Buhari’s Blueprint: The Wait Is On | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Buhari’s Blueprint: The Wait Is On

Posted: Jun 17, 2015 at 2:29 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Ifeoma Ononye  –   Lagos


For Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, the enormous task of pleasing Nigerians appears not to be lost on him. Little wonder, shortly after his victory at the March 28 presidential election, he was quick to urge Nigerians not to expect miracles and quick fixes.

Despite his warnings, in the past two weeks since he was sworn in as president, there have been a resurgence of complaints and doubts over the President’s ability to deliver his campaign promises as excitedly expected by Nigerians. Reason: the President’s delay in unveiling his programmes and policy direction has created fears that he is slow, after all, and that he might just not be able to run faster than his predecessor.

President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari

From tackling the fuel crisis to the issue of Boko Haram as well as reviving the economy, the expectation was for him to hit the ground running, considering that he boasted of his knowledge of the problems of the country during the election campaign.

Recently, the President explained that he was waiting for the handover notes from the Transition Committee headed by Ahmed Joda. Regardless, his inability to name his cabinet members till date, to some observers, might be a sign of the President’s weakness, while to others, it might be a confirmation of their fears that Buhari may not be in charge, after all.

Aside ordering the relocation of the military base to Maiduguri to wage a final battle against Boko Haram, the president has given little out on how he intends to stop the terrorists from further wreaking havoc. Critics concede that though he has been holding meetings with leaders of other countries in the ostensible attempt to get international cooperation towards addressing key areas such as security and infrastructure.

Since his assumption of office, there had been an upsurge in attacks by the Boko Haram terrorists after what had been a lull.

His decision to embark on foreign trips to seek foreign aid to combat the dreaded sect has generated criticisms from several quarters, including the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who has carpeted the president and his party for toeing the same line they constantly criticised former president, Goodluck Jonathan, for.

Though those in defense of the president allude to the fact that two weeks is too early to assess the new government, his critics are already singing the tune that he might be too feeble for the task ahead.

However, the Coordinator of the Coalition of Democrats for Electoral Reforms (CODER), Chief Ayo Opadokun, rose to the defense of President Buhari. In his opinion, rather that criticize him, Nigerians should give him the benefit of doubt as it was too early to measure his performance.

Opadokun noted that though Nigerians have a right to be worried about a perceived slow start by the president, they must not fail to understand the enormity of the rot in the system caused by many years of bad governance.

He said: “Nigerians have right to be so impatient. It is because they have been so surcharged and terribly governed that they have to expect a lot and quickly too. But we have to appeal to Nigerians that what had been wrong for almost 20 years cannot be righted one day.

“For instance, I was asked why he has not done anything about Abiola and I said Nigeria has a National Assembly that has not been packaged together. He (Buhari) as an executive cannot take on their job, or give a national monument to Abiola without the National Assembly.”

“You have to be fair in your expectations. There are too many things to do and it takes a little minimum of time. You have to give it to him. He knows that Nigerians cannot till eternity. The committee he sets up is just returning report of their finding. Give him time to study it.

“The Nigerian people and the government must hasten slowly. Yes, we have a right to be angry and be expecting. “As much as we expect much from Buhari, let us be patient with him.” If he makes just one error at this time, he is into trouble. If the expectations are subjected to a variety of in actions, then God forbid, it will be a sad day for Nigeria”.

Moreover, Former Anambra state governorship candidate, Dr Chike Obidogbo, agreed that President Buhari hit the ground running. He opined that many Nigerians are impatient to see the change because the hype given to Buhari’s governance almost turned Buhari into a super human saviour who would wipe all tears away in a jiffy.

His words: “The mismanagement of the economy by the previous administrations brought so much pain, confusion and despair to most Nigerians. The announcement of Buhari’s entry into the ring brought so much hope and mountain top expectations of instant and positive change. The hype alone almost turned Buhari into a super human saviour who would wipe all tears away in a jiffy and transform the entire social and economic system over night.

“Buhari has actually hit the ground running because Planning is the most critical and most crucial element in management. Actually the need to correct the misdeeds of the past administration is quite urgent but we must understand that Buhari needs serious consultations; collection and collation of accurate and reliable data that will enable him provide needed solutions to the numerous problems presently confronting this country. Let nobody pretend that he has the magic wand to solve our mountain of problems instantly.”

Obodigbo advised Nigerians to be patient and also contribute to making the new administration a success. “As a people let us learn to be patient and do our own part to help the new administration to succeed, rather than remain on the sidewalk and spew out venom and very un-intelligent blames.”

A political analyst who pleaded anonymity said that he would not completely agree that the president hit the ground running. To him, many Nigerians expected that, by now, President Buhari would have unveiled his agenda, programme or any kind of insight that clearly states what his government will be.

“More than one week after inauguration, the president has been up and about to neighboring countries and a recent visit to G7, but back home, he is yet to speak to Nigerians. We are yet to hear from our president. Call me impatient, but that is how I feel.”