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Monday, May 29, 2017

Two years of dummy change: Nigeria’s patience gone awry

Like play, like play, the clock started tickling; seconds rolled into minutes, minutes into hours, hours into days, days into months and of course, months into years.

It is no longer news that President Muhammadu Buhari has clocked two years in office today, Monday, 29th May, 2017. Another opportunity to really assess him if he has brought the desired "change mantra" he promised Nigerians. A potpourri of reactions has trailed the President's leadership style.

The bane of Nigeria is that people who are unprepared for leadership positions are helped to occupy important positions in the executive arm of government. A politician who aspires to lead Nigeria should have a good grasp of Nigeria's history, the issues confronting us as a country. If elected, must have a blueprint of policies ready.

It is stale news that Nigerians are not happy with Buhari as per their expectations. Buhari, I need to tell you that Nigerians are no longer exercising patience.

A hungry man does not understand patience; he hankers deliberately to fill his belly with edibles. A hungry man daily expects between life and death. He may be praying to go to heaven, but he is not prepared to die at least of hunger. Counsel him to exercise patience and you become his number one enemy. We will not be fair by calling people names because they have told President Buhari to sit up. God has not configured man to be patient with pain and suffering. Those who are craving for visible change from President Buhari's administration want to see a reflection of change.

They want to be sure that government is on the same page with them. Human memories are short; and leaders all over the world are human beings who need to be reminded of their obligations to those they lead. If you don't remind them, they may never remember you.
Sai Baba, two years in office after your historic assumption, it has become increasingly tedious to see the change Nigerians voted for. The hitherto much vaunted body language of the President seems to have evaporated.

Currently, Nigeria is in a terrible state. The price of the majority of items has increased, electricity that would have provided a soothing relief is now a scarce commodity. The absurdity of asking the masses to bear the brunt of government inefficiency is the height of irresponsibility and unexpected of a government that raised the hopes and aspirations of Nigerians, but now sees nothing wrong in altering its electoral promises. It does not require rocket science to engender good governance. Nigerians are tired of lousy services, lethargic approaches to critical issues. There are no indications that the government is moving in the right direction and hope for a better tomorrow remains forlorn.

Sai Baba, do we need the circuitous route to get to the promised land? Buhari promised to nudge the nation on the path of rebirth and regeneration, but it has remained "story for the gods". Things are getting harder each passing day. I likened Nigeria to a brand new car, which embarked on a journey with a full tank but could not arrive at its destination because it had a shattered windscreen and faulty engine due to the inexperienced and careless driver.
Let me categorically say here that, I write this article without any malice. More importantly, I expect no personal gratification other than to see change in the lives of the people.
Buhari, when we told you to hit the ground running, Mr. Femi Adesina your special adviser said ‘NO’ that you might fall inside the mud.

Are you crawling or walking, no matter what, we cannot continue to move at this millipede level. The average Nigerian is very high in pessimism and very low in patriotism. Hardly an edifying fact for a country that wants to grow; Nigerians are encircled by grinding and excruciating poverty. There is disconnect between the people and the government. The economy is in tatters. Those who gave Buhari a benefit of doubt in his second coming are already gnashing their teeth now. Boko Haram is still hanging like the sword of Damocles on the heads of Nigerians, the Fulani herdsmen are maiming, raping with reckless abandon, kidnapping has refused to stop, armed robbery is a daily exercise, salaries are even owed and Nigerians are dying needlessly on a daily basis.

Buhari's leopard spot has not been able to change its spot. His methods and feelings are still the same. His mission is as serpentine as ever. He promised change and has no idea of what change stands for.

Those that campaigned for Sai Baba dressed him in deceptive drapes of inadequacy. The more they shout change, the more things remain the same or even worse. We don't need a fictional George Orwell to tell us that things are not moving well.

Like an ancient curse, the same old problems continue to haunt Nigerians. We have been sitting on a barber's chair, swiveling in all directions without change.

Lest I forget, Buhari and his party All Progressive Congress (APC) did not really have a plan, what they possessed was to come into office and think of any. The blame game is still all over the place. Nigerians are no longer at ease and things must not fall apart, because the arrow of God is not a purple hibiscus. The issues that confront Nigeria are as glaring as a bright shining star and the effects as scorching as the rays from the sun, but some pettifoggers employed by the APC choose to deliberate on inanities.

Take it or leave it, this is a dummy change.


*Chris Uruakpa is a public commentator and contributed this from Lagos.

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