President Buhari And The Change So Far
I remember just like yesterday the many campaign promises of the All progressive party. (APC) They promised a lot of things. They told us they will give us heaven, whereas, we are still on earth. They promised that they will turn our country into an Eldorado and we believed them wholeheartedly. We believed that a Jerry Rawlings has come to town in the person of president Buhari. And with that, many of us trekked long and terrible distances just to celebrate an electoral victory of the president after he emerged winner of the election.
However, few months down the line, we are beginning to think if all that hype is actually worth the effort. Let me be quick to clarify that it may sound a bit harsh or too early to judge the president but it is also certain that the government inherited by president Buhari is over-promised. Many of us were thinking that as soon as the president took office that our change will be so drastic that we will find an already prepared food on top of our dining tables because of the manner the “change message” was presented to us. But it now seems apparent that the change is not that easy. It requires patience and sacrifice from all of us. That is very true.
And it is also true that the president has submitted some lists of names of ministers to the senate for approval. Although, the names have not been officially announced to the public but many of us can sniff our noses like dogs and decipher one or two or three names from that “secret document”. They are names we use to know. They are not new people. They can best be described as recycled leaders or ex-office holders. That is if our suggested guess is anything to go by.
Mr Femi Adesina the media aide to the president was talking recently that there is nothing wrong in recycling our leaders and it beats my imagination because this is a party that ran a campaign on a change mantra. What is the point of putting those same people that got us to the problems we now face? Are they the best people that will pilot our affairs and navigate us to our promise land? If they cannot do well in their previous engagements, how are we sure that now is the time they will get it right? We waited for months before this ministerial list; do the people in the list have the papal attributes?
I don’t think so. Many of them stink of that same corruption that we are all talking about. Except the lawmakers screens those ones out but we are all aware that Nigerian legislators have never been a perfect example of integrity. It is not uncommon to see senators fighting and tearing their clothes during proceedings in the house. We do not even have to bother ourselves much if we look at the morality of how the current senate president assume into office.
The senate and their shenanigans is not the issue here. For now, it is the ministerial list of the ministers who are recycled and have one or two issues of corruption dangling around their heads. For crying out loud, President Buhari, what happened to the young and vibrant youths in our country? If they can vote at 18, what stop them from been voted or okay nominated by 18?
However, it seems the youths themselves seems not to be ready with political issues they are still basking in the euphoria of “shakiti bobo” , social media craze, the English premier League et al. I am sorry for diverting again. My stand is still on the fact that one cannot use the same people that got us into a certain mess and expect the desired change that we all expect.
Apart from this list, I remember the day the president told the country and the world that the military command will transfer to Maiduguri so as to tackle the menace of the dreaded sect –Boko Haram. The crowd gave him a thunderous applause. Many saw this as a good move to curb the unnecessary excesses of the group. However, just few days ago, some of our country men and women lost their lives due to bomb attacks orchestrated by this group.
And the normal hospital visitations which former president Jonathan also does continued. President Buhari has also visited victims of the attack. The president shifted the command centre from Abuja to Maiduguri temporarily without doing any new recruitment to inject some new blood into the system nor did he promise an increment of salary and remuneration for the soldiers fighting this war.
The argument that President Buhari has done enough by visiting many countries to help Nigerians win this battle with the insurgents, much remain to be seen as the group continue to perpetrate their evil acts. I remember vividly when the spokesperson of the APC, Alhaji Lai Mohammed was saying in a media interview that the buck of everything that happens in a country stops at the president’s table. So, no matter how many international travels the president has made, nothing has changed because Nigerians are still dying from the attacks of the insurgent.
We all do wish Mr. President well and this issue of giving him time because “order is more important than speed,” although is reasonable but the president should also realize that the Nigerian people are hungry and their state is not too fanciful. Hence, there are some times when speed becomes imperative to restore order.
Like the case of unemployment in the country. We really do not have to wait like forever before seeing a well laid out plan by the president to see how he will pay the unemployed in the country, like he promised in his campaign. By now, many of us are expecting some form of census to identify who and who is not employed so that doing the time of payments of the stipends or whatever will be given to the unemployed, people from outside our borders do not show up and receive this money as well. Even fellow greedy Nigerians can also sabotage it to their own advantage if it is not well planned. We all know that one of the major reasons for the security situation in the country is due to lack of jobs for the youths. As such, the government cannot afford to pay lips services to this problem. It is only wise for one to look for the black goat, while it is still day time. Providing jobs and still fighting insurgency and other security issues in the country is possible and it amounts to fighting the war on many fronts or if you like, killing two birds with one stone.
Sincerely, we all wish the president well and it is our wish that the change comes and affects our lives positively. It is unfortunate that we have to wait this long just for a list of ministers. However, the burden of building Nigeria lies on us all. The president however must carry us along in this difficult journey by working the talk. (Campaign promises) So far, the change have not been that much and the issue of patience and the government needing time to settle down may not be a reliable clutch for long. The government should wake up and start acting or living up to its responsibilities. After all, that is what we voted for in the first place. We voted for change and it is only fair we see that change so that we don’t feel shortchanged at the end. God bless our country Nigeria.
Adigwe Chekwubechukwu in Lagos. Email, [email protected]
07032527825 (sms only)