Do you now know why some people were dead scared of having the lanky general anywhere near Aso Rock? They were right! Those who warned that Nigeria’s prisons would be overflowing if Muhammadu Buhari became president have had their prophesy come true. Have you noticed that Kudje Prison near Abuja has become the nation’s new Government Reservation Area? It looks like if you have not taken residence for some time in Kudje, you have not really been a big man in Nigeria. Time was when Nigeria’s big boys congregated at Transcorp Hilton or ‘the Villa’, now they get together at EFCC or Kudje.
Buhari has proved what a lot of people suspected. Much of the glittering houses that you see in Maitama and Banana Island or the shiny cars you see on our streets are not products of hard work or creative thinking. They are monuments to madness; the frightening daylight robbery of a people’s today and tomorrow. All you need to do to understand the hollowness of the big money that a lot of Nigerians throw about is to ask yourself a few questions: where are their investments? Where are their manufacturing plants? Where is their unique commercial enterprise? Where is that exceptional invention? Nine times out of ten you will find that all that glitters is not gold. The more you look, the less you see.
In the last nine months, Nigerians have been treated to a comedy of the bizarre. Each time you think you have heard the most confounding story of greed and avarice, there comes some more: huge amounts of smelly cash hidden in a soak away pit; trusted generals of the people’s army pocketing the salaries of dead and ghost soldiers in millions. I was in fact present at the Federal High Court in Abuja recently and listened to the testimony of a young woman as to how an ex-Governor who was in court scammed the people he swore with the Bible to protect. After two hours of listening to the lady, I had headache and had to go and look for some Panadol.
Anyone who tells you that what Buhari is doing is not important is mad. I do not care whether you are PDP, APC, ABC or XYZ, I do not know how our children are supposed to have a future if this brazen rape of our commonwealth is allowed to continue. Who else in Nigeria do you know who has the guts to take on this bunch that has become drunk and blinded by the zillions in stolen cash? Not even the reputedly fearless Obasanjo! Who else could have taken on the army Generals who sent out our young boys empty handed on a suicide mission to go and fight Boko Haram while they were busy buying up choice mansions in Dubai and elsewhere?
I however worry that a lot of people who wish our president well and genuinely want him to succeed are finding it difficult to explain the unending fuel supply crisis, the erratic power supply, the foreign exchange debacle and the unquestionable hardship in the land. A hungry man is an angry man and it does not make it easier for him if he is repeatedly being asked, ‘how is change working for you?’
I worry that there is very inadequate communication to the Nigerian people of the struggle that our President is faced with, the challenges of the sudden drop in oil price and the battle to turn around this massive ship headed for the rocks.
Let the truth be told – our President is on the quiet side. He is not the talking kind. I suspect that he is the kind that would think that people will see his heart and know that he means well and is doing his best. I am not sure that it works that way.
How many times a day do you see one government official in some country come on CNN or Sky or Fox News to brief you on a shooting that has just taken place or an accident that has just happened or a hurricane that is approaching or some power line that has resulted in a one hour power outage? And they will keep giving you updates because a good government belongs to the people. This is the age of Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram and numerous social media platforms. These days, news flies around pretty fast – the good, the bad and the ugly. There is a 24 hour a day struggle for the minds of the people. Minds are fertile. If you don’t plant good things there, evil will sprout.
I am convinced that our President needs help from his many assistants to market the Buhari revolution. I am convinced that every Minister, Permanent Secretary, Director – General, Police Commissioner, DPO ought to know that it is a new day and that communicating to the people you serve is an essential part of everybody’s job.
For many weeks, I was not quite sure what was responsible for the unending fuel supply crisis that threatened to shut down the entire country. I waited and waited and got very confused and frustrated. Then I saw a Press Release from the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed. I do not know how many people saw it. To tell you the truth, I expected much more.
There is no question that Lai Mohammed is probably the most accomplished spokesperson of an opposition party in Nigeria’s political history. Being in opposition and running the government are however two different things. Besides, Lai Mohammed is now Minister of Information & Culture with the responsibility to supervise diverse government agencies. Except he is a magician, his hands must be very full.
I do not want Buhari to fail. I cannot imagine the failure of the Buhari revolution. Europe is big trouble because of the refugee crisis resulting from the Syrian war. Imagine 170 million Nigerians joining the exodus. Unthinkable!