The much awaited 100 days in office of President Buhari has come and gone, but it has been marred by controversies of what should have been and what is. Despite the hot debate between the pro-Buhari and anti-Buhari elements of what should have been in these 100 days, it seems that the huge goodwill that brought APC to power has taken some knocks, writes EMMA ALOZIE
The first 100 days of President Muhammadu Buhari has been that of some policy flip flops, summersaults and outright denial of election campaign promises.
There is no gainsaying the fact that the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC came to power riding on a great tide of goodwill. After 16 years in power, Nigerians needed a change and in APC they found one. The campaign of APC raised hopes where there were none; it rekindled people’s interests in governance, and restored confidence in ‘Project Nigeria.’
APC as a party came made, it came prepared and the icing on the party’s cake was its then presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari, generally perceived as a man with a high sense of moral standard and a seemingly unassailable integrity. Nigerians, across the divide imbued in him that messianic attribute and believed that on him all Nigeria’s problems would be solved.
However, after 100 days in office, the pang of reality is setting in and Nigerians have started murmuring. If Nigerians are complaining then the group that is worst hit is the president’s party, the APC.
For instance, though President Buhari promised to end insurgency within two months of assumption of office, but official figures have shown that more Nigerians have died in the hands of the insurgents in President Buhari’s first 100 days that they did in the hands of terrorists in the first 100 days of previous administrations.
APC is receiving some bashings owning to some of the president’s indiscretions. To put it in another way, the president is fast squandering the enormous goodwill that saw to the party’s success at the polls.
For instance the latest appointment made by the president left even members of his political party speechless. There have been murmurings that the president sidelined the party’s top hierarchy in his appointments that are apparently North heavy.
So far, the president has made about 45 appointments with 75% of these appointments going to the north as compared to 25 % for the south. A geopolitical zone breakdown of the appointments so far shows that the president’s North West has cornered the lion’s share of 43%, North East 20%, South West 10%, South South 17% and South East nil.
This has obviously left even party chieftains whispering in low tones that the president should be called to order. A top member of the party from South West who spoke anonymously lamented and warned that at this rate, the president may as well kill the party. According to the visibly enraged party chief, “if the president is left to carry on like this, he would willingly handover power back to the opposition, the Peoples Democratic Party. Let no one be deceived, campaigns for the 2019 election have started and with this bold but infamous statement by the president that the south does not matter, our great party the APC may just wake up to realise that the opposition PDP has taken back the initiative.
“My point is simple, the president and his handlers must be mindful of the fact that many people are really aggrieved especially many of those who stuck out their neck for the party, those who used their resources to fund his election. It is important we as a party take care of all interests and carry everybody along”.
Another APC chieftain from the South East echoes the same sentiment categorically dismissing the president’s appointments so far as visibly anti Igbo. “The president has elevated sectionalism to a new height. Never have we witnessed it like this before where after over 40 appointments, the entire South East region is maliciously sidelined. The president should understand that he is not doing our great party, the APC any good in terms winning members in the region. The earlier his handlers make him realise this, the better for his image and that of our party.
“The president is using his appointments to send a message across to the people of the South East that perhaps, he does not need their support and this is very dangerous for the unity of our great nation,” the APC chief said.
The irony surrounding President Buhari’s presidency is that prior to the election, his fabled integrity marketed APC, but three months down the line, the president’s indiscretions in office are de-marketing APC.
Thought the president has declared his assets, but many commentators have described it as vague and not divulging much. A civil rights lawyer, Ebun Adegboruwa, who described Buhari’s assets declaration as belated, also faulted the President for failing to disclose the worth of the property and stocks he listed as belonging to him.
He said, “He should have let us know the worth of those assets, especially the ones in Abuja. So without knowing the worth, we cannot estimate what the President has. The information supplied to the public by the President is so scanty, as to totally amount to hoarding vital details of his assets.
“For the assets declaration to make any meaningful impact, it should have been declared voluntarily and without any prompting upon the President by Nigerians. The implication of this is that the President was forced to declare his assets.
“Secondly, the assets declaration is coming after Nigerians, through their most diligent efforts, have already uncovered most of the President’s ‘secret assets’, especially the house in Abuja. By now, most of the contents of the President’s assets declaration document are already in the public domain.”
Another legal practitioner, Mr. Kayode Ajulo, said the President had yet to complete the declaration “as it is the law that his spouse is not a civil servant; the spouse must declare her assets in the same manner as done by President Buhari.
“The same goes for his deputy. As it is, there may be likelihood of violation of the law on declaration of assets,” he added.
A recent report by a national newspaper claims that Nigerian stock market has lost N1.6 trillion in President Buhari’s first 100 days. According to the report, market analysts have described this development as a summation of local and foreign investors’ characterization of the economic policy environment as hazy and uncertain in the past three months.
The president’s inability to constitute a cabinet over 100 days after has according to analysts betrayed his ill preparedness for an office he has spent his entire life running for. It is indeed a 100 days of mixed actions and even inactions.