Change Under Buhari Is Real -By Louis Okoroma

Filed under: National Issues |
Louis Okoroma

Louis Okoroma

 

A friend of mine surprised me the other day when he asked, how is the going? I answered that well, it is fine. The person vehemently stated that it is great, things are getting better and we are happy! I sought to know what he meant. His explanation surprised me the more. He said that CHANGE is coming to Nigeria and that so far, President Buhari is doing excellently well and that majority of Nigerians are happy. He stated further that by the time the retired General is half way through his agenda, and with the support of patriotic Nigerians, those cynics who often say that nothing good can come out of the world’s most populous black nation, would have a re-think.

Indeed, the Change slogan on which both the All Progressives Congress (APC), and President Muhammadu Buhari came to power, has become real less than 100 days into his stewardship. Without much prompting, Nigerians in positions of authority and public responsibility are doing their utmost to excel in their various assignments. There is a new attitude to work and a new found urgency to get things done simply because, ‘Baba is in Charge’, and no one wants to offend Baba or be found wanting on his job.

The other interesting aspect of the new attitude and zeal for work among public and private sector workers in the country is that these people are happy doing their job with the new found urgency. In the not too distant past, going to any government office for anything gives one the impression that the job is one huge drudgery and the worker is facing some form of punishment. All that has suddenly changed. What one sees now are workers who are not only happy and in a hurry to get an assignment done because of Change, but people who cast glances at you as if to say, if you know Buhari, tell him that we support change!

The attitudinal change among Nigerians is real and deep-seated and is set to grow deeper to become part of the national character as the Buhari administration consolidates. This state of affairs is new in Nigeria and has confounded critics who before the advent of the Buhari administration were of the view that Nigeria is far too gone in the direction of corruption and laxity to be turned around.

Anyone who was in Nigeria before the March 28, 2015 presidential elections, and who witnessed the near collapse of the nation, would today marvel at the turn of events and things are turning around positively without President Buhari making pronouncements or setting up task forces to bring about change. Thus the driving force of the change we are witnessing is changed perception of the Leader as a person of integrity and transparency who would not condone indolence and irresponsibility. Thus, the average Nigerian is inherently hardworking and responsible and can make a difference in his environment if he perceives that his Leader is honest, sincere and also capable of diligent service. Buhari’s reputation is what has made all the difference here.

In less than 100 days of President Buhari, the notorious epileptic power supply which reached the point of total darkness in the last days of the erstwhile Jonathan administration took a turn for the better. Most parts of the country suddenly started having some electric power though the situation needs to improve. The question is: what happened, what made the difference? The answer is Leadership and the desire of Nigerians to live in a better country where things function. In the area of fuel supply and the frustrating queues that became part of daily life in most parts of the country; Nigerians were witnesses how without any prompting or action by the Buhari government, the management of the NNPC and the oil marketers started holding series of meetings to resolve the fuel supply problem. Eventually they succeeded. And for good measure, many Nigerians heard the unbelievable news that some of our refineries in Kaduna and Warri which for years had defied all attempts at turn around maintenance and production would start refining crude!

If the country’s hitherto comatose refineries come alive to refine crude oil and cause a reduction of fuel importation on which the current high price of fuel and other petroleum products are premised, it could happen that with time, the domestic price of fuel would reduce. The revived refineries would also open up employment opportunities and lead to other ancillary business activities that would keep hundreds of Nigerians productively engaged. This way, the high unemployment ravaging many families in the country would start to recede, all thanks to Buhari and Change. And who says that unlike what we were made to believe by previous administrations, under President Buhari, new refineries might come on stream further putting to an end, the wasteful and shameful era of unbridled fuel importation.

One other crucial area where Change under President Buhari is having the desired impact of creating new attitudes is in the area of anti-corruption. Before now, Nigeria was a hopeless case in the area of corruption. The vice ate deep into the fabric of the nation and became a definer of the Nigerian persona such that the ambition of most Nigerians including the newly-born was to grow up or to have the opportunity to tinker with the national treasury. Stealing of public funds became routine and was elevated to an art under the former administration of Goodluck Jonathan who presided over the stealing of over $11 trillion from the national treasury and revenue- earning agencies of the Federal Government.

Many who stole the nation’s money are now afraid and uncomfortable because they would be brought to account according to President Buhari. There are even stories about some thieves already returning stolen public money as an act of goodwill to the present government and as a way of avoiding the shame and opprobrium associated with public trial and disclosure. Without anyone having been sent to jail, many people notably the young and impressionable in our society now know that it is a crime to steal public funds and that some people who go by the appellation of prominent Nigerians are actually thieves.

It was for this reason that some of these people, organised under the auspices of the National Peace Committee have been trying to scare President Buhari from carrying out the anti-corruption campaign by saying it would heat up the polity. Our position is that poverty, hunger, unbridled corruption and widespread unemployment has already heated up our polity and the latter needs to be cooled down and prevented from implosion by Buhari’s anti-corruption campaign. Happily, the President has promised to commence trial of the looters and thieves in the next few weeks. Nigerians are waiting. Change under Buhari is real.

Louis Okoroma is a Public Affairs Analyst based in Abuja.

 

Comments

comments

  • odinkemere hycienth chigozie

    nice article pls keep it up.i must tell u that was a fastastic article,surely the nigeria of our dreams is coming to a reality.Brother louis pls i needed to remind u should in case there are more better opportunities pls dont fail to inform me i would appreciate it so much cause i know what u are capable of doing for me.may the the joy of this season bring you longlife,prosperity and all the good things of life in jesus name.(HAPPY NEW YEAR) i love u.

  • odinkemere hycienth chigozie

    cant just wait to see u again,

  • noor

    yes nig is about to change, we have less terrorism and less corruption as well as little dev in respect of electricity supply.but my advice to the govt in respect of fuel scarcity the state have to adopt the policy of the late yar adua to supply petrol massively to mega stations and to increase the number of the mega station across the states.