The above statement was an utterance of an angry bus conductor (a local commercial bus driver’s apprentice) in Lagos, Nigeria and it instantly went viral.
The norm is that when passengers board commercial buses in Lagos, they pay conductors with higher denominations and sometimes it is done intentionally. This in turn triggers a lot of frustration on the part of these conductors and drivers as they struggle hard to return the difference after subtracting the fare back to the passengers.
Sometimes these guys will buy some lower denominations from people who sell; this comes at an extra cost of 10 percent deficit. For instance if a conductor carries 20 passengers at 100 naira per person, Assuming about 3 of the passengers hand him 500 naira notes, 4 others hand him 1000 naira notes, wahala don start be that. He has to figure out how to return the change to these very impatient and naggy passengers. I believe this was a similar scenario to Kola’s. Out of frustration he screamed “EVERY DAY YOU ASK FOR CHANGE, YOU SEF BRING CHANGE! ”
Kola’s statement went viral, my guess is one of the passengers twitted it. However, there are some positives we can learn from this. Kola had unconsciously stated the obvious. The average Nigerian is full of criticism for our government we ask for change like tomorrow no de, I am also guilty of this. In fact, I nag more than anyone else. How do you explain/justify the level of decadence in the society? Everything seem to be crumbling, the government has repeatedly showed us that they are clueless, Just this morning, I read online that the FG(federal government) has ordered 53 gold plated Apple Iphones at about almost 400M Naira (source withheld).
Mehn I was furious, some months back, the FG ordered Phones for 6000 farmers, till date I cannot see any sense in that. That said, in every adversity there are the exemptions. Some governors are working very hard to ensure they turn the destinies of their states around.
If we think deeply about Kola’s statement, Instead of asking for change, why not initiate the change. Instead of condemning these leaders why not strategize and form focus groups in our locality to probably volunteer and solve specific problems, soon the ripple effect of these changes will be felt everywhere.
Remember, leaders were once followers, every person at any level of leadership were from the masses. The truth is nothing will change until we are ready for this change. Maybe the problem is that we don’t prepare for leadership and when the opportunity presents itself either by merit or otherwise, our lack of vision and preparation forms the bedrock of our inability to leave a positive mark. It’s easier to sit and do nothing and criticize, try and influence those on your street before you criticize anyone in leadership.
Every major change throughout history comes with a cost. One of my philosophies of life is that “the task master will not let you go until you are ready to fight back”. I read of a particular area in Ibadan on nairaland.com where the youths asked PHCN to do away with power supply until there’s stable electricity. This just a simple way of fighting back… In short we won’t pay for your service, don’t give it to us… Simple!
I am not asking for a revolution or war, NO; I am only admonishing us to fight back and get set for leadership. My grandfathers and parents sang the same song I am singing … “I know one day e go better” but the truth is we have to create the future we want now. I don’t want to sing same song to my unborn kids. Let’s all make it a point of duty to be the change, let’s take an advantage of our powers and disallow a privileged few loot what is more than enough to go round.
Soon, we will go to the polls to probably elect the same set of people, those who have the vision and will don’t have the resources, those who have the resources are clueless, what a vicious cycle. Imagine if we refuse to give or accept bribes, Imagine if all employers decide to employ based on merit, Imagine if churches and religious bodies rise to the challenge and say enough, Imagine if we decide to curb the excesses of our government and ask for a change politely, or you think we can’t get there? Let me quote Adidas “impossible is nothing”. We had our chance though, we lost it. We were to occupy Nigeria till we see some changes but I guess no one wants to die.
Just last night I read via Easynet sms that an 8 year old child bride bled to death on her wedding night in one of the northern states. I remembered me commenting on change.org that every professional woman should down tools until the law is reversed, however our selfish nature deprives us of our unity of purpose. Even the blind can see Nigeria’s sicknesses, but if we decide to be the change, then we have a hope.
Unfortunately, things have gotten so bad that one will have to wear some binoculars to see if there’s any light at the end tunnel for our dear country. However, if we all decide to be the change, gradually things will improve.
God bless Nigeria plus happy belated birthday to our dear country.