Goodluck, President-elect Buhari by Femi Aribisala

 

femi_aribisalaIT is all going to happen within four days.  Four days to the great national revival and renewal.  Four days to the rejuvenation and restoration of the Nigerian economy.  Four days to the great “changi” we have all been waiting for.  Four days to the arrival of the Nigerian messiah,   Muhammadu  Buhari.  I am sure we all can hardly wait.

In four days time, there will be an end to the problems of Nigeria.  Corruption will be killed.  NEPA will be reborn.  Youth unemployment will be a thing of the past.  The international oil market will stabilise.  The naira will find its level.  Petrol will sell for 40 naira per litre.

The Boko Haram will lay down their arms.  Fulani herdsmen will stop their killings.  Our cotton mills will roar back to life.  The groundnut pyramids will reappear.  Our cocoa farmers will laugh all the way to the bank.  Our hospitals will stop being consulting clinics.  Our universities will once again become ivory towers of learning.

Hallelujah

We will achieve all this “changi” because Muhammadu Buhari will make a transition from president-elect to president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.  May 29th will no longer be known as Democracy Day.  It will henceforth be Buhari Day.  On Friday, we will finally bid goodbye to the PDP, and usher in the APC who will rule Nigeria for the next 60 years!  I can hear vice-president-elect Osinbajo saying: “Let everybody shout hallelujah!”

However, the hallelujahs have been dying down lately.  The “Amen and Amen” are getting few and far between.  Believers are becoming uncertain.  Cynics and skeptics are beginning to come out of the woodwork.  The Buhari brigades are fast losing their mojo.  Indeed, if the election were to be re-held today, many would not even bother to vote for their Daura favourite-son.  Not much is heard anymore of “Sai Buhari; sai Baba!”  The wedding is on Friday, but we are not even sure anymore whether the bridegroom will show up.

Buhari’s supporters are no longer as bullish as they used to be.  They are no longer sure if there will be “changi” after all.  Some now hasten to insist they did not vote for Buhari; they voted against Jonathan.  They are now likely to point out that Buhari is not a magician.  They would have us know that Rome was not built in a day.  But nobody bothered about these truths during the election campaign.  Then, Buhari was presented as the answer to every question.  He was sold as the solution to every problem.

Illusory change

I am a Nigerian who lives in Nigeria.  It is in my interest for Buhari to succeed.  I am the potential beneficiary of every Buhari success.  But I don’t see him succeeding because APC told too many lies in order to get him elected.  They built up expectations to unrealistically high levels.  They are not going to be able to tamp down those expectations now.  They are simply going to be left to drown in them.

There is an expiration date for the current penchant to blame the PDP for everything.  That date is May 29, 2015.  The blame-game has served its purpose.  It has secured APC the certificate of occupancy to Aso Rock.  What Nigerians need to know now is what the APC has to offer.  Alas, in that department, Buhari and his cohorts do not seem to have a clue.  They are now just holding conferences at this late hour in order to put together a road map.  By all indications, that road map leads to nowhere.

“Power must return to the North.  Power must return to the North.”  We have heard this chant for the better part of six years.  Congratulations are now in order: power has returned to the North.  Now what is the North going to do with this power?  Will this power be used to revamp the Nigerian economy?  Or is it merely fulfilling the imperatives of “Turn-by-turn Nigeria Limited?”  Will the power now light up our home and industries?  Will it be used to overwhelm the Boko Haram?

Not likely!  Those who wanted power to return to the North are now calling for amnesty for the cold-blooded Boko Haram killers.  Could it be that their insurgency has fulfilled its purpose?  Those who insisted power must return to the North certainly did not make this demand in order to make Nigeria great.  They made the demand because they are hungry.  They want a Northern lion share of the national cake.  Anti-corruption is anathema to their agenda.  In the anti-corruption campaign, Buhari is on his own.  He is a lone-ranger.  He cannot even secure the unflinching support of members of his own APC party.

