KUDOS & KNOCKS: NIGERIANS REACT TO PRESIDENT BUHARI’S ONE YEAR IN OFFICE
The campaign slogan of the All Progressives Congress, APC, translates to good living conditions for Nigerians after one year of President Mohammed Buhari administration? Exactly a year today, hope of the unusual variant was rekindled in Nigerians by the man they voted to oversee the affairs of the country. In this investigative reports led by SECURITY MONITOR’s Assistant Editor, Northern Operations, Dirisu Yakubu, Dare Gazal, Danjuma Mohammed, Lagos Correspondent- Biodun Lawal, Wale Rayners and Photo Editor Shola Akinyele Nigerians though with a high expectations were not impress with the current reality as this reports examines the meaning of CHANGE in the dictionaries of supporters and opponents of the governing party.
It is one year since President Muhammadu Buhari assumed office of the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Federal Republic of Nigeria! Exactly this time a year ago, Nigerians were treated to a good dose of promises by Mr. President who amongst other things, pledged to change the character of governance for Nigeria and her citizens. Although elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, Mr. Buhari made it clear that his commitment to the wellbeing of the country would not make him a slave to powerful elements in the country, including those who facilitated his emergence as the APC Presidential Flagbearer.
“Having just a few minutes ago sworn on the Holy Book, I intend to keep my oath and serve as President to all Nigerians. I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody,” said the President in his inauguration address on May 29th 2015. But beyond the mere verbal rhetoric, the President also reiterated his commitment to the development of critical infrastructures, stressing that his stewardship would witness a radical departure from the era of massive unemployment to an epoch of job creation and improved standards of living.
The first citizen also pledged to revitalize the economy in a manner that would put an end to the perennial energy crisis bedeviling the country since the return to democratic rule. “At home, we face enormous challenges. Insecurity, pervasive corruption, the hitherto unending and seemingly impossible fuel and power shortages are the immediate concerns…No single cause can be identified to explain Nigeria’s poor economic performance over the years than the power situation. It is a national shame that an economy of 180 million generates only 4,000 MW, and distributes less,” the President said, promising to turn things around within the shortest possible time. One year after, how has Mr. President been able to deliver on these promises?
In the opinion of Alhaji Abdulkadir Abdulsalam, National Chairman of the Labour Party, the Buhari administration has not shown any commitment to improving the living standards of Nigerians in the past one year. Abdulsalam argued that contrary to what apologists of incumbent administration want people to believe; the Buhari administration has only succeeded in bringing about a climate of fear and terror in the psyche of the people. “APC’s change has only been successful in the furtherance of the siege mentality, a shared feeling of victimization, defensiveness and defenselessness-a collective state of mind whereby Nigerians are being oppressed, isolated, manipulated, disoriented, dejected and disjointed in the face of the negative maneuvering of the ruling party,” said Abdulsalam.
Asked to describe the first year of President Buhari in office, the LP stalwart said the past “ 11 months of the Buhari administration in retrospect has not brought ‘joy’ to the land but instead dramatic element of fear and trait of political and economic siege that has created a nation without a coherent practice of ethics, values, processes but excessive action, taxes and laws that prevent growth with the appropriate amount of government intervention in the economy remaining highly controversial.” Of tremendous worry to Abdulsalam is the fact that at micro level, families have been witnessing a steady decline in disposable income. He added, “As at today, more than 46 per cent of public sector employees do not have enough money to meet their basic needs with 53 per cent of households reporting decline in their incomes.”
Like Abdulsalam, Ike Ekweremadu, Deputy Senate President (DSP) recently expressed his disappointment over the Buhari-led government in the past one year. Speaking at the National Conference of the PDP at Thisday Dome, Abuja; Ekweremadu said it’s now crystal clear that the APC came to power through the sheer force of propaganda rather than substance. According to him, the governing party is yet to fulfill any of its numerous campaign promises, one year after Nigerians massively voted for its Presidential candidate. “Unfortunately, the chicken has come home to roost sooner than anticipated. No campaign promise, I repeat, no promise made by the present APC administration has been kept. They promised to scale up the exchange rate of our economy by making our naira equal to one US dollar. Have they kept this promise,” The DSP asked, rhetorically. Wondering why a section of the populace wants the rest of Nigerians to stop constructive criticism against the present administration, Ekweremadu noted that it is almost an impossible task considering the fact that even the simplest of pledges made is yet to be fulfilled.
