By this time last year, it was wild jubilation, triumph and historic as Nigerians witnessed the triumphant ascension of Muhammadu Buhari to the presidency.
Everyone celebrated him, local and international media beamed their search light on every one of his appearances. He became a beacon of hope. His coming to power restored the confidence and patronage of other nations. To many, he was the Moses of our time who had been sent by God to come lead us to the promise land. His inauguration speech was inspiring and convincing. Nigerians rejoiced, tears of joy poured down in torrents. For once, the peoples’ vote counted.
In one of my articles last year after president Buhari was declared winner, titled Muhammadu Buhari, the pains and gains, I contended that: “the gains of Buhari’s presidency is not an individual thing, but rather, for a greater and better Nigeria for us all.
One year after, the present realities has eroded hope, the burden of expectations is becoming gloomy, mixed reactions have taken over the polity.
Nigerians are becoming disenchanted and the mood of the country is largely becoming crest fallen and despondent. The economy has been biting hard; food stuff is becoming scarce and ostentatious commodity, which even the rich also cry. The struggle to survive has never been this tough.
The mood of the country after one a year of APC led-government is aptly described in a poem written by a Nigerian poet, John Godwill Osward titled, We Must Learn Again To Fly:
Some wound cuts so deep we forget where the pain comes from;
We itch to run from congealed blood, from lakes in rivers deltas into brimless sea
—we forget how to flow.
The first stanza of the poem is an exposition of the current situation we are facing as a nation. Nigeria is in a deep wound with an unbearable pain.
The Augean of mess of the past administration(s) which led to the near-comatose state of our economy the APC government inherited has worsened, one year after, the pain is becoming unbearable. Our nation has been hemorrhaging on all fronts, “from lakes into rivers, and deltas into brimless sea”.
Things are biting so hard that the Faustian deal upon which this government rode to power is gradually fading away. Even with the present achievements of the government, especially in the areas of insecurity, and the fight against corruption, the second stanza of the poem summed it all:
“Some hunger grow so steep it cuts the sun and takes away our eyes till we drown, weighed down by the call at sit-bed— we forget how to awaken.”
Nigerians are in a state of despair, everywhere you go, you can see expression of frustrations written on peoples’ faces. They are yet to see any positive change of the APC-led government, a peep at social media sites, public places or public transport will give you a comprehensive summary of different definition of change.
The political consciousness is becoming unimaginable, if we had held our past leaders accountable the way we have done to this present government just one year after, we would have been better off.
One year after, Nigerians are still asking for the change they voted for? We are still paying higher electricity bills for darkness, unemployment is still multiplying like cancerous cells, our markets are becoming as quiet as grave yards as a result of food scarcity and high increase in price of food, ethnic cleansing in the guise of Fulani Herdsmen is becoming uncontrollable and the renewed militancy in the Niger Delta b—not forgetting the turbulent state of our economy. But even in the face of all these challenges, rescuing our country from the bottomless mess it had previously been plunged is non-negotiable. I appeal to Nigerians not to give up on this government yet, like they have always pleaded, let’s give them time to right the wrongs.
Yet we must learn again to fly!