Special Report

May 29, 2017

Your Change, My Change, Our Change

Your Change, My Change, Our Change

President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo

By Jide Ajani

LONG Suffering! That is what you become after just two years, when you have been made to understand, rightly or wrongly, that you had been dealt a raw deal for over 16 years by another political party. Indeed, that is what appears  to be keeping the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the good books of many a Nigerian.

Therefore, when Presidential Adviser on Media, Femi Adesina, alludes that President Muhammadu Buhari was elected for a four-year term, and that judging his performance just after two years in office, may not be meet and proper, he should be understood – particularly, when the ousted Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, held sway for 16 years, from 1999 to 2015.

President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo

But there is a danger in what the Presidency is spewing, because it was the same way the PDP government, from the ever rambunctious Olusegun Obasanjo, the taciturn, late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, to the indecipherably meek Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, pleaded for understanding and more time, only to lead the country down the path of underdevelopment.

As would be discovered in the following pages, in terms of analysis and interviews, the mantra of the APC while it campaigned for votes across the country was the need to change – ostensibly, from bad to good. Today,  however, the question being asked is: To what extent has the APC government given meaning to the party’s change agenda?

To the party’s teeming supporters, change has already come –  Changi do-le  (Change has come).

To the nay sayers – largely made up of, but not limited to, sympathisers and supporters of PDP – this change is not what Nigerians voted for, nor does it represent what they envisaged when they chanted Change.

On both fronts, there are arguments, strong arguments, that can be made to push the case that change is gaining ground and, therefore, Nigerians only need to look in the right direction and they would see the  fruits of and gains from change; just as those who  continue to lament their changing fortunes would swear by whatever gods they believe in, that yes, there is change, but this change is not anywhere near the comfort they once relished and enjoyed.

Intendment of the Executive Orders

For those who say change is real, they point to the fight against corruption and its associated gains, the new climate of graduated openness and transparency, the spirit of the Treasury Single Account, TSA, the degradation of Boko Haram and the negotiated release of over 100 abducted Chibok girls, the checking of militancy in the Niger Delta, which has allowed the output of Nigeria’s crude oil to stabilise above the 2mbpd quota, the intendment of the Executive Orders signed by the Acting President, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, just to mention a few. Indeed, if the momentum is sustained, with the immense possibilities accruable therefrom, Nigeria, it is hoped, should be able to negotiate the bend from the sphere of underdevelopment to one of progress.

However, the politics of governance, steeped in the ugly North/South dichotomy, and further shaped by the individual will for self-centredness, in the estimation of some other Nigerians, has become the order of the day in the last two years. In this sphere, they point to the perceptibly biased war on corruption (they claim there are those on whose heads hang corruption allegations, but who remain poster boys in this administration), the present recession in the land, the manifest appointments preponderantly skewed in favour of the North, the abhorrent disobedience of lawful court orders by this administration, and the somewhat slide in the perception of the public of the electoral umpire, INEC, as being an extension of Aso Rock Presidential Villa, among other  issues, pour cold water on what ought to be the  achievements of the present administration.

To be fair, there are those who argue and believe that had the administration of Goodluck Jonathan been allowed to continue after 2015, Nigeria may have collapsed.

Yet, in the light of contemporary realities, the seeming stasis of the moment, while incomparable to the spectre of gloom that a Jonathan regime may have wrought, does not in anyway represent the aspirations of Nigerians when they went to the polls for the change APC promised.

Nevertheless, there is hope, hope that things can get better, that what ever the pains of the present, there is a bright light at the end of the tunnel, if the candlelight is not extinguished by schemes hinged on ethno-political considerations.