Nigeria is a country ill-fated with many missed opportunities. It is generally believed and widely accepted too that leadership is the country’s bane because the followers are often well behaved, always very supportive, loyal and easily impressed by the words from their leaders, who often ended up their traducers. The country today is a mood
Nigeria is a country ill-fated with many missed opportunities. It is generally believed and widely accepted too that leadership is the country’s bane because the followers are often well behaved, always very supportive, loyal and easily impressed by the words from their leaders, who often ended up their traducers.
The country today is a mood of paradoxes: of joy, of pain and of disappointment. There is anxiety in the land but many have resigned themselves to fate that what has been declared has come to stay. For some, the swearing-in should never happen; they never prayed nor wished Asiwaju Tinubu would ever be Nigeria’s President. Some have been on a shopping spree searching for Court order to halt the swearing-in ceremony. Three of such moves were thrown into the trash bins on Friday. Without much ado, several buses have started loading passengers from across Nigeria to offload them at the Eagle Square for the May 29 big event. Yet, there’s a large army of indifferent people who have adopted a wait and see attitude.
The elections of 2023 have shown that Nigerians yearn for a change. Ranked the most competitive in modern Nigerian history, the campaigns were full of rhetorics indicating that the politicians understood the issues and the haste to put the country to work again. Nigerians crave for a new Nigeria where things would work; a new Nigeria which will restore hope to their situation of hopelessness. They want a new Nigeria that would rescue the over 133 million of her population out of multidimensional poverty. They want a reset of Nigeria to the pre-1966 coup period when the regions functioned optimally and developed at their different paces within the federation.
The 2023 general elections have shown that there will be no easier route to power again in Nigeria. The elections signalled a desire by the people for a new beginning; a sharp departure from the lackadaisical past and this espoused with the woeful defeat of 8 serving governors who contested elections in the different states they’ve presided over in the past 8 years. The list includes Samuel Ortom of Benue state, Ugwanyi of Enugu state: Ikpeazu of Abia State: Ishaku of Taraba state: Lalong of Plateau state, Matawalle of Zamfara state: Ayade of Cross river state and Bagudu of Kebbi State.
That 7 governors failed to make it to the Senate and one failed re-election as Governor was a reflection that there is no longer a guaranteed route to power for the politicians. It shows Nigerian voters are becoming more sophisticated and discerning. Anticipated expectation in the coming years is that Nigerians will not be as lenient, patient and as understanding with their leaders as they have been in the past. The leaders will either shape up or ship out if they underperformed. The reality of the new Nigeria is that the people can no longer be taken for granted. It is a Nigeria that is in a hurry to develop and make progress like other countries of the world. It is a Nigeria of youth restlessness that may spark and give birth to the “Nigeria Spring” akin to the “Arab Spring” revolution because a Pharaoh who doesn’t recognise Joseph has arisen and anger raised beyond tipping point.
The Tinubu regime has got to restore hope, trust and confidence to the Nigerian citizens because there is hunger and anger in the land. Nigerians will expect a fresh start that rekindles hope in the unity, economy and security of Nigerians.
Buhari’s Last Minutes Rush to Fulfill Failed Promises
The regime of Buhari has been hyper-active in its twilight, precisely in the last two months, than it has been in the whole of its 8 years’ tenure. To justify the fulfilment of his campaign promises, the government had resorted to giving tokenism branded as fulfillment of promises, to buy favourable report card from historians and posterity. There has been a rush to commission projects in whatever state; complete, half-complete or incomplete. It has become obvious to Nigerians that the change promised by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2015 had long collapsed like a pack of cards in the first term of Buhari. The change mantra was consumed by many Nigerians who believed Buhari was going to re-enact his feats of the 1983-85 of the Buhari/Idiagbon’s regime known for orderliness and discipline. But that ended a mirage, an anti-climax and very disappointing even to some of its promoters.
Recently President Buhari said his administration delivered on the change agenda promised in the area of affordable housing. Appraising his regime’s performance in office during the inauguration of a housing estate in Zuba, Abuja, the President claimed that the new housing estate was also addressing multidimensional poverty among the citizens., “I convey my hearty congratulations to the new homeowners in this estate. Our promise of change has been fulfilled for you.’’ At the last count, Nigeria’s housing deficit was estimated at 28 million units in 2022. What will less than 1,000 units contribute in bridging this gap? On Friday, two aircrafts branded Nigeria Air landed on our shores in a quest to fulfill a promise of almost eight years. Why rush everything as if Nigeria would end after May 29.
Under Buhari about twenty Billion dollars was budgeted for Defence in eight years but over 63 thousand people were killed in the same period; the regime wasted more money and failed to secure the lives of Nigerians. Naira became weakened and depreciated rapidly and continuously for 8 years. You will need 750 Naira now to buy one dollar. It was less than 200 Naira to buy a dollar in 2015. You need 1.2m Naira to buy 1m CFA now whereas under the previous government 1m Naira purchased 3.2m CFA. The economy is in dire straits, suffocating from huge debt burden which the annual revenue cannot match. Very soon, Nigerians may have to borrow to pay the salaries of its bureaucracy. Buhari has left Nigeria worse than he met it.
Tinubu: From Negative to Positive Perception
There were positives and negatives about Tinubu in the countdown to the February 25th election. One negative campaign message from his opponents was to project Asiwaju Tinubu as a corrupt leader. They buttressed with arguments that his corrupt acts have persisted through successive governments in Lagos state using Special Purpose Vehicle like the Alpha Beta as tax consultants for the government and collecting huge percentages as commissions for little or no work done.
But here comes a fresh opportunity for President Tinubu to erase all negative perceptions and deepen the positives known about Tinubu and his legacies as Governor of Lagos State. It is a time to change the narrative of the man Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Nigerians would like him to establish his much-touted gift of selection of talents; fluke or a real? His choice of cabinet will give an insight. Nigerians would like to see evidence of his vaunted years and decades of preparation for the position of President, from the first foot he puts forward.
Nigerians have been hopeful for a Nigeria of their dream; a re-birthed country where prosperity will be restored, where brain-drain and new wave “Japaism” will become a thing of the past. If Asiwaju gets the economy right there will be a reset of many sectors and Nigerians will be on the path of greatness again. Nigerians are looking forward to Asiwaju and his promised “Renewed Hope” as he takes his oath of Office on May 29, 2023.