Written by Okwukwe Ibiam
On August 25, 2015 Mallam Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity to President Buhari in an attempt to outflank the negative press he anticipated on Buhari’s 100 days of non-performance in Government,
wrote in the Guardian (excerpts):
“…There is a certain document tagged “One Hundred Things Buhari Will Do in 100 Days” and the other, “My Covenant With Nigerians.”
He continues, “Both pamphlets bore the authorised (APC) party logo, but as the Director of Media and Communications in that campaign, I did not fund or authorise any of those. I can equally bet my last Kobo that candidate Buhari did not see or authorise those publications.”
“As a consequence of these publications, expectations have been raised unreasonably, that as President, Muhammadu Buhari will wave his hand and all the problems that the country faces- insecurity, corruption, unemployment, poor infrastructure would go away. But that notwithstanding, President Buhari has given the job his best shot, and majority of Nigerians are saying that we never had it so good. He has re- instituted the values of hard work and administrative efficiency. The President says times without number that this country needs to fix governance and that he won’t tolerate laziness.
Some of the other activities I wish to enumerate also include the fact of his taking relations with the country’s immediate neighbours to new heights.”
Buhari embarked on his foreign policy on Day Four of his administration.
When he met Barak Obama, the U.S president told the Nigerian leader that he was getting it right and that it is only when Nigeria gets it right that Africa will get it right.
In the area of economic management, Nigerians are already seeing things happen that they thought were not possible in so short a time. He didn’t put a Kobo to finance the power sector. Yet, reading his body language alone and knowing that there are things you cannot do and get away with under Buhari, electricity supply all over the countries has risen to unprecedented heights.
Actually, some cities are on the verge of calling 24-hour, round the clock power supply. The country generates more power than it can internally be taken by the deplorable distribution system we have on the ground, which points to the next challenge that the country faces.”
Mallam Garba Shehu forgot to deny that the incoming government at the inauguration of its transition committee outlined goals alphabetised from (a) to (g). Line (f) of the document stated thus:
f. Suggest “quick fixes” which will result in tangible, visible and practical measures so that CHANGE will be seen after 30 days, after 100 days, after 6 months of the Administration taking office (Buhari transition Committee guidelines).
A government looking to establish credibility, is having difficulty with credibility. We have had 1) no clear suggestion 2) no quick fixes so that CHANGE will be seen after 30days or 100days. Six (6) months? Haba!
The APC cadre is very tentative. They are painfully watching themselves having their wings clipped by the ultra-conservative Northern Nigeria Party CPC. This is the real deal. It is about power grab and who has it in APC. Bukola Saraki read the hand writing and maneuvered himself into contention. The APC is officially under re-organization. Atiku is emerging as “the Godfather”. They have officially distanced Alhaji Lai Mohammed. He is not of this Government. Tinubu is incommunicado. A statesmanlike approach to being distanced. APC Chairman Odigie-Oyegun is struggling with powerlessness. He does not know what to do with his loyalty. The devil or the deep-blue sea? His party apparatus contributes nothing policy-wise to this administration. The APC echelon are grasping to save face. Mother South-West APC did not anticipate this neglect, and having no contribution in this Government. Osinbajo’s face and name seems a consolation. For now. Even Mobolaji Aluko’s attempts at intellectual analysis sounds hollow .
There also is an official distinction between the Opinions of the office of the National Publicity Secretary of the ruling Party, and the Director of Media and Communications in the APC Presidential campaign. Modularity has its benefits. Weep for Lai Mohammed!, and we thought he had interns crawling for tutelage at his feet. Little did we know he had a master! And the master did not ‘officially’ recognize him. Theatrics?
Alhaji Garba Shehu continues the march of the CPC over the APC apparatus when he writes,
“…As a result of their (Lai Mohammed, Joe Igbokwe et al) publications, expectations have been raised unreasonably”. Wow! And now they tell Goebbels to Shut up! Really.
“…that as President, Muhammadu Buhari will wave his hand and all the problems that the country faces- insecurity, corruption, unemployment, poor infrastructure would go away.” Take that! Joe Igbokwe. And hold your peace forever. And, who are you, again?” Ouchhh”.
“...But that notwithstanding, President Buhari has given the job his best shot, and majority of Nigerians are saying that we never had it so good.” Which Nigerians? The Arewa is basking in self-congratulation, at finally regaining the saddle. The Afenifere is puzzled at how the Jagaban Tinubu got outsmarted. Ohanaeze is visibly worried, shouting from the roof tops to anybody who may hear. The Ijaws are clearly confused.” How may we re-align?” Edwin Clark is done. So much for his reach.
“He has re- instituted the values of hard work and administrative efficiency.” Fear cannot form or become the cornerstone of Governance. Ask Chile’s General Pinochet, or the Argentinian Generals. Sooner or later, the people will tell you who they are.
“He didn’t put a Kobo to finance the power sector.” The Truth shall set you free. How nice to acknowledge ex-President Jonathan for once.
“Yet, reading his body language alone and knowing that there are things you cannot do and get away with under Buhari, electricity supply all over the countries has risen to unprecedented heights.” I cannot defer my dance classes anymore. Kai!. Who knew body language could provide instant electricity. Wallahi! I hope my body language does the same thing for my pocketbook. A little dance-move and I’ll be in money 24/7. The Tango, anyone!
Buhari needs no honey-moon. He has been there before. He had 30 years to think through what he did wrong. If this is what 30 years of soul-searching would do for Nigeria, The Nigerian State itself is really in for some serious soul-searching. Buhari clearly has difficulty with organizing multi-ethnic societies. His approach is a recipe for Yugoslavia. Though he bids for a united Nigeria, Buhari does not forget we are ethnics first. His brief administrative political presentation lends credence to that. Satisfy your ethnic base first, Then, Maybe then, listen to the other ethnic constituents. A No-No, Or, a Yes, Yes. Other ethnic groups are waiting or their due recognition and compensation. It’d better be good. However, Nigeria Submitting our Nigerian files for an Arewa review, cannot become the change we sought. No matter their findings, good or bad, Nigerians will have difficulty dismissing the parochial nature of Buhari’s reviews and probes. There goes all the credibility.
It’s a failed 100 days. Buhari has only succeeded in raising the anxieties in our country again. It is 1966 without the ethnic slaughter. Buhari cannot pretend the ignorance. Nzeogwu’s putsch failed because of a perceived ethnic bent despite all its lofty ideals. The patriarch of Nigerian coups – General T.Y Danjuma did not buy into any of Ironsi’s stuff because of the parochial tinge. In 2015, Buhari is doing a copy cat for the North. Other ethnic Nigerians are not fooled.
Oh! and wait, The next APC convention will be fun. Real fun. And Yes!, the barbarians will be at the gate.