By Tama Peter. @ItzGreatPet
In the weeks and months leading to April 30, 2015, when the Muhammadu Buhari bandwagon was on the offensive, wheeling in full force across Nigeria while fanning up electoral sentiments; maligning President Jonathan led administration, professing change and making promises to Nigerians, the feeling was surreal. It was safe to say that never in the history of Nigeria in the democratic era where a presidential aspirant had been reposed with so much faith as it was with General Muhammadu Buhari.
People from all class effortlessly danced to his particular track of “when I become a president, I will” music without asking how he would fulfil his promises if elected. Of course he emerged the president after securing over 15 Million votes in the presidential election thereby giving way to change mantra and same time a done-task that would ensure posterity has no reason to question why the supposed messiah was not given a chance to lead despite his interestedness. That being said, one tactic that saw to the emergence of Muhammadu Buhari was a simple one; use the media to make Goodluck Jonathan appear incompetent and his achievements as sham or non-existent. To achieve this, APC led team spewed/thrived on propagandas and made loads of fraudulent promises to Nigerians.
Even the present vice president of Nigeria was always ready to tell the press and the world how tired and overwhelmed by governance President Goodluck Jonathan was. And the narrative that he was a pastor surely gave him more audience. It was Suzy Kassem who wrote “People reject what they do not understand because it makes them feel small. They believe in some other reality, even if it is only an illusion, so long as it makes them feel bigger.” This quote perfectly captures APC leader’s state of mind prior May 29th, 2016. Blinded by their obsession for power, almost all of the policies and directions of Goodluck Jonathan’s admin were projected as selfish and anti-people. To them, it was never good under PDP but it would only get better with them. There was a time president Muhammadu Buhari, who was then a presidential aspirant called petroleum subsidy an act of fraud. Same subsidy he would later pay upon his emergence.
One good thing about the emergence of Muhammadu Buhari as the president of Nigeria is that it knocked out rueful statements such as “if only Buhari was the president.” No more will any person fault voters for not giving Muhammadu Buhari the chance to fulfil his campaign promises. No longer will anyone say that if Nigerians had voted in President Muhammadu Buhari instead of Goodluck Jonathan, fuel scarcity would have been a thing of the past because the truth is, under President Muhammadu Buhari, fuel scarcity became a way of life. Fuel queues became longer!
There is no more need for anyone to say that if Nigerians had voted in President Muhammadu Buhari, power outage would have been impossible as his administration would have generated 40,000MW of electricity because the truth is that under President Muhammadu Buhari, power generation once rocked 0MW and blackout is the order of the day. Not now will anyone say that if Nigerians had voted in Muhammadu Buhari, PMS would have been dispensed at ₦40 per litre because the truth is that only few weeks ago before this ill-timed subsidy removal, Nigerians were purchasing PMS at ₦250 per litre. Most of them stayed all day and/or slept in fuel queues. That the naira exchanges for 340 to the dollar is a testament to the fact that Mr President has no policy let alone magic wand to bring the dollar to equal the naira hence invalidating his promise to bring the dollar to equal the naira.
There is no more reason for anyone to say that if only Muhammadu Buhari had been voted into power, workers’ salaries would have been paid promptly and mails of job opportunities would have flooded emails/cell phones because NBS recently released figures showed that unemployment rate in quarter one increased from 10.4% to 12.1%. The Nigeria unemployed class admitted new 518,000 persons. It’s almost a year since “If only Buhari was the president” got taken out and we still await the 740,000 immediate jobs the vice president promised to create and the ₦5000 monthly stipend. Let us just pretend that no one would have said that If only Buhari was the president, school children would have been eating free meals.
It was said that impunity and corruption thrived under the previous administration hence a change was needed. That the 2016 national budget got padded and declared missing, the way court orders have been flouted has ensured no one would ask why Muhammadu Buhari wasn’t voted in to arrest corruption and disregard for the rule of law. “If only Muhammadu Buhari was the president, Nigeria would have been among the top 2 fastest growing economy in the world” can no longer sell because under his leadership, our economy lost direction that our GDP stumbled to a negative growth of 0.36. Inflation soared from 9.4% to 13.7%. That if Buhari had mounted a successful campaign and was made the president, he would have set up a lean government by cutting down on the presidential air fleet and appointing few personal assistants will no longer stir water because the 11 presidential jets he met are intact and he still gallivants about in them. The number of his personal assistants on media alone doesn’t speak well of anyone who is conscious to run a lean government.
History will no longer judge this generation as unkind to the presidential aspirations of Muhammadu Buhari because he wasn’t voted in. No, he was voted in and presently it is well noted that within a year of change at the helm of affairs, fuel became gold, hopes became cold and prices of commodities became bold. Till date, there are no answers as to what the economic policies and directions of this government are. Who actually erects a structure without a blueprint? In all these inefficiencies of the government, the common man is the one who bears and suffers the pains; the common man who belongs to either the 97% or 5% clan. Unfortunately, his spokesperson doesn’t think so. Within a year, the standard of living of Nigerians has only plummeted and the once audible “sai baba” is fast tuning into “bye baba.” Take a street/market walk, within a year of change, the buzzy drum of support has petered out and the joy that came with Buhari’s victory is fast becoming sorrow as it has only birthed hardship. Regardless, we pride and same time cry in the fact that Buhari is now the president. God bless Nigeria.
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