This is another attempt of your administration to shift blame. The blame of Jonathan administration is no longer selling in the market. Your Minister of Information does not want to put pressure on your government. Instead, he wants Nigerians to “proffer solutions”. This reasoning is another insanity we have sold ourselves over the years.

It has become so standard that we expect even a boli vendor to provide us with a political solution the moment she starts asking questions about governance. As if government cares. True, public intellectuals may engage society to broaden perspectives. Non-profit entities may volunteer to fix certain issues. Everyday citizens may agitate for a particular course of action. But, in the end, it is not the duty of the intellectual, the charity or the ordinary citizen to fix socio-political problems. This is the duty of government. This is the reason we create governments. It is the reason we voted government. And I hope the Minister of Information and Culture gets to understand this.

We elect our public officials to think about us. We empower them with the full resources of state. We pay them in taxes and our collective resources. We house them, feed them, transport them, nurse them, clothe them, and may even bury them when they die in exchange for just their concern over our affairs. Not to share money for us, or fly us in private jets, just a little concern from them will suffice. Is that too much to ask?

When you were campaigning and ferociously chanting the mantra “CHANGE”, you repeatedly said “… You will” not “Nigerians will…”, How does change now begin with me now?

We keep getting excuses for why things are not working. We are rebuked and insulted by public officials and Government aides. We were told that when you get to read about our pains on paper, you laugh and laugh until you’ve had your fill. We have become whipped and accepting.

We can’t blame ourselves for the lack of social development. We invest government with resources then absolve it of responsibility. Instead, we challenge ourselves to work harder, to do better. And when our social critics call out government, we tell them to shut up or “proffer solutions” we tell them “Change begins with you”.

Think of that: we order our social critics to fix things while we accept excuses from our elected leaders. Of course, our public intellectuals have degraded from the irreverent impartiality of unyielding social thinkers to the simpering partisanship of special advisers ‘wannabe’.

Dear Buhari, we are not so politically uninformed as not to discern when a government is abdicating it’s responsibility and totally vesting it in the masses. When there was recruitment opportunity in CBN, we saw the children of those who change should begin from get the jobs surreptitiously.

When there was ban on forex, those who change should begin with was sold forex at one hundred and ninety seven naira.

Change does not begin with me, my attitude as a Nigerian is dependent on your body language as my President. If those who go about killing innocent Nigerians are brought to face the law, our attitude will change.

If corrupt officials are tried and convicted upon overwhelming evidence against them, the attitude of public office holders will change.

Change does not begin with me. My relationship and dealing with others is dependent on you my President. I am not the one who branded Nigerians as “Criminals”.

It wasn’t me who on Sunday, August 28, 2016, told Japanese business community that Nigeria’s business environment was not healthy for investors. It was you Sir. Change does not begin with me.

It was the son of a commoner in person of Daniel Dada Ayodele who graduated with a 5.0 CGPA from UNILAG. So Nigerian youths are not intellectually lazy as you implied. Change does not begin with me.

It wasn’t a Carpenter that was reported to have beaten traffic light and landed himself in London hospital, it was Godswill Akpabio. A senator and a minority leader of the National Assembly, change does not begin with me.

You questioned our moral as well as social values, it was not Mama Ketu who called Mr. Fayose a “Mad Dog”, it was your wife. Change does not begin with me

It’s not my wife that’s is moving about with Hermes bag worth millions of naira when Nigerians are dying from starvation. It is your wife sir.

We were not the ones that budget 8 billion naira for my kitchen. It was you sir.

I am not the one who constantly refuses to obey court orders, it is you Mr President.

The average Nigerian did not pad the 2016 budget, the National Assembly did Sir.

It was not the average Nigerian at the foot of the societal ladder that went to solicit the services of prostitutes in America, members of the Hallowed Chamber did Sir.

Mr President, the Youths are engaging in criminality not because they enjoy it. Times are hard Mr. President and we did not plunge Nigeria into recession, you did. Change does not begin with me.

I will ask “how far have I changed?” When your wife vacates the office of the first lady inline with the promise you made to us during the campaigns.

Change does not begin with me, it begins with YOU and all Nigerians in place of authority.

Aluzu Ebikebuna Augustine is a Right Activists from Bayelsa state and can be reached on ebisko19@gmail.com

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