have worked hard to put in power, but have to live with the dawdling effects of a government they believe works not for their good, they will demand change. And they don’t care who brings it about. They just want change; no matter what it smells or looks like, and no matter the price they have to pay for it down the road. Is this change?

Understandably, the pain of here and now naturally blinds the eyes of men to tomorrow’s promised and possible soon-coming pleasure and relief. This doctrine is not peculiar to Nigeria. It is rehashed in a similar fashion all over the world.  At any point in time when citizens lose the copacetic feel for a leader they were once enthused about, by no means will they give a hoot what or who seeks to replace him.

They just want something different; even if what they want may not ultimately make any difference in their daily living. This is what happens to a people when they are down in despair. This is what is going on today in Nigeria. This is why a person who was once a political rock star is now stuck between the rock and a hard place in the hearts and minds of many people. These are the signs of the times in Nigeria.

Minute by minute news from Nigeria gets annoying, headachy, and becomes a total malarkey. A few hours ago, maddened miscreants who must have sipped from the inebriant in a mazer stormed the Nigerian Senate and stole the mace in an amazing mayhem. Readers, are you still amazed? Any community of people led by screwballs is screwed up forever. It’s part of Nigeria’s tragicomedy called politics! Bit-bit-bit, Nigeria is saying good-bye to sanity in government. Is this change?

All over the land and in every region, social development is lacking. The noose has tightened around economic growth. Systemic limited accountability at the federal, state and local government levels poses challenges. Since Independence in 1960, it’s been a tug of war sustaining national integration. It’s got worse in the last three years. Ruthless killings and shrill shedding of blood have become the norm. The horror tales are everywhere. Communities that were once considered relatively safe are no longer sanctuaries. There is an orchestra of division blaring from all crannies. The ruling APC is divided.

The opposition PDP is in a fragmented schism. The government is polarised. Nigeria is in discordance and dissonance. A house divided against itself, how can it stand? How can the people in a divided and dissident nation receive good dividends from democracy? Is this change?

Lacklustre, sloppy and slobby governance style has become an encouragement for all manner of frivolous and funny characters to seek the office of the President. In states, ridiculed and ridiculous candidates are showing up to run for exalted positions. It is why many people are attracted to change this time round. And the assembly of demanders and requesters for the holy move is growing daily in size.  Some things must change in Nigeria. But what do we have now? Is this change?

Nothing should be permanent about change.  Permanent change is stagnation. And stagnation stinks. True change must be a dynamical continuum.  It must be gingery. It must be red-blooded. It must be like the ever-flowing, ever-glowing, ever-changing rivers of living water. Change that truly changes lives must not be permanent. If it will have an imparting and impactive effect, it must be changed often. When change is too old and tired, the vision of its agent gets too cold and tattered. Then, the future is bleak without a glimmer of hope. Is this change?

God is the Father of continuous change. He is the author of ‘Let there be…’ A nation that wishes to experience the fingers of God must pursue timely and targeted change. It also must pursue God of change. Any nation far from God is far from good things. This is not eulogising on religion. It is not ramming down anybody’s throat a creed or canon. It is not attempting to convince anybody to embrace God who sits in authority over the affairs of men. Call it a subjective submission, It is truth. When a people walk uprightly and leaders do right, good things will God not withhold from them. Nigerians do not deserve to live endlessly in despair. Unfortunately, they do.

In conclusion, I make this salient submission. Fools can be spoken for by the wise. The guilty can be spoken for by the innocent. A man of no integrity can be verbally represented by respectable and respected men of great stature. You can hire the smoothest spokesman and employ the most articulate human megaphone to do your prate and prattle.  You can retain the savviest ventriloquist and put to work a cutting edge loquacious lieutenant to bombard the airwaves with your thoughts and plans in a talk-a-thon. 

But at the end of it all, a spokesperson is a smokescreen.  What a man spoken for and about speaks from his mouth remains the true authentication of the real fire of change that burns in his bones.

President Buhari on Wednesday reportedly took a sickening swipe on Nigerian youths branding them as unlearned freebie-freaks and unapologetic moochers. This is a virulent verbiage fit for the garbage in history. I thought this was change? If Mr. President is unable to inspire and motivate all Nigerians at these trying times, he should be quiet and forever hold his peace.
 
If Mr. President chooses to speak more for himself, he ought to prop us up with words of hope, not haranguing words of global embarrassment on any forum, local or global.  Can Buhari do it? Is it in his DNA? President Buhari’s unfortunate outburst is just a clear indication of how elites, those who have stolen for decades from what belongs to the castigated youths, think about struggling poor people among us.
 
If you are up on the ladder of life, look down not on others who are in constant struggles to make ends meet. That’s what President Buhari just did. May be this is CHANGE. Is it?
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