During the American presidential debate in 1980 with the incumbent President Jimmy Carter, candidate Ronald Reagan pointedly asked Americans: “Are you better off today than you were four years ago? Ever since, the now-famous quote features prominently every four years in the American political discourse. That one-liner has become a line that people all over the world can personally relate to in many ways.
In 2015, former President Goidluck Ebele Jonathan humiliated at the polls was a goner. The departure of the native son of Otueke aroused near-erotic ecstasy of Nigerians who loathed him with such intensity it’s hard to think of a comparison with any democratically elected president in Nigeria.
Candidate Muhammadu Buhari is not in any way near an orator. He’s not a fast thinker. He’s slow in decision making and sluggish in action. He prevaricates. But on the promise of killing corruption before corruption kills us, Buhari was overwhelmingly elected president.
Riding on populist agenda to fight corruption and sanitize our nation of all economic and social demons of all sorts, he took office May 29, 2015 with Nigerians weeping with happiness. It was a time of a lot of eager, nostalgic, and liberal feelings among Nigerians. The acceptance of and respect for Buhari were tellingly electrifying.
Now nearing its four-year term, the Buhari administration was the beginning of the end of a society that bears resemblance to a country with a government. His presidency has become a misery memoir. I hope Nigerians have learned their lesson.
History is an amazing guide if Nigerians chose to pay attention to it. But sadly, many Nigerians don’t give a damn. Nigerians, consider the following and conclude whether you were better off today than you were four years ago when Buhari took office.
Real change was Buhari’s slogan. His populist agenda of fighting corruption, creating jobs, guarantee of safety and security, extermination of Boko Haram terrorists, and the hope for the realization of common dreams of all Nigerians evaporated like tantalizing mirage.
We don’t need a fictional George Orwell to tell us that basic infrastructures are non-existent in Nigeria. Like ancient curse, the same old problems continue to haunt Nigerians. The solutions proferred and preferred by Buhari administration to the old problems are laughable. For water, dig borehole. For electricity, buy generators. For roads, get comfortable on pothole roads. For public transportation, hop on okada (commercial bike). For police rely on neighborhood vigilantes. For public housing, sleep under Eko Bridge. For jobs, sell re-loadable calling cards. Better still, give market women who sell peppers, iru, ogiri, yam, etc., N10,000 and call it TraderMoni. And for health, don’t get sick and if you’re sick, die quickly.
Under Buhari administration, political and socioeconomic reforms continue to suffer. His regime is characterized by economic stagnation, run away corruption. The whole country is a dysfunctional mess. His government is very good st manufacturing problems where non existed. It was a regime of reign of political and economic terror.
In his four-year rule, Buhari’s deliberate slowness and dangerous sluggishness sink Nigeria deeper and deeper in a hole. It’s on record that it’s on Buhari’s watch that Nigeria was declared poverty capital of the world. Buhari in his dictatorial tendencies and selective justice, dismantled our judicial and criminal justice system. The catalog of woes, miseries, sufferings, hardships, hopelessness and helplessness, chase Nigerians from pillar to post. To put it mildly, it has been a rough ride.
Nigerians, as you headed to the polls next Saturday, ask yourselves: Are you better off today than you were four years ago when Buhari came to Aso Rock?