It is a truism that every government leaving office says something good and sweet to the ears about itself. But, there’s always a perception of the people they governed about their performance in office. The people exhibit the characteristics of a judge which includes impartiality, fairness and rationality. But more importantly, their experiences under any
It is a truism that every government leaving office says something good and sweet to the ears about itself. But, there’s always a perception of the people they governed about their performance in office. The people exhibit the characteristics of a judge which includes impartiality, fairness and rationality. But more importantly, their experiences under any regime make them the best evaluators of any government: whether good or bad. Often, in common parlance, there is a simple question asked: Are you better off under that government than you were before it assumed office.
A government that has spent eight years in office should have an impact; positive or negative. The people rejoice when the righteous are in authority but mourn when the wicked rules. For the Buhari administration, it’s been a difficult period for many Nigerians. His first four years were better than the latter. It’s been a tale of woes greeted by lamentations and rebukes of “may we never witness a regime like this again”. If President Buhari says he’s tired and cannot wait to exit government on May 29, 2023, Nigerians are indeed more tired of his regime and are eager to bid him goodbye like yesterday.
In the last eight years, the middle class was completely decimated and over 133 million Nigerians walloped in multidimensional poverty. Poverty has touched many lives with different stories that touch the hearts flying across the land. It is only in Nigeria that simpletons count for achievements in government. A governor commissions a borehole and rolls out the drums to celebrate. It is only in Nigeria that payment of salaries and non-retrenchment of workers are touted as huge achievements rather than how many new jobs have been created. It is only in Nigeria that routine maintenance of roads is listed as achievements rather than how many new roads have been opened up and properly constructed.
In qualitative terms, the Buhari’s government could be assessed on the three-point Agenda promised to Nigerians as it was about taking the mantle of leadership. It promised us a stronger economy but the economy is far weaker now than then, with the Naira depreciated about 400 percent to dollar since 2015. He promised us a safer country and as a general to lead the battle against insecurity from the front but the Nigeria’s state of insecurity is worse now than he met it. Before he came the activities of Boko Haram were restricted to a part of the North East and occasional attacks in Abuja, now banditry has taken over the entire Northern part of Nigeria and kidnapping for ransom and other crimes holding sway in the south.
What about the fight against corruption? Many Nigerians would attest that it is worse now ever than before. The Accountant General under Buhari’s regime is facing charges for corruptly enriching himself to the tune of N109 billion. Buhari described subsidy payment as fraud before he got to power thereby maligning his predecessors even when they only N653.5 billion was paid in 2015. Subsidy payment has quadrupled under Buhari. $10 billion or N4.39 trillion was paid in 2022 and much more would be paid in 2023. That must be super corruption! It is no longer news that corruption thrives in many government offices from the lowest cadre to the topmost echelon. One can hardly get anything done in government offices these days without somebody requesting you for a bribe or money to push your files; yet they were employed to do these jobs and paid from tax payers’ money.
It was, therefore, news like a bolt from the blue when President’s Special Adviser on Media, Mr. Femi Adesina issued a statement to announce the birth of a 91-page book on the achievements of the Buhari’s administration. “The Presidency has released a 91-page document of 20 chapters, listing the achievements of President Muhammadu Buhari during his eight years administration”.
Titled “Buhari’s Footprints on the Sands of Time’, Mr Femi Adesina, Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media, described the 91-page document containing the achievements of the administration as a one-stop shop, adding that it was compiled by the Presidential Communications Team.
The statement said the document is all encompassing, which attempts to answer questions of citizens who might not have been abreast with the much that had so far been recorded as achievements of the administration. It said: “in about four weeks, President Muhammadu Buhari touches down as the country’s Number One citizen.
“For 8 years, he has served, making salutary impact on nearly all sectors of the National landscape: security, economy, anti-corruption, infrastructure; rail, roads, air and sea ports, power, housing, water resources, the Oil and Gas sector, legislative matters, foreign affairs, sports, youth development, and many others.
“The Presidential Communications Team here brings a one-stop shop of achievements under the Buhari administration covering 8 years of two terms. It’s a collector’s item, an answer to the questions of those who would rather cavil, looking at a half-empty cup, rather than a half-filled one.
“Those who are objective, taking a dispassionate look at this Fact Sheet, would admit that President Buhari came, and served meritoriously. As he had promised many times, he would not be leaving Nigeria the way he met it. A report card of the administration? It is so and more. Welcome to view the indelible footprints of Muhammadu Buhari on the sands of time,” it said.
The achievements contained in the document highlighted those in Education and Health, Fiscal, Trade, Monetary and Investment Reforms, Support to States, Creative Industry and Sports, Niger Delta, Anti-Corruption and Transparency, Law Enforcement, and Security and Justice Reform, Diplomacy and International Relations, Bilateral Highlights, International Appointments Held By Nigerians, and Corona Virus Response.
Others are Legislative Reform, Executive Orders, Infrastructure – Rail, Roads, Air and Sea Ports, Power, Housing, Water Resources, Ease of Doing Business Reforms, Digital Economy & Digital Identity, Oil and Gas, Solid Minerals, Agriculture, Social Investment and Poverty Alleviation. (GBN)
The President’s media team has spoken as they are expected to. Would Nigerians believe what they have documented as achievements? To be believable means one should not be fictional but must have the quality of being convincing or realistic. Many Nigerians would doubt if Buhari’s achievements, if any, would occupy more than one page, let alone 91 pages. The good thing the Buhari government has going for him is that there will be a lot of cover-up. Its being succeeded by another APC government, otherwise Nigeria would have marveled at the level of ineptitude in government under Buhari’s administration. That notwithstanding, the series of policy reversals that would soon ensue would tell Nigerians whether those achievements were on quick and sinking sands or on solid ground.
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