Without a smidgen of doubt, one full year is crucial in the life of any nation. Decisions made during this period can mar or provoke a major social transformation in subsequent years. The case is not different with Nigeria, a nation in desperate need of a bricklayer with the skills capable of rebuilding the nation's walls as well as the people's confidence in their own government.
During his televised address on the morning of Sunday, 29th May, 2016, to mark the 17th year of Nigeria's failed Democracy and one year of his ascension to power, President Muhammadu Buhari lauded his administration thus:
'It has been a year of triumph... We have, therefore, delivered significant milestones on security, corruption, and the economy.'
It is very herculean for everyday Nigerians to see any verisimilitude in a panegyric piece that could only extol the President and his administration. The marauding herdsmen have become a new threat and have eliminated a considerable number of people with impunity. Whilst we appreciate and sincerely wish that graft be exterminated from Nigeria so that we can achieve a world close to idealism, it is impossible to bring this to fruition if the anti-graft 'war' is simply clangorous and a one-sided affair. A President who has been accredited with such a high degree of integrity must be seen willing to use his own administration as an example in the war against corruption, thereby accentuating that sacred cows are non-existent. This has not been the case and so the question of him having unsullied integrity should therefore not arise forthwith.
To initiate any positive change, the President of this country must take, and indeed be seen to take a decisive first step of ridding any member of his cabinet on whom the slightest dirt of corruption is smeared. When the President's lauded integrity has propelled him to do this, his reputation will so swell that his name will become a song on the people's lips.
As for the Nigerian economy, it has been in a catastrophic state, and the government appears totally clueless on how to salvage the situation. In the face of this economic quagmire, the President and his cohorts decided to withdraw subsidy from petroleum products (or is it price increase? They seem totally confused on this) thereby heaping untold hardship on the people. Even Professor Yemi Osinbajo's bid to defend the insensitive move was bereft of merit and substance. It rather exposed the deception behind the announcement. In fact, talking about deception, President Buhari and his party have disowned a myriad of their electoral promises. The fact that the Buhari-led government has a cavalier attitude toward the plight of the people is too blatant for a sensible debate. A government that is unsympathetic to the plight of its people has no right to exist.
It is even surprising that Nigerians have not noticed the gross ineptitude that is associated with this administration, so serious is it that they have spent the past one year blaming and casting aspersions on the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan. But these are inane excuses, Nigerians acknowledged that the Jonathan's era was permeated with incompetence and corruption which was why the people fired him to hire Buhari in order to reanimate a system in complete shambles. So obsessed are they with the 'blame it on Jonathan' syndrome that President Buhari could not leave it out of his Democracy Day speech. Hear him:
'On our arrival, the oil price had collapsed to as low as $30 per barrel, and we found nothing had been kept for the rainy day. Oil prices have been declining since 2014 but due to the neglect of the past, the country was not equipped to halt the economy from declining. The infrastructure, notably rail, power, roads were in a decrepit state. All the four refineries were in a state of disrepair, the pipelines and depots neglected. Huge debts owed to contractors and suppliers had accumulated. Twenty-seven states could not pay salaries for months. In the north-east, Boko Haram had captured 14 local governments, driven the local authorities out, hoisted their flags. Elsewhere, insecurity was palpable; corruption and impunity were the order of the day. In short, we inherited a state near collapse.'
They had spent a greater part of their 365 days in office singing this anthem and the President could not do without a reprise of this tired song on a day when he ought to have presented his achievements for the past twelve months, their subsequent plans on how to rebuild the economy, etc. The President is not alone on the business of 'blame it on Jonathan'. One of his Ministers, Mr Lai Mohammed, who arrogantly declared to SaharaReporters that he is under no obligation to let the Nigerian people know what he does with their money, has this to say:
'But we inherited a very sick government, the type that is inflicted with so many ailments and everything – sickle cell and any kind of sickness. You know Ebola! We came into government at a very bad time, but for the fact that God loves this country and we won the election, because if any other political party had won the election, Nigeria would have seized to exist.'
You have been hired to do a job, it is only civil to step aside if you think the said job is overly onerous. The Buhari's government must understand that the banner of deception is not sufficient to delude the people forever.
I have gone on at such length not because I have anything personal against Buhari and his lying APC team but because I believe quite strongly that if Nigeria is to avoid catastrophes of possibly greater dimensions than we have had in the past one year then we must take a hard and unsentimental look at the crucial question on the kind of Nigeria that the Buhari administration is forging. Unfortunately what is clear at the moment is that Buhari has not, and does not seem likely to salvage Nigeria from the path of perdition where Jonathan left the nation. My overall assessment is that Nigeria has been uninhabitable for the past one year, and that this administration assumed power fully armed with the required skill with which to hoodwink the people before having them raped!
Since Nigerians have chosen the path of docility and gullibility, may they survive the incompetence and perpetual deception that the Buhari administration will generously offer them in the coming years!