Wednesday, September 14, 2016 9:06 pm
By Eddie Iroh
Today i am particularly pissed off with my country Nigeria as I watch the news here and see Ghana forging ahead next door to Nigeria. Let me promptly state that I fully support President Muhammdu Buhari [even though he nearly put me in jail in The Guardian newspaper under Decree No 4 some 35 years ago!]
Buhari is a President with a messianic mission. But I have taken time to reflect on his speech at the National Orientation event last week, and I must say that I respectfully but totally disagree with his stand on the responsibility for CHANGE.
If I was on Buhari’s team I would frankly tell him what I am about to say even if I get fired for it. The President is wrong to put the responsibility for CHANGE almost solely on the citizen. That is an abdication of leadership. The example of President John Magolu of Tanzania, elected about the same time as Buhari, needs not be rehashed here. But suffice it to say that he leads the way by many practical examples. It is not for nothing that he is nicknamed the Bulldozer.
To be sure Change has both moral and practical aspects and the latter can derive from the former. But leadership has to lead in both aspects. As Nnamdi Azikiwe said in his West African Pilot newspaper, SHOW THE LIGHT AND THE PEOPLE WILL FIND THE WAY. I agree with Buhari that CHANGE is a marathon race not a hundred meters sprint.
That is precisely the reason the Nigerian people must be exposed to a clear Master Plan, a Road Map for CHANGE. From School Curricum to Prison reform, there should be an outline of the needed Change, a modus for implenentation and a Timeline. This way the responsibility of every sector of the nation is clearly understood.
To put the burden on the individual is to suggest that any failure of this vital pillar of the Administration will be placed on him. No, Mr President, the buck stops at your desk. Lessons must be learned from previous “sprints” that failed to take hold and why. From Shagari’s Ethical Revolution, to Buhari’s own WAI, Abacha’s WAIC and Jonathan’s Transformation Agenda, Nigerians have seen them all but have nothing to show for them.
Finally this pivotal challenge of CHANGE cannot be left to the National Orientation Agency. NOA has been there for over two decades and not even the Agency itself can point to one aspect of the nation’s many maladies it can claim to have re-dressed. This is not a challenge that can be tackled with slogans, posters; billboards and jingles which NOA is good at. Those may be good for “sprints” but a Marathon race requires a new and innovative methodology.
I respectfully submit.