IN x-raying the three years of President Muhammadu Buhari, one has to excuse the myriads of promises he made or that were made on his behalf on the 2015 election train. In that election, Nigeria was turned to an experiment in the hands of American communication experts who designed the then President Goodluck Jonathan and his administration in their own robes.
The experiment paid off with local backups that resonated the failures of that administration and made Buhari look like a heavenly being. It was a shock to many who witnessed the draconian regime of the then General Muhammadu Buhari and his comrade at arms, Brigadier General Tunde Idiagbon of blessed memory.
Even though several social media sites are busy parading the promises and 2015 campaign talks of President Buhari, the President and his party have come to distance themselves from many such promises relied upon by some Nigerians in deciding the 2015 contest. One thing remain though, Buhari and his party cannot deny the Change slogan. They can also not deny the promise to raise the bar in infrastructural status of the country; fight corruption, end insurgency and improve the economy.
So if any commentator decides to judge the administration on the above key promises, the Buharists and Buharideens can only be fair enough to accept failures where they exist.
In 2015, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Buhari promised change. Change in its true elements is not restrictive. It means the alteration of the existing order considered as bad enough and its replacement with the perceived Eldorado. It indicates a replacement of the condemnable situation with a more acceptable condition.
Looking at the three years of Buhari, what manner of change are we inflicted with? In answering the above, it is easy to come by persons whose horizons are governed by emotion, sentiments and bias. In fact, not a few Nigerians judge issues with such sentiments these days.
However, no one can deny that we all are compelled to respect the sanctity of reality. Nothing deceives the truth. Anyone attempts a deception of reality is either ignorant or swimming in delusion.
Judging by where we were in 2015, can we agree that the Buhari government has brought positive change in the area of political party management, corruption war, the fight against insurgency and management of the economy?
In 2015, APC folks derided the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of parading deadly characters who had little or no regard for procedures. The APC, shortly after the consolidation of the alliance that yielded the party, absorbed members of the New PDP, who separated from the mainstream party on accusations of impunity and insensitivity to party members. Today, the nPDP members are crying foul in their new
found party. APC chieftains across the land are holding parallel ward, local government and state congresses in the build up to the party’s national convention fixed for June 23 and in the process, many have been sent to their untimely graves. How does this amount to positive change? In fact, it looks pretty much a throwback to pre-1999.
Some commentators have argued that if the APC cannot conduct its intra-party matters without guns and loss of lives, how do we expect a peaceful, free, fair and acceptable election when the contest becomes inter-party?
The anti-corruption war is one promise the Buhari government has not denied. It prides itself as one government that is fighting the battle against graft hard. Much as we have seen that anti-corruption songs are more on the lips of many government officials and officials of the EFCC, the President has still left too many gaps to wonder about.
There are myriads of cases against previous holders of office but knowing the judicial system, no one is sure when the plethora of cases will mature for judgement. We have seen the government and the EFCC exert energy in the bid to “fight” corruption but ask the Western and some Eastern countries which are regarded as having crossed enviable thresholds on the corruption war, very few would be seen to have deployed might or raw power in the fight against corruption.
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In Nigeria, where the vice of corruption is already a social miasma, a combination of the law, processes, systems and social engineering strategies are needed to tackle the tragedy. A government will certainly wander in the dark for very long if its strategies are rested on just law enforcement or name and shame. Already, this government is being harassed with questions of selective fight against corruption, condoning of corruption and targeting opposition figures with the aim of achieving political, rather than positive social engineering goals.
As far as commentators continue to see such questions such as the recall of the NHIS Executive Secretary, lack of trial of removed Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, the Abdurasheed Maina saga and the MTN fine issue unanswered, not a few would keep subjecting Buhari’s anti-corruption war to integrity tests.
Change in the nation’s economic fortunes is another promise Buhari cannot deny. He said it at all campaign stops and it was part of this three pillars of his campaign. Has Buhari delivered economy wise? The generality of the population will answer that in the negative. Last week, the Presidency released a statement praising the first quarter GDP figures which showed a 1.9 percent growth. But is the praise not
misplaced when we are coming from a consistent six percent growth for almost 15 years. The same government, due to its own faults, rather than the non-economic reasons being bandied, plunged the economy into recession a while ago. Unemployment has risen from single digits to some 18 percent, peaking at some 300 percent.