I SEE NO CHANGES

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buhari

I wanted to caption this piece, Buhari’s Scorecard. As a literature student “Anagnorisis” came to my mind. Still on the same literary enthusiasm I settled for the title above. Anyone who is a rap devotee will not be far from the truth if he says this title was inspired by rap legend Lesane Parish Crooks aka Tupac Amaru Shakur’s song CHANGES. Similar to Tupac, whenever I go through the news headlines I ask myself is life worth living or should I blast myself? I am tired of being born even worse I am in Nigeria. 2pac suffered being black in a white man’s country. Stanley is suffering being Nigerian in the same Nigeria. I am sure a lot of Nigerians are having their own share of this quagmire.

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A lot of things happened when Goodluck Jonathan was Nigeria’s president. As far as Nigerians were concerned, the things that happened were not heart-warming; hence they gave Jonathan a red card at the 2015 presidential election. The new government came into power led by ex-military head of state; Muhammadu Buhari whom many believed to be a no-nonsense man. There was hope for a new Nigeria, a fresh beginning. The government enjoyed the peoples’ trust and goodwill. Everybody echoed sai baba. Time started ticking, expectations were stupendous. Will the peoples’ hope be dashed? We have barely three years left to find out. Looking at the last fifteen months you need quintessential optimism to still trust and hope for the best from this government.

Speaking to Nigerians resident in South Africa less than a month into his stewardship, Buhari opined that old age will limit his performance. That was a clarion call to Nigerians to expect nothing but mediocrity. Of course, he realised he is old after his swearing-in.

True to their party’s slogan-CHANGE, we started seeing a lot of changes. Buhari achieved a milestone when it took him five irretrievable months to appoint his ministers. We thought we would be amazed when the list finally drops. The only expression from our lips was nawa ooo. We expected technocrats, professionals, Nigerians at home and in diaspora who have excelled in their chosen disciplines to man key ministries and proffer the desired change. I am not yet a politician, I probably don’t know jack about politics. As regards why he appointed those people, only he can answer.

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There was yet another change; PMS was reduced from N87 to N86:50. Fifty kobo reduction was not a big deal, Nigerians were not grateful. No one said thank you Mr President. Buhari was irritated; he therefore increased the price from 86:50 to N145, a whopping 67% increment. Nigerian Labour Congress was divided, some went on strike, others alongside Trade Union Congress supported Buhari. He is a leader we can trust, even if he is strangling us, so long it is coming from Buhari, then strangulation is exactly what is best for us. This is precisely what his followers believe.

During the past administration, Boko Haram was number one security threat. At the dawn of this government a new vista was opened. Fulani herdsmen took over the mantle of leadership. From north-east to north-central, south-west to south-east; Fulani herdsmen are killing and maiming scores of people. If boko haram stationed only in the north, herdsmen covered more grounds. If boko haram used one person to unleash mayhem, herdsmen came in their hundreds to kill and destroy. If boko haram had a leader, with a motto and are organised, herdsmen have no leader, no motto and are faceless. Nigerians were chagrined when the only solution this government has is the National Grazing Reserve Bill. A bill to protect Fulani herdsmen. This is unbelievable.  Fulani militants, the fourth deadliest terrorist group on Global Terrorism Index is having such a favourable attention from Nigeria’s senate.  We wanted change and now we have it. Our senators should be ashamed of themselves especially Senator Zaynab Kure, the sponsor of this bill. Instead of inviting heads of security agencies to explain their inability to apprehend and prosecute perpetrators of this dastardly act, they chose to applaud herdsmen with such anti-people bill. Change indeed has come.

Nigeria overtook South Africa in 2014 to become the largest economy in Africa under a “massively corrupt” government. Gallantly, this pristine government recorded another change in this department taking Nigeria back to second position.

Businesses are pulling out of Nigeria, United Airlines, Spanish national airline Iberia to mention a few have stopped operations due to economic crisis.

Naira is now a shadow of itself, from N197 to $1 to over N300. One GBP is over N500 from N250. Nigerian students studying abroad are having a hard time getting funds due to new forex policy. CHANGE is vividly not the answer.

At the dawn of the fourth republic, Olusegun Obasanjo inherited a country near comatose. He however, reduced external debt from N35 billion to N4 billion, foreign exchange Reserve grew to N40 billion from almost nothing. GDP growth averaged 7% per annum. New industries like telecommunication sprang up. He established Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to combat corruption. He also recovered some Abacha loot.  On the other hand, APC came into power with CHANGE as their focal point. We were enjoying the APC gang until they ascended the throne. They had solutions to every imbroglio bedevilling the country, but when they took over power, we saw blame game at its best and painful CHANGES. They kept telling us that the previous government are the cause of our problems. Wasn’t that the reason they were voted out? Nigerians voted APC because they claimed to have solutions to every problem not to remind us what we already know. This government should get their act together and deliver their electoral promises. Nigerians are in dire need of a better life.

written by Stanley Bentley

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