In the events leading to President Muhammed Buhari ‘ s election, I have taken time to watch how events unfold. As an individual, I wanted a change badly. Any sane Nigerian should anyway. Things were degenerating even though many of us outside government did not know the extent of the damage but we sure have a little understanding of how far things should have gone.
So I did campaign for him not because I was interested in any Political posts but because this is the only Country we can call our own. I stayed awake like many when the counting of votes process were on. Lots of Interesting stuff happened. The ‘orubebegate’ is still fresh in our memory. Eventually, God seemed to have answered Nigerians as President Buhari was announced as winner. Hope rising many clapped hands while few who had soiled their hands and wished continuity of the old order bite their fingers. All that is history today.
Today, we have President Buhari and All Progressive Party in Power. Nigerians’ hope rest on the promises Buhari and his party made. Though we all know, he will require all our support to bring the changes he made. Citizens need to be accountable and know their rights. They need to contribute at their own little corners to make the change a reality.
At the swearing in ceremony, President Muhammed Buhari speech drew a lot of reactions especially when he was quoted as saying ‘I belong to everybody, I belong to Nobody’. People literally thought he must be referring to big wigs in his party or some of the people who worked to ensure there was a merger of his former party and the others who made it possible. As and individual, I was and still am not as excited as many were.
I do understand the difference between Political speeches and reality. There are many things you say to gain popularity after which when you face the reality you understand better. While I do know President Buhari meant business, I am quick to know the present crops of All Progressive Party big wigs have pro- Peoples’ Democrat Party skins. It does mean the alliance may be good but has its own k – leg which may hinder the speed of progress. Couple with this, many Nigerians are really impatient.
They are looking for a Messiah with a magic wand who will change things overnight. They forget civil servants, Politicians are reflection of the society at large. And as long as the society continues to tolerate certain individuals with corruptible tendencies, we will continue with the status qou.
Now coming to the real discourse. As soon as President Buhari was sworn in, the intricacies and power play, greed as well as selfishness of the individuals that make up the ‘holy alliance’ called All Progressive Party began to rear their ugly heads. First, one expects oneness, party discipline to prevail. While one does not wish that the wish of individuals be wholly subjugated, a family without discipline, unity will never be able to achieve much.
Towards the election of National Assembly’s Principal officers, lot of intrigues and power plays plus lots of scheming reared their head. Several interests were tested. If our source is correct, which is in the open for everyone to see, the party has a candidate for the job. But some individuals within the party believe certain positions are their birth rights which must be given to them by all means.
When they saw they might not win party’s nomination for the posts, they turned to their old skin for protection. Since their old flames and associations, bed fellows are still active, they ran to them. Prof Pat Utomi did a good job on his piece ‘They have hijacked our change’ and It will serve our audience well to scan that article so there is no repetition of issues raised.
One thing we can not fault in Senator Bukola Saraki’s election, emergence as 8th Assembly’ Senate President according to report was that he was dully elected by members of the Senate even though one expects they should not have thrown caution into the wind. It is a known fact that about 50 elected Senators were absent on the day of the election. Presidency sources also said, President Buhari had officially requested that the election be postponed till later in the day. At the end an opposition member through which Senator Saraki got his mandate became the Deputy Senate President.
Something that has never happened since 4th Assembly. Some have argued it will help democracy to be robust, we can only wait to see the outcome. The same ‘coup’ played out in the House Of Representatives election. There was a party candidate and there was another candidate who desired the post by all means. At the end Hon.Dogara from Bauchi won the House Speakership. From every indication, he was notvthe prefered candidate of his party. The division within the party has also deepened.
To save face and to avoid a situation where the party will not be seen as divided, All Progressive Party Leaders and President Buhari had come out to say they will work with whatever they have at the end. But we all know something is brewing. It is a case of ‘ Arrow of God, No longer at Ease and the Centre can no longer hold’. To understand this well, one needed to listen to President’s Buhari’s interview granted to Arise News Network of United States Of America crew while he was a attending a meeting in South Africa.
Couple with the challenges of this divided Party house, President Buhari ‘ s mission of reducing governance’s running cost is still being confronted by certain provision in the Country’s constitution itself. It is obvious, President Buhari had promised to reduce the numbers of Federal Executive Council, with specific focus on Ministers or what other Countries refer to as Secretaries, by almost half.
Unfortunately, the Nigeria constitution requirement is that each state of the Federation, which is 36 in number with a Federal Capital territory must has a representative in the cabinet. Eventually, President Buhari may end up with about 36 Ministers again. What a challenge? We must also not forget that the issue of fuel subsidy removal, a pipeline for corruption for selected few, is still being challenged by Nigeria Labour Congress. Only God knows on whose interest these labour leaders are fighting.
With these challenges, one can only wish President Buhari goodluck in his battle to straighten things up. Unfortunately many Nigerians are impatient. They had forgotten the awaited change may not take just few days. It will require a level of deep thinking, strategy to get it right. Our is a generation of ‘ instant this and that’ may hamper Buhari’s mission.