Enough of all the hype in the media about the sudden Government of Impossibilities that the incoming Muhammadu Buhari administration will be unto Nigerians beginning this Friday May 29. In fact from my little corner in this observatory called Nigerian Pilot, given my vantage contacts, links and sources of information, I do not expect the miraculous from the All Progressives Congress, APC government. If there must be any such development, it will be a miserable dip in the fortunes of all compared to measured steps of achievements recorded by the outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan Administration. The reason is simple, given the peculiar configuration of the characters that metamorphosed into APC and by extension Buhari’s intending government.
I could be disappointed though by surprises as the administration settles down to the expected brass tasks ahead. Poor me; each time I try to believe what Buhari and his APC have made us believe about the incoming government’s agenda for Nigeria and Nigerians, I find myself doubly-doubting myself that it may not be daybreak yet for us.
No doubt, I am not the only Nigerian in this boat of little faith in the ability of the Buhari Administration to deliver on all the wash-wash promises the APC made in the hey days of the campaigns. The fact that they are not only very unreal, but are based of no workable yardsticks rubbishes the promises and their respective and/aggregate implementability.
A cursory review of the manifesto of promises will suffice for now.
On Boko Haram
During the election campaign Buhari who was the military ruler from December 31, 1983, to August 27, 1985, frequently assured Nigerians that he would stop the insurgency:
Our government will bring to an end the menace of Boko Haram terror that is plaguing the society. Nigerians are turning into refugees in their country, he said during a rally in Adamawa.
Buhari’s running mate, Professor Yemi Osinbajo was with nhim on the same page. Hear him: Fighting insurgency requires the Commander in Chief to lead from the front by providing leadership.
At his famous Chatham House, London event, Buhari promised that if he wins, the world will stop worrying about Nigeria. Hear him:
Let me assure you that if I am elected president, the world will have no cause to worry about Nigeria as it has had to recently; that Nigeria will return to its stabilizing role in West Africa; and that no inch of Nigerian territory will ever be lost to the enemy because we will pay special attention to the welfare of our soldiers in and out of service, we will give them adequate and modern arms and ammunitions to work with, we will improve intelligence gathering and border controls to choke Boko Haram’s financial and equipment channels, we will be tough on terrorism and tough on its root causes by initiating a comprehensive economic development plan promoting infrastructural development, job creation, agriculture and industry in the affected areas. We will always act on time and not allow problems to irresponsibly fester, and I, Muhammadu Buhari, will always lead from the front and return Nigeria to its leadership role in regional and international efforts to combat terrorism.
Currency stabilization and economy
The APC presidential candidate also said that he would ensure that the naira was equal to the dollar in value, if elected as a president. I may not be able to recall if Buhari put a timeline to this promise that has since been rubbished by far knowledgeable economists as unattainable.
On the economy, Buhari said … the fall in prices of oil has brought our economic and social stress into full relief. After the rebasing exercise in April 2014, Nigeria overtook South Africa as Africa’s largest economy. Our GDP is now valued at $510 billion and our economy rated 26th in the world. Also on the bright side, inflation has been kept at single digit for a while and our economy has grown at an average of 7% for about a decade.
Buhari added that the development of the agriculture sector and the revival of the textile industry would contribute to helping the economy move forward. He was say almost the same at Birnin Kebbi during the campaigns: ending current epileptic power supply will boost the economy and attract domestic and foreign investment.
The incoming President had said on corruption that, there will be no confusion as to where I stand. Corruption will have no place and the corrupt will not be appointed into my administration. First and foremost, we will plug the holes in the budgetary process. Revenue producing entities such as NNPC and Customs and Excise will have one set of books only. Their revenues will be publicly disclosed and regularly audited. The institutions of state dedicated to fighting corruption will be given independence and prosecutorial authority without political interference. He was to add: We will stop corruption and make the ordinary people, the weak and the vulnerable our top priority.
At that forum Buhari stressed that he would make sure that those who steal public money are made to return it, noting that the fight against corruption will form a major focus of the APC government.
Nigeria is the most populous country on the continent and the problem of youth unemployment is very crucial. At a rally in Uyo, Buhari promised to provide the country’s residents with 3 million jobs annually and handle the lingering issue of unemployment.
On this, Buhari promised that each unemployed youth will be paid N5,000 monthly even as he promised to create one million jobs for Igbo youths in the southeast when he becomes the president.
We are banking on huge coal deposits located at Amasiodo, Inyi and Leje axis of Enugu Coal belt. We are going to award contracts for mining and construction of coal-fired power plant, unlike PDP that since 1999 promised to revamp the coal fields and 16 years after, nothing has been done; he told the South East.
Our army and police will be highly equipped with all the required weapons, educated and uneducated youths will be employed through different programmes that will be created by our administration. We will rebuild our educational system and employ youths not on sentiment and god-fatherism, Buhari had promised on the country’s Armed Forces and Police.
Apart from the foregoing, the incoming President made promises on various fronts ranging from religious fanaticism through politics and governance to the country’s infrastructure.
However I see them as too many coming from an untested politician whose only antecedent is his being a former military dictator per excellence. He is not used to the politicking that goes with politics. He may not be accommodating of the idiosyncrasies and peculiar persona and disposition of the typical Nigerian politician because at the end of the day, whatever fine ideals and ideas Buhari and his APC may have of administering the affairs of this country, the normal last factor may come into play. And that is the real Nigerian factor without which nothing moves.
And even in his very own party, Buhari will sooner find out that he has uncountable number of hawks to monitor; the same will go for the insurmountable hurdles that his aides and cabinet members including the ever-ubiquitous civil servants will put between him and his chosen goals. He must therefore learn the nitty gritty of politicking in this clime before he can think of delivering on his promises.
But expectedly, Buhari and his APC will want to put a lie to this position. I do not think there is any need for that. Events of post-May 29 will tell. Which is why I say, (or sing) Come , May 29, Come; and I pray his road may not be rough.