That Change Begins With Me

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Nigerians are an interesting lot. The closer home this fight against corruption gets the more divergent and belligerent we get. I was with some friends the other day when the talk naturally swung in that one unavoidable direction and wait for this! In trying to buttress a point someone asked if President Buhari could stand the corruption test if we decide to go way back to his antecedents when he was a dashing thirty-four year old serving officer! Good I say! You get it? The salient issue behind that question is that the anti-corruption war is not necessary, why should we be bothered with anybody’s misdemeanors? After all this is Nigeria and we should not be bothered at all with some small thieving by a group of privileged persons who after all are no strangers to life comforts. Listening to such talks makes one sick. Really?

The question is, have we missed the change train? Or is it that we are so far gone that we cannot apply reason to our thoughts? Truth is we need to first and foremost accept that there is need for change; change in our attitudes, change in our ethics, change in our morals, change in principles, and a complete turn away from our present ‘ideals’. The change Nigeria needs now must start at the very base level lets go back to the basics, all the way to the home front. This country cannot change just because someone said so, no, it has to be because we desire the change and we want to change.

It is unbelievable that there are people who, with all that is being shoved down our throats daily still attempt to make excuses for these “privileged’ few that feel nothing but contempt for the rest of us.  Every sane Nigerian should feel nothing but outrage and justifiably so too! Maybe we are incapable of feeling that emotion, you know the kind of anger that galvanize people into mass action in other climes. We are usually very quick at using other climes as referrals and benchmarks in mundane issues but fail to make the necessary comparison and act accordingly like they would in those climes. The corruption charges and allegations assailing our senses day -in -day -out are our first real litmus to determine how much our dignity really means to us.

There are many vexing issues embedded in the $2.1 billion scandal. Apart from the obvious, there is this underlying nauseating fact that we are over looking. Maybe not overlooking but we are not paying it enough attention. None of the accused has denied collecting any of the money so far, instead they justify their actions with lousy tales of what the monies collected were purportedly meant for and used for. Hmm wahala dey!! Are these excuses supposed to elicit our empathy for them? Hello, excuse me, for real?  Someone help me please if this is not contempt at its most arrogant then what is? From where I stand it says disrespect, contempt and utter disdain phew! What manner of people would deliberately treat their own people with such effrontery? It is unbelievable!

We need to go way back to the grassroots in order to find the answer to our problem. Apparently this form of civilization does not become us, because instead of cementing and holding together the fabrics of our society it simply tears it in shreds.

Our children do not know us and they can’t know us because we have outsourced parenthood and our obligations to the material world. Individualism has taken over, things are no longer at ease therefore the center is threatening to disintegrate. This is our dilemma we shun everything Nigerian, we shun those tenets that define us as a people and embrace alien tenets that just do not fit. So it does not matter what happens to the majority so long as the select few get what they want, what they are used to having. There is no sense of the general wellbeing but there is abundant sense of ‘my, me, and mine’.

If we must change for the better then we must x-ray our individual selves, take a deep breath and sit back for a moment to rethink our situation. We need to appreciate the fact that we have been short changed by a bunch of reckless irresponsible leaders whose only thoughts are for themselves and theirs. We should begin to ask ourselves what happened to our schools and hospitals. Those institutions that nurtured us and made us who we are, when did we begin to lose it or start derailing? When we are able to give ourselves honest answers then the desired change would have really began.

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