The Challenge of Change – Ogunjimi James Taiwo @hullerj
“It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird; it would be a jolly
sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are
like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an
ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.” – C. S. Lewis
“One of the great liabilities of history is that all too many people
fail to remain awake through great periods of social change. Every
society has its protectors of status quo and its fraternities of the
indifferent who are notorious for sleeping through revolutions. Today,
our very survival depends on our ability to stay awake, to adjust to
new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the challenge of change.” —
Martin Luther King Jr.
Change is a word that has become so relevant in this age and time when
everything is turning at a fast pace. The dissemination of
information, the rate at which customs are evolving, e.t.c are all
pointers to the fact that things are changing, and we must be prepared
to either face this new challenge or stay stuck in the past.
As I write this, my thoughts are with Nigeria and the ordeal the
entire citizenry has had to live with. I look at people who have had
it rough in almost the 52 years of the existence of the nation. I look
around and see people who have been told year in year out, “things are
going to be different this year.” But things have always stayed the
same. I see people who feel betrayed on all fronts; their traditional
rulers have mortgaged their authority in the society for a ‘plate of
porridge’, the religious leaders have not only sold off their voices
to the oppressors of the people, but they actually take part in the
subjugation process, the elected leaders have turned political office
into personal businesses and couldn’t care less about the people who
risked legs and limbs to vote them in. And yet i see people who have
been told so many lies that they can no longer see the truth.
We ask ourselves why with all these things going on, people still
prefer to either keep quiet or repeat that age-long slogan that has
kept people down “e go better”.
E go better, e go better, 52 years have passed. E go better, e go
better, our oil is drying up while we have nothing to point to as
achievement. E go better, e go better, other nations are catering for
the needs of their citizens, we are squandering money on building
biggest banquet hall in Africa. E go better, e go better, other
nations are making policies that will ensure their children are
educated, Nigerian government is making policies that will end the
hopes of our youths. E go better, e go better, nations are trying to
keep people off the streets and empower them, we are ending people’s
work without providing genuine alternatives.
The challenge is simple; we either hatch or go bad. We either speak up
or remain silent forever. We must be prepared to get off that high
horse of nonchalance and join the people who actually want things to
change. We must collectively re-assert our rights to quality and
affordable education, security of our lives and properties,
transparency and accountability.
We must demand that our traditional rulers/community leaders begin
their journey back to relevance by refusing to be puppets of the
government; they must go back to the times when their decisions alone
command fear. Religious leaders must be reminded that they have an
obligation to say the truth without diluting it. There must be an end
to the parasitic lifestyle they have chosen. The welfare of the people
must come first before allowing themselves unnecessary luxury. As for
the elected leaders, we must demand accountability, they must either
start caring genuinely or prepare to start losing woefully.
Finally, in a changing world, although our views on issues may change,
our perception of situations may differ; our resolve must remain firm
and unshakeable. Remember, a new Nigeria is possible, we must never
give up on that dream.
God bless Nigerians!
– Ogunjimi James Taiwo