BY Roland Danjuma
MOVERS and shakers change the course of history.
The Caesars, Charles Magnes, Ptolemy’s, Jesus Christ, Mohammed etc all changed the course of world history. Change is always certain and it is contented. So when APC campaigners pandered the slogan of change, it was not only singing the obvious, it was stating it too will alter the course of history. Nigeria’s history.
All is not well and the same with Nigerians and in Nigeria. This is not a case of crying wolf. This is for real. Nigerians’ fortunes have remarkably changed within the spate of two years of the APC’s hold on power. The rate of poverty has quadrupled. The suicide rate has also increased. It is estimated that between 12 and 14 million school age children are however out of school presently. Majority of them in school are grappling with acute poverty and malnutrition.
Workers are a pitiable sight. Just to listen to their complaints is heart renting. Landlords and tenants are slugging it out with each other, yet prices of commodities are just escalating. The most annoying part to this sign is that the commodities are getting smaller in size, less value in satisfaction even as their prices keep growing.
Just buy a tablet pf Tomtom candy and check the size. The Tomtom advert way back was the big Black sweet. Then you could get the big black and white strip mentholated candy at four (4) for ten Kobo. Today the same Tomtom is a diminishing, less satisfying candy and is sold for N10 per each. This down-sizing cuts across all consumables in snacks, toiletries, fuel and food.
In the case of beverages, they don’t taste as they use to even though we now have a variety of drinks measured in the same liquid measurement, their prices are not cheap. A bottle of coke is N120 for 50cl. A bottle of Zobo is N100 for the same 50cl. A bottle of beer is N200 for 60cl. A bottle of Controller Frying Oil is N850 per 75cl same with the red oil. A measure of rice is N800 (1Kg) and a tuber of yam average is N300. One measure of dried corn is N450 (1kg) millet, soya beans, beans (Black eye pea) and brown beans is N750.
Cost of petrol is at the controlled price of N145 per litre in some filling stations and N250 in the rural areas. Kerosene is between N200 and N400 per litre. The cost of transportation has jumped five notches higher. House rents have also moved up. The irony is that workers’ income has remained stagnant. Some are still earning a woeful N7000 per month in the face of these realities.
This down turn of events came exactly with the promised changed of the APC-led-government. It is not exactly that the APC government triggered this kind of change, it is a change that was circumstantially enhanced coinciding with the entrance of the APC-led-government with its mantra of change.
It is a fact the world is experiencing what economists and social analysts define as financial recession. Poverty is ravaging many countries including Nigeria.
However, this poverty is largely in Nigeria’s case due to massive corruption, ineptitude and lack of futuristic aptitudes.
Privileged individuals simply take over public funds for self-aggrandizement. The government lacks the wherewithal to tackle the enormous and burgeoning problems facing it. Insecurity becomes the order of the day. With the dearth of funds, projects cannot be initiated let alone pay wages. With no funds for wages, new recruitment for employment cannot be made. This also can be seen in the sphere of insecurity as marauders molest, harass and kill farmers in the field daily. Kidnappers are on the prowl heisting anybody they feel can cough out money.
To compound all of these, the APC-led-government not as a result a result of its fault found itself holding the reins of a runaway wild horse galloping into the wild. The APC government is really confounded through its trying to hold a straight face by bluffing with vain assurance of hopelessness.
Two years after the marked change, the ordinary citizen can readily identify the penury and state of anomic that pervades the country. Whatever change the APC talk-persons dish out, are more of wishes than realities. Perhaps also, the changes are in the art of a concealment and embezzling of public funds, since the shooters have mastered the art of precision among, the birds too have developed the science of evasive flight.
The EFFC have been after some alleged public thieves of public funds. The rest at large have perfected the art of doing the usual business clandestinely in fine science. With this bopped game playing on, nothing is getting any better than the change from bad to worse. Yes, there are marked changes as the APC government is wont the citizens to believe, the citizens however know otherwise.
The APC regime wants to count its blessings at the same time present the rhetorical ballad of saying it is too early to equate its rule at two. By the time four years elapses, nobody would have the change or not. But for now the APC claims credit for almost crushing the Boko Haram group. This can be given to it by acquiesce, then what about the kidnappers and the public looters and the high handedness of the police?
Yes, there are changes in the country since the APC took over the reins of power but the change is of sort. It is not the expected change the plebiscites we looked forward to. The ordinary citizen had looked forward to an Eldorado sort of change. They had thought that the APC government would make prices of commodities to be affordable because food would be abundant.
The citizens had thought with the coming of the APC, the Boko Haram issue would just like a mist fizzle away. The citizens had thought that with the face of Buhari in the helm of affairs, the fear of God would transcend the spines of all those looters and they would simply discharge their loots.
However, the reverse is the case. Disappointment.
In fact there is dismay, anomic, hopelessness, anger anxiety, melancholy and a sickening dread in the land.
This is made worse with the ailing of the arrow head of the APC-led-government. So if the head is literarily sick what can the body do and what will be the body’s state of health?
Nigerians would forget the APC-led-administration after four years just as the former regimes have been forgotten but not for good. The APC government will be remembered as a historical artefact reference so that future parties wanting a shot at leadership or governance can peer and redefine their slogans.
For Nigerians, thus is another season of lent, fasting and prayers to their various gods. The lessons are very hard to learn.
The change is for impoverishment, reduction of Nigerians’ worth. Hard times still awaits Nigerians. The future is bleak let no one deceive you with slogan or rhetoric. The stretch of unending and winding rough track, APC or whoever cannot smoothen or soften the road.
This is the art of change. Every day the elephants fight, the grass suffers. This is exactly the scenario in Nigeria.