Buhari’s June 12 Speech: A Front-Page Analysis
Front-Page Analysis( FPA) is a method of socio-economic research that I discovered and embraced two years ago. Research works usually start with vast, deep and wide literature review, paying homage to those who have made significant inputs into the subject matter. The more the citations the better and at times, these citations and references obfuscate the issue at stake. I am involved. However, about two years ago, I designed the FPA (still being finetuned), which involves simply analysing an issue by examining current and relevant media reports on the matter, rather than lengthy citations. So, anyone who wants to research on (in) security in Nigeria, will just read related media reports of the past, say, 30 days and the matter would have settled itself. So, my analysis of PMBs June12 speech is based on modified FPA technique because I will just look at one news medium report on a day
Presidential speech was a BIG thing in those days. People usually closed from offices and shops, rushed home and went to the neighbouring bigman’s abode to watch and listen via his Black & White TV, and they did so with rapt attention. And by the time the speech was over, a lot of hope-building quotable-quotes would have been extracted. Gradually, the gap between the rulers and the ruled widened; the speeches became more exclusive and about self-adulation, warnings and threats and most often, there were no more quotable quotes. So, these presidential speeches lost relevance. Since the ‘I belong to nobody’ declaration, I had never sat down to listen to PMBs speech. Even before then, I no longer bothered about presidential speeches. On 12/6/20, however, I decided to listen and I just don’t know why. My wife actually wondered why I should put on the tuke-tuke generator’ in this covidious hard times for that purpose. But I did and when it was over, she asked: how did it go? I responded: ‘the same thing; he said everything was OK’. I left it at that.
A few days later,(17/6/20) I decided to revisit the June 12 Speech. I assume most of my readers had read the speech, which showed that we are making serious efforts and achieving significant improvements in all areas of our socio-economic life. The president commended the dedication of our frontline workers, gleefully announced that ‘We have recorded notable achievements in the course of implementing our nine priority objectives and are establishing a solid foundation for future success’; that we have, achieved 11 quarters of consecutive GDP growth, with enviable improvements in external reserves, agriculture, non-oil exports, Ease of Doing Business , the power sector(11,000 Megawatts by 2023). He also announced that we were growing the stock and quality of our road, rail, air and water transport infrastructure, restored peace in the Niger Delta Region and maintained our oil production levels, remained committed to expanding access to quality education, boosted affordable housing , ensured stainable access to safe and sufficient water, prioritised the end of insurgency, banditry and other forms of criminality across the nation, reduced social and economic inequality through targeted social investment programmes, created 774, 000 jobs, strengthened auditing and accountability mechanisms and recorded excellent performance by Anti-Corruption Agencies. He also assured that Nigeria would always be governed by the Rule of Law and expressed deep appreciation to NASS for their invaluable support at all times as well as the press As I summarised about 8 am on 12/6/20, the president in effect said that all was well. That was in line with the views of his various oti-nkpu’s ( praise-singers). I wondered whether I was/am a part of Nigeria where everything was(is) going up-up!
Beyond sundry online and social media sources (which usually force themselves on me) my core news sources are BusinessDay (daily), Guardian (Saturdays and Sundays) and Channels TV 10pm news ( Daily) Later that day( 17/6/20) I listened to Channels 10pm news and here were the news highlights. Obaseki and deputy resign from APC( under which they captured power); Appeal Court sacks Oshiohole as APC Chairman; demonstration in Kastina State over insecurity (Buhhri’s backyard; PMB said we have prioritized security), meeting between the Federal Government and Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors deadlocked( strike over lack of PPE and non-payment of hazard allowances) NNPC says it cant meet the oil production quota( PMB said we have met our oil quotas) while NASS noted that NNPC violated the constitutional provision in some financial decisions( PMB said we have strengthened our auditing systems). Other headlines included that Nigeria would spend 18% of its GDP on infrastructure( but we have grown the stock and quality of our infrastructure), Lagos postponed the resumption of public worship, electricity tariff hike to take off in July, African Oil Producers relocate their HQ from Nigeria to Congo and Debt service consumed 100% of our revenue in the first quarter of 2020.
Just compare these news headlines with the presidential speech of a few days earlier. This is a modified FPA because I just took one news bulletin from one medium in just one day. If I had done that for 30 days and from various media or even for 1 week, the outcome would have been ‘horriterrible’
Just the other day, somebody reminded me of my HSC European History Class when he or she stated that King louis14 of France was FAR removed from the sufferrings and yearnings of his people while Nosa Igiebor on 1/6/20) had lamented that it was MOURNING in Nigeria because ‘The Buhari administration in a parallel world where alternative facts rule and reality is totally distorted….. their narrative, despite the clearly incontrovertible evidence, collides violently with our own reality.
I did not say any of these things and I believe that the PMB government is far removed from we, the people and that their own reality collides violently with our own.
Ik Muo, PhD. writes from Department of Business administration, OOU, Ago-Iwoye. 08033026625