In just about a few hours, the wind of Change whose silent whistle emerged on March 28, 2015 will finally reach its crescendo, when General Muhammadu Buhari is sworn in as the 5th democratically elected president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. So much needs to be said and acknowledged in this particular transition from one government to another.
Due commendation and credence must first be given to the good people of Nigeria for their collective efforts in ensuring that our democracy remains. It is to the credit of Nigerians and well-meaning political gladiators that the 2015 elections, (widely predicted, even by the international community, to bring about Nigeria’s eventual collapse) went practically uneventfully.
Violence was minimal, while the voting process itself was widely acclaimed to be largely free and fair. We must also commend the two “giant players” in the presidential race – Dr Ebele Goodluck Jonathan, and General Muhammadu Buhari (Rtd) – both of who in their respective ways, have ensured that national interest has been upheld before, during, and after the elections.
As a new journey in our national life begins, come 29th May 2015, the expectations of all Nigerians are high – it is to be expected! That relentless patriotic zeal in the psyche of Nigerians informs their high expectations and hope that things can only get better under a totally new dispensation! What defines this belief as well as the pervading electrifying current in and around the country in recent times, is the simple yet factual saying, “forward ever, backward never!” I-Nigerian joins all Nigerians to commend our best wishes to the new President, retired General Muhammadu Buhari, and his team. We must also commend the outgoing administration, led by President Goodluck Jonathan, who have steered the ship of governance for the past five years. The good statesmanship exhibited by Dr Goodluck Jonathan throughout his tenure as president, speaks volumes for him in the history of Nigeria.
As he passes on the baton to the next President, I-Nigerian wishes him and his family well, and warm wishes on to his next assignment as a global statesman. The new government, under the headship of President Muhammadu Buhari will be taking over the reins of power at a time that the clarion call for a boost in the great potential of Nigeria as a country is sounding louder. Suffice it to say that the new government has its work cut out for it, and must from the onset strive to affirm their appreciation of the huge responsibility entrusted on them by Nigerians, who were swayed by that simple word in their electoral campaign: CHANGE; and came out en masse to vote for CHANGE! Fellow Nigerians, it is also a good time to remind ourselves that CHANGE is a word we must ALL – at ALL levels – begin to appropriately and purposefully imbibe in our daily lives, business dealings, and work performance – so that the new dispensation will reflect our much desired renaissance. Indeed, is CHANGE not all about RENAISSANCE – a “rebirth” of our dear nation?! In doing so, we must, however, not fail to appreciate, and take on board the good in the legacy that has been bequeathed by the outgoing government. Positive lessons, experiences, and policies from the old are there to consolidate upon, and to serve as a guide as we work towards ensuring the continuity for our common good as a people. Fellow Nigerians, it’s a new dawn, a new era, a new dispensation, and we must collectively rally our support and cooperation with the new administration, in order to actualize our collective vision for Nigeria our country, and for ourselves as a people.
Let us continue to imbibe the spirit of patriotism, unity, nationalism, peace, and tolerance of one another; and eschew those negative thoughts and actions that are inimical to our peace, unity, and continued existence. Let us continue to uphold NATIONAL INTEREST in all its ramifications, and continue to work together for our common good. We ourselves are responsible for the success of our new journey; and we ourselves must rise up and purposefully be the CHANGE that we voted for, and wish to see. As we consistently say: Who is Nigeria? Nigerians are Nigeria!!!
Ada Stella Apia-Afi
National Coordinator I-Nigerian Initiative
(An NGO that encourages positive reporting on Nigeria)