“They promised to pay N5,000 to 25 million unemployed youths. Have they paid a kobo to any youth? Unemployment rate has hit the rooftop since May 2015, with the construction industry laying off tens of thousands of workers. There is massive job loss in the banking sector. Many businesses are being grounded because they can no longer buy spare parts or restock from Europe, China, Dubai amongst others,” lamented the lawmaker.
For Ayo Fayose, governor of Ekiti State and unrepentant critic of the Buhari government, there is nothing to write home about since the country witnessed a change of guard from one party to another on May 29, 2015. All promises made by the APC, according to Fayose are likely to be unfulfilled, unless the President changes his style of governance. Fayose said, “They have not fulfilled any of the promises they made to Nigerians. Infact, they have even told us that they never made any promise…Instead of the three million jobs per year that they promised, what we have been witnessing is job losses, economic hardship and budget padding.”
As it were, the APC-led government is not without a good number of admirers who say the past one year couldn’t have been any better. According to this school of thought, President Buhari has laid a solid foundation for good governance, citing the war against corruption as one of the takeaways in the past 12 months.
In a chat with journalists recently on the one year anniversary of the Buhari
Administration, Chief Don Etiebet said while it is true that Nigerians expected more from the new government; President Buhari has done a lot in the past one year to rekindle the hope of the nation that better things lie ahead still. “I totally disagree that nothing has changed. To me and a lot of other with good mind, a lot has changed…The atmosphere to be disciplined, to be responsible, to be accountable, to be result-oriented, to be innovative and creative has been created,” he stressed, arguing that the future of Nigeria would have been quite bleak if God had not intervened by throwing up Buhari at the time he did. He said, “Do you know what would have happened to our country if President Muhammadu Buhari had not come on board as the
President of this country at the time he did? We would have woken up one morning and seen that
Nigeria is broke, is bankrupt and her total foreign exchange gone if the rate of the financial profligacy had gone on the way it was…”
In the opinion of Professor Ishaq Akintola, Director, Muslim Rights Concern, Buhari has done fairly well especially in the fight against corruption. “This administration has so far done exceedingly well. His (Buhari) major area of focus is the fight against corruption. President
Buhari has tackled corruption headlong. For example, the ministers are no longer permitted to fly first class. They now fly economy class like every other Nigerian. Government officials no longer go abroad for medical treatment. These are bold steps towards reducing corruption in this country,” remarked the Professor of Islamic Studies.
No doubt, both sides of the divide are right in their sundry assessment of the situation. In real terms, no real change has taken place as the energy crisis remains a daunting challenge still.
There are no jobs as the comatose economy is yet to reawaken from its deep slumber. However, one year is too short a time to critically and objectively assess a government which mandate is four years. As a result, the Buhari administration needs time and patience from Nigerians especially now that the controversies surrounding the 2016 budget have been laid to rest.
OPINION POLL: MIXED REACTIONS TRAIL BUHARI’S ONE YEAR REIGN AS A PRESIDENT
President Muhammadu Buhari is marking his 100 days in office today as head, father and leader of the Nigerian State. Exactly one year today, Buhari at his inauguration in Abuja pledged to do things differently for the common good of all. Those who field on the sweat of others would face the wrath of the law, he promised, while assuring Nigerians that they would again be proud of their God-given country. One year after,SECURITY MONITOR took a tour of the across Nigeria to ascertain what CHANGE has brought to Nigerians in the past 12 months.
Dr. Emman Shehu-Media trainer, Literary Critic, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari is failing in communicating his policies and decisions to the
Public and this is costing him a lot of goodwill. He needs to move fast and ensure the ordinary citizen feels the impact of good governance.
Rowland Joseph, farmer, Kaduna
The president means well for Nigeria but he has some bad eggs among his party especially gthe PDP decampees. For example look at the way Senate President Bukola Saraki and co collided with PDP to frustrate and delay the passage of the budget for so long. It’s really annoying seeing PDP memebers in the government of the change’ party. What is Ekremadu doing there? All these people can never wished him well.
