I still remember like it was yesterday exactly what I was doing when Muhammadu Buhari was declared winner of the 2015 presidential election, I was clutching my note pad and pen, punching numbers away on my calculator to be doubly sure of the victory and as a last minute check before the final declaration was made. I have almost never been as happy as I was that day, that BUHARI became the president of my country by defeating the incumbent president (an unprecedented feat). I was a Jonathan lover, nobody could speak ill of him and go scot-free without being lashed-at by me, you know, him being learned and all but I soon found out how much his academic stand couldn’t translate into making him an intelligent and credible President…very disappointing! I read (I was actually a kid then) that Buhari, a Major General , had a brief stint as the head of state between 31st December 1983 to 27th August 1985 (18 months). I also read that, although short, his administration was one that saw Nigerians sitting right and shunning indiscipline, orderliness was the order of the day, corruption was at its barest minimum or non -existent, our refinery worked optimally and we even began exporting fuel to other countries and our general hospitals worked at full capacity….all within the space of 18 months!
Fast forward to 2015, many people would rather have Jonathan continue as president than see Buhari, a northerner, emerge as the new one due to fear of the unknown to some and due to the fear of the known to those that already know him. Some say he’s too old to govern a country like Nigeria, some say he’s sick and has terminal illness,some say he’s not as fit as Jonathan and can’t run the length of national stadium (I didn’t know that was a criteria!) Some section even said he will Islamise Nigeria,(whatever that means…LOL). If there was one(you can make that two) thing(s) I learnt from Buhari it is PERSEVERANCE and the other is to stand for something POSITIVE and run with it. Despite having failed at winning the presidential elections three consecutive times, 2003, 2007, 2011, more than enough to discourage a lot of people and in spite of the party in power then being so active with slandering and mudslinging, doing everything from the thinkable to the unthinkable to discredit the opposition and remain in power, what Buhari stood for actually played a major role in seeing to his emergence as the winner of the 2015 presidential elections, thank God!
Now, with a hundred days in office and with only a few aides and no cabinet,whatever side of the fence you are on or your political affiliation, sentiments aside, whether you hate him or love him, you will agree that Buhari’s emergence has done more good than harm to the country. Think about this; hate him or love him, insecurity is being thoroughly dealt with and the spate of attacks has drastically reduced, incidences of Boko Haram occupation of territories is long gone. What we have now are just splinter groups which is gradually being dealt with too. Hate him or love him, corruption is being fought to a standstill(something we hitherto thought was impossible). Now government officials offer to return, without being asked, looted funds that were brazenly stolen and stashed away under the former administration. Army Generals and immigration Chiefs chose to resign and hand over stolen wealth than wait to be probed and ‘definitely’ found wanting. Anti corruption agencies suddenly found their teeth and voices. Public officials are falling over each other to get in line. All this is happening and my president is not even started yet!
Hate him or love him, power generation has significantly improved. Now most places can boast of at least 15 to 18 hours of power supply a day, now, that’s what I call change! Hate him or love him, now you drive or walk into any filling station and buy fuel without having to queue for several hours. Under the last administration, area boys gradually became fuel supplier to the common man. I remember being forced by the station manager to buy a gallon of engine oil I didn’t need just so I could buy fuel at the nozzle! That was the gate pass! Now,refineries work optimally with the one in PH producing 5mBPD and Warri’s to follow soon. To think the former petroleum minister said we don’t have any business refining crude! WOW!
Hate him or love him,Nigeria is gradually regaining her lost glory and returning to her rightful place in the comity of nations, no longer the butt of jokes,heck,Obama invited us for a chat at the white house! Doesn’t that mean something to you? Hate him or love him, Buhari is slowly but surely restoring hope and a sense of belonging to the common man. Hope could make all the difference in a man’s life.without hope, a cause is lost. Now an average Nigerian can look into the future and it won’t be as bleak as it used to anymore. Hate him or love him, PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI made us all a promise and he’s keeping it!