By Reginald Chukwu
It’s been a year into the new government. So far, its been pain, penury and extreme hardship experienced in the country as against the promises of a total change for good once assuming power.
It should be to the president – as a man with conscience, a call to action, the way the same voices that sang his ‘Sai Baba, Sai Buhari’ praises are all now singing a different song, wishing they never voted him in, following the economic hardship the nation is subjected to.
To be candid, the change that Nigeria needs can never come over-night. In just a year, the government has no doubt got the people fed up with its policies and are receiving the backlash because they failed to realize they were making unrealistic promises within the time frame promised to gullible Nigerians who are ready to hold them accountable by every single thing they were promised.
With the current state of the nation, if not for the hunger for power, how could a party like APC have promised to repair the nation immediately taking over the affairs of the state from a government that used 16 years to ruin and put the nation in shambles with its odd pattern of leadership?
Must every party that wishes to be in government come with too-good-to-be-true campaign promises just to be in power, without any sincerity of purpose?
How could the party have promised the release of the Chibok Girls in the first few months of its regime, and its two years now since the Girls were abducted and still nowhere to be found? How could the party have promised the purchase of fuel at #50 in its early stay in office and yet can’t even get the product due to scarcity; selling at a sky rocketed sum of #145 per litre as against the original price of #87? How come the prices of everything, food, goods and commodities have all gone higher than what it used to be under the erstwhile government? Could this be a process of change promised?
Although, change is a process which comes with difficulty, the question on the lips of every Nigerian now is, is the economic hardship being experienced in the nation today the process of change or the resultant effect of a confused government?
A large part of the populace believe that the hardship the nation is subjected to is as a result of the lack of vision of this government and not any process of change like they are making the masses believe. The chorus echoed on the streets is: if the economic hardship is part of the process of change, what are the visions on ground? How long will it linger so the pain can be borne once and for all?
It is a worrisome trend that whatever goes up in price in Nigeria never comes down anymore. A sachet water popularly known as pure water which sold for #5 before now sells for #10, food items and other commodities doubled and tripled their original prices and wonder if they will ever return to their former prices.
The body language of the present government so far has made the masses lose hope in its policies and are doubting if they can ever deliver on their promises.
The honorable minister of information, Mr Lai Mohammed, according to the people, using his office to throw jabs most times at the opposition PDP, instead of focus on the re-orientation of the nation, shows how vision-less the government is. They fail to realize that the major essence of a two party system is to enhance speedy development and not to throw tantrums at each other at any slightest opportunity.
The same is being said of the president who has made travelling from one country to another the order of his government, jettisoning issues that needs urgent attention at the home front. In opposition to this school of thought, I do believe that his foreign trips are for the good of the nation.
If truly this government is led by vision; there’s no better time to experience change than the way it presently is. There’s no better time to tackle corruption head-on, the societal decadence, economic menace and security challenges steering us in the face as a nation, if not this moment.
If president Muhammadu Buhari fails to deliver, judging by his level of discipline, then nobody can lead this nation successfully. There’s no doubting the fact that, to become a president in a country like Nigeria, you have to belong to a certain caucus, a caucus that recycles the same leaders with some sort of selfish interest. In this caucus, there’s no better person than who we presently have as the number one man, only if he lacks the clues to be a good leader. If our voting system allows our young and vibrant minds rise to the helms of affairs without the interference of any Godfather, there’s no doubt that urgent solutions will be found to our problems.
Despite being bamboozled by the government with the promise of turning things around in 6 months of assuming power, it is advisable that Nigerians wake up to the reality on ground and know that change is a process and is never witnessed over night.
In its real sense, a year is not enough to experience the desired change we need as a nation. Rather than complain, let’s accept fate and diligently watch the government if they are really leading with vision or are a set of confused people, and let our ballots in the next general elections do the action, either to kick them out or still keep them in. Let us be hopeful that with the groaning of the masses, notable changes such as the return of goods and commodities back to their normal prices or even below, stable power supply, good roads and so many other positive developments will be witnessed in no distant time.
Reginald Chukwu; A Freelance Writer Writes in From Lagos.