By Kolade Gbolagade *
“Nigerians will not regret that they have entrusted national responsibility to us. We must not succumb to hopelessness and defeatism. We can fix our problem ” President Buhari.
On May 29th 2015, Nigerians witnessed another historic democracy day that ushered in the new sheriff in town. The song of Sai Buhari and Changi filled the atmosphere from the North to the South. With so much expectation and impatience.
No doubt, Nigerians have travelled a long democratic journey without experiencing the dividends of democracy. As democracy only exist in individual homes who provides their most basic needs when government failed to meet up. In the last 16years of stable and untruncated democratic journey, promises have failed and hope dashed.
The coming of President Buhari renewed the hope and the promises.
The APC -led administration came on on the tripod of promises of security, corruption and economy.
On May 29th, 2015 the first executive order Mr President gave was that the command Centre of the armed forces be relocated to Maiduguri and remain until Bokoharam is completely subdued. This particular pronouncement was given at a time the north east part of Nigeria was under the terror of the monstrous Islamic sect. Today, thousands have been freed from terror and first football match in years was played in Maiduguri not too long ago. People are returning home. This is not said to be that the fight against terrorism is completely won or over. Until the chibok girls and all other innocent persons held hostage by insurgents are rescued, the fight continues. That’s re-echoing what the president said during his inaugural speech.
Out of hundreds of kidnapped and raped chibok girls, two have regained freedom.
After technically declaring the defeat of Bokoharam, new face of terror groups have been born. The Niger delta Avengers and the militant cowboys who masacre like cannibals and aliens.
While NDA is blowing and attacking the bloodstream or heart of our economy oil : installations and facilities ,the millant cowboys have successfully taken hundreds of lives from North to South.
In the past one year, the economic and financial crimes commission has secured over 160 convictions in respect to cyber crimes. Just recently, a former commissioner in Adamawa state, local government officials in kogi state and former DG of NOMADS were convicted and jailed . The ICPC has over 400 cases pending.
This is not to say the system is fair. It is far from fair while we have petty thieves being jailed almost everyday,we have the high and mighty either escaping justice or prolonging justice or being allowed by the system to rubbish the trial process. Comparing the trail ratio of petty thieves and billionaire thieves ,it’s 10:1.
Our economy has not been fair to many but few who are elites. Lower class are kept in the lower economic chain and the higher class, higher. A wide gap that threatens growth and development of developing economy.
According to the President of Abuja chamber of commerce and industry Mr Tony, 50,000 workers lost their jobs due to scarcity of forex for importation of raw materials by local industries. First city Monument bank sacked 400 workers and shut down 40 of it branches.
And many other companies either going bankrupt or laying off workers.
Unlike when Obama took off a sick economy in the United States, the automobile sector and some other sectors experienced low sales and scarce availability of credit which led to more widespread economic crisis of an economy worst hit recession. The big three automakers, General motors and Chrysler were offered bailout funds by U.S and Canadian governments with the intent to prevent massive job losses.
President Buhari didn’t save job. He allowed thousands to lose their livelihood. That doesn’t make economic sense.
Millions are out of job as the recent online police application is a pointer. The statistics shows that millions of Nigerians appllied for the job opening of 10,000.
Nigeria’s inflation rate hits high record in one year, at 13.72percent.
Today our foreign reserve is around $27-$30billion .
As our economy is a mono-economy ,relying on crude oil export for income to finance budget. Our economy is at the mercy of the international market. Oil prices globally is falling , fuel prices in Nigeria has increased to #145 per litre after suffering from fuel scarcity. The value of naira to a dollar continues rise .
Putting all assessment together one cannot but question the efficiency of this government in one year. The impact of any government must first be felt in security and in economic stability and improving the standard of living of the people . Talking of securing lives, providing jobs, social security, power.
In the last one year the government have called on Nigerians to sacrifice but what can the government sacrifice when the citizens are dying of hunger. The citizens have paid different prices for our democracy to survive.
Like the PMB said not too long ago that he has three years left. Let’s see it to the end whether we are better off.
There is a tide in the affairs of men which,
taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life,
Is bound in shallows and miseries.
Let us be reminded of one of a passage in Shakespeare’s Julius Ceasar.
I pray for this government to succeed and the hardworking men and women in Nigeria see that their hardwork pays off in the end.
Happy democracy day Nigerians.
*Kolade Gbolagade is a social affairs commentator and public affairs analyst.He writes from Lagos.