By Ebele Orakpo

I AM really grateful to God for our dearest President Muhammadu Buhari. He is God-sent. Honestly, I love that man. Hmm! Only God knows where we would have been now if not for this man as our leader!” said Goke, a passenger in the Apapa-bound commuter bus almost in a sing-song voice this Monday morning rush hour.

Ol boy, are you talking or singing? You love that man? See you see 14 years in prison oo!” said Moses in reference to punishment meant for same-sex couples. This drew laughter from other commuters. “We are worse off under this government. I am just hearing billions and trillions of naira and dollars being recovered and at the same time, we keep hearing of empty treasury. Haba! What has the guy really achieved? I heard the Finance Minister said they have a balance of N2.2 trillion on the TSA account daily. The Attorney-General told us they have recovered over $2 trillion. What do they take us for?” asked Peter.

“It’s only a hater of good things that will be asking what PMB has achieved. If you have an open mind, you will know that he has achieved a lot, especially in the area of accountability. People now fear to behave anyhow,” said Emeka.  Replied Adams: “I hear! Fear you say? Is this democracy or autocracy?  In as much as I like PMB, I don’t like the way he is going about things. For God’s sake, he should allow those he assigned portfolios do their jobs so he can face the business of governance. He cannot be an expert in every area.”

“How is he stopping others from doing their jobs? He is simply doing his,” said Goke. “Oh really? As the Foreign Affairs Minister or what? What is his foreign policy? What is the thrust of his economic policy? Please we should put sentiments aside and face reality. All is not well with Nigeria, period!” said Emeka.

“Whatever any one may say is besides the point. My take is that as long as the structure of Nigeria remains the way it is, the fight against corruption will be a lost battle. A house built on shaky foundation is bound to collapse. It is only a matter of time. We are only doing cosmetic surgery, it will not solve the fundamental problem. We must build a merit-driven society,” said Peter.  Continuing, he said: “Build strong institutions and not personalities. Personalities won’t last forever but institutions will be with us for long. Let us not idolise human beings; they can fail you anytime! Ask Jesus Christ.

In one moment, the people were shouting Hosanna and the next, they were shouting crucify him! If we have strong institutions like they have in developed nations, everyone will sit up because you know that once you run foul of the law, punishment awaits you.” “Exactly! Shebi they laughed at GEJ and called him names when he said he will fight corruption with technology. But when you look at it, he is right. Unless the loopholes are blocked and measures put in place so that people will not have opportunities to steal or commit fraud, we will keep running around in circles. Why do you think security agencies advise car owners to always put their bags and valuables under the seat so that they will not be visible to passers-by? Psychologists say that such may tempt someone who does not have it in mind to steal, to do so because opportunity presented itself,” said Emeka.

“PMB cannot do it alone. Even if you see him as a god, he is still human. Imagine the scandals emanating from the 2016 Change Budget! All the padding..” noted Peter.

“So was it PMB that padded it? I am 100 per cent sure he knew nothing about those padding,” Goke rose in his defense.

Replied Emeka: “Tell that to the marines. As the President, the buck stops on his table, so don’t tell me he does not know about the padding.”

Wahala dey oo. Health Minister said rats must have tampered with his minstry’s budget,” said Peter.

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