By Michael Alabar

President Muhamadu Buhari led administration had in recent time launched a campaign of change with a slogan ‘change begin with me.’ This change is not from green white green on the national flag nor the Y, the eagle and the horses on the court of arm or from Nigeria to Naija but the change in our individual behaviours. It is not changing the legal system but to ensure that what is there in is maintained. This is never individuals’ change of name but a turn away from bad to good and it is anticipated to take effect at all levels of government, organizations, institutions, and societies to individuals. This change campaign has some weaknesses.

In Benue State, the campaign was launched late last year, aimed at changing the negative positions and the thoughts of the people on issues concerning development in the state to ensure positive change and effectiveness of democracy in the state.

This change if successful will take Nigeria and Nigerians to the greater height and will be a powerful tool to rebuild the disfigured image of Nigeria abroad. It will be an imperative tool to reposition and rebrand Nigeria’s battered image in the international community and will present the diligence of democracy from top to the grass root. It will offer full freedom as stipulated in the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria and will also encourage people to be hard working, law abiding and will promote transparency, objectivity, truthfulness, fairness and political stability in the nation’s polity and governance.

This change would indeed be a supper high way to the yearned ‘new Nigeria’ where leadership shall be fairly and freely chosen base on merit and worth. Where citizens will be awarded according to their output, people will be least tempted to siphon public funds and youth will likely abuse drugs and perpetrate all sort of ungodly act resulting to societal vices.

 The new Nigeria. Nigerians both home and abroad shall be seen as new creatures in angelic outlook and Godly array.

The change campaign which is to take effect in the minds of Nigerians and has formed the basis of change begin with me mantra. Firs have to begin with the formulators of the policy. So the question is. What is happening within members of the legislature and the judiciary? How is the change taking effect within members of the parliament? How is the change affecting the already corrupt educational system? Does a common man have a voice in government policies that affect them? How is the change possible where the formulators are far away from it? How is the change possible where the upper class are happy of the sufferings of the entire populace? How is change possible when others are eating mouthful while majority are starving? Change should not be seen in the dimension of modern day’s Christian faithful, who will tell the next person the lord is good when everything is well with them and all is not well with their opponent. The legislature and the executive must make working policies that will foster change in the system.

In a country where about three-quarter of the population is perpetually poor. Can a changed person virtually accepted over ₦10m which can change the lives of the entire community to be paid into his own personal account as monthly salary? Can a changed person turn his living compound into garage or make garage in his compound where more than 10 cars are packed without a good road to his community and no one in his family owns a car? How is change possible where students are led to believe that the gate way to passing examination is money? How is change possible where a commercial driver on no circumstance is charged to pay fifty naira to get his pass from the police? Yes, change must begin with oneself but from the aforementioned circumstances the change must begin with the individuals in authority. (i.e police, lecturers, top political officials and top government officials).

People voted to represent the interest of a certain group of people are living intensively luxurious while the people they are representing are dying of preventable death from curable disease as if they are the citizens of the desert. This is pathetic and more brutal than jungle life.

In the higher institution, students who have neither silver nor gold are denied of their merits by the corrupt lecturers. And in the legal system, it is believed that the poor have no right and shall not win the mercy of justice in the country; they are always at the wrong side even when someone tramples on their right. The members of the upper classes are always being favoured with legal backings at all cost. Why so? Judiciary must remain loyal to the change agenda.

The change campaign should not be holistically directed at the common and lower class citizens who are struggling to make earns meet, out of the hardship they have been enshrined. If the change is from bad to good as claimed. The change message must be fair, balanced and transparent. All the angels affected must be questioned. Why build so much interest on traditional men and community beggars that vandalise electricity and the perpetual job seeker giving bribe to obtain his final hoped job? Does it mean politicians are not a problem to development of this country in their own ways? But why corruption makes headlines in every day’s news? This is never a support to any angle but a call that all the affected angles be portrayed so that everybody will know that change has really come.

This change if successful will surely put some bold smiles on the faces of Nigerians and will promote the nation’s integrity.

But first, the change must begin with the formulators, top political officials, high ranking officials in their various offices, and the government, opinion down to the governed. It is obvious the water descends (high above the earth) and flows down wards.

Secondary, the change must be practical and fairly executed by the formulators. it must be a working idea rather than a propaganda tool.

Thirdly, there will be a bridge of gap between the government and the governed. Those voted into power must deliver. The members of senate and federal house of assembly should remember the standing truth that, they were not sent ‘away’ but sent to represent their communities. And so, they should be frequently visiting their respective constituencies to know the problems lying in there and attend to them. This will show case the arrival of change into the country in concrete terms.

Finally, every citizen must be patriotic to the idea of change. Change must be enthusiastically embraced by every rational Nigerian and must be taken as a personal responsibility. All Christians should consider it as the eleventh commandments and the Muslim as the ‘shalia’ while every tradition make it a taboo to hold unto. Every woman must consider change as a husband that they must get married to. The clergy and the imams must consider change as a healing prayer. Footballers must consider change the only ball in the filed that they must kick, the marketers, the only market they must attend. To hunters, change should be considered the only game a successful hunter must catch, to security operatives the only enemy they must capture and conquer. To students the book they must read, to researchers the problem they must find solution and to the media the gadget for news gathering. 


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