President Buhari Must Start Acting Soon

President Buhari Must Start Acting Soon

Editor’s note: How soon should people start noticing the results of work of the incumbent president who has just been sworn in? The Legit.ng columnist Japheth Omojuwa says President Buhari should make some tangible adjustments in governance in the nearest time to reassure Nigerians in his determination to fulfil his campaign promises.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the original author. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Legit.ng, its editors or other contributors.

Story highlights:

— “It has been a month and a week since the new government was sworn in. However one intends to look at it, it is indeed a short time to score an administration, but the time is always right to take scores. On taking scores, the numbers are scary and shocking"

— “So far, it all looks like it never expected to have power and is looking to find its feet, when it ought to show the citizenry it is very much on top of its game"

— "The elections are over, the celebrations are too. It is time to see the change start its early moves"

The honeymoon ended early, the new government made it so. Safe to say the euphoria of “Chanji Dole!” and “Sai Baba!” is gone now. Nigerians have moved from the point of choosing between the then-incumbent president whose tenure was defined by impunity and gross incompetence, and a former military leader who had tried to become president on three previous occasions. In the end, Nigerians did the right thing by punishing impunity and incompetence and instead chose to believe the promises of a seemingly tough, obviously incorruptible retired general.

Now that the choice has been made, we have gone from choosing a side at the polls to getting the chosen side to get to work quickly! This piece is informed by the same reason why one personally worked hard to ensure the last administration was voted out: more than anything else, we care about our country and we have a responsibility to always put our leaders on their toes. We know the president means well and he would look to deliver on the promise of his party, the APC, to bring change to Nigeria, but we have since come to know that we cannot just watch, wait and expect our leaders to understand what we feel per time. We have a responsibility to let them know, and this is one of such moments.

It has been a month and a week since the new government was sworn in. However one intends to look at it, it is indeed a short time to score an administration, but the time is always right to take scores. On taking scores, the numbers are scary and shocking. Boko Haram has killed at least four hundred people since May 29, 2015, when the new administration took over. For every day we excuse the government under the guise of "give them time to settle in," we stand the risk of forgetting that those who get killed by Boko Haram will not be here to enjoy the fruits of a settled government. With about ten attacks since president Buhari took the helm, Boko Haram is clearly looking to show that it is neither afraid of the new administration nor willing to let go of its reign of terror. Something has to give and urgently!

It is obvious that the president has prioritized the war on terror above everything else; it is the right thing to do. If you cannot guarantee the safety of lives and properties as a government, you are not a government. What the government must now do is continue to deploy conventional tactics of battling the terrorists while working out a sustainable strategy to defeat the insurgents. In the long run, the strategy would come to count, but something has to happen immediately, because for everyday of inaction, we lose lives, the terrorists gain momentum, and the belief of the citizenry in the ability of the new government to defeat terrorism will continue to wane.

Terrorism is the most obvious challenge, but the economy is in need of some direction as well. Now, this is not as much about political appointments as it is about the seeming absence of direction from the federal government. Fuel queues are back in Abuja and Lagos. This would be a great time to have the conversation on fuel subsidies and whether the downstream sector would now be fully deregulated.

With the government's goodwill already wasted on seemingly 'doing nothing,' a lot would have to give on that front, especially as the consequences of inaction continue to bite hard on the economy.

Naira is getting battered as the exchange rate continues to slide against it; there is no respite in sight notwithstanding the motion-without-movement shenanigans of the Central Bank. The stock exchange has fallen almost double digits, the economic outlook for the year is not any better, as we are poised to grow just under five percent. That is a clear percentage point below the last year’s six percent growth. The President Buhari-led government inherited a mess on May 29 that was hidden from it till as late as just four days before the inauguration when the hand-over notes were made available. But who did not know the Jonathan government was leaving a mess behind? Ordinary citizens on the streets knew that much; otherwise, they would not have ensured President Jonathan was voted out.

The government had two months before it was inaugurated. It has since had one month in government, and it needs to do better. So far, it all looks like it never expected to have power and is looking to find its feet, when it ought to show the citizenry it is very much on top of its game.

Those who do not mean well would continue to praise the president and his team to high heavens; we have been there before. President Jonathan was praised day and night, even referred to as Jesus Christ, but when it was time, Nigerians showed him the true assessment of his government.

The handlers of the president should not shield him from the pulse of the people. President Buhari needs to see and hear what those who screamed “Sai Buhari!” and “Chanji Dole!” are now saying. They haven’t turned against him, they haven’t lost belief in his ability to lead Nigeria aright, they just need to see him show it a lot more. A good place to start would be a much-needed address to the nation. See, we have lost over 400 people in the one month of his administration; at what number would it be necessary for the president to step out and let the people hear: "On Boko Haram, this is what we are currently doing… And this is what will happen in the short and long run.”

The elections are over, the celebrations are too. It is time to see the change start its early moves. Some of the alleged thieves who ran away from the country when the president took over have since returned home, one of them even said, "Wetin Buhari go do? Buhari never even know whether him be president sef!” Surely, president Buhari needs to show the times have indeed changed!

President Buhari Must Start Acting Soon
Japheth Omojuwa

Japheth Omojuwa is a renowned Nigerian social media expert, columnist and Legit.ng contributor.

Source: Legit.ng

Authors:
Khadijah Thabit avatar

Khadijah Thabit (Copyeditor) Khadijah Thabit is an editor with over 3 years of experience editing and managing contents such as articles, blogs, newsletters and social leads. She has a BA in English and Literary Studies from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Khadijah joined Legit.ng in September 2020 as a copyeditor and proofreader for the Human Interest, Current Affairs, Business, Sports and PR desks. As a grammar police, she develops her skills by reading novels and dictionaries. Email: khadeeejathabit@gmail.com

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