Many Nigerians had hoped that President Muhammadu Buhari would hit the ground running immediately after he was sworn in on May 29, 2015. However, 100 days after, it seems that the high hopes the victory of President Buhari and that of APC evoked are fast turning into forlornness.
This school of thought is of the firm belief that 100 days, though quite short for any serious development, should be long enough for tangible changes to start manifesting in the lives of the zealously expectant citizenry.
Unfortunately, millions of Nigerians, who had expected so much from Buhari within the shortest possible time, are now licking their wounds. They are not only disappointed in the President’s sluggish style of leadership, but also his deluge of promises he has not kept.
It is still indelible in the minds of Nigerians that before the 2015 Presidential elections, Buhari promised to abide by the spirit and tenet of the constitution; crush the onslaughts of Boko Haram sect within two months; create three million jobs per year; bring lasting peace in the Niger Delta and other conflict prone areas such as: Plateau, Taraba, Bauchi and Borno; stabilise the Naira; strengthen INEC to eliminate electoral malpractices in Nigerian’s political life among others.
Over three months down the line, scarcely can anyone boast that President Buhari and his party, the All Progressives Congress, APC look prepared to fulfilling any of those promises. Rather what is being witnessed according analysts is a flagrant disregard of a section of Nigeria’s constitution, especially in the President’s appointments. Section 14 sub-section (3) of Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria clearly stipulates that “the composition of the Government of the Federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity, and also to command national loyalty, thereby ensuring that there shall be no pre-dominance of persons from a few states or from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in that government or any of its agencies.”
A member of the Akwa-Ibom State Elders Forum, Senator Anietie Okon has expressed displeasure with the President’s appointments. The elder statesman said Buhari is guilty of certain constitutional breaches that ordinarily should warrant his impeachment.
“I am worried that the cardinal points that sustain Nigeria as one cohesive nation are being threatened by the President’s approach to governance.
Well, you know that is directly in breach of the constitution. The President maybe, heard what I said recently in an interview that he has been operating as a sole administrator and there is no provision in the Constitution of this country for the business of governance to be conducted in that manner,” Okon noted.
Sadly, the Boko Haram insurgents are still killing hapless Nigerians and destroying property with ruthless brutality in the North-East contrary to Buhari’s promise that if elected, he will crush the terrorists within two months. In an interview with Chris­tiane Amanpour of the CNN, Buhari has re­assured Nigerians and indeed the international community that his administration would crush the Boko Haram militants within two months of his assuming office.
Shortly before President Buhari’s 100 days in office, the Presidency denied that President Buhari ever made specific promises of what to achieve within this period during his campaign. It also denied circulating documents, which contained such promises.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu who incidentally was the Director, Media and Publicity Department of the APC presidential campaign organisation told Nigerians to ignore the claims from certain quarters about a document known as ‘My covenant with Nigerians’, which was signed by then Candidate Buhari, where he outlined what he called the ‘quickwins’ in his first 100 days.
“The President never promised anything to anyone. It is on record in that lecture at Chatham House they asked him a question relating to expectations and what he specifically would do in relation to certain documents that were flying around committing him to this thing or that thing within 100 days.
“In that lecture- the video is already now viral on the web- he (Buhari) said ‘it contained falsehood and I am not going to be engaged in deceit. I will go in there, I will see what is there and get the intelligence – the knowledge of things that are going on and I will fully commit myself to serving Nigeria.
“My point is that as the director, media and communications of that campaign, I was responsible for internal and external communications and these so-called documents that are been flown around didn’t have my signature.
“I did not fund them and I did not authorise them. From what President Buhari himself had said at Chatham House, he had no iota or knowledge of those documents. So, people cannot hold him to account on something to which he did not commit himself.
“APC had a campaign in which there were so many centres of public communication and unfortunately there were some among those centres that were more or less on the loose. Yes, it was possible that things were being done without the knowledge or the usage of the proper channel of communication.”
Mr Garba is not alone in denying specific and glaring promises made to Nigerians during the campaigns. APC’s National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohamed also unabashedly told Nigerians that President Buhari and the party never promised anything in the first 100 days. According to Alhaji Mohammed, “Buhari never promised to do anything in 100 days, that’s the honest truth. You see, when you are running a campaign, all kinds of literature will emerge from all sorts of groups but there are only two documents that you can judge a party with: That is the constitution of the party and the manifesto of the party. Those are the only two documents that are registered with the Independent National Electoral Commission; you can go to court or hold a party accountable for them.”
