How to make change meaningful
There isn’t any doubt that almost all Nigerians desired a change. This assertion was justified by the way people chanted the word ‘change’ in the 2015 general elections. The masses were basking in the euphoria of the word change that they forgot to ask questions.
Yes, change is constant, but it is also two sided. The state of moving from bad to worse is change, so also is the state of moving from abundance to lack; from freedom to bondage, from a comfortable parent to a parent who can’t provide; from a stage where you have power supply at least 72 hours a week to not getting any at all; from certainty to uncertainty, from one party to another, and of course the state of moving from worse to good.
The reality of the word change is that it comes with both the positives and the negatives, depending on who or what is changing and the process of the change. The story of a common Nigerian today can be likened to when the children of Israel found themselves between Pharoah and the Red Sea, and they wished they hadn’t left Egypt. Today, the masses are beginning to wish that the change they clamoured and voted hadn’t come as suffering has become the daily bread of the citizens.
In a land so richly blessed by nature, one would think that the experience of its citizens would be heaven on earth, but the reverse is the case, as lack of hope is the daily reality for most Nigerians. There is so much hardship and frustration everywhere. The cost of living is too high that the ‘take home’ pay doesn’t get home any longer; it stops at the fuel station and the market, where the price of food stuffs is alarming.
Life has lost its value as constant killings, suicide attempts and suicides have become very common these days. The society has lost its peace as violence and crime is on the increase; moral value has lost its place in our society, as survival is utmost now, with little or no cognizance as to what is morally right or wrong.
The saying that ‘a hungry man is an angry man’ has been justified in our society today as anger can be seen boldly written on the faces of people. So bad is the situation that you cannot have an argument without recording an act of violence. Parents can’t live up to their responsibilities and this has thrown our once peaceful homes to a war zone. In all this, we can only but hope that things will change for the better.
As our government is driving the ‘Change Agenda’, it should also note that Nigerians are suffering. Therefore, take into consideration the welfare of the masses, lest after tackling corruption we may be faced with serious challenges that are more disastrous than corruption itself.
We need to stay alive today to see the change happen tomorrow. It is time to look critically into issues that relates to the well-being of common Nigerians and not concentrate wholly on the fight against corruption. Corruption can only cripple a nation, but hunger is capable of wiping out its inhabitants.
We need to have our families and nation intact to celebrate the victory over corruption. We need power supply to be able to watch our President speak on TV, we need food in our stomach to be able to chant the change slogan; we need fuel in our car to go to work and do other things, we need to stay healthy to be able to utilise the opportunities that lie ahead. We need shelter over our heads to be able to sleep and dream of a Nigeria devoid of corruption.
Above all, we need peace in our society to be able to enjoy the significant changes that will occur. We need to stay alive for Nigeria because only the living can be hopeful and change does not exist in a vacuum. We must live today to celebrate tomorrow.
• Miss Umoren is a recent graduate.