President Muhammadu Buhari on 29th May 2015, in his maiden speech as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, assured Nigerians of his determination to fight this menace; “corruption”. This he believed was a cankerworm that needed to be eradicated out rightly and he was fully prepared for this audacious task. I still suppose that a lot of people failed to understand that statement, drowned in the myopic thought that only the government is responsible for the effectiveness of this change, acknowledging little or no contribution from the masses.
However, this change mantra took a new dimension as the President, delivering a speech at the inauguration of the national re-orientation campaign in September, launched a new programme tagged “Change begins with me.” According to him, “Our citizens must realize that the change they want to see begins with them, and that personal and social reforms are not a theoretic exercise. If you have not seen the change in you, you cannot see it in others or even the larger society.”
I totally support the President on this. This is the time to clean-up the system, fishing out those who have plundered and pilfered our resources for personal consumption, those who wired our monies into their personal accounts, those who have brought shame to the country in the name of national service, those who diligently seek help from the masses during elections but pay deaf ears to their plight afterwards, and those who make quixotic promises, deceiving the masses into voting them in.
Yes! This cleanup process is a task that should and must be done. In fact, it remains sacrosanct that the change must be felt.
However, it is important to understand that the President alone cannot bring this about. Truth be told, he is not God and as such, lacks the supernatural powers to turn things around overnight.
The government has but a little work to do in order to effect this desired change while the masses have much more. This message of change must be heralded in families, schools and churches, even among peers. It must be systematically conveyed, to pierce and soften hardened hearts. All the institutions concerned, regardless of their political interests and biases, must see the need to join in the education of the masses for a proper orientation which when fully achieved, will drive national development.
The desired change, when it eventually materializes, as it must, will be in the interest of all patriots, all who have the best interest of the nation at heart and all who want the best for all the citizens of the country. And it must begin with the individual, be they President or Governor, Legislator or Councillor, Civil Servant or Contractor, Farmer or Trader or Student or Teacher. It must be personalized!
Therefore, let us all rise to the call for national transformation and jettison ideas that would derail this mission. Let us support the President and let the singular purpose be to “build a nation where …justice shall reign.”
Okebe wrote in from Aba, Abia State