Nigerians clamored for change during the last elections, and when people clamor for change, they’re taking a big risk. Is the risk we took worth it?
President Muhammadu Buhari ousted Goodluck Jonathan from the office of the presidency on May 29. And the high expectations on Buhari’s leadership credentials were what swept him to victory with almost 54% of the vote in a historic defeat of an incumbent president in Nigerian elections. His victory got most Nigerians smiling and spurred huge expectations of a dramatic change in the country particularly in the areas of corruption and economic change.
Many Nigerians who in their own wisdom believed the president was super human and would change the country overnight went about screaming that change has finally arrived Nigeria as well as saying that the purported change will be seen in all ramifications. Just a few days later, the ‘Saviour’ made it clear on international screen that he’s human and as such wouldn’t do beyond his powers in making the nation better. Yet that wasn’t enough to send the message to Nigerians that the President does not have magic powers like the fairy Godmother in the romantic fantasy story ‘Cinderella’.
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It’s six months later, and many Nigerians are warming up to the sober reality that the president is only human. Following that harsh reality, many who deemed Buhari a redeemer opt for criticism. And currently the ‘deliverer’ has seen lots of criticism and backlash only six months into his leadership. People claim to see results which are a far cry from what they expected in the length of time he has already spent. The so-called change is of course something that Nigeria will experience at a snail’s pace through a very hardworking government filled with intelligence, great thinkers and selfless leaders. However, most Nigerians think the six months ride with Buhari has been no fun at all and has recorded worse situations rather than progress.
The backlash and severe criticism of his governance are specifically against the numerous trips that he has embarked on while the country suffers great economic crisis, terror attacks and other corrupt acts. The president since his assumption into office, has made a number of trips outside the country totalling over 20. In fact, his 185 days in office has taken him to 11 countries including Niger, Chad, Germany, South Africa, United States, Benin Republic, Ghana, France, Iran, Indian, Malta and would still take him to more before the year ends. His numerous trips to these listed countries have popped big questions like; would the leaders of these countries visit Nigeria if their countries were suffering like crisis? And also why didn’t he make himself the Minister of Tourism since he loves touring countries?
I can’t really take those questions in terms in a bid to provide answers to them maybe you too can’t either. But the only clue to the answer is that his trips are called “Official trips” so they are necessary in the race to bring change. If we go by that clue, then why didn’t past presidents travel that much? While majority of the trips were basically on how to curb Boko Haram Insurgence and to draw some of the countries he visited into investing in Nigeria, some others are world meetings. Many acknowledge the need to seek help from outside the country to stop Boko Haram insurgence yet they believe the trips are unnecessary as the fight is supposed to start here and now before inviting other countries to render their joint help in the fight.
It was purported that soldiers were deployed and as many as 100 of them were killed in the process. Since then on nobody has heard anything from the government concerning that. The country also has suffered fuel crisis, and so much more Boko haram’s attacks. This has got Nigerians wondering if somebody whose house is on fire is supposed to tour around offering solutions on how to make the world great when the small fraction of the world in their care is yet to witness same progress. The President however, has chosen to embark on more foreign trips than he has done within the country, in the face of the myriad of challenges facing the country, from fuel scarcity to insurgency in the North East.
And how about restoring the economy of Nigeria and the fight against corruption which has got some misinformed persons applauding him? Many Nigerians are eagerly awaiting decisive action on cases of mismanaged and stolen public funds but no high-profile corruption conviction has been secured as of yet. Rather fresh cases of corruption happening in the “change administration” are being unveiled. As a consequence, a writer predicted that this administration will end up as the worst in terms of corruption, considering that apparently the powers of State are selectively applied, and wherever this is done, corruption will not only be present but also CUSTOMARY. If what the writer predicted is anything to go by, then the change we all clamored for might turn out to be for the opposite. Speaking of economy, a top government official specifically Ekiti State Governor Fayose predicted recently that 2016 will see a harsher economy than this year, and that the president needs to stay in the country to find a way to resolve the numerous challenges in Nigeria. Should all these predictions come to pass, Nigeria will not be any better and of course, the change will be “for the worse”
While some are of the opinion that the President’s frequent travels abroad is essentially synonymous with wasteful international pleasure trips and consequently consuming a significant amount of cash in a country that is still scrabbling with economic crisis, we want to know your honest opinion about this administration. So Yes, six months have gone, but can we honestly boast of any solid change like we expected from Buhari? And if yes, please give us an instance in the comment below. You can also help us rate the president by choosing from the options listed below;
How would You Rate The Performance of Buhari as President of Nigeria?
A. No Significant CHANGE YET
B. Doing just GREAT
C. Performing BADLY
D. Doing OKAY
E. Has Nigerian economy REBOUNDED or Showing signs that it would BOUNCE BACK soonest?
F. Has the Unemployment fallen.