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Calming the tide, Buhari’s antidote ~ by Usman Koli


There was a moment when almost all the citizens glued to their televisions and President Muhammadu Buhari appeared to address the Nation over the then ongoing #EndSARS protest nationwide. “The spreading of deliberate falsehood and misinformation through the social media in particular, that this government is oblivious to the pains and plight of its citizens is a ploy to mislead the unwary within and outside Nigeria into unfair judgement and disruptive behaviour.” Buhari said.

This lanky man has always been guilty of always smiling with his open teeth and for the frown on his face. Standing tall as a generalissimo in his “babariga”, Buhari is an uncommon president. He served his country as a young military officer and rose to the rank of a general in the Army before he retired and joined politics.

He is the second in the history of Nigeria to rule country twice first as a head of state and currently as the democratically elected president. This Fulani man, popularly known as “Mai Gaskiya”, Mr. integrity, can be tagged the most beloved politician ever that Nigerians love with their lives and took as an icon of change and hope.

Unfortunately, the President may remain adamant on his strictness to save his integrity but the system and conditions have changed which made things worse under both his administrations. The consequences of his actions and inactions make things look as if Buhari’s integrity has been stained.

As a country, our only hope in 2015 was to see Mr. President as number one citizen of the country which all of us would be given the credit. Afterwards, we all thought things would be better as much expected. Yes, we have witnessed some changes beyond what’s used to be. To say a little, agricultural sector has received boost. He has been trying to improve on citizens’ welfare, providing jobs opportunities to youths, developmental milestones projects such as roads, hospitals, schools and much more.

Well, we all know that when there are successes, there must be challenges. Many viewpoints of the citizens under the Baba administration may not be more than insecurities all over, especially Northern states, failed economy, gap of communications and more especially his appointees some have disconnected from the people at the grassroots. Moreover, the 8th National Assembly had been a bottleneck. Budget padding saga and lots of dramas.

All the blame was then shifted to Buhari back then. Boko Haram had since been existing since 2009 and have been ravaging the soil and blood of the North Eastern part of the country. killing thousands of innocent people, destroyed many households, raped women and children are avoidably made orphans. But all the Boko Haram atrocities look new to Nigerians under Buhari. We forgot that it’s under his administration that all those LGAs in Borno were recaptured.

Please get this straight: I’m not a die-hard follower of Buhari. But I felt like we are not being fair to Buhari alone as a person. He made the best cabinets ever –very resource persons. I blame them here for not delivering as expected and remain mute to Buhari’s critics. Some may be exaggerating things from behind. Constructive criticism is welcome anyway, like such.

I remember when someone at the top level around 2016 from the opposition once said: “Had it been Buhari didn’t win the 2015 election, Nigeria would have economically collapsed”. The country since independence started growing as a stillbirth nation when in 1980 the country started far better. Until now, things aren’t normal. Who is deliberately causing this?

Conclusively, let’s be fair and honest with ourselves, let the change begin with all of us. This gentleman may have shown bravery and courage. As a mentor to some, Buhari is the only option at hand now, whether we criticize or support him, he is still there. I want to draw the attention of his cabinet, governors and lawmakers to play above political lines and assist the President to deliver his campaign promises. We know how stubborn the country has become.

About the #Endsars saga, that has become a discussion for the day. The demand was granted by the Federal government as requested; SARS has been scrapped, but the protests continue. Some are calling for the President’s resignation despite all his efforts to make things better especially in the southern states where he executed many projects.

Politics and tribalism may be the reason to that in Nigeria as the giant of Africa.

Now, many government’s and individuals property has been vandalized by the protesters, even though I refused to believe the #Endsars campaigners are responsible for the destructions. Hoodlums may have taken advantage of the situation. Here, as a Nigeria, to protests may not be the only way to get things under control.

With all these issues, we blame Buhari. Yes as a person, Buhari can make mistakes. But, remember that we are in a democratic era, our governors, reps, senators, ministers have a vital role to play in ensuring our well being as a country. Let us channel our calls to them, let them be addressing issues affecting us. They’re more closer to us than the President .

Mr. President, sir, I must recommend your efforts in putting things to order any time something of concern arises. I want to appeal to you to look in to the matters at hand especially North insurgency and redefine your strategies to free the country from all sort of insurgency, Lets see the Army morales in you sir. Let the integrity rise up again.

If you will agree with me, I will advice you to have liaison officers across states. The officers will be the intermediate board between the masses and the government. Hunger and poverty can make people react badly and negatively; reconsider your decision of border closure, open it for some months if not at all. Then enforce strict rules.

Our youths have stayed for long without going to schools, this may trigger their anger, call ASUU to order, sit and discuss with them and proffer a solution and reopens all tertiary institutions and give free scholarships to students.

To my fellow Nigerians, lets forget enmity, hatred and ethnic or religious sentiment, where the government did well we should appreciate it, where it goes wrong, we should constructively call on their attention by using sensitive means or through our traditions.

We can’t always blame, accuse, abuse them blindly that’s why we don’t see goodness in them. Pray and support the government by charging yourself to be good ambassador.

Let’s maintain peace and unity as brothers keepers, let’s always pray for our country and our leaders. The God in heaven will surely make Nigeria a better place for all of us again. Remember prayer is the key to success.

Usman Abdullahi Koli, writes from Mass Communication Department, Abubakar Tatari Ali Polytechnic Bauchi; mernoukoli@gmail.com.

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