We have begun to clamour for change and to an extent, we have started seeing some of the changes we wanted in our nation. To start with, we are seeing a different set of people in leadership who may not be perfect but are more concerned about the people than they are about themselves.
I believe that over time, the influence of these leaders will trickle down and you will see some sanity in the entire system of government. That will not happen in the twinkle of an eye. But we don’t have a choice. It will happen.
More importantly, it is obvious that the citizens need to change as much as the leaders need to change. If the citizens don’t change, there is no way the leaders will change. We are all citizens of this great country and it is from among us that the leaders emerge. We must admit we can’t perform a miracle regarding the quality of leaders that we get.
If there are no first class citizens there can be no first class leaders. I think we have to work very hard at producing citizens who don’t need law enforcement agencies before they can behave themselves. Until very recently in a place like Lagos, obeying the traffic light was strange! With the introduction of Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), most people naturally became accustomed to obeying traffic light and also using their seat belts.
Many of us know that the corruption within the smaller units of government and companies that have nothing to do with the government is worse than what the politicians are doing.
We need a proper, rigorous and consistent orientation for every Nigerian citizen. I have said every Nigerian even though I know that there are some exceptional citizens. This is not the time to say some are doing it right and some are not.
Take a look at the traffic situation in Lagos. The grid lock is not usually caused by bad roads as we claim, even though a lot of roads are bad. It is true that some roads are narrow and other have dangerous bends but more importantly, impatience is the lead cause of traffic gridlock.
There are times when I interact with some fellow citizens and I am shocked at their utterances. There are those who don’t believe that anyone who is rich was able to gain wealth honestly. For that misguided belief, they also think they have nothing to look forward to other than an opportunity to steal from other people or loot the treasury of this nation.
One thing is so clear, above all the other challenges that we have, and that is the orientation of the people. People get into position and they are not thinking about how to better the lots of other people but how to better their lot. Many of us can help other people around us but we just refuse to help.
There is the corruption issue that we all shout about but it is an offshoot of a misguided mindset. There is the issue of non performance of people when they get into position and that too is an offshoot of wrong or poor orientation.
My submission is that even if the government were to change completely overnight, if the citizens don’t change their orientation we will have many more issues to deal with. Let us start with ourselves and with the people around us. We know what is right or we should seek what is right and improve our orientation.
Note that as your orientation improves, this nation will eventually improve.
Fola Daniel Adelesi
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