President Buhari And The Status Quo, By Moh’d Buhari Adamu (Ardo)
As you watch television today, read the newspapers, listen to radio, sit at “Mai shayi/Mai suya” joint, or pass by somewhere, you run into many issues regarding this president Buhari’s administration, most of which are negative comments you would rather not hear about. There is no doubt that everyone else would like to live in a society where people are committed to peace and security, where people hesitate to oppress or harm one another, where there is religion tolerance and respect for each other and honouring words from one another. Such an environment, ensuring a structure of relationships shaped by respect and love, is everyone’s dream. But the case is different here in my dear country, Nigeria. Therefore, those who are sincerely willing to live in a society where peace, security and freedom prevail, should waste no time in taking action and be willing to make certain sacrifices no matter how little because looking at the rate at how things are going now, this government could lose points and confidence from its people.
Nigeria is a great nation endowed with talented people and resources but due to the lack of visionary leadership, we always find it difficult to thrive to the level of competitiveness. Many regimes had came and passed and each came with different economic agenda that was aimed at mobilizing human, material and natural resources of the nation to achieve a goals of national life. Sadly, after more than fifty years of reforms, Nigeria has painfully remained a public-sector led economy with a bloated government presence in every facet of national life, mono-economy with preponderant influence of one commodity in determining the nation’s revenue-expenditure profile and the balance of payment position, an extractive and primary economy that produced unrefined raw materials for export, either in the form of agricultural products or crude oil, and an economy with a weak and unsteady national currency that has been the whipping boy of the international financial community.
Before 2015 elections, Nigerians were hopeful that in the midst of all the challenges-insecurity, hunger, kidnappings, corruption and lack of confidence in government- facing the country, the incoming administration of Gen. Muhammadu Buhari would reinstate the system because of his known quality in leadership, untainted personality which also aligned with the change mantra that people were yearning for. Despite the fact that there are many elements of the past administrations in the retinue of his change mantra, people were hopeful that ousting PDP was not only an option but a collective choice by the majority of the people. More often than not, people are most likely bend to what will happen rather than what had happened especially where there is more expectation from whom the due is given. Predictability makes it possible to anticipate what will happen if certain actions are undertaken. The dream was for a bold and audacious change that will fundamentally, structurally and massively change the attitudes of the Nigerians and transform the national economy, secure the polity, care for the underprivileged, and provide responsible and responsive leadership in Nigeria. This has been seen in Gen. Muhammadu Buhari’s campaign manifestos in full-throated clarity. Change is a gradual process and given the fact that Nigerians are not used to basics the Buhari’s administration is faced with critiques from different angles. Nigerians are used to having easy money, given that the previous administrations did not have financial prudence, there was too much money in the hands of individuals or some organizations that were meant for public services but turned out to be managed and spent at their disposal. Nigeria is endowed with both human and natural resources enormously but because corruption has been the order of the day, the resources become the loot for those who are privileged to have access to the coffers of government and manipulatively decide who gets what and how. Nigeria was described as a Gangster’s Paradise where you pay a bribe to see a key official in an establishment or even to acquire a signature. You pay a bribe to get a job. You pay a bribe to get the passport. You pay bribe to get contracts. You pay bribe to get your entitlements. Change was what Nigerians were yearning for.
But today this administration is one year and four months old but there is little change in the country contrary to what people were expecting. It is quite recommendable that the issue of insurgency has been degraded. The major challenges this administration is faced with now is socio-economic and maladministration from all the arms of government which has been the paramount problem of Nigeria. This administration needs to put some active machinery in place to tackle the sufferings people are going through. The president needs to build a strong team of people with insight and high degree of interdependence towards achieving the goal for which they hold themselves accountable. The central idea here is that this administration should focus on creating avenues and economic packages to enhance the welfare of its citizens rather than the blame game because we the optimists are also affected by it. We all know what corruption could do to a country and we know that it is obvious that president Buhari came in to rescue Nigeria, he may not have done much to save the situation but he means well for this country which is a known fact to even those who are born to wail. We shouldn’t be criticizing subjectively. Yes! We are going through hardships. But still to blame Buhari on almost every current hardship is either hatred or ignoramus. Because there are some people that no matter what they can criticize, they have the mindset that Nigeria can never be salvaged. Need I to remind you of the causes of our current problems? Just of recent administrations, Olusegun Obasanjo, within eight years, earned #17 trillion from crude oil sales. He left 45bn dollars in the external reserves. Despite the economic meltdown, Yaradu’a made it to be $64 dollars within just one year and left $47.7bn in external reserve. Jonathan administration witnessed an oil upswing when crude sold foe over 100 dollars per barrel, earning #51trn within five years. But the Jonathan’s administration squandered the oil revenues and depleted the reserves left by its predecessors. Buhari’s administration inherited just #32b and a huge external debt of 63bn dollars and the crude sales at 37 dollars per barrel which has been increased to about 48 dollars just recently. These are facts that can be verified. And looking at these facts and other circumstances one would know where our current hardships emanated from. Also our state governors also contribute to the current hardships. Every person is entitled to his opinion but there is an opinion that lacks substance. We have to do away with subjective criticisms and look closely to ourselves whether or not, in one way or the other, maybe we are contributing to our own problems by disregarding some of our fundamental religion teachings and ideologies. We must also learn to imbibe the culture of being productive. I believe that since many countries had gone through recession and came out stronger; Nigeria too will overcome the hurdles and come out stronger than ever before. Singapore metamorphosed from a third world country to an industrialized country. Malaysia, from a commodity exporting country became one of the biggest economies in Asia today. Both India and Brazil did it. If Japan, a country devastated by World War II and devoid of natural resources can become a leading industrialized nation, why not Nigeria that is rich in human and natural resources? It all happened to those countries because of quality in leadership. And in President Buhari, I see that leadership. What he needs now is our prayers, patient and perseverance. Because we all know there are some people in this administration who pretend to be part of the change while actually they are not. They are just a subterfuge, sabotaging the good will of this administration. And by God grace they can be exposed by anxiety or the zeal and strong determination of this administration toward fighting corruption and injustice.
May Allah continue to bless our dear Nigeria!