By ALINNOR ARINZE A.
“What the world needs is an Emergency Boss. An Emergency Czar. An Emergency Commander. A true master of Disaster. One person completely responsible for the anticipation, immediate reconnaissance and urgent execution of rescue and relief efforts around the world.”—Steven Van Zandt.
“Nigeria needs change, an urgent change! Nigeria needs a true Commander-in-Chief and a unifying figure. Nigeria needs to get the economy back on track, reduce dependence on oil, tackle unemployment and corruption, reposition education, create the enabling environment for investments and be the real giant in all spheres.”—Sam Nda-Isaiah.
The electoral body in Nigeria- INEC, has given political parties and politicians the ‘permission’ to commence electioneering campaigns and primaries. It’s the season of sweet words, promises and manifestoes. But we must remember that the sugar-coated words and manifestoes of the years past brought us where we today need help. Our actions, inactions, decisions, choices, activities and investments of the past years are seeds that have guaranteed harvest. Like Stephen R. Covey said, “But until a person can say deeply and honestly, “I am what I am today because of the choices I made yesterday,” that person cannot say, “I chose otherwise.”
We have to make a choice between maintaining the status quo and deviating from it and navigate towards real change. Under certain circumstances, urgent circumstances, desperate circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer. Many desire change in Nigeria but are only praying for change. But like Dalai Lama said, “It’s unrealistic to think that the future of humanity can be achieved only on the basis of prayer; WHAT WE NEED IS TO TAKE ACTION.” Our action this time in Nigeria is to vote right or keep crying and praying for change.
We cannot continue to do the same things and be expecting different results. We have voted in the past based purely on sentiments. And we cannot continue to vote that way and be expecting genuine change in the polity. Square pegs cannot continue in round holes or change will remain elusive. Urgent optimism is the desire to act immediately to tackle an obstacle, combined with the belief that we have reasonable hope of success. And the time to act is now!
If we must get it right this time, we must shun sentiments. In the past, religious and ethnic sentiments have been used by the political elite to confuse the people whenever it was time to elect new public office holders. After the elections, it becomes obvious that we sacrificed merit for sentiments. It is time for us to shun those sentiments and vote for the people who have the capacity to bring about the desired change. Nobody should have our votes this time if capacity to initiate change or meet the people’s urgent needs is lacking regardless of religion or ethnicity.
Almost all the political parties have given out nomination forms and we have seen most of the aspirants in their ranks. But the truth be told almost all of them have been part of the past we want to move away from. If we sincerely desire change then we must opt for real change and deviation from our horrible past and path. Jim Rohn said, “Without a sense of urgency, desire loses its value.” Urgency means paying the details the attention they deserve, with the respect they deserve, without delay. So we must pay good attention now and pick credible people with change in mind.
Over the years, aspirants mouth their manifestoes and do next to nothing when elected eventually. We have had the opportunity of hearing almost all the Presidential aspirants across party lines and what they claim they will offer Nigerians. But in my opinion, only one Presidential aspirant looked like the change he spoke about. Sam Nda-Isaiah is a Presidential aspirant on the platform of All Progressive Congress (APC).
I went through his declaration speech over and over again. He articulated properly how he will unite Nigerians once again and tackle the challenges of insecurity. Change can only come from ideas led government. Sam Nda-Isaiah is of the new generation and has not been part of the political elite that brought the nation on her knees. He outlined how he will tackle all the problems from corruption, unemployment, decayed infrastructure, education, to reshaping of our economy. I was convinced after going through his speech that he’s the type of person to spearhead the needed change.
If it is true that ideas rule the world, the Big Ideas outlined by this gentleman have enormous capacity to move the nation forward and put us on the world map positively again. It is time to look beyond political party lines and look at credibility and track record of aspirants; we must shun religious and ethnic sentiments. Theodore Roosevelt said, “Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the President or any other public official.” It is time to stand by Nigeria! It is time to stand by change! Let’s give genuine change a chance! Let’s vote right! God bless Nigeria!