We have a role to play | © Fola Daniel Adelesi

In the last few months building up to the Election Day in Nigeria, we saw so many Nigerians clamouring for change in the country. The clamour was not really about the slogan of a political party but a reflection of the peoples strong desire.

The movement was strong and the people were resilient. They were determined to do something differently this time and one could feel that a revolution was about to take place. I saw it coming and several months before the election I had been predicting some of the things that will happen. Eventually those things have happened.

I think that it is a great thing that things have eventually turned out the way they did but there is something more important than that. The big deal is not about the leaders who have won the election but the people who are involved in the elections.

We have a role to play and we are the ones who will bring about the change that we seek. There is no government that can give us our desired change if we do not cooperate and nothing will work until we work it.

I did say on radio some days back that we have a serious role to play which begins with our attitude on the roads. The way we drive say a lot about who we are and how we want to get things done. Too many people are impatient on the roads. They drive as though the cars were designed to fly. These impatient drivers cant bear to see any small traffic building up. The next thing for them is to face the traffic on the other side of the road. This seems insignificant but one of the changes we must see is sanity on our roads.

What about you as a public servant in the government office? There are too many public servants who are destroying this nation by the unimaginable things they are doing in their offices. Some of them will not let the files of people bidding for government contracts pass without being tipped off. So at the end of the day, the one who does not tip them off even though more qualified may not get the job. How will he even get the job when his or her file has been removed secretly for refusing to settle.

Once in a while I challenge other individuals who have nothing to do with the government. There are those deliberately evading taxes. There are employers deducting taxes from staff salaries but not remitting to the government. There are those deducting pension funds but not remitting to the appropriate pension agencies. Peoples pension funds are being stolen so you have those who have worked for thirty five years only to discover they dont have anything called pension.

How we also treat ourselves rip ourselves off must change. At this time I can think about the transporters who seize every available opportunity to hike the fares. Sometimes they just hike fares because it is a festive period. At other times they hike fares because they have been told theres a heavy traffic somewhere in front. There are times they will tell you it has rained and there are not too many vehicles operating so they have to extort you because they are the only one available. You hear all sort of annoying reasons for the hike.

I just see too many things going on daily and I am very angry about many of those things. Sometimes when you raise these issues the people who are supposed to support you are the first to ask you to keep shut. We, the citizens, are sometimes worse than the government officials we criticize.

I have been in a couple of situations where I had to ask the people, is it the government that is doing this to us or we are the ones killing ourselves?

The government obviously has its role to play but we must not forget that the way the change will go round is for us to play our part and in no time everyone will feel it. You have to do things right to the best of your ability. I have to do things right to the best of my ability. You and I must refuse to do what is wrong and never make it look nice just to justify it and make it sound like its okay for us to be involved.  

Fola Daniel Adelesi
President/CEO,
Edible Pen.

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