The burning question as President Muhammadu Buhari and by extension, the All Progressives Congress (APC) hits the mid-term in the helm of federal power in the aftermath of the 2015 presidential election, is the fabled Score-Card.
Naturally, there are always two sides to every coin; those who score President Buhari below average, choosing instead to brush aside the material conditions which heralded his election and then there are those who mirror what can be dubbed “the Buhari Social Revolution (BSR)”, for which he has been scored far above average.
The general consensus and what remains most outstanding is the fact that both sides of the coin agree that President Buhari is an honest man who means well, a patriot and is incorruptibly transparent!
Like every silent revolution however, those who score him low wittingly or unwittingly, can not locate the Buhari Social Revolution, which in actual sense is the Rock of Gibraltar for Nigeria’s Resurgence.
Nigeria is today witnessing a resurgence like no other, which is evident in every ramification. Certainty and trust in public affairs is gradually being enthroned, unbridled corruption being tamed, boko haram and other forms of insecurity being contained and construction workers returning to work. Nigeria has bid bye-bye to impunity.
Those who proclaim the hunger, poverty and unemployment ravaging the land to score President Buhari low, perhaps do so because a hungry man we are told, is an angry man and an idle mind is the devil’s workshop.
Yes, hunger is a malaise but those who play the blame-game seem too ambivalent to remember who simulated the hunger and woes in the first place.
Notwithstanding, the majority of Nigerians know and welcome President Buhari’s concerted efforts in the last 24 months, to put in place an enabling environment for enduring enterprise, productive business and profitable trade and investments, which are fast upgrading agriculture and putting a halt to food imports.
Secondly, the main reason some score President Buhari low is directly related to the slump in oil prices.
It is on record that between 2009 & 2014, oil prices hovered around One Hundred dollars per barrel, classified by pundits as “the Jonathan locust years.” In rating President Buhari therefore, his critics forget that he was not instrumental to the slump in oil prices and accordingly, the country’s misery.
Equally pertinent is the fact that the havoc wreaked by fluctuations in oil prices in the international market, to which Nigeria has no control, is the main reason why President Buhari is laying emphasis on the diversification of the economy, a noble project which will galvanise other sectors as sustainable sources of revenue for the country.
Thirdly, the low score card being touted is not necessarily on the strength of President Buhari’s performance but for the animosity some feel in the way and manner key appointments were made, which was allegedly skewed against those who worked to make “the Buhari Brand” possible and visible.
The truism here is that there is still time to use the remaining appointments as a balm to heal the grievances of party members.
Most Nigerians assume erroneously that democracy is a Bang-Revolution, it is not! Progress made in liberal democracies throughout history have been incremental, slow and steady, so will be the Buhari Social Revolution.
President Buhari did not invent the Treasury Single Account (TSA), the Biometric Verification Numbers (BVN) nor the Whistleblower policy; yet he gave them life as effective and potent anti-graft arsenals. These and many more are the holes that the Buhari Social Revolution is silently plugging.
Furthermore, billions have been doled out to pay for months of salaries and pensions arrears, owed by the state governments, a vindication of the position of the 1999 Constitution, which prioritises the welfare and security of the people as the primary purpose of government. The same zeal is evident in the pursuit of old projects and the return of thousands of Nigerians to work, a stark departure from past regimes.
In the fullness of time, appreciable successes will become manifest, of President Buhari’s sanitisation of corrupted institutions like the power sector, where unprecedented sharp practices bedeviled the growth of industries. Similar success stories will soon be evident of the agriculture, ICT and solid mineral sectors. These are the hallmarks of the Buhari Social Revolution; now ripened dividends and fruits of Nigeria’s collective democracy!
Mr. Osita Okechukwu
Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress;
Director General, Voice of Nigeria