Over the years, certain key issues have confronted the Nigerian state, its government, the governed and the structures itself, from a seeming lack of system to a lack of will and direction.
Such is the fundamental nature of the problems that they have become part of us. However, on many occasions we have been provided with the opportunity to get it right but many a times we let go of such moments.
The just concluded Presidential polls, presents such moment again, while I have refused to discuss the elections, not as an act of cowardice, but truly, to discuss, an election many think was a function of change, and many others see as having further divided the nation, or one that has realigned the nation.
Who am I, especially when I am not on a praise-singing mission like the one many are wont to do–Buhari, the perfectionist, or Jonathan, the next Nobel Peace prizewinner? However, with each passing day, I know that I am compelled to make my opinion known. In addition, I make these comments so that someday in the future when I am asked what did I say or do, these words would hold me liable.
Quickly, let me say, with these elections we may have made comparative tangible responsive and responsible movement in the democratic field, even though at great expense.
To Buhari and the change agents—The questions are not far fetched: like will Buhari, be far from being a ‘yes man’ and be far from the business as usual set of leaders that have plagued this nation.
The Buhari praise singers have simply caught the messiah bug. I am surprised some persons have not called him a ‘god’. The expectations are high, and for a nation that has for decades lived below its potentials, we have a right to expect much but sadly, we are again saddled with a government that ‘pray’ seriously will not be largely a deceptive one.
Buhari has to, not just by his will but by his powers thread a new path–or else we may still tow the known path. It is the only road we know for now…road contracts that will be abandoned, commissioning of hospitals without facilities. Schools that would be neglected, strikes within various sectors of the economy amongst many shortfalls and long falls will characterise the administration with a couple of its own fair share of ‘elephant and hippo’ projects.
Does anyone think that Buhari’s led APC is the answer, then we really need a re-think? We do not need a soothsayer to tell us that the best that we have now is a conglomeration of deceit…re-congregated elite but it is still some “CHANGE”. A cursory look at the first few statements, interviews and campaign promises of the Buhari-led APC, may raise both hope and fear.
Already there is a call for time and patience, how much of it, we have only time will tell, and while I have argued that a change in government, if free, fair and credible does not mean that government should restart its engine. On the contrary, it calls for a re-fuelling and moving ahead. Our experience is that government has to start all over again and the same old music is remixed and few months after we notice same old thread in action. And fearfully, the same issues that the last administration sought to solve or made comic of, is the same ones we will face again.
However, Buhari may be blessed as Nigerians are so divided on the real issues by religion, ethnicity, nepotism and other selfish modules. Buhari and his APC cohorts will not urgently and comprehensively address the job issue, nor improve on the business of government. There are no plans that will translate to the provision of housing, water, and education for all Nigerian children to the Senior Secondary School grade at least. With more billions spent, electricity will still not be available, reliable and affordable.
I beg to re-echo again that except there is a honest search for understanding, education, organisation, action that raises the cost of state and casual violence for its perpetrators or that lays the basis for institutional change. There would be no answers; rather we would continually be plagued by the same questions and problems. Buhari is not going to solve our problems, like Jonathan before him, he will not disappoint failure. However if the in-coming administration can join the speed train age and stop the government of celebrating borehole water in communities that deserve more…then I will eat my words. Finally, Mr. President-in-waiting, you cannot surprise many of us that do not believe in you. But you can shut us up by performing. Only time will tell.