IF NIGERIANS CHANGE, NIGERIA WILL CHANGE
Nigerians simply do not see themselves as having roles to play for a better Nigeria. This mindset is why some of us, who call themselves analysts, somehow think that there is a magic structure that will fix all our problems without us lifting a finger. We want to make an omelette without breaking an egg. That is wishful thinking.
Truth is that we all have roles to play and those roles must be discharged with commitment, dedication and most importantly, INTEGRITY. Hard stuff right? It could be something as simple as voting. How many adult Nigerians are registered to vote? How many show up to vote without inducement? How many vote on real issues not tribe, religion and petty grievances? One can rightly conclude that we seem to lack a critical mass of objective and enlightened voters who, if need be, are determined to engage with the process for their votes to count. That’s just one aspect. In my estimation, a greater percentage of Nigerians fall short in many areas of civic duties and responsibility.
The state of a nation is an aggregation of the (good and bad) daily activities of all it’s citizens – including the passive act of not holding leaders accountable. Many Nigerians have given up on demanding accountability from their leaders for good governance outcomes. They now openly confess that they will steal when they get into government. It is not a joke, they are damn serious. If you try to engage them for a change of mind, they will fire back and tell you that even you will also steal when you enter government, so you should stop preaching to them. That’s how bad it is.
Somehow we, including me, blame President Buhari for not sacking people. I reckon that probably, the old man has concluded in his mind through experience that sacking people in Nigeria might just be replacing one thief with another thief. Garbage out, Garbage in. That is not to say that Nigeria doesn’t have good people but when our families, friends, villages and even religious organizations roll out the drums to celebrate appointees, what is their motive? Is it not for the undue personal benefits that will come them? How can those unmerited personal benefits come to them if not through corruption or breach of due process by the appointee?
Though some Nigerians are sincere in their call for sacking appointees perceived to have under performed but to the average Nigerian politician, it’s all about giving them or another person the opportunity to ‘chop’. In instances where replacements have been done for instance, what has changed in those institutions? We can complain all we want, but the fact remains that if we change, Nigeria will change. It’s high time we begin to engage in some self introspection with regards to what our roles and responsibilities are, in making Nigeria great and how well we are discharging those responsibilities.