However, contrary to the denials by President Buhari and his men, an online newspaper, Premium Times’s investigation has revealed that the document that President Buhari and his team are trying to disown, actually emanated from not only APC, but that President Buhari duly signed it before it was released to media houses.
According to the online newspaper, “In signing off on the 16-page document, Mr. Buhari said in an introductory note, “This covenant is to outline my agenda for Nigeria and provide a bird’s eye view of how we intend to bring about the change that our country needs and deserves.
“The covenant is derived from the manifesto of my party, the All Progressives Congress. It however represents my pledge to you all when I become your president.”
“Mr. Buhari now appeared challenged delivering on the promises contained in the covenant, and his team has been battling to disown the document. For instance, the document quoted the then presidential candidate as promising to publicly declare his assets and liabilities while also encouraging his political appointees to do so.”
Premiumtimes went on to quote former governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola, who was in charge of fundraising for the campaign, delivered a campaign speech on March 23, where he clearly referred to the document.
“The APC is proud to have as its flag-bearer, a patriot with the public stature and integrity of Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, who has unreservedly committed to this vision and mission as reflected in his Covenant with Nigerians and campaigns promises,” Mr. Fashola said at a meeting of APC governors at the Banquet Hall of the Imo State Government House, Owerri.
“It is not by accident that teeming millions of Nigerians are showing their support effusively for Gen. Buhari.”
It is not only unfortunate that the Presidency has come out to deny the promises it made to Nigerians, but also a big misfortune that has befallen the country in such a time. No wonder, some aggrieved Nigerians, who felt they have been short-changed by these false promises have tagged it: ‘00 days of lies and denials.’
The denial by Shehu that the President never made such promises was indeed a lie taken too far. It was a slight on the sensibilities of Nigerians who repose so much confidence and trust in the current administration that indeed change has finally come.
Perhaps, this is why the Democratic People’s Congress, DPC said it is disappointed by President Buhari’s performance in his first 100 days.
In a press statement, the National Chairman of DPC, Rev. Olusegun Peters said Nigerians are yet to feel the much touted change Buhari promised during the campaigns.
According to Peters, “Buhari’s leadership fatigue and policy paralysis are cause of concern to right thinking Nigerians who expect dividends of democracy not rhetoric. It is time for action.
“It is time to kick-start the government and pilot the ship of Nigeria state to the path of rectitude, progress, development and advancement. We reiterate that President Buhari does not have eternity to fulfill his campaign promises to the long suffering Nigerians who in spite of all odds voted him to office.
“His government’s unwarranted inertia is a betrayal of the confidence the populace reposed in him. We demand a stop to the on-going indecision and confusion in national governance. Leadership is a deep and heavy responsibility and must be carried out by serious minded compatriots who feel the pulse and pains of the citizenry.
“We score Buhari low in his 100 days in office. The lame excuse by his media aides that he did not promise any specific programme for the period is balderdash, ill-conceived and illogical. A leader that cannot give direction to his government in the first 100 days will find it difficult to fulfill his campaign promises. We urge President Buhari to sit up and take governance serious and see himself as the father of the nation.”
Even one Usman Abubakar, who claims to be insider in Buhari’s government, has warned on imminent dangers at the way the President is carrying on. In an article titled, ‘avoiding legal pitfalls in federal appointments’, he said, “I have been talking to many Buharists like me. I am not bothered about Jonathanians because I don’t expect them to accept the new administration so soon. But within the house, discussions show that we are letting our guards off. We are taken some decisions which can be better handled if sufficient brainstorming is done and if all legal instruments are studied and employed.
“In the last one hundred days, we have made pronouncements which clearly showed that we are not getting some things right. It is one thing to have powers to do something; it is another thing to avoid legal pitfalls while exercising that power. We cannot pretend that we can do and undo especially in a very active democracy like ours.”
With these initial false starts, the good news for President Buhari is that he still has ample time to redeem himself and his government from an apparently warped perception. But will he utilize the opportunity?

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