On May 29, 2015, there was a change of government in Nigeria. That day at Eagle Square, Abuja Nigeria’s capital the world witnessed a peaceful handover of power by the iconic former President Jonathan who saved our beloved country from degenerating into another Syria.
Today the world focuses its eyes on that embattled country and events playing out today could spell out a possible conflagration and this, doubtless, hangs over our heads like the ancient sword of Damocles. World powers and rogue regimes are converged there each shouting for its voice to be heard or to also feel important on the world stage calling to mind the rogue regime of Iran in deciding the future of that country and we all know what intransigence brewing from Assad’s country would amount to in the long run – igniting the nukes and incinerating all life’s forms.
That is what would have taken place in Nigeria had former President Jonathan unlike other sit-tight African leaders not conceded defeat in the hotly contested 2015 presidential election in Nigeria. You will all agree with me that a situation dangerously close to anarchy was only averted by that magnanimous display of statesmanship in spite of the highly doctored results that came from the north which gave President Buhari that unjust, unfair and undeserved victory.
Years and later months prior to that historic election, Nigerians were told to prepare for bloodshed and disorder calling to mind President Buhari’s coinage which soon gained currency at the time:
”the dogs and baboons will be soaked in blood”’
My heart jumped into my mouth on hearing that brazen threat! This was against every standard of decency. Sensing an imminent danger many Nigerians and I had no option but to take flight from Nigeria before all hell would be broken loose. But as luck would have it the ominous cloud of bloodshed that hung over Nigeria like a crowd began to disperse following the decision of one man who had consistently declared that his political ambition ‘is not worth the blood of any Nigerian’.
Now that Jonathan is back in Otueke his ancestral home thus paving the way for a new cast of actors to mount the saddle of power it must be borne in mind that government is none other than a social contract, that is relinquishing one’s rights in return for protection and improvement in the overall well-being of the citizenry. The present administration has spent too much time brooding over the ‘misfortunes and mistakes’ of the past with nothing on the ground to face tomorrow’s challenges staring us ominously in the face. I think it is high time we marched forward. How long will these complaints take? We are really pressed for time!
Every now and then, this present administration gets increasingly picky about nothing, I dare say; I ask yet again; how long will President Buhari continue to brood over the problems that never existed? Is it not about time he started to deliver on his campaign promises? Under the former administration, Nigeria rose from behind to become Africa’s largest economy which doubtless is a rare feat. Paradoxically, the ruling party says the former ruling party lied to Nigerians and the world about the state of our economy when Nigeria emerged as the biggest economy on the continent after a rebasing calculation of the GDP. Nigerians, mind you, former President Jonathan does not control or have any influence on any of the supra-national institutions that authenticated the figures that made Nigeria the economic powerhouse of the continent.
A bad workman, they often say, blames his tools. Now the die is cast and President Buhari has taken charge as Nigeria’s chief representative to the whole world. Nigerians look to him to deliver on his campaign promises. He did expressly say that the Nigerian Naira will be made equal in value to the US dollars. We are patiently and anxiously waiting. Of course, we know he needs some time to right the wrongs of the immediate past administration. We are not complaining. It is about six months now and activities have just risen off the ground following the naming of his ministers to help him in the day-to-day running of his government.
One fact must be borne in mind under the existing circumstances that time flies very fast. What Nigerians want to see is the ‘change’ which they voted for en masse. The change from the way things are going is still miles away following the departure of competent technocrats in the immediate past administration. The International Monetary Fund, (IMF) reports say, is pressing for further devaluation of our domestic currency barely six months President Buhari took over power and the economy has suddenly plunged into recession. This is stranger than fiction!
The President should as a matter of urgency address the problems plaguing Nigeria instead of the ongoing blame game. What we need is a lasting solution to the myriad of problems on the ground which his six months of inaction have compounded instead of deafening complaints.
Iyoha John Darlington is an opinion leader and public commentator on national and global issues based in Turin, Italy.