Igbe David-Computer Scientist, Abuja
Mr. President has done nothing worth celebrating as far as I’m concerned. He has not presented us with an economic blueprint of his administration and this is so partly because he has none. I heard some people saying the President is fighting corruption but this is a fight that is more or less directed at the opposition. Has he put strategies in place to unite the diverse elements in this country? I don’t think so.
Evelyn Molokwu-Businesswoman, Abuja
I think what Mr. President has done so far is laying foundation for good governance in the future.
The removal of subsidy for instance was long overdue but many people may not see it this way.
He should do well to fulfill the promises he made to the electorate and when there is paucity of funds; he should be courageous enough to explain to them. This way, people would reason with him because whether he likes it or not; elections are not too far away.
Suleiman Shinkaffi, Trader, Borno
It is too early to cast aspersion on the presient but I must confess Nigeria is going through a difficult time especially on the issue of job creation and fuel scarcity. However, the President’s war against insurgency is huge success as Boko Hara is gradually becoming a thing of the past.
Daniel Emmy-Businessman, Abuja
I think one year is not enough for Mr. President to give Nigerians the change he promised them. We have to be patient with him. Things have not gone the way we expected but I sincerely believe this administration mean well for us all. The crash in the international price for crude oil made matters difficult for President Buhari. That said, the recent increase in the pump price of petrol came at a wrong time. Whoever advised Mr. President to do so at the time he did must apologize to Nigerians.
Danladi Mohammed, Student- FUT Minna
We have not seen anything, By the time a dollar is sold at the rate of one thousand to a naira then we will know that Buhari may be an incorruptible soldier but lacks economic strategy to propel the country to a greater height. It is one thing to be an incorruptible leader and it is another thing to be accustom to the nity gritty of the political economy. To me, Buhari lacks intellectual whirewider to improve Nigeria’s economy.
Hussain Shuaibu-Telecom Entrepreneur, Abuja
I love my President! He has done well. What many people fail to realize is that it is more difficult to build than to destroy. For the past 16 years; we were at the mercy of corrupt politicians who stole money meant for development of capital projects. How do you now expect the mistakes of 16 years to be corrected in one year. Things don’t work that way. I’m so happy with the fight against corruption. Were it not for Buhari, most of the guys now cooling their heels at the custodies of security agencies would still be walking like kings today. We shall get there, Insha Allah.
Zakari Yakubu Lami, Cleric, Sokoto
The popular saying that Rome does not build in a day is a good example of what I have in mind when you asked me about my view on one year rule of President Mohamadu Buhari. The man is taking his time to build an everlasting legacy. Things have spoiled beyond repair; I trust the caliber of his cabinet members. My advice for him is that he should not sweep the various cases of corruption under the carpet due to political interference.
Bilikis Malabu, Teacher, Yola
There is no doubt that the AP leadership of President Mohammed Buhari has not done much but there is this adage that says “it is easier to destroy a house than to build it”. I think the president needs more time. Assessing him now may be unfair because to me the president needs more time than a year
Oscar Okhifo-Corps Member. Abuja
Considering where we are coming from, I will say there is hope in the horizon. It is not easy for the President but I agree that more needs to be done. Let’s not be talking about achievement for now because one year is surely not enough. But again, no one can deny the fact that the three trillion naira realized from the Treasury Single Account (TSA) is big statement in the sphere of transparency in the conduct of government business. For the first time, we are seeing big men dragged into courts to account for their misdeeds of yesterday. We have every reason to be hopeful.
Prices of household commodities have skyrocketed and we are being told to be hopeful. Hopeful about what, if I may ask! My brother, change has turned to chain for Nigerians. We cannot pretend that all is well and that is why the Hausa boys that ride commercial motor cycles no longer shout Sai Baba any more. If you don’t believe me, just shout Sai Baba in their midst and you will see their response. Naira is weakening against the dollar every day and those who transit legitimate business no longer have access to forex. What is happening to us as a people? For the first time, petrol is selling for N145 per litre. This government has failed in the first one year but whether the President will change his style remains to be seen.
