By Akinleye Olusegun @mypenspeaks
There are two sides to a story. In most cases, there are three— those for, those against and those on the sidelines. Everyone has a point, irrespective of the side of the divide they find themselves. This is Nigeria and the political awareness is on the rise compared to what was attainable some years back. Everyone is now a student of political science. From the gathering at the vendor’s place of business where people with divergent political views yell at one another, to the corridor of the super-rich, who discuss the country over a bottle of chilled wine, everyone has got something to say.
For those against, two months is enough for President Muhammadu Buhari to have set the tone for the much anticipated change. The change that led to the ouster of Goodluck Jonathan because Nigeria was on the brink of collapse. Nothing was working even when the former President and his cronies were saying otherwise. To the average Nigerian, everything was wrong. There were the incessant bomb attacks in the Northern parts of the country, corruption was on the rise, unemployment not abating and not forgetting, the Naira was fast losing weight against other major currencies.
Two months on from May 29th, nothing has changed. For those expecting the immediate annihilation of the terrorist group, Boko Haram, they might already be feeling disappointed. The group has become more daring and consistent in executing its devilish attacks.
Despite PMB’s glorified visit to the United States of America and the promise of co-operation between the two countries, America has refused to sell arms to Nigeria to help in the fight against Boko Haram.
The naira is yet to appreciate as there are no financial machinery in place to aid its recovery. At the black market, a dollar to a naira is two hundred and fifty naira while the pounds sterling sells at three hundred and fifty two naira. A rise from when Jonathan was president.
Sixty days into his administration, the president remains the only one running the affairs of the country. There are no helping hands in the form of ministers. For how long will this continue? Immediately after the swearing-in, the president should have made his move and unveiled his team of ministers who will help guide the country back to the path of full recovery.
In short, our able president is yet to fulfil any of his campaign promises notably among them, the public declaration of his asset.
To the other side of the divide— they are of the opinion that sixty days is not enough to evaluate the performance of Mr. President.
The country has been messed up for sixteen years by the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, and it will take more than just sixty days to make any meaningful impact.
Goodluck dallied with Boko Haram. He didn’t take the initiative, instead, like a wound, he allowed the terrorist group to fester. Immediately after the April 26, 2011, bomb attack on the United Nations building in Abuja, Jonathan should have changed his approach towards the group but he didn’t, a mistake he later admitted to during a bilateral talk with President Hifikepunye Pohamba of Namibia.
He said, “Initially, we handled it (terrorism) with kid glove, but now we have decided to be a little more forceful because we must trash out this terror group.”
Buhari has been trying to do things differently. Nobody should forget that Rome was not built in a day. He has been to neighbouring countries that share border with Nigeria to discuss on how to tackle the terrorist group. He didn’t stop there.
He has brought on board new Service Chiefs, while also moving the military command from Abuja to Maiduguri, the stronghold of the terror group.
PMB has solicited the support of America in fighting corruption. This is a man of integrity who is finally ready to take the bull by the horn. A man Nigeria has been waiting for. A man who has given his words to bring any corrupt person to book, even if such is from his political party, the All Progressives Congress.
As for the delay in the ministerial list, Buhari has assured Nigerians that he will only appoint people with integrity. Truly, he means well for the country. When the time comes, Nigerians should expect nothing short of the best.
It will be the highest form of farcicality to have expected the president, with the ongoing fracas in the National Assembly, to even get down to official business. Although, you can expect things to be different from now on. Why? The National Assembly melee has been resolved and everyone can move forward with the affairs of running the nation.
With time, he will clean up the mess made by GEJ and the People’s Democratic Party, PDP.
The last people on the divide are the by-standers. They are neither here nor there. They are not pro-Buhari nor anti-Mr. President. Sixteen years was just too long for them. They needed a change of government and they got it. They are the ones whose businesses were affected by the economic policies of the last administration. They are the ones who buried relatives and loved ones after every bomb blasts. They wanted a change and they got it. Now what?
Now, after sixty days, people still bury relatives and loved ones. Businesses are still folding up. There seem to be no sign of visible change in sight but these by- standers are not giving up.
To be continued…