President Buhari Is Many Things But No Magician [By @vsixejechi]

By V. Ejechi

During the last general election that brought Muhammadu Buhari into office as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, we witnessed a flow of endless promises, promises that were downright outrageous. Yet, for some, it was the basis for their voting or choosing a candidate.

As I listen to and read through some of these promises, I can’t help but relate him with the young magician called Merlin- a character in the Disney movie. Merlin was endowed with supernatural powers to make things happen at the speed of lightening.

Due to the various promises, expectation has risen. Nigeria has the right to expect change… but in 100 days, is it really realistic?

During the APC Presidential campaigns, the group listed all that the president would do in his first 100 days if elected into office. However, in a recent development, the national publicity secretary of the APC, Mr. Lai Mohammed, denied this during an interview on Channels TV.

Lai Mohammed said, “Buhari never promised to do anything in 100 days, that’s the honest truth. You see, when you are running a campaign, all kinds of literature will emerge from all sorts of groups, but there are only two documents that can judge a party with: that is the constitution of the party and the manifesto of the party.”

Similarly, the Senior Special Assistant to the president on Media and Publicity, Mr. Garba Shehu, distanced Buhari from the many promises that were made during the electioneering.

Garba Shehu, who was the Director of Media of the APC Presidential Campaign Organization, denied the authenticity of the document titled, “My covenant with Nigerians”, which was purportedly signed by Buhari and posted on the APC’s website in March 2015.

He went further to say that he saw those pamphlets and the stories about “100 things Buhari will do in 100 days”, but he was quick to add that he did not fund or authorize the pamphlet.

Nigerians do not need a Magician as a President, but a leader with a clear plan of the future. One quality in a leader is his ability to share his goal and plan with his followers. Nigerians are expecting Buhari to explain how he will take them to the Promised Land that APC has over the years been talking about. Unlike what happened with the last administration, when it appears that a lot of “guess work” was made, Nigerians expect this new administration to match words with actions and deliver the mandate the citizens have entrusted it with.

In summary, here is my take on the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari between May 29 and September 5, 2015:

  • These 100 days can be used as a litmus test on what might probably happen in the next 200 days, 500 days, etc. As the African proverb says, the rising of the sun tells what the days hold.
  • Electricity is and has always been an issue in Nigeria. Literally speaking, a lot of emerging businesses were unable to survive due to epileptic power supply, a problem President Muhammadu Buhari promised to deal with. Although we experienced an increase in the mega-watt input few days after the president came into office, we are yet to attain that stability we so much desire.
  • Insecurity was like the Achilles heel of the last administration. The issue of Boko Haram insurgency in the North led to the loss of lives and destruction of properties. Many felt that a Northern leader might be able to stem the tide but we are yet to see real changes beyond change of service chiefs.
  • The fate of the Chibok girls is still very much a topical issue too. The kidnapped girls are yet to be brought back, after missing for more than 500 days. But the president has promised to bring back the girls.
  • Corruption no doubt has been a threat to Nigeria’s growth and development, as can be witnessed in all the sectors of our economy. During President Muhammad Buhari’s campaigns, he promised to deal squarely with this issue when elected. Although Nigerians have seen a lot of allegations, we are yet to see any persecution of the accused persons.

100 days are enough to see signs of better days to come. Maybe our expectations are too high, maybe it is too early to judge, or maybe some underground work are taking place that we cannot see yet. But we must all accept that President Buhari is no magician. The change we want will take some time.

 

 

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