Nigerians are in for change; change that is working, one that is capable of bringing about the country of our collective destination. The tenets of this CHANGE mantra are premised on the fact that this great nation of great people has been conducting – or having – her affairs conducted with reckless abandon, which portends ill for the prosperity of the giant that we are. We, as a people, have been kept at a point of low attitude for long, owing to the conduct or misconduct of a few, and the time for change has come.
When I addressed a World Press Conference on 23 February 2015 under the subject, “The Dice is Cast,” I mentioned in clear terms within the text of that statement, “whosoever the (PDP) government patronised turned out to be dishonest, or turned into a mediocre; thus making dishonesty and mediocrity take the centre-stage of government and politics in the country. We painfully endured it for long hoping that with leadership change, things would change too. But from Obasanjo, to late Yar’adua and to Jonathan, nothing changed; if anything, the situation kept getting worse.
“Obviously, things cannot continue like that, lest society collapses. It is therefore the responsibility, nay the duty, of all God-fearing citizens and men of good standing in our country to do something so as to get us out of the present national quagmire. As the famous philosopher, Edmund Burke, once said, ‘Evil thrives when good men do nothing.’ I believe what Burke said and, therefore, we cannot continue to sit by and do nothing when all around us things are falling apart.”
President Muhammadu Buhari symbolises the change that we have earnestly asked for and this is our chance for true change as Nigerians. Like childbirth, the beginnings of most good things come with pains, but afterwards, there is always a reason to be happy for the pains. Like the biblical children of Israel, Nigeria has stood at a dark valley of maladministration and rape of her own people for too long and our Moses came in the person of Buhari and we are on a journey to our promised destination of greatness.
Since the administration came on board, those who are sincere with their conscience would accept that the national scheme of things has not remained the same: there has been a marked difference in the approach to governance, a shift from serving selves to serving the nation. There has been a steady assault on graft and a reinvention of government as a means to serving the people; there has been a continuous barrage on insecurity, with the menace of Boko Haram curtailed to the barest minimum, and there has been whole-hearted commitment to the task of securing the socio-economic lives of the people.
When Buhari recently launched the Federal Ministry of Information’s initiative, “Change Begins With Me,” it was a reflection of the conviction of the administration to steer national consciousness towards a greater country. By the central theme of the orientation campaign, the government has appreciated the desire of the people for greater destiny. This very campaign has the potential to reinvigorate this genuine desire, regardless of what naysayers might want us to believe.
Let it be reiterated again that this government has shown considerable commitment to changing the lots of Nigerians for the better beyond the lip service paid to national development in the past. The administration’s success in securing our lives and property in the months since Buhari’s assumption of office, the drive towards ridding our nation of the evils of corruption and abuse of office that had been the bane of national development, and the prospects of a greater and more prosperous country that has a diversified source of foreign exchange earnings have been the prelude to what can be achieved with this change mind-set.
Instructively, Buhari possesses the needed wherewithal to bring about the desired change that Nigerians, and indeed, the international community yearn for.
The very idea of change has always come with pockets of opposition at first, before the usually worthwhile outcome brings smiles on the faces of the expectants. Change has always met stark resistance, especially from quarters that have exploited the status quo to their nefarious advantage.
The truth is that when God intends to bless his people, He takes them to the height He has prepared for them, to effect a change through someone He anointed for His purpose. God has prepared a greater destiny for Nigeria but the lamentations, wailings and murmurings of some disgruntled elements, who are intent on holding Nigerians to ransom, tend to blur the visions of the people.
Unfortunately, these murmurings are being orchestrated from the disgruntled opposition whose only aspiration is to cast aspersions on the genuine intentions of Buhari and the progress of the country. The Peoples Democratic Party, a party that is obviously bereft of any moral standing and cannot, in all honesty, govern Nigeria when they cannot effectively administer a local government from what we are seeing today. The murmurs we hear are at the forefront of this clandestine campaign of calumny and sheer mischief.
The recent resort to calling for the resignation of Buhari is another needless prank to distract the president from the beckoning work of salvaging a battered economy from their iniquities of fraud and large-scale corruption. Until PDP purges itself of the iniquities committed against the progress of the country, problems await them and those still remaining should honourably join Buhari in APC, as they say, “a stitch in time saves nine.” PDP is a party of injustice, corruption in all facets of the party, stealing and a trademark of murmuring against that which is good.
The Almighty God gave a clear injunction against murmurings when He reprimanded the children of Israel from murmurings against those He chose to administer them in the wilderness. Our national situation today is likened to the circumstances at the camp of the Israelites in the wilderness. In the book of Numbers (Numbers 14 verses 26 to 28), the Almighty God came down hard on those who murmured.
“How long will I bear with this evil generation who complain against me? I have heard the complaints which the children of Israel make against me. Say to them, ‘As I live,’ says the Lord, ‘just as you have spoken in my hearings, so will I do.’”
For their evil murmurings, the children of Israel had an entire generation roam the wilderness for 40 years. This is a clear message to those who rather use their energy to wail and grumble against change that God originates for Nigerians. Murmurings hinder our progress as a nation and engender corruption that hinders our economic growth. It did not pay the people of old, and can certainly not pay us as a country today.
It behoves all compatriots of goodwill to rally round Buhari and the APC-led government in their bid to turn around the economic fortunes of Nigerians for the better. It shall surely be well with Nigeria under Buhari’s vision for change and progress.
––Mbadinuju (ODERA) is a former governor of Anambra State.