Almost 100 Days Since President Buhari Took Over -By Ahmed Oluwasanjo

Filed under: National Issues |
Ahmed Oluwasanjo

Ahmed Oluwasanjo

 

Holding Baba Buhari to a very high standard is not goading him to fail. We are seeing the prospect of his administration already and hope is alive. We hope things get better has Buhari unviels his roadmap for Nigeria in the coming days. May God strengthen and give Baba Buhari all he needs to succeed as he builds institutions and structures that would outlive him and make Nigeria a better country of which we can all be proud.

President Muhammadu Buhari clocks 100 days in office on September five. It is now the prerogative of members of the public – those who voted for or against him – to have their say on how he has fared so far in the area of good governance, which he promised.

History records that assessing the 100 days in office of a government in recent times stemmed from Franklin D. Roosevelt’s presidency in America in 1933. FDR made remarkable achievements in his first 100 days in office through the New Deal initiative, despite the great depression that predated his ascendency. Like FDR, Barack Obama and Narenda Modi of India both had remarkable stories to share of their first 100 days in office. Thus, expecting same from our president is not a bad idea, even if we must agree that we did not campaign and vote for a magician.

It is also fair that we admit our problems as a country predates this present administration. But, the fact that leaders are voted in to solve problems gives us no reason to spare Baba Buhari’s administration through the 100-day assessment. After all, he was fully aware of these challenges before he offered himself for the job. And if truly we want him to succeed, we needn’t let our love and support for him stop us from holding him to a higher and better standard.

First: In the war against Boko Haram, some steps in the right direction have been taken, including the relocation of the military command headquarters to Borno State, at the heart of the theatre of battle; and, the new Army head, General Tukur Yusuf Buratai is known to have personally led our gallant soldiers in the war against the enemies of our beloved country. In addition, gone are the the days when ill-equipped soldiers are sent to war, while potbellied Service Chiefs wine and sleep in Abuja.

Syndicating forces with neighbouring countries to combat terrorism and funding the collective armies are all good moves that have thwarted the blood-sucking terrorists who once hoisted their flag within our country’s territorial boundaries. They now appear to be scampering. Indeed Boko Haram is now realising the power of our unity. But, the war is yet to be won. For Boko Haram to have slain over 1000 Nigerians since this administration took over power calls for a blitzkrieg from our military and the joint forces.

The war on corruption has taken a more serious dimension beyond what anybody could have envisaged even a few months ago. Our comatose anti-graft agencies have got back their mojos. Consequently, thieves are now running as prophesied by the singer who gave us “masugudu sugudu”. Indeed there is a new sheriff in town. Assets acquired sordidly have been reportedly seized, government-owned properties converted are also being recovered from looters while some are putting up their ill-gotten assets for sale, all in a bid to escape prosecution.

In the same manner, one phony bedridden ex-minister was alleged to have benevolently offered to return a huge sum of $250million out of the oodles of lucre she helped herself with as an erstwhile power broker in the recent years of locusts. Well, in return for her ‘kind’ gesture, Nigerians are praying that she gets well soon, as we look forward to her prosecution in the coming days. Besides, would all these have happened if Jonathan had won the presidential election?

However, government’s continuious harping on the war against corruption is becoming boring and appalling, as Nigerian masses cannot wait to see corrupt officials go to jail, while their recovered loots are judiciously channelled towards projects and programmes oriented towards enabling the people. For the past 16 years, successive administrations have recovered about $3.2billion from the Abacha loot, yet we cannot see the positive impact of this returned funds on Nigerians. So, giving a comprehensive report of recovered loots and how they are to be monitored and utilised is imperative if the present fight is in the interest of Nigerians.

On our economy, the plugging of leakages through remittance of all accruals from (MDAs) into the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CFR) was a good idea that has led to a boost in our foreign reserves. Funds released to support states’ salary payments, the slashing of salaries of President Buhari and his deputy by 50 percent, the rejection of armoured cars worth N400million by Baba Buhari and cancellation of the usual government sponsored delegations to the Hajj, are economically-sound decisions expected to save about $1 million and N30m in local expenses. These are all brilliant attempts at cutting the cost of governance; we hope our legislators also get a pay cut.

Buhari-phobia has also gripped saboteurs who took advantage of the inept and lackluster leadership of former president Goodluck Jonathan, whose government kept Nigerians in darkness while long-suffering masses paid exorbitant electricity bills. Power supply has improved compared to what it used to be. And without Baba Buhari lifting his fingers to fix anything in our oil and gas sector, refineries have commenced production. Indeed, leadership matters. But Nigerians hope that this administration achieves a stable power supply situation for the country that encourages industrialisation, while also ensuring the production from our refineries are self-sufficient for the needs of our economy in the next four years.

We might pardon Baba Buhari’s flaw when he claimed his delay in making appointments is a similitude of Barack Obama’s first term in office. However, we need to keep raising alarm over his refusal to declare his assets publicly, as partial fulfillment of his campaign promise. Also, the office of the First Lady alleged to have only changed in nomenclature shouldn’t be. It needs to be publicly scrapped as he had promised to do. Likewise, attempting to deny widely circulated promises that worked in favour of candidate Buhari during the campaign now is a poor tactic that Nigerians should not fall for. An agreement should remain as one, despite a change in circumstance.

Holding Baba Buhari to a very high standard is not goading him to fail. We are seeing the prospect of his administration already and hope is alive. We hope things get better has Buhari unviels his roadmap for Nigeria in the coming days. May God strengthen and give Baba Buhari all he needs to succeed as he builds institutions and structures that would outlive him and make Nigeria a better country of which we can all be proud.

Ahmed Oluwasanjo writes from Abuja and can be reached on [email protected]

 

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