Corruption incorporated

One of the myths of the last presidential election is that it was won and lost on the platform of anti-corruption.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  The APC and the PDP are yin and yang.  Neither party is anti-corruption.  As a people, Nigerians are definitely not anti-corruption.  From the mechanic to the plumber to the dentist to the policeman to the Senator; Nigerians are corrupt.  In Nigeria, we live and breathe corruption.

The new class of 2015 in the National Assembly is not anti-corruption.  One of our Senators-elect is already wanted for drug-smuggling in the United States.  These people cannot be expected to fight corruption.  What is likely to happen is that they will fight Buhari’s pretensions to anti-corruption to a standstill.

In my youth, there was the story of Ali Monguno, a federal minister from the North-East, who was hated by his people.  Their angst against him was that he was not corrupt.  His people found it unacceptable that while other ministers were corrupt; their own representative was foolish enough to be upright.  They wanted to be fully represented in the corruption at the national level.  They wanted a representative thief for Borno in Lagos.

Buhari does not understand this propensity.  As long as we continue within the current federal framework where the centre controls far more resources than all the states combined, the issue of corruption will remain with us.  As long as Buhari sits in Abuja with 55% of national resources to which he and most Nigerians are abstracted, so long will there be corruption in Nigeria.  As long as the whole point of government is the allocation of resources deemed to belong to nobody and to everybody, even so will the emphasis be on dividing the cake rather than on baking it.

If you steal the money of cocoa farmers, you will have to answer to cocoa farmers.  But if you steal Nigeria’s oil wealth, you are the man.  To deal with corruption structurally, you have to deal with Nigeria’s lopsided federal structure.  But the issue of fiscal federalism does not feature at all in Buhari’s anti-corruption road map.

Political dynamite

 In any case, any attempt by the in-coming Buhari administration to address the allegations of corruption under Goodluck Jonathan is bound to be problematic.  Out of 55 years of Nigeria’s existence, the South-South has only been in power for five years.  You cannot prosecute corruption in the five years of South-South rule without being accused of ignoring corruption in the 50 years of North-West and South-West rule.

In many respects, South-South corruption while in government is justifiable in view of North-West and South-West corruption while in government.  Since the oil is from the South-South, the geo-political zone is entitled to its own oil billionaires as those of the North and the South-West.  Why should Theophilus Danjuma and Folorunso Alakija be oil billionaires when the sons and the daughters of the Niger Delta are not?  These questions will continue to haunt any and every attempt at addressing past corruption in Nigeria.

Anti-corruption is good public relations, but it is no substitute for a viable programme for economic growth.  In the final analysis, it is all sound and fury signifying nothing.  Making a difference means ending the petrol shortage.  It means increasing electricity generation and distribution.  It means providing jobs for unemployed youths.  It means providing social security for the teeming poor.  In these practical decibels of government, the APC is at sea.  It simply has no idea what to do.

Running against time

Buhari has just 100 days to make a difference.  After that, all bets are off.  With the same measure the APC used, it will be measured back to it.  APC used social media masterfully to defeat PDP.  They will now come to understand what it means to govern in the age of social media.  They called Jonathan “clueless.”  They must know that new names are in the offing for Buhari.  Some are already going viral.  But I leave it to others to conduct the naming-ceremony.

Complaints about how bad things are will just not cut it.  Buhari cannot expect to get any sympathy from Nigerians.  He showed no sympathy for the plight of Goodluck Jonathan.  He deserves none in return.  If the economy is in bad shape as a result of the drastic drop in oil prices, that fact was known before the election.  Nevertheless, he asked for the job.  No point in telling us now what is wrong with the job or how difficult it is.  You were elected to overcome the difficulties.

In my youth, I used to sing a popular Yoruba song.  It says: “Omo n’wase, o ri’se.  Ise to wa lo ri.”  It means: “the chap looking for a job, got a job.  You got the job you were looking for.”  Buhari wanted to be president.  He ran for president four times.  He is finally the president-elect.  But one week to his inauguration, he runs away to London.  He is already tired, even before the job begins.

Is he sick?  Does he need regular medical attention?  The General talks a lot about the need for transparency in government.  However, he does not seem to understand that this must also apply to his personal life as a public official.

