Change is inevitable; it must happen. That means everybody should always prepare for change. Leaders are expected to lead by example. From that perspective, change should begin with our leaders.
Specifically, change should start with the President himself. From my little knowledge, the Federal Government has about 11 aircraft. What is the President doing with those aircraft? It is true that he was not the one that bought the aircraft. But we expect him to sell the aircraft when he came to power. The British Prime Minister travels in commercial aircraft. The US government has only two aircraft. We don’t need 11 aircraft for any reason. We are a poor country. We cannot be poor and live rich. The President should begin the change we have been clamouring for by selling off all the aircraft.
Change should begin with the people. This is because the government is made up of individuals. Parents should begin to change the orientation of their children. Every mother and father should ensure that their children do the right things. Adults should also change their attitude towards national development.
If change starts with the people, it would affect the government in the long run. If the people do the right thing, they would be in a good position to correct the government. When the government goes astray, the people would protest because they know the right thing. People would resist a tyrant when they know what constitutes an ideal society.
But when the majority still continues with the old ways of doing things, the government cannot be challenged to change its attitude. The people would discourage the government from doing the right things if they do not change. Change should begin with the people.
Everybody should embrace change. Individuals should embrace change and do things differently in their professions and organisations. People should embrace ethical standards.
In most cases, people suffer because of the selfishness of a few individuals. Let us look at what is happening to the price of rice. Rice is out of the reach of the ordinary people today because those who import the product hoard it. If you go to the seaport, you would notice that vessels loaded with rice are being offloaded. But people have created an artificial scarcity just to exploit consumers.
Nigerians are notorious for taking advantage of every government policy for their selfish reasons. They take advantage of every policy to inflict pains on the masses. We all need to change. Otherwise, the country would not experience any development.
Change should start with public office holders because the masses look up to them. They are the mirror of the society. What they do has a way of influencing how the people they lead conduct their personal lives.
It will be recalled that the body language of Mr. President became a mantra when he assumed office. That tells you that those in power have overwhelming influence on the people.
You would have noticed that the President’s ministers and other government officials talk about anti-corruption war wherever they go. That explains the overwhelming influence of the people in power. Change should begin with the government. I am sure that the people would embrace change when the government genuinely changes the way it does things.
Change should start with the government. The government should change those policies that are no longer relevant to modern governance. It should remove the dead wood in the political circle and bring in fresh hands that can make things work.
The government should be honest with itself and be truthful to the people. It should not make promises it cannot keep. There are many policies designed to exploit the people. Such policies should be reversed. That would send a signal that we are in the era of change.
I think change should start with the citizens and not the government. There are anomalies in every aspect of our lives. Those things need to be corrected. For instance, transporters increase fares during festive seasons. We need attitudinal change to address the issues that border on our private lives.
If corruption is stopped at the individual level, it would not be long before we begin to see the effect in the political space. I believe the country would be better off if people change their attitude.
Change should start at the level of the individual. It is only when that happens that we can achieve the change we desire. A new Nigeria can only emerge out of changed men and women. We need to change our attitude and take responsibility for our actions. We should put aside selfishness and uphold genuine love for one another.
Every great country is built on individuals who are ready to work towards achieving patriotic goals.
So, before you talk about the role of the government, you should ask yourself what you are doing to support the growth of the country.
Change should begin with me. I should change my attitude to work. And that should reflect in whatever I do.
In my life and family, I should be the example of the change I want to see and which I desire. If I have the right attitude to the way I conduct my personal life, I should not have any problem adopting the right attitude when I am entrusted with a public office.
I should also change my attitude at interpersonal relationship level. This would send the right signal to the other people I relate with. I should lead an exemplary life by being the change I desire in the society.
The current administration rode to power on the mantra of change. Nigerians voted for President Muhammadu Buhari because he promised change.
By voting for Buhari, the people have demonstrated that they have embraced change. So, the President must acknowledge the fact that the people have played their part by voting for him. In essence, change has truly started with the people.
What remains now is for the government to enforce the change it promised. The President should change his style of leadership. He should also make sure that the members of his team embrace change.
Change is one thing that is constant. For us to achieve success in life, we must be malleable to change. Talking about attitudinal change, it must start with every one of us.
Generally, we must live by those principles that we desire to see in our society.
But at the national level, change must start with the government. It must be more creative and resourceful in the manner it handles the affairs of the country.
Contending that change should begin with the masses amounts to pushing the responsibility back to the people. The government must do what is right. That would engender change in the entire society.
For the people to have confidence in the pronouncements of the President and his cabinet members, they (government officials) should live by example. How would the people believe what the government says if it canvasses change while it continues to do things in the old way? How would those in leadership build confidence in the people if they do not lead by example?
People would lose trust in governance when public officials say one thing and do another. And this is the same story successive administrations have told us. People should see the reason why they should do the right things. Political leaders should show the people how they should conduct themselves. Words are not enough; they should act.
Look at the country’s taxation system, for example. People pay taxes without seeing what their taxes are used for. How would that encourage more people to pay taxes? The few people that pay should see the effects of their taxes. That would encourage more people to pay taxes.
Change should start with the government. That would give the people the motivation to do the right things.
Geoff Iyatse and Odusina Olutola