By Dayo Awude
I have read several posts and comments in recent weeks on the anger, vituperations born out of frustration, outright abuse and defense of President Buhari. No doubt, Nigerians are very very angry right now, and I think we should be – No fuel, no electricity, escalating prices of items, depreciating value of Naira, etc.
These are trying times for Nigeria, no doubt. Today, we buy fuel at a range between N200 to N350 per liter, and thats three to four times the original price. Its now very common to go without electricity supply for weeks at a stretch. and the electricity bills keep coming by the way. Regardless of what some partisan politicians or overzealous men would say, I know our nation is at its lowest ebb today. The economy is sliding daily. That is the obvious fact. Contesting that will be an issue of self delusion.
So, for my folks, (Buharists they are called), who are angry that Nigerians are complaining and blaming the president, I think they should have a rethink. Who else should Nigerians call or be angry with, if not the president? Let Nigerians pour out their anger and frustrations. You don’t beat a child and at the same time take from him the right to cry. Nigerians should be angry, and they rightly are. You don’t expect a people whose income and purchasing power have been devalued by about 50% to roll out the drums and celebrate at this time.
Again, some of the Buharists are perhaps the reason for personal jabs on President Buhari, because they took the “fight” beyond the issues to the person of then President Jonathan, during the presidential campaign in 2015.
They took the “fight” too deep on the emotional lane. Also, the impression was erroneously created that Buhari was the ready answer for all our national questions. The Jonathanians now see this as an avenue for revenge.
However, casting aspersion on the person of the President is not good enough. I have said it times over, that the President is an embodiment of the image of any country, Nigeria inclusive. We must therefore accord him all the respect required of his office. Sincerely, I don’t believe Nigerians, across party and ethnic lines, want President Buhari to fail. I know that right thinking Nigerians want Mr President to succeed. Wishing that your president fails is unpatriotic and ungodly. If he fails, we are all in the web. If he succeeds, we are all beneficiaries. So why should anyone wish himself bad?
I believe this anger is partly borne out of the fact that Nigerians feel the President isn’t bothered about the mess at home, as much as he is of external issues, especially going by his frequent trips abroad. As a Protocol consultant, I do know that sometimes, these trips are beyond the discretion of the President and are long planned, but I believe it’s time for Mr President to stay a little bit more at home and address these issues frontally. The home front is much more important than any diplomatic political or economic mileage. An elder doesn’t stay in his neighbour’s house when his own house is on fire. Nigeria is not yet on economic autopilot for him to honour all foreign engagements.
The argument for more time for the President to settle down in office is gradually losing its strength, after about a year in office. Mr President, it’s time for work. He should look more into the system and fish out our best hands, regardless of party lines, to join him in running an inclusive government. It is not that Nigeria is devoid of good hands. We have men and women that are among the very best in the world. Dr. Adesina, immediate past Minister of Agric and current President of the African Development Bank is an example. He wasn’t known to carry the membership card of any political party. It’s time to rise above the fray of politics and get all great and patriotic hands on the plough.
Lastly, Mr President must deploy massive political will in dealing with situations. The refineries must be back to work for any meaningful and appreciable progress in the oil sector. Nigerians are tired of a nation being portrayed as helpless in the hands of pipeline vandals and electricity saboteurs. A part of us should not hold the whole to ransom. If Nigeria government can’t ensure internal security of lives and sensitive properties, then our sovereignty is under a question mark. Mr. President, Nigerians want solutions, not excuses or reasons, no matter how plausible they seem. A hungry child needs food, not the reasons for inadequacy of food or lack of it. As children look up to their fathers to solve their problems, Nigerians are looking up to you.
God bless Nigeria.