In 1985, Babangida and his mates removed Buhari. I was not the only one who was terribly disappointed. But in retrospect, we should have thanked them with both libation and sacrificial ornaments. They acted before Buhari could do any noticeable damage. So to say, they nipped the potential cataclysm in the bud.
Fast-forward to 2015. Most of us thought – now we regret – that Buhari coming in, will clear the Augean Stable from the low we were at. That being a so-called anti-corruption czar, Nigeria can afford a lease of life, development and progress. Corruption being the most potent or virulent pandemic, a ‘clean’ man like Buhari, would sort things out for us. He would fashion out a new Nigerian environment where most citizens will thrive and look forward to developing and achieve dreams. That industrial revolution and digital technology will not only be vigorously pursued but imported into our space for good.
We thought that the first three steps Buhari will take would be to:
1. Tackle all corrupt government officials (already known to even the blind and hard of hearing amongst us),
2. Mobilize to make our existing refineries to work at full-installed capacity.
3. Deal with, as a matter of urgency, the electricity power issue – irrespective of the arrangement he’d met on ground.
After the aforementioned, we thought Buhari will then raise a clean National Population Commission team and take a good population census for the expected developmental plan.
He talked about food sufficiency. That is fine. But we thought he’d then subsidize all agricultural activities to help essentially, the subsistent farmers who, at the end of the day, catering to the food needs of our rural dwellers (which in any case hold the majority of our population).
Appointments and selection of cabinet members: We thought Buhari will give all the thieving old hands a wide berth. But no. He actually, scouted and cultivated them. They occupied key positions and devised even more devious means of looting.
Above that, anyone whose names were ‘Adamu’ was better than those bearing, ‘Okonkwo’ or ‘Owei!’
Then he introduced one laughable ‘empowerment’ programme after another. He brought ‘TraderMoni’ and sent his surprisingly unfortunate errand boy-Vice President out to trod markets to give a miserly N10k! And this was even on the eve of his quest for a second term.
He appointed two idiots as media spokespersons. These two always behaved like there is a war between Buhari and the rest of Nigerians. Even the wife of the President has cried out against one of them not once! Then the crew of other imbecilic turncoats who sit on Facebook rationalizing every mundane action. This has largely made the administration hard to advise.
Today see where the APC government headed by Buhari, have led us. With the outcome of the handling of #EndSARS protests, every state of Nigeria now needs trillions of Naira to rebuild lost infrastructures which they are short of, in the first place.
Instead of Nigeria moving forward an inch, we have been taken several years back into the abyss. I hope those drumming for Buhari are happy now. When we kept writing and ‘wailing,’ they kept reminding us of ‘16 years’ as if we are expected to be rooted to what has passed and Buhari is making sure of it or that’s what we pay him to do.
When you talk they’d say you should look to your State Governor… Then you imagine: if someone like Obasanjo was the President, could any Governor have dared to lock up palliatives meant for the people in warehouses without sharing them, knowing full well most of the grants came from the central government?! I dare say emphatic no!
During Obasanjo’s tenure, monies allocated to States, local governments and parastatals were published monthly for anyone who cared to peruse.
Even the so-called £16 billion electricity project was publicly shown in a big book well explained. Before he left about $3 billion NOT $16 billion had been paid out in equipment which was duly brought into the country and in our ports. Succeeding governments (Yar’Adua and Jonathan) made a mess of it. Buhari came and instead of picking up the pieces and looking at the report on his desk, he was fixated on useless propaganda and our electricity generation went under.
Our collective amnesia has cost us a progressive Nigeria and here we are looking to borrow to rebuild the massive destruction engendered by a bad government.
I hope we enjoy the broken Nigeria that we all have worked to bring about. Cheerios!
Wilson Akpomedae Ozuem