Uduak Ubak: One year after, Change in Nigeria still a Mirage
May 29th was the day we celebrated our Democracy Day and incidentally this year’s celebration officially marked the one year anniversary of the current Nigerian Government. So naturally, most people have been wondering how the one year stay of our “change” Government has been.
The other day, I had to buy an overpriced water melon and the fruit vendor whose English wasn’t so good managed to say “change” was the reason for the overpriced water melon!
Apparently, most Nigerians are now associating that word with everything negative. Only a year ago during the elections, ‘Change’ was the mantra for our dream Nigeria, the Nigeria of plenty, the Nigeria of good roads, constant electricity, good educational and healthcare systems.
A secured nation, with a huge potential of industrialization both from foreign investors and our indigenous people. A country where corruption was going to be something of the past, where accountability will be welcomed in and every other corrupt practice kicked out. A country where at least everyone could be able to afford the food they needed.
One year later, the story really is a far cry from the “promised land”. The foreign exchange rates are going higher, security issues are still on, plus the addition of Fulani herdsmen mayhem, Niger Delta Avengers and the Biafra state agitators.
Most of our middle class kids are still leaving the country to school abroad especially because that seems to be a better option both in terms of the quality of education and affordability. One wonders how this will affect our present youth and other patriotic Nigerians.
Also, there was the case of the increase in electricity tariff even though the people vehemently opposed it with the promise of better and constant electricity but is that really the case today? Now people are being made to pay so much for the same epileptic services.
These days, when people are asked how their work life is, what you get is “at least, I thank God I still have a job”.
This is due to the unending shedding of staff weight in companies and work places in the country. It is in this same year that the petrol pump prices rose to 145 naira per litre with no corresponding increase in salaries.
Life as most Nigerians know it has really changed, as the rippling effect of these recent happenings has taken a sad toll on the prices of basic necessities of life which is food and transportation. Even with the tomato saga now almost making the otherwise staple food item one for the elite group only.
At the beginning, Nigerians were willing to believe in this whole ‘change’ theory. They believed in every word coming out from our leaders. Now, all the common man want is to be able to feed.
No more talks but action. No more promises but action. They want to believe again. Believe that Nigeria can be great again, the youths want to be in a country worth fighting for, not fighting against. It might be the reason for all the agitations from some sections of the country.
So as we enter the second year of this administration, I pray that we will start experiencing the right kind of change we need as a nation.
A change that is visible. A change that we would be proud enough to identify with. A change that will be felt by both the young and old. A change that will be beneficial to both the rich and poor, to both the literate and illiterate. A change that will be our hope.
That is the type of change we are praying and believing for.
God Bless Nigeria.
June 19th, 2016