Saturday September 5, was one hundred, 100, days President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR ascended the exalted throne of this blessed kingdom called Nigeria. A kingdom forcefully fused together by the colonial masters in 1914, under the administration of Sir Lord Lugard.
We recall that Buhari was sworn-in as President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces at an elaborate ceremony held at the Eagle Square Abuja on May 29th, attended by over 40 Heads of State.
At the event, Buhari made several promises, riding on the popular All Progressives Congress, APC, slogan “Change”. Most of the promises were similar to those he made during the campaign.
Hundred days after, Nigerians are still eagerly awaiting the fulfilment of, or even partial fulfilment of the promises.
Few weeks ago, when the frenzy was high and criticism rose on the snail- speed of the administration, APC’s godfather and Buhari’s mentor ( as far as his victory was concerned) Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, told Nigerians, and indeed the world, that the president was in Honeymoon and should be allowed to enjoy it while it lasted.
Some people thought Tinubu was joking, events have proved the former Lagos State governor right. Looking back at the promises Buhari made, which swayed the electorates’ votes to his favour, none has been fulfilled. Declaring his assets public, the details of which are still in contention, cannot be regarded as an achievement because it has no impact on the lives of Nigerians. He could choose not to make it public.
Hundred days after inauguration, our president is yet to form his cabinet. Given the long years it took Muhammadu Buhari to win this year’s election, he no doubt deserves a honeymoon. But a bride, even in honeymoon, must look after her spouse. So why would Buhari use honeymoon as excuse for none performance?
Come to think of it, a bride in honeymoon is not expected to leave her husband no matter the situation, because the couple is required to use the period to consummate their relationship and work out strategies for effective home management preparatory to greater marital challenges ahead. But our own president while on honeymoon, left us several times to frolic with Oyibo people, in the process many state engagements were abandoned as there were no effective lieutenants ( cabinet) to take charge.
In 100 days, Buhari travelled outside Nigeria more than any of his predecessors. During this period also, he devoted greater part of his energy saying what he would do to fight corruption than actually fighting the scourge; and has made cleansing of the NNPC and Ministry of Petroleum Resources his major reform agenda than finding solution to challenges facing the country including huge debts, unpaid staff salaries, insurgency and other criminal activities.
Some of the things he promised to achieve under first one hundred days in office but which have become his Achilles hill include:,
· End Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria
· Make one Naira exchange for one United States dollar
· Ensure timely payment of retirement benefits to all pensioned senior citizens and create a poverty safety net for all aged citizens above the age of 65.
· Guarantee that women are adequately represented in government appointments and provide greater opportunities in education, job creation and economic empowerment. ( Note: all appointments made so far has few women)
· Strengthen INEC to reduce, if possible, eliminate electoral malpractices in Nigerian’s political life.
· Free education at primary, secondary and tertiary institutions for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
· Public declaration of assets and liabilities
· Ban all government officials from seeking medical care abroad
· Establishment of a free-tuition and scholarship scheme for pupils who have shown exceptional aptitude in science subjects at O/Levels to study ICT-related courses.
· Eradicate state of origin, replacing it with state of residence
· Establish a crime squad to combat terrorism, kidnapping, armed robbery, militancy, ethno-religious and communal clashes nationwide
· Ensure permanent peace in the Niger Delta and other conflict prone areas such as Plateau, Taraba, Bauchi, Borno and Abia.
· Create special incentives to facilitate the education of the girl- child
· Revive and reactivate the minimally performing refineries to optimum capacity.
· Inject extra N30 billion into the Agricultural sector to create more agro-allied jobs
· Create a Social Welfare Programme of at least five thousand naira (N5000) that will cater for the 25 million poorest and most vulnerable citizens
· Recruit and train at least 100,000 officers into the Nigerian police force and establish a Federal Anti-terrorism Agency.
· Give one free meal (to include fruits) daily, for public primary school pupils
· Establish at least six new universities of science and technology with satellite campuses in various states.
· Establish six centres of excellence to address the needs of special education.
· Adopt a holistic approach to erosion and shoreline protection across the country.
From the above, it is very clear that our president still has a long way to go in turning his lofty promises to reality and giving the electorate dividends of democracy as the ‘messiah’ we all voted for.
For instance, Buhari promised to make the Naira exchange rate N1 to US$1dollar. Today, the exchange rate is above N200 to US$1 dollar and there are fears the Naira would soon be further devalued. In the same vein, while Buhari promised to eradicate insurgency in the North-East within few weeks of becoming president, the terrorists have killed over 600 persons under his watch and still counting. It remains doubtful what he has to show for the 100 days he has spent in office. Even the few appointments so far made are in favour of people of his ethnic block and faith. Is Nepotism not corruption? I will answer that next week.

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