In order to achieve anything meaningful as president within the first 100 days, General Buhari is going to need all the good luck he can get.  However, Goodluck will be leaving Aso Rock unfailingly on 29th May, 2015.

VANGUARD

10 Comments

  1. i only have this to say. That Arabisala is bittered about GMB, i could remembered on the discourse when he said GMB is not electable and he cannot never win in an election even mentioning God to back his words.
    My conclusion is that he has a good write up but with bad heart, i am assuring him that goodluck is leaving aso rock for Gods Favour and Grace to come in Jesus name.

  2. As always, in very bqd taste. No one, except Ffemi Aribisala and his likes, need ‘good luck,. All we want and all we yearn for, is a departure from the ways things have always been done. I think we will have that in a full dose. For me, that is refreshing enough!

  3. Is Femi’s argument cogent? Yes it is. Is it factual? Yes it is. Are there reasons for catious optimism? Plenty of it. Why will a party seek policy direction two weeks to taking over the reiins of government except it didn’t believe it will win. The APC must deliver on its promises on the campaign trail. Anything short of that is ROBBERY and DISHONESTY.

  4. It would seem that Goodluck Jonathan’s loss at the last election is more painful to Femi Aribisala than to Goodluck himself. Talk about crying more than the bereaved. His hate-filled articles, full of desperate wishes for the failure of the in-coming government are ample evidence of a twisted soul tossing and turning in an orgy of self inflicted resentment, makes one wonder what stakes he had in the PDP and indeed what he thinks he has lost in the replacement of that sorry and inept gang of looters who, as is painfully clear to all but the blind, have led Nigeria to the very precipice of ruination.

    Mr Aribisala, please give the APC a chance to fail before you crucify them ….they have not even taken over the government yet for pity’s sake!!

  5. Pure bad belle. For a man who failed to put his money where his mouth is (Aribisala self-confessed that he did not cast his vote in the last elections), Femi is indeed like a friend who weeps louder than the berieved. He is so grieved by the Buhari/APC victory over Jonathan/PDP, that he could not even wait for the hand-over before switching to pull-down mode. Femi’s inexplicable and unjustifiable anger reminds one of the case of Jonah in the Bible (Jonah 1-4). Jonah would rather die than cooperate with God to bring deliverance to the people of Nineveh, even after being swallowed and vomited by a whale. Femi, in spite his admission of being a likely beneficiary of the success of the Buhari government, could not find a space in his poisoned and aggrieved heart to wish the same government well. Femi Aribisala is such a bitter man I wonder about the state of his health.

  6. Someone should please tell FEMI Aribisala that Buhari doesn’t need Goodluck to do well in aso rock, what we needed was good governance. As a matter of fact no nation in this work ever succeeded by luck but based on workable ideas, determination and good governance

  7. People like Dr. Aribisala benefited immensely from the corrupt and inept government of Goodluck Jonathan. No wonder all he has for GMB is evil. People like him will definitely be disappointed. God ordained GMB to win that election, the people of Nigeria voted for change and by HIS GRACE, Buhari will succeed and Nigeria will be revamped.

  8. Mr. Aribisala, my only prayer for you is that God in His infinite mercy will open your eyes to see the better days ahead of this great country in Jesus Name – Amen. May He shower mercy upon your soul. I can see the in coming government succeeding and great change taking place. Nigeria will be great again.

  9. Let us not just discard Femi Aribisala’s postulations as being bittered at heart. We need to carefully understand the points raised. Unnecessary complaints and excuses are not tenable at this point, indeed if someone has vied and elected as a president all he need do is to roll up his sleeves and plug away in bringing solutions to the polity simple. While vying for the post i believe they had road maps of solutions and that is what we eagerly awaits.

  10. If indded u are aware of all the wrong u mentioned that need change then its indeed very strange that u could support in anyway d outgoing administration, its also indeed very strange that a man of your age could justify the stealing of some people cos others have stolen too,its also indeed very strange that that a man of ur “position” could attribute and cook up stories abt wat d people of nigeria are presently feeling abt the incoming administration! STRANGE INDEED!wishing for the failure of a govt that have nt started at all! This nt a divergent opinion is simply an hate speech!

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