The word CHANGE means so many things to so many people.
According to Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, change means to make or become different.
It means to make somebody or something different, to pass from one state to another.
Change means to replace one thing, person, service etc with something new or different.
Change means to exchange position or places with someone else.
Change means changing into something, to put on different clothes or clean clothes.
You can change money, goods, bed etc. Money can change hands. You can change plane, bus or train.
You can go from one bus or train to another just to continue your journey. I can go on and on.
Before the 2015 general elections, APC promised Nigerians a change from the old order to the new order.
It was a promise to do things differently…
– a promise to move away from being a consumer of anything in sight produced abroad to produce a nation,
– a promise to put structures in place to make corruption look unattractive, a promise to enforce attitudinal change,
– a promise to change Nigeria’s cause of history,
– a promise to make Nigeria to move away from a generator driven economy to stable power supply,
– a promise to look inwards, a promise to look at state of our infrastructure and do something tangible about it if Nigeria must be a destination,
– a promise to create jobs,
– a promise to feed ourselves and export food, a promise to provide security for lives and property, etc.
Throughout history I have always known that change is not an event but a process.
It takes time to effect a serious change in a country like Nigeria, driven by greed and avaricious tendencies of few people in position of authority.
As I write this, I hear that Nigeria economy is now officially in recession.
For me it is not unexpected given what APC government inherited from PDP after 16 years, the glut in the oil industry and the activities of militants in the Niger Delta region.
One is not giving excuses here because real leaders do not bemoan problems, they address problems frontally.
A school of thought tells me that “A dream does not become reality through magic, it takes sweat, determination and hard work”.
I am seeing the change when those who stole billions in both local and foreign currencies are returning the loot with frightening speed.
I am seeing change when I see 400 billion naira being invested in infrastructure this year when only 17 billion naira was slated for the same project in 2015 by the PDP.
I see change when eleven States are investing heavily in Rice production to reduce the huge foreign exchange expended in the massive importation of rice.
I can see the real change as Nigeria is gradually moving away from dependence in petro-dollars to diversifying the economy to have multiple streams of income.
I am seeing the real change in the power sector as government is no longer tied to the gas-driven power plants and gas supplies from the Niger Delta region.
Government has been compelled to look beyond gas-driven plants to solar stations, thermal stations, nuclear power stations, wind power, hydro-power, coal-powered stations etc from other parts of Nigeria.
We are gradually moving away from dependence of Niger Delta oil and gas to other sources of Revenue.
I have seen Nigerians adjusting to a better life style that will help Nigeria to grow. Nigerians no longer flood the streets of our cities with cars for pleasure.
Nigerians no longer travel to London, America, Dubai and other countries to stage parties and play with their friends.
Multi-billionaires of yesterday are now bankrupt just 16 months after their PDP lost power, which proves to you automatically that their wealth is artificial and fraudulent.
The Federal, States, and LGAs are now adjusting to the new reality in Nigeria that proves to even the deaf and the dumb that it is not business as usual.
Those who have kids studying abroad know the pains they are going through including this writer.
What is happening to parents will force all of us to support this government to begin the process of rebuilding our institutions.
This is the real change APC promised.
For the first time in the history of Nigeria, I have seen Nigerians drinking less imported South African, Spanish, American and Asian spirits and wines.
I have seen Nigerians consuming less South African Apples and grapes that cost this country billions of dollars every year to import.
In fact I hear that Nigeria has joined the club of the biggest wine consuming nations in the world.
Now Nigerians are thinking. Thanks for APC Change mantra and the condition that forced us to adjust.
Today the emphasis is on agriculture and other mineral resources. I have also seen monumental changes in the area of security of lives and property.
We may not be there yet but I see hope.
The Boko Haram, the Niger Delta terrorists and pockets of other trouble makers are seeing the handwriting on the wall.
They now know that when superior force meets a local force, the local power bows to superior power.
Nigeria is getting better and this I know even though it is coming in the midst of pains and tears. Through dint of hard work and commitment this country will rise again.
What President Buhari needs is support and encouragement.
Joe Igbokwe, Lagos