Adedoyin Adeyemi, 44, Driver, from Lagos
The present government we have is good and this scarcity of fuel is not created by the president. We need to check mate our self, some marketers will have fuel and refused to sell it out. Is hoarding fuel fault of the government? It’s on fair and I think government should prosecute the offenders.
James Bamiduro, a middle aged Lagos based factory worker
President Muhammad Buhari administration is very bad. For the past few months now there is no light, no fuel and everything has been very difficult in the country.
Christ Ojeegbe, a driver from Edo State
Buhari Administration is not encouraging at all. Workers salary have not been paid, no water, no light thing are getting more difficult for us in this country, I think they should do something fast before people get angry and revolt.
Emmanuel Antony, Security agent, Lagos
What is happing presently shows everybody that things are not moving well in this country and it is just because APC and Buhari administration are so poor in terms of economic management.
ARANSIOLA Olugbenga Johson, Civil Servan, Ilesha, Osun Stae
I have not seen the change you people are talking about. To me, there is no difference between the APC and the PDP they are all looking for money. Bunch of incompetent leaders
Unice Abudu, 39, Civil Servant, Lagos
We should be patient because there too much rot left behind by the previous administration. I believe very soon everything will be fine and get better in this country. There is always light at the end of the tunnel
Chichi Ogbuje, Trader, Imo State
Let face the reality, this was not the changed we voted for, everything is getting more difficult. A bag of rice is now sold at the rate of #15,000, why Gaari is sold at #800. Where are we going in this country and Buhari says that he wanted to fight corruption, moreover I was one of the people that voted him as president all because we need change, but now the change have turned to suffering. It is a pity that we did not allow that gentle man, Former president Jonathan to continue his slow and steady leadership style
Tochukwu Leonald, Seaman, Asaba, Delta State
We don’t have a leader in Nigeria. How would expect a 70 years old plus man to do magic when he failed as youth in the 80s. There is nothing to show for the much clamoured change after a year. This was a man that have contested for three years before, one will think he will have drawn his master plan to accelerate developmental project
Rufus Imaduagbo, Lagos based Business man
What we expected from this administration is not what we are seeing, as a matter of fact we all voted because of change and this is not the real change we are expecting from Buhari, they should do something fast to help the mass because the pain is too much. Is the problem of fuel, light, bad roads, and lack of job and uneven distribution of wealth? Nigeria is blessed with abundant resources and corrupt leaders, may God have mercy.
Simon David, Mushin, Lagos
This administration is not impressive at all and I pray that God should help us in the hand of leaders who want to turn us to perpetual slaves in our father land.
Patient Amadu, 45, Badagry Lagos
If we look at the person of President Buhari you can deduce that he meant well for the nation and of course his administration so far is doing well. His government inherits a lot of problems and that is why things seem very difficult. Truly, there is inflation in the land, there is widespread poverty but I believe with time things will get better
Omotosho Oluwashola Joseph, 37, business tycoon, Lagos
I commend President Muhammadu Buhari administration for fighting insurgency and corruption in a manner we have not seen before. Let give it to him, Buhari is a freedom fighter and we need to support him. This is because if this country- Nigeria were to survive , then we need the assistance of every stakeholders in the fight against corruption. Corruption has been the bane of our development. It is cankerworm that has ravaged the future of generation yet unborn. So, for a president who rise up to tackle such malady headlong we have to commend him.
Ifeoma Michael, UNN, Nsuka
I believe we will all smile at the end of it all. Truly Nigeria is going through a difficult time but we have a leader who is passionate about the change in how business of governance is being run. Please let us exercise patient and give Mr. President more time to deliver. I did not vote for him but after some time, specifically his incorruptible posture and the war against insurgence is a big plus to the APC led government
LATEEF BALAGUN, 53, Politician, Lagos
As a member of APC, we desire the change, we fought for the change, now we got the change and we people don’t want to be changed. Nothing good comes easy. We need this real transformation. This change means all efforts to move from one party- PDP to a new party APC , which will give people especially the poor masses a very big hope in our political and economic prosperity. I urge everybody to support PRESIDENT MUHAMMAD BUHARI’S fight against corruption with a view to building a better Nigeria.
