Not so long ago talk about the #IstandwithNigeria protest filled the news media. The idea was said to have been conceived by the popular Nigerian musician, Innocent Idibia. We were told that the protest was supposed to be against government policies. The idea may have been innocently conceived by the music star out of genuine feelings for the suffering people of Nigeria, I think a more comprehensive evaluation of the situation and remedies should have been done before mapping out actions to be taken. This would have enabled him come up with much better prioritizing. Street protest no doubt is a legally allowed instrument of expression in our society.

True, most Nigerians, surely I for one, are not in any way satisfied with the effectiveness of the Buhari administration in tackling the nation’s numerous and deep rooted problems. I do not however think that the first think to do by the suffering Nigerians is to embark on a nationwide street protest against the regime’s policies en bulk. There are so many practical things, common sense things, not necessarily guided by specific government policies we Nigerians can immediately do that will impact positively on our economy before settling down to examine the soundness of government policies. This is so because, no matter how sound the policies may be, our dream of our nation will remain elusive unless those little things are addressed by Nigerians ourselves.

Without doubt, one major action that must be successfully carried out in order to revamp our economy is waste reduction. For decades we have watched in disbelief the conduct of some of the members of the National Assembly. A few years ago the former CBN governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, during a public speech revealed to us the unbelievable percentage of the National wealth that went to the National Assembly.There were only newspaper and TV commentaries on that. I do not remember any street protest against the situation and a demand for adjustment. The trend continued. A very recent case was when the house members themselves leveled accusations and counter accusations against one another over budget padding and other associated improper conducts, which they told us had been going on for many years. I do not recall any street protests against that. Did we need a government policy to enable us express our displeasure at the development?

For many years investigations have revealed the stupendous amounts looted by our politicians and other people entrusted with our national wealth. I have not seen any nationwide street protest against such, in fact, we have even celebrated some. Substantial reduction in waste in the National Assembly will mean a lot for the Nigerian economy. Discouragement of mindless looting of the treasury by Nigerians via peaceful street protests and shunning of the ill-gotten wealth will substantially sanitize the system and put the economy in good stead. Waste reduction is essential because the treasury will remain empty if the holes are large enough no matter how much goes into it.

Further home, the same very people who were readily available to protest in the streets against government policies have for years watched sorting and even participated in sorting of lectures, and numerous other academic crimes that have battered our educational system thus dealing a devastating blow to the nation’s productive capacity, a contributory factor to current situation.

The same very people have for years continued to watch criminals of different shades: armed robbers, 419ners, kidnappers,rapists, etc., in their neighbourhoods perpetrate their crimes unhindered without passing intelligence to the appropriate authorities thereby encouraging the exacerbation of the situation.

The same very people have for years watched Nigerians steadily poisoned by food vendors who, in an unregulated fashion, doze the food items they sell with all sorts of dangerous chemicals, without nationwide street protest against either the vendors or NAFDAC which seems to be either unwilling to act or helpless, thus encouraging the practice to become widespread in Nigeria.

The same very people have watched for years filling station operators continue to shortchange Nigerians by dispensing petroleum products with badly adjusted metering facilities without a protest.

The same very people have for years continued to watch dubious characters saturate the Nigerian market with fake and adulterated products such as milk, wine, cornflakes, drugs, etc many of which are produced in Nigeria by Nigerians without reporting to the appropriate authorities.

The same very people have for years failed to maintain clean queues at bus stops, banks, shopping centre checkout points, etc. Perhaps we are still waiting for good government policies to enable us do the needful in this regard.

The same very people have for years watched our legal system, the last hope of the common man, go down in shame without nationwide street protest. I could go on and on.

Poor policy formulation and poor policy implementation are definitely areas to be looked at but surely not first on the list in my judgement. I therefore strongly urge every single Nigerian no matter how small he may think he is to immediately commence steady contribution to the purification of the Nigerian society in every small way he can beginning from his own immediate community.