By Tahir Ibrahim Tahir
Nigerians are accustomed to a corrupt model of leadership whereby no meaningful or real time policy development/ implementation takes place; most attempts have always been make-believe and consequently do not see the light of day. Most efforts are viewed with a dampened spirit and seen as just veiled corrupt practices where the populace is bamboozled into thinking a project has come to ameliorate their hardships or ways of life; yet it never gets completed or doesn’t see the light of day. Government policies and projects do not impact on the life of an ordinary nigerian and status quos have perpetually been maintained.
It is so bad that at the grassroots or in rural communities, politicians’ manifestoes are just words on paper and they would rather vote for the stomach infrastructure manifesto even if it’s a seasonal thing, no matter how little, because, promises of candidates and eventually their governments are never fulfilled.
So when you talk of change to the average nigerian, you are talking gibberish and selling to him an idea of a utopian country which could never exist. Billions of dollars have been sunk in power provision and so when you talk of N-power, nobody believes you. A very vigorous campaign and implementation of the N-power social intervention or initiative whereby beneficiaries can approach a bank or office and register themselves and then promptly receive ‘alerts’ nationwide as against through agents and agencies; will go further in ensuring confidence in the hearts of the masses that change has actually come and they shouldn’t allow it to pass them by, unlike the psuedo-changes they have been used to.
When the richest black man in the world and the richest African says that, President Buhari is the only President he knows whom you dare not talk about business deals with or propose kick-backs to when seeking government patronage, then you know change now has a character. When oil blocks, concessions and construction contracts or other ‘dividends’ of public office cannot be ascribed or tied to our president, then you know change is no joke. Governance from top to bottom and from bottom to top is a deep sea port that cannot be dredged with a few pokes by an amphibian dredger. There are Ofcourse elements in both the civil service and in political offices that do not pass the integrity test, but the fact that change is a continuum and we have a leader that is poised to effect changes by leading by example, then it is safe to say that change is on its way more than ever.
When the very top political appointees of a government are fired from office and indicted for sharp corrupt practices, then surely something different is taking place. When an Acting President is allowed to act, fire the boss of the most powerful security agency for insurbodination, then change is in motion fellow nigerians.
When millions of dollars (800 million dollars to be specific) can be mopped up from banks as proceeds of corruption, then banks know it is no more business as usual; and they have to send their staff to refresher or professional banking courses so that they can learn proper banking as against financial warehousing. When banks are penalised for the wrongful repatriation of 8.1 billion dollars and ordered to return the said amount, change is no joke and you can ask the banks!
When a whole Sallah festival goes on for over 3 days and not a single bomb goes off; not in the North East, not in kano, not in Jos or anywhere else, they you know that you are betrothed to change. When a national honor is conferred on an Imam for rescuing over 300 people from the killings going on in plateau, then you know change has a face in the name of Alhaji Abubakar Abdullahi. When a train hits Delta state for the first time in our nation’s history, you know change has married you already.
Caches of arms along with unauthorised military uniforms are being seized daily by the Nigerian customs and God be praised that it’s a Hameed Ali that is in charge to bring change to a once porous customs & excise institution that can be blamed for the proliferation of light arms and other assault weapons that have been supplied to agents of destruction under numerous guises, ranging from fulani herdsmen to boko haram, to the glaringly impetuous kidnapping ‘industry’.
When a sitting president accepts the direct primaries method of producing a presidential candidate, meaning all party faithfuls are directly involved in voting who their party’s presidential flagbearer is, as opposed to the indirect/ delegate system which has continually produced the wrong candidates; then you know change has come with the sound of inevitability!
When a sitting American president distances himself from the ‘lifeless’ derogatory, and says that Buhari is a man of Integrity, then you know you are in the house of change.
When every now and then you want to chant sai Baba and nod your head and snap your fingers to the many many Buhari tunes, you know that change has come to stay, courtesy an uncanny character in our national history who has engendered a phenomenon of good governance, accountability and generational change; even though he has pleaded to the youths to exclude his seat in their not too young to run initiative! Will the youths really pardon him and allow him to be till after 2023?
Tahir Ibrahim Tahir is the Talba of Bauchi.