RICHARD CHUKWU, 58, PHCN
PRESIDENT MUHAMMED BUHARI’S ADMINISTRATION is a catastrophe to the nation. The issue of fuel crisis worth nothing to write home about and I condemn PRESIDENT MUHAMMAD BUHARI’S ADMINISTRATION from this angle because for everybody in the country to survive there must be abundance fuel to run economy smoothly. The prices of every food item and other commodities have risen. In fact, inflation has never been this worse in this country.
MUINAT LAWAl 38, a Lagos Island based trader
There is hope for this country if we give this administration our support. For me, I do not see how a country can survive with high level of corruption and insecurity that was the hallmark of PDP reign. The only thing that annoyed me was the delay in passing budget. We thought it was a style of the PDP but we were amazed seeing it happening under the so called change era. better hope for Nigeria if, PRESIDENT MUHAMMAD BUHARI ‘S administration can reverse this ugly trend and make Nigerian both home and diaspora to have confidence in his administration.
BAYO OGUNSANYA , 33, Commercial Driver, Sango Ota, Ogun State
The most embarrassing moment in this administration is the fuel crisis. Now we have really experiencing loss as result of the increase in pump price. I hope this can be reversed. PRESIDENT MUHAMMED BUHARI’S ADMINISTRATION because promised Nigerians a stable power supply. But instead, there is an increased in power supply epileptic. Mr. President should go and play the video of his electioneering campaign and ensures he fulfilled his promises
BIDEMI OLUWASEUN, 27, a student, Ibadan, Oyo state
You can see me chanting the slogan of change. I’m for President Buhari both soul and spirit. PRESIDENT MUHAMMAD BUHARI’S ADMINISTRATION has come at the right time. He has come to change Nigeria from its ugly side to a New Nigeria. BUHARI has performed very wonderfully well because his mission for Nigeria is a very big change for the entire nation with positive effects. It is a matter of time we will begin to see the effect a good government
MALLAM ABDUL- AZEEZ RASAQ 45, Civil Servant, Ilorin, Kwara State
I enjoy every bit of PRESIDENT MUHAMMED BUHARI’S ADMINISTRATION. Mr. President has come as a liberator. His vision is beyond imagination. PRESIDENT MUHAMMAD BUHARI is unique in character by employing the principle of leadership by example. Ranging from asset declaration to salary structure . I think he needs our support to succeed.
OLAKUNLE IBRAHEEM, 32, a road side hawker,
This regime is as bad as the previous regime. It is uncalled for to increase pump price without adequate palliative measures. This is not the kind of change we are clamoring for. The decision to increase fuel price was violently resisted under Jonathan regime, now our change messiah has reintroduced which led inflation and scarcity of funds. The purchasing power of these items are becoming unbearable for every average Nigerian and this change, has caused big vacuum in foreign trade.
Sheikh Yahya O. Oshoala Ajagbemokeferi As-Samadaani, Chief Imam Oriwu Central Mosque, Ikorodu, Lagos State.
