Guest Post: AGONY OF A CITIZEN by CHI-CHI OMEREKPE

What is happening? I don’t know what this country is turning out to be. Human beings die every day like animals and still people have the guts to say they want change from where an atom of change cannot come from. Truth is I am tired of this country, if migrating is possible I will not hesitate at all. But looking on the other side, one will not run away from his /her country because of fellow citizens. Then here comes the big question, WHO WILL REDEEM THIS COUNTRY?
To me, I think this a ‘rhetorical question’.  I’m not trying to take sides with any political party as the craze of this is also ruining my peace (social media is not helping matters). I will start with the current government headed by Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. From my point of view, this government has done more good than harm in our various sectors. Many will crucify me for this statement, but let us all remember the saying that ‘the devil you know is better than the angel you never knew’. 

In my opinion, the present government has been under serious attack from inception; but still with-stood its grounds and made very obvious changes Nigeria. I know you are keen to know exactly what changes were made; read on and you’ll soon find out.

In the education sector, the government has made quite an applausive impact, of which the most significant is the recent construction and equipping of the Almajiri schools in the far north where education as a whole is a sin (Haram). Many scholars have also benefited from the Presidential Special Scholarship Scheme for Innovation and Development (PRESSID) aimed at training critical mass of professionals to serve as catalysts of change for scientific and technological development. It’ll interest you to know that in the first edition of the scholarship scheme for first class graduates, 446 candidates wrote the test for the 2012/2013 academic session and 100 were selected.to study for their post-graduate degree in the world’s top 25 universities. It’s natural that we are mostly blinded to the good deeds but publicise the shortcomings of our leaders especially in an economy like Nigeria where it seems like ‘’the more you look the less you see’’.
Let’s talk about unemployment – Have you heard about YouWin – Youth Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria? This programme is a collaboration of the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Communication Technology (CT), Ministry of Youth Development, and Ministry of Women Affairs & Social Development to provide aspiring youths with a platform to showcase their business acumen. It is highly aimed at young entrepreneurs who want to start a business in Nigeria with the objective of creating jobs. YouWIn has helped create a total of 22,000 jobs so far and the goal is to double that amount with the fourth edition. 
YouWin provides a one-time equity grant for up to 1,200 aspiring entrepreneurs and hopes to generate 80,000 to 11,000 new jobs for unemployed Nigerian youths over the course of the programme. It also provides training for up to 6,000 youths across all geo-political zones in the country. YouWin awardees receive between N1 million and N10 million in government grants, depending on the business’s needs. You can visit the site to read more – www.youwin.org.ng
These are just to mention a few changes and impact made during the reign of GEJ; but the endless attack from Boko haram has in so many ways disturbed the present government. I believe their main purpose is to distract & frustrate GEJ from doing what is expected. We really need to be wise with our voting, as I said earlier ‘the devil you know is better than the angel you never knew’’.
The elections are obviously around the corner and we need someone who will redeem this country. I will not mention names but we know the two significant candidates. The devil (according to most Nigerians) has failed this country and we need change from an angel (who we are not even sure of  & could be worse off) but I guess records are kept for times like this. Frankly speaking, the records from the opposing party is shocking in a negative way and the change we ‘crave’ cannot come from such records.
It is often said that ‘’old wine tastes better ‘’ but I doubt that phrase will be effective in this context because one cannot compare old palm wine to freshly tapped palm wine. In this case, we should focus on what we need and not what we want. We need a better Nigeria, we don’t want just change. While some people say this election is not dependent on religion, some say it is more religious than political. From what I see, I agree with the latter. As I said earlier, I am not here to take sides with any political party; I believe that what the masses want is unity, absolute unity.
In conclusion, this is a wake-up call to my fellow citizens. Criticizing from our comfort zone and on social media will not make the change we need and crave for, rather it will mar it. Let us come out of our comfort zone and make a better Nigeria. I believe, you believe, we believe, we can make it!

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lynnvillle
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