Any government that lacks the structure to produce actionable solutions to the problems of the governed has failed. This is no brainer. A higher percentage of administrations ingrained in shameful propaganda produce mediocre results. And if the said governed wants to do something reasonable about the state of affairs, they should enable constructive criticism, pick it, and run with it.
Criticism, when adequately weaponised, is the hub of administrative success. That’s why it’s hard to hear of any progressive democratic administration that didn’t thrive on the back of constructive criticism. Frankly, before any administration could be termed successful, modern and representative enough; there should be an institutionalized systemic diehard opposition before and beside it.
A staunch opposition must be on ground to monitor, caution and redirect erring leaders. But this is not always the case, especially in third world nations. Democratic leaders loathe constructive criticism, and anyone insistent on giving some does that at their peril.
The moment leaders tremble at every little criticism and begin persecuting opposing voices, that is the same moment the essence of democracy was defeated. It ought to be the moment they should pause, reflect, and change direction. Renowned leaders who succeeded during their time paid attention to wise counsel. These leaders never missed any opportunity TO LEAD. And they never spoke from both sides of their mouths.
In 2015, if millions of Nigerians who were persuaded to accept the “change mantra” had the slightest premonition of what was about to descend on them, they wouldn’t have lent a hand to kick President Jonathan out of office. Nigerians thought Jonathan was the problem, but it took them a trip to pain-polis to realise he wasn’t.
Jonathan’s administration was accused of being corrupt, incompetent, and insensitive. When, in 2012, Jonathan’s administration announced to Nigerians that fuel subsidy had been removed, everyone ran amok. Labour unions, civil societies and opposition parties went berserk. They pounded the roads seeking an administrative redress. There was pressure from all quarters.
The likes of Pat Utomi, Prof. Wole Soyinka, Pastor Tunde Bakare and legions of other notable Nigerians were on the streets of Lagos, yelling and calling on Jonathan’s government to rescind the price of Premium Motor Spirit. The police and army never harassed and arrested protesters. Nigerians enjoyed so much freedom to a great extent. Even some unscrupulous elements had the temerity to call Jonathan a drunkard, but as a man of peace and a crusader of rule of law, he never flinched.
Jonathan was also accused of being incompetent and weak in addressing the problem of insecurity. Some even said Buhari is more knowledgeable because he is a former army General (insinuating that he is the best fit to clip the wings of the terror movement – Boko Haram). Many dumb lies were told against Jonathan’s administration, but today the chicken has finally return to roost.
Currently, over 200 million Nigerians are receiving the reward of their treachery. The regime of President Muhammadu Buhari has succeeded in humiliating and reducing Nigerians to mere puppets. Hungry Nigerians are more concerned with filling their stomachs than demanding their fundamental human rights. After all, can a hungry man go to war?
Many Nigerians believed that there was nothing good about Jonathan’s administration. Even when food items and other essentials were so cheap and surplus, some good for nothing political wannabes were still saying Nigerians were being unnecessarily exploited by the government.
However, since Jonathan was forcefully lied out of power and Buhari took the reins, Nigerians are still asking and expecting President Buhari to enact the CHANGE he promised.
President Muhammadu Buhari, where is the change you promised Nigerians?
I still remember vividly that Buhari and his gang promised Nigerians an exchange rate of $1 to N1. Nigerians were also promised steady power supply, reactivation of the refineries, availability of PMS at N40 per litre and many more. Nigerians are yet to see the fulfilment of these promises.
Before Buhari was elected president, he said the payment of subsidy was a fraud and there was no need for it. He also said if elected president, he will stop the subsidy regime and ensure that Nigerians have petrol at an affordable price. But when the leadership baton was given to Mr General, nothing happened. The same old life was sustained, albeit more irritating under his watch. President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has become the more you look, the less you see.
Honestly, the only achievement of “The Change Regime” is the recycling and rebranding of corruption. Yes, these two variables are more pronounced in Buhari’s government. Instead of coming up with strategic economic plans that will help Nigerians to cope with the hardships of COVID-19, the navigators of “Change Regime” are more concerned with taxing Nigerians to death.
This administration is vile. It is very toxic to Nigerians. It is the perfect example of what a democratic government shouldn’t be. It shouldn’t happen, but it is happening right in our faces. The Nigerian story is a sad one. A country home to intellectuals appears to have the dumbest president. I don’t know how he pulled it off, but for one sneaky reason or another, one man took over 199 million Nigerians back to the old ways. Indeed, history will not tell a good tale of you, Mr. President.
. Idika writes from [email protected].