It is that time of our calendar again! And I am not talking about the Yuletide season that has crept up on us.
I am talking about the Nigerian general elections which are just two months away from now.
Men, like play like play, President Muhammadu Buhari aka Boo-hari, is rounding up his first tenure.
Now, do not get offended about the Boo instead of Bu. It is not my fault. Wasn’t he booed when he was presenting the budget a few days ago?
Ok, I guess that was a cheap shot but what do you expect though? If you have followed my column for close to four years, then you know that I was never impressed by the incumbent. I never believed he was the best man for the job, neither did I believe he had the mental capacity to steer this country.
But not my will but the will of the majority of Nigerians was done.
Sai Baba came in and some people held their breaths. I didn’t.
I told myself in the aftermath of the elections that if ever he turned out to be exactly what this country needed, I would swallow my words and admit openly that I was wrong about him.
Because what matters the most at the end of the day is that Nigeria becomes a better country and our quality of life improves.
And this is the point where we usually all miss it.
The most important thing is not that a Christian or a Muslim or an Igbo or a Nupe man is at the helm of affairs in this country.
All we want is a better life, that’s all.
A conducive atmosphere to eke out a living; a secure place to raise our children; a good education and affordable healthcare are in the center of it all.
So whether he wears Aso Oke or Baban Riga or Ishi Agu with a red cap, or a soft cap that bends to the side or a bowler hat or even the northern styled cap or goes bald-headed, our basic needs remain the same.
And a lot of people gave Buhari this chance. I watched people from all parts of this country keep their differences aside to give the incorruptible man from Daura a chance.
But what happened after he got into power?
He turned out to be nepotic, tribalistic and insensitive though these things are not the worst of who Buhari has turned out to be.
The worst, by far, is his inability to coherently lead this great nation. Almost every time he spoke off the cuff, gaffes were everywhere.
Our economy may have been wallowing in the baby section of the swimming pool, but with Buhari, our economy suddenly gained the expertise of a veteran diver.
It perched on the edge of the ship and dived right into the deepest part of the ocean. You know those leagues under the sea that you begin to see strange fishes with lights all over them, adapted because of how dark the terrain is.
When I say this, you do know it doesn’t apply to the people in his government. To be a vice president or presidential spokesperson or even Twitter attack dog is not ‘beans’.
The perks are akin to wearing the softest and warmest blanket in a house insulated from the coldest winter night. You cannot relate with the person who cannot afford to turn up the heat and be battling with cold despite being under several layers of frayed clothing.
So, of course, Chris Ngige will say that we should be thanking Buhari. Of course, Tolu Ogunlesi will say that the sun rises and sets from the rectal cavity of his oga.
Lauretta Onochie cannot say the truth when her mouth is full of the spirits (and I don’t mean ghosts o, I am referring to the bottled kind) that her job has afforded her.
The records are all saying something.
The unemployment rate grew wings.
We became the poverty capital of the world.
Despite how hard the government works to hide their failure in the North East, it still filters out. Recently, over a hundred soldiers were reported to have been killed by Boko Haram.
This is inconvenient for a government that desperately needs to have achieved something to justify a second term. So, private burials and classifying casualty figures have set in.
The brutality of the Fulani herdsmen terrorized the Middle Belt with a ferocious intensity from Buhari’s first year, though I am sure he is quite grateful that they seem to have called a ceasefire to allow him to campaign well. Armed militias complete with their own taxation company have taken over parts of Sokoto State.
We Nigerians are paying more for PMS as the government supposedly scrapped fuel subsidy payments. But guess what? Apparently, they are doling out more money than what was being paid when the former government subsidized fuel.
This kind of juju baffles me.
There is nothing that has remained at the same price since Boo came into power. I am not talking about single-digit percentage increase here.
I am talking about double digits. I used to buy a paint bucket of flour at N500. It is now N800. More than a 50% jump. Money now has very little value.
And because there is a high unemployment rate and a lot of people are struggling, crime has increased.
Babies are being stolen and sold at a frequency that is scary. Ritual killings happen daily. I mean, mostly women are being sliced up so that someone, somewhere, can make money. I don’t want to go into my personal experiences… let me not spoil my laptop with hot tears. But I have to admit that the last three years have been pretty hard.
So what has Buhari done that has bettered our country?
How has the ordinary man been impacted?
Can we honestly say that things are shaping up and we are beginning to see that there is hope?
Even the fight against corruption is such a laugh. Kano Gov., Ganduje has not missed a step in his stride. For he whom APC declares holy is holy indeed.
Nothing go happen.
The big question for me is why some people say they want Buhari back?
I really don’t get it.
Nothing he has done says he will do better in the next tenure.
If this first term defines what he meant by ‘Change’, then I am afraid of what his ‘Next Level’ holds.
To end this, I have to say I am not angry at Buhari. He is doing what he can do though it is woefully inadequate.
I am angry more at the people around him, starting with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. That they can see his disastrous first term as worthy of another term tells me something about who they are.
I am not ecstatic about the major opposition candidate, Atiku Abubakar either. I will be honest, it is not because I know of any reason why he is ill-suited for the job.
My problem is that he has a stern face. Having said that, I believe the choices we have in February are tough ones and we must all vote carefully.
Merry Christmas guys.