by on April 23, 2016

Mr President was less than a month in office when his special adviser for media and publicity, Femi Adesina tweeted “As the saying goes, “old wines are tasty” and the President Buhari we have today is a man, like old wine, that has got tastier.” He tweeted this to allay people’s fears after they raised concern over Mr President admitting to the very fear Nigerians had pre the general elections that he was a little bit too old to govern.

As preparations were made for the 2015 general elections, a lot of people had their reservations about the age of the Presidential aspirant of APC who would later become the President of the federal republic of Nigeria. People had it difficult comprehending how a72year old would be able to meet the demanding task of governing Nigeria. While some people thought it as a potential challenge, others thought it as nothing and drew the attention of people who thought age to be a hindrance to neighbouring countries with aged leaders. The election was done with and Mr President emerged.

Finally, the day came when Mr President admitted to age being a hindrance to his performance. Addressing Nigerians resident in South Africa, Mr President said “How I wish I became Head of State when I was a governor or just for few years after, then as a young man. Now at 72, there is a limit to what I can do alone.” For once, people who had reservations about Mr President’s age were justified until Femi Adesinain a bid to make up and polish what Mr President had earlier said claimedthat Mr President’s statement was taken out of context and he followed that up by tweeting that old wines are tastier, therefore, implying that Mr President at72 would only get better as he age.

Today, Mr President marks his 73year old birthday which also happens to be his 202 days in office. I believe a lot of Nigerians are asking how tasty has “the wine” been? Has the wine truly got tastier?It was not this bad when Mr President got sworn into office and he was soon called “Baba go slow” the moment people saw how slow his decision making was. Even when it was glaring the economy needed rescue, hence an urgent plan and directives, it seemed Mr President wasn’t alarmed.Nigeria stock exchange was losing billions, investors were pulling out and the naira was gradually dancing “go down low” at the expense of the dollaryet the new sheriff saw no reason to appoint an economic team to provide economic and fiscal policies.

It took Mr President more than five months to appoint Ministers after it was reported his delay was due to his desire to appoint competent and incorrupt Ministers. At last we saw the revered Ministers that took Mr President Months to appoint and I must admit that even the British press might not have done any better in hypingthem than what some journalists did pre the Ministerial list announcement and inauguration. Of course we cannot assume age also played a role in the delay and also in the fact that no youth made the list. We cannot assume!

As Mr President clocks 73 today, don’t you think it is important we pause and take a look and ask if indeed wine gets tastier as they get old or if truly age is a hindrance to performance and thus has limited Mr President’s performance since May 29th when he got sworn into office?It was September when Nigeria’s 3year inclusion in the JP Morgan Emerging Market Government Bond Index came to an end. Nigeria got delisted! It is almost two months since fuel scarcity hit Nigeria and the unspoken language so far due to little or nothing being done is that citizens should have it as a way of life even as we approach the yuletide season. Few months back, fuel was available at a pump price of 87 naira but now even at 120 naira, fuel isn’t readily available. Almost everyone is in the dark as to what has been done or it’s been done by our President who doubles as the Petroleum Minister in tackling this very issue.

Also, once upon a time in May, the dollar sells for 215 naira but as I type this, the present exchange rate is 270 naira. The economy is speaking a different tune and doesn’t seem to understand the songs being played. Days back, I read Angola has overtaken Nigeria as Africa’s biggest oil producer andI recalled vividly Mr President’s promise to diversify the economy but the very fact that a budget of 39.88Billion naira was made for crude oil prospecting in the Chad Basin even in the face of this dwindling oil price is somehow amazing. It seems old wines are really tastier or young people don’t have good taste buds!Likewise, it is shameful that after the Zaria killings, no Presidential press release so far or is it that I have not read any one released?

In conclusion, I have to wish Mr President happy birthday and the sincere desire/wisdom to lead our great country, Nigeria forward. If I have to go by Femi Adesina’s tasty old wine analogy, Nigerians have absolutely nothing to worry about as Mr President Clocks 73. Because (if truly) the wine gets tastier with age, the best is yet to come. God bless Nigeria!




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