By Mbasekei Martin Obono
It’s almost three weeks since President Muhammadu Buhari was sworn in to deliver the change he promised during the 2015 elections campaign.
People have argued that it’s too early to start holding this government accountable but the truth is that President Muhammadu Buhari ought to be the most prepared President in the history of Nigeria because of the number of times he contested for President.
The President ought to have a plan, he ought to have identified the men. He ought to get on the job of fixing Nigeria. But so far, no single appointments have been made. No move has been made towards revamping our economy as he and his party made it look during the campaigns.
Nigerians who are in dire need of change don’t seem to have experienced an atom of it. The people are running out of patience. Since Baba has been there, business of running government seems to be as usual.
First, it was on assets declaration. The president has still not made public his assets and or liabilities that were purportedly submitted to the Code of Conduct Bureau as he promised Nigerians. The history of our public servants shows that it has been the tradition in Nigeria for people to assume and exit public office without declaring assets. It is also on record that majority of our public officials perform “half-done” assets declaration exercise. Mr. President seems to fall into this category. Nothing has changed.
Secondly, there have been two appointments made by the President and all two are doing the same job – media. Shehu Garba was appointed Senior Special Assistant on media and Femi Adesina was appointed Special Adviser to the president on media. This is duplication of efforts.
It is an old way of making appointments in government which serves as an avenue to create jobs for the boys or a way of appeasing political godfathers. For a president who promised to cut down on cost of running government to duplicate efforts in the only appointments he has made doesn’t signify a ray of change in a supposed dark tunnel of “continuity”.
Sadly, the appointees of the President have been busy promoting themselves on social media using their personal Twitter handles to tweet official information while the @NGRPresident which is meant to be the official handle of the President only retweets.
This is not change because people like us sought the heads of former President Goodluck Jonathan’s aides on social media for personalizing the presidency of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The implication of the act tweeting from personal handles is that it becomes difficult for anyone to get information on the president or the presidency through social media and it also makes the job of archiving major decisions and statements of the president difficult.
Lastly, we don’t know when the president is speaking through his aides or if the aides are speaking through the president. Can the President enforce some change here, please? This is so because, social media defined the elections that brought him to power and he must not under rate its potentials to put the change on auto reset.
Furthermore, the President’s first major outing was to hold talks with Presidents of neighboring countries to discuss ways of ending the Boko Haram terror. Was this not what former President Goodluck Jonathan was doing and many “change” supporters called him weak? Albert Einstein once said, “insanity is doing the same thing with the expectation of different results”.
The first move by the APC led government in Nigeria shows that it is truly a party of strange bedfellows. How does one explain what’s happening at the National Assembly. The desperation for power and control at all cost would be the party’s greatest undoing. How else do we want to debate the fact that the President has refused to congratulate the speaker of House of Representatives and president of the Senate for their victories. Despite saying he can work with anyone that emerges as leaders of both chambers.
The PDP was a party that lacked disciple. It was when the party started embarking on reforms to instil some level of discipline under the leadership of Alhaji Bamanga Tukur and Adamu Muazu respectively, that the party started having internal crisis that brought about the emergence of a new PDP that latter went into an alliance with the APC to give opposition party victory in the 2015 polls.
APC must start showing signs of seriousness in the area of discipline. Since Charity must begin at home, so should discipline begin in the green and read chambers of the houses of Representatives and the Senate. Beyond grabbing power and having control of the nation’s resources APC must show seriousness in reforming Nigeria’s socio political system. Hence, Senator Bukola Saraki and Hon. Yakubu Dogara must be sanctioned for anti-party activities for going against the wish of party leadership.
APC must show that beyond quest for power and its interests. The party has the interest of the entire country at heart. The party needs to set a good example by doing things differently and rightly even if it hurts them just for the good of our polity. If they do this, then change must be on the way.
In terms of justice system, we have seen associates of the President having his N19.2b corruption charges being quashed in law courts. This has been the practice, right from the days of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
It is still business as usual my people. Don’t expect much to change or even anything to change.
President Buhari is being unfair to the little over fifteen million voters who believed he would do things differently.
Mbasekei Martin Obono can be reach through firstname.lastname@example.org
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