On Wednesday night after waiting on a long fuel queue for nearly four hours, I was finally able to buy fuel amidst the frantic rush at NNPC station. As at 9PM the queue was over 400 cars long as 10 litres of PMS in the black market began trading for N2,500. Very few persons have that level of purchasing power, so tired workers, over-worked taxi drivers, die-hard black market hawkers and frustrated generator set owners came out to hustle for the precious liquid gold.
While we were waiting, I decided to have some fun. First I ordered for Chinese special fried rice from Afro-Asia restaurant (hustle while you wait) and then began interviewing a number of people who were also hustling for fuel, on what they thought was the reason for the scarcity of products.
Most citizens and non-citizens (they were quite a number) cited the obvious corruption, others said there was a need for change- that Jonathan’s administration should just hand over on May 1st. Others cited that the government had a lack of direction and offered to give a number of other unprintable reasons.
What I observed however was that here in Nigeria there is a common saying which a lot of people resignedly use to summarize a conversation especially at the end of a long litany of complaints, they say, “Well, let us just pray and hope for the best”.
We hope for change. We hope for better days ahead. We hope for a brighter future for the next generation. But hope is not a strategy. Hope must be backed up with action.
Collectively we as Nigerians can hope that the new administration and political party at the helm of affairs of our nation will bring about the change we have long clamored for and ardently desire. But we must also be ready to deal with the sacrifices that change demands. We must be ready to take action, whistle blow when we see corruption, carry placards when the government decides to pretend they didn’t hear us whistle and if neccesary, be prepared to lose our freedom temporarily as we clamour for change.
Ultimately the true measure of our desire will be the sacrifices we are prepared to make. So while we hope for change, let us not fold our arms and rest. Hope isn’t something you have, it is something you do.