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Victor Terhemba: General Buhari Will Disappoint Nigerians



They say the best way to avoid disappointment is to not expect too much, but at the moment this rule does not apply to Nigerians. Buhari is the president elect and in a matter of the days he will take over the totem of leadership and will be saddled with the task of stirring the affairs of this country to prosperity and going by the perceived reputation of him being a man of integrity and a no nonsense man on corruption, it’s normal that Nigerians expect him to do so much and solve all the myriads of problems plaguing Nigeria within his first four years. We expect him to solve all these problems with a wave of his magic wand but this man is no voldermot.

Buhari, has himself said Nigerians shouldn’t expect him to perform magic that it will take time to heal the nation of the damage that has be done in the past 16 years of PDP rule but Nigerians are having none of that, especially those who didn’t want him to get there in the first place and those who are desperate for change.

Since Buhari was returned winner of the 2015 presidential election, he has been inundated with calls and requests from the various sectors of Nigerian economy to pay special attention to that sector. Every sector feels so important that it thinks it deserve unparalleled attention to prosper and boost the Nigerian. Not only the top players from different sectors but also envoys of different nations who come seeking to strengthen ties with Nigeria under his government so that they can both prosper. Buhari has been called upon several times to prioritise the battle against Nigeria’s biggest demon- corruption.

We can’t deny that corruption has be cloaked and deeply embedded in the fabrics of Nigeria. In fact it has become our culture, tradition and way of life; Obasanjo once observed that corruption now lives in the bedrooms of power and sitting rooms. The chain of corruption in Nigeria starts from the smallest member of a nuclear family to the leadership of the country. We must really admit that corruption is not something Buhari can conquer in four years or even 8 years if he gets re-elected. The greater part of the battle against corruption is not with the authorities but with our individual selves.

Almost every Nigerian on the street says if only Buhari can solve the power problems and guarantee improved or constant power supply, half of Nigerians problems will solved. Agreed or not we cannot deny the empirical importance of power. What is a right to citizens of other countries such as Ghana, South Africa, Algeria, etc is a luxury to Nigerians. Since 1999 over $54b dollars have been looted or “spent” on the power project but rather than the situation improve, our megawatts have instead dropped. A little over 4,000mw for a country of 160m people. When the current minster for power, Prof. Nebo, took over from Nnaji, he said there are demons in the power sector that don’t wants it to improve and he was going to exorcise those demons, it’s needless to say he didn’t sum up all the needed faith to defeat the demons now the task is left to General Buhari and his minister of power.

Many have wondered endlessly and have probed in perplexity to comprehend why an oil producing country like Nigeria will have to subject her citizens to long torturous queues to just buy the premium motor spirit. The queue is even longer than imagine when you realise that not only motorists depend on petrol to run but also businesses and houses are powered by generators as well. We still wonder why we can’t refine our own fuel despite the amount Nigeria makes from exporting crude oil. People are expecting Buhari to find solutions to this problem no matter what it will take him. Buhari him been reported to have promised to build a new refinery every year, so in four years we should have 4 functioning refineries. Not only that, Nigerians are still asking Buhari to prosecute those involved in the oil subsidy scam and ensure such never occurs and to also probe and recover the alleged NNPC missing $20b. Imagine the possibility of having surplus petroleum products and constant power supply, as a Nigerian it will be so unreal but this is what Nigerians want Buhari to do and he must do it as far Nigerians are concerned.

As I was writing this I remembered I had a movie script to peruse and meet with some entertainers later then it hit me that the entertainment industry too is not keeping quiet. The entertainers want Buhari to find a lasting solution to the bane of the entertainment industry which has ruined many investors and has sucked the artistes dry- piracy. They want the issue of piracy to be addressed so that they reap the benefits of their labour. Not only that, they are also asking the incoming government to provide the enabling environment for them to flourish and provide the kind of support the outgoing government has availed them in the past; grants, loans and working facilities. According to entertainers, Buhari can’t afford to neglect the entertainment industry as the industry has succeeded in projecting Nigeria to the world and they are right.

The education sector is not lagging behind. They also have their own requests and expectations from payment of salaries and arrears, upgrade of infrastructures and improve the standard of education.

The private sector, investors, ICT, telecommunications, people of the North East and Nigerians want Boko Haram eliminated, these plus many other expectants and expectations. Obviously the task is herculean and enormous for the presidency of Buhari and that’s why he has to surround himself with people of proven integrity who can deliver. Despite the magnanimity of the task Nigerians really care less about that, they want the change preached before the elections to be very visible and practicable, and not just a mere sham concocted to get our votes. No wonder these leaders get old quickly once they assume office.

At the end of the day, Buhari might not be able to satisfy every everyone or his best might be enough for Nigerians. Nigerians will accept no excuse after all, he must have known all these before still insisting on becoming president, perhaps Buhari might even wish he never won the election. But we can take solace and believe in him because he is a person that really wanted to be president, it must have been his desire to institute change and now he has gotten it so the onus is now him to prove himself to Nigerians and go down in history as one of Nigeria’s heroes. He has only one chance to redeem himself to correct the mistakes of 1983-85 and cement his place in the hearts of Nigerians and in the history of Nigeria.

As citizens we can only wish the government well and support the government to succeed as Nigeria is all that we have and the only place where we can call our home.


Victor Terhemba A political analyst from Lagos.

Follow me on Twitter: @inkrediblesmog

[email protected]


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