Opinion

100 days of Buhari a.k.a. ‘Baba-go-slow’

 

By Fredrick Nwabufo

I do not want to be hasty in passing judgment on the administration.
But I pray the Buhari administration proves all doubters, naysayers,
wailers and measured optimists like me wrong.
How do you measure the virility of an administration; its potency to
impregnate the economy, infrastructure and welfare of citizens?
Should it be in the first 100 days of its life; in two or four years?
Well, I will measure in the little steps, in actions and in the
agenda.
100 days may be too short to gauge the failure of a government, but it
is certainly not brief to check for signs of health or of
convalescence. In medical science, symptoms are typically expected to
improve in three days after the administration of medicine.
In 2015, when President Buhari took charge of the country; his ‘body
language’ was vaunted to be doing much of the governance. In the first
few weeks of the administration, there was appreciable stability in
power supply. This was largely credited to the president’s body
language, even at the time there was no cabinet.
Also, the anti-graft agencies rammed up effort in naming ‘looters’ and
making arrests – in the orthodox Nigerian style of ‘eye service’.
There were reports of some civil servants returning their loot as
well.
At the time, there was a prognosis of a healthy economy and claims of
resilient security – the dispatch of Boko Haram insurgents and the
recovery of captured territories. It all appeared to be a good start
for the administration. A new sheriff was in town and his ‘body
language’ is doing the magic.
Months after the ‘spell of body language’, Nigeria slid into a
recession; herder-farmer clashes took on a frightening gait; bandits
went on a rampage; Nigeria’s minister of power, works and housing was
now dubbed, ‘minister of darkness’ for chronic power failures with the
national grid collapsing as much as 21 times in a year (2016).
So, if the administration was to be examined by the positive noises in
its first 100 days in 2015, it will have a relatively good score. But
the overall score after a full term of four years is at best, abysmal.
And now that the myth of body language has been busted, what does the
future portend for Nigerians judging by the actions/agenda of the
second Buhari administration in 100 days?
Personally, my optimism is measured. Really, hinging on the Next Level
agenda of the administration, where is the hope? What is different?
What will change?
I spoke with Femi Adesina, presidential spokesman, who explained to me
that the Next Level agenda is about consolidation. And then I asked,
‘consolidation on what?’
Femi Adesina: ‘The Next Level’ is a level of consolidation. The agenda
remains the same. The priorities remain the same. Secure the country,
fight corruption, revive the economy, and under reviving the economy,
provide jobs for Nigerians, particularly the young generation.
Under the ‘Next Level’; it is a level of jobs, it is a level of power
generation; it is a level of education. The curriculum is going to be
tweaked with emphasis on science and technology. It is a level of
healthcare because it is a healthy citizenry that can compete in the
country and beyond. So it is a level in which there is going to be
empowerment of the different strata of society. There is going to be a
people’s money bank to take care of the lower rung of the ladder.
There is going to be an entrepreneurs’ bank to take care of people at
the middle rung- SMEs and all that. So these things have been said
over and over and over.”Again, I ask, what is different? What is to
come? And is this it? If the agenda is to build on what is not there,
where is the hope? Also, governance appears to be in a slumber – no
motion, no direction.
I do not want to be hasty in passing judgment on the administration.
But I pray the Buhari administration proves all doubters, naysayers,
wailers and measured optimists like me wrong.
It is all for the good of the country.
*Nwabufo can be contacted via Twitter @FredrickNwabufo

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