Mr Dele Momodu, the publisher of the Ovation magazine says the expectations of Nigerians from President Muhammadu Buhari is what one would expect from a magician but they believed he could deliver, and that was why they voted him.
Momodu cautioned supporters of the president against berating Nigerians criticizing Buhari. “They are only asking for action. They have the right to that,” he said.
“Their expectation was that of a magician. That was what I wrote in my article. What the Nigerians expect of you is like that of Jesus Christ turning water into wine, raising Lazarus from the dead. I wrote another article, ‘Buhari and the burden of expectations’. To whom is given, much is expected. Nigerians saw him as magician. They believe he has talismanic powers to transform Nigeria from penury to prosperity. You can’t blame them. Nobody is blaming Buhari, we are just saying ‘please sir, time is not on your side’. I am not one of those who will rush him,” Momodu told Vanguard in an interview.
Momodu, who was the presidential candidate of the National conscience Party (NCP) in the 2011 elections said he was one of the people who urged Nigerians to be patient with President Buhari. “But being patient does not mean we should fold our arms indefinitely. There are things that can still be done. I found a proverb some where which says ‘the meat of antelope tastes very good, but while it is cooking, we can still make do with groundnut’. While we are waiting for that big action, some things must keep us going, whether pop corn, ice cream or something. If the National Assembly, within some minutes, approved about 15 Special Advisers; so, what is stopping us from picking our National Security Adviser, if we have to change the one there now?
“How about the Chief of Staff, the Principal Secretary, the Secretary to the Federal Government. The longer it takes, the longer the tension, and also the longer the pressure on Mr President. I want the president to know that if they begin to put pressure on him, things may begin to fall apart. Had it been some things are already in place, I am sure the tension would have reduced.
The renowned journalist dismissed claims by some people that the president is taking his time because things went so bad under the past administration.
“Before a man says he wants to be president, he must have his plans and blue print of things that he saw not working properly. As such, he thought he had solution to them. Yes, you might not have 100% solution to the problems, but you have a fair idea of what needed to be done urgently. And you said you have the answer to them before you offered yourself to serve. And there is nobody more experienced than President Muhammadu Buhari. He was there over 30 years ago. He also acted in other capacities before now. So, I expect him to be able to know what he wants to do.
“Your principal staff, you will know who they are, and you will appoint them. Even the ministers, by now, there is no law that says all the ministers must be ready at the same time. The problems we have in Nigeria are so big that one second is like eternity. I pleaded with people few weeks back to be patient, but I am telling you that the public outcry is no longer favourable to our cause. And I don’t want us to lose that moment to the concerns of the people. It is like a plane that is about to take off,” Momodu said.