I am not a politician and I don’t want to be one but we all have to be alert to what is happening around us and to contribute our own little way in other to bringing things back to normality. Wes dreamt of APC as a party of true patriotic Nigerians which we believed would deliver us from the menace of the callous and monstrous nonentities that have bastardised the economy and the good image of this God’s beloved nation. Little did we know there are among them wolves in sheep’s skin who are pseudo saviors having hidden agenda to cover up their shameful ill-gotten money and perpetrate the evil of corruption that has plagued Nigeria, plunging us to groaning and suffering. I want us to say kudos to the worthy leader Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Mayegun Adinni, Oriwu Central Mosque, Ikorodu Division, Lagos State and people of his like that have identified, accepted, presented and gave unflinching support for president Muhammad Buhari to the polls to emerge the Nigeria messiah. No doubt the title ‘MAYEGUN’ manifested in Bola Tinubu’s relentless efforts towards sustaining Nigeria democracy and better living. Without any iota of doubt, President Muhammad Buhari is the GOD SENT MESSIAH FOR NIGERIA who we all have to embrace. All the hardships we are experiencing now is likened to the bubbling that occurs when you force an empty bottle into a bucket of water to be filled with water. The escape of the air in the bottle while water is going inside makes the bubbling noise. We need to exercise patience for us to achieve our goal for it is a big battle between light and darkness which we all know that the light shall wins. We should not behave like the Israelites to whom Nabbiyy Musa known as Moses (peace be unto him) was sent to deliver them from the torment of the Egyptians which he succeeded in doing but because of their impatience and overzealousness he could not lead them to the promised land. For thousands of years back they are yet to reach their land of calm, peace and splendour rather they have always been at war with innocent brothers of theirs. So also we should learn a lesson from the Jews who persecuted their God sent saviour Nabbiyy Issa (Jesus) peace be unto him. Their plot to kill him was in vain for Allah never allowed him to be touched by the evil hands. Till date, the glory of Jesus been an Israelite is not felt in the Jewish land instead their affairs resulted into shambles. The seat of Christendom that emanated in Israel is now in Rome and more celebrated in Europe, America and Africa (Nigeria in particular). Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was raised in Arabian desert to evolve Allah’s chosen holistic order that could stand the test of generations, pleasant to humanity and the only true way of Allah (Islam). He faced severe persecutions. He was subjected to physical, social, emotional and spiritual assaults, but because he stood firm with the support of his companions and the divine help from Allah, they fought and won. Today, his philosophy, belief and teachings for over one
Thousand four hundred years back, no other philosophy has been able to dislodge or surpass Islam. Today the Arabian desert is the directions (Qiblat) and the focus of the entire universe. To all true Nigerians irrespective of ethnicity, religion or class, and political inclination let us all embrace the person, philosophy, style of governance and the dream of President Muhammad Buhari as our Messiah. We need to give him undiluted and non-self-centered support. Let us demonstrate sincere loyalty, obedience to rule of law, be upright to our responsibilities as citizens, and give constructive criticisms and achievable suggestions. More importantly, Muslims and Christians should mount prayer sessions all over the country for God’s intervention. This is an opportunity Allah has provided, we cannot afford to lose. Failure of President Muhammad Buhari (God forbid) is killing Nigeria and putting shame to the black race for which posterity will never forgive us.
John Odey, Security Expert, Lagos
Truly we are suffering but we have to be patient because it’s not going to be easy. The man has a good plan but he’s also having loyalist’s crisis. Don’t forget some of the APC members defected from PDP. They may not be too loyal to him therefore becoming a clog in his success. The only advice I have for Buhari sis to stop travelling and concentrate on his core mandate of governing the country.
Bolaji Kayode Lookman, Politician , Ilorin, Kwara state
Buhari is the messiah Nigeria needs at this time of our political history. You will see that he has been introducing some policies that can actually turn around this country. Many people may not know now but they are enduring policies that can take this country out of it present predicament.
Alhaji Aro Yahaya, Kwara state Commissioner for Works, Ilorin
As a party member, I won’t say our government has not done well but based on the exigency of this time we could not run at the pace we envisaged. But one thing is certain, the APC led government is determine to better the lots of Nigeria and Nigerians and with sincerity, fairness and equity among ourselves we can do better.
Rolake Ogunsanya, UNAID, Abeokuta
The government has not really get its bearing but may be in a couples of months to come President Buhari will understand what Nigeria needs and do the needful
Babatunde Mahmud Ajeigbe, Kwara State Commissioner for Information, Ilorin
The challenges APC government met were not envisaged. When you are not in power sometimes you won’t have the indices to know what is going on in government. My appeal is that people should give us time to review whatever have went wrong in the past. The APC led Federal Government has done well in some areas such as security the issue of Boko Haram in particular. The government has also started to work on micro economic indices. Fuel price has become an issue but that problem has always been there and it is our commitment to fix it once for all.
Ado Shuaibu Dansudu, Chairman, Hausa Traders Association, Lagos State
This is the first time Nigeria is having a visionary leader. A leader who knows what the country want. A leader who knows that we have insecurity challenges and tackle it. A leader who knows corruption is a problem and resolve to put an end to the menace. I really wish Nigeria have voted for Buhari many years back we would become another giant in the comity of nations