As we celebrate President Muhammadu Buhari’s return to work after an extended vacation, it is time again to take stock of how the country has fared under his watch. Before anything else, it can be conveniently held without equivocation that ever since, none in the country has slept with two eyes closed. Ranging from excesses against the norms of the rule of law to various downgrades on many fields of our national existence, the populace has, to say the least, been steaming in a stew of ambivalence. To wit: though all are agreed that they voted for change, most could not readily avow whether what now obtains amounts to it.
Going back, it must be admitted that he had started on the best of footings. But from the almost overnight stabilization of the polity shortly after his inauguration – aptly ascribed to his sheer body language – the country was to plunge into an economic downturn with hardly any precedence going back to as much as two decades. So much that up until now our economy is still precipitated in the doldrums of recession. One so devastating that at a point it neared that posted when the nation was at war.
Then did what amounted to a blame game sweep the airwaves of our polity. At a time it stretched back to the termination of Mr President’s brief reign as military head-of-state in a place coup by his erstwhile colleagues. The much of them, though, were heaped on his immediate past predecessor. While it lingered, his odd six-year tenure apart, he stood to be blamed for almost every ill that has befallen the country since independence.
All that notwithstanding, it appears as though the stage is now clear for the current administration to carry on with the job at hand. Apparently undeterred by distractions, now more than ever, they appear ready to work for the change we voted for. With the brief respite brought by the assumption of the office of Acting President by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, once more there is the hope that the past eaten up by the locusts we perpetrate in our power bases may yet be replenished.
Put otherwise, once more the hope is strong that our country is on course; that whenever the present regime is mentioned in the annals of our history, it will not be missed out that it was them that brought us back from the brink of oblivion. Like has been variously pointed out in many a fora and symposia, this would never have come to pass but for one man: President Muhammadu Buhari. Guided by his life-long belief that the nation’s commonwealth was not one to be frittered away by happy-go-lucky politicians, he it was who single-handedly established the war against corruption that has now brought a sense of sanity to our body politic. Added to this, he has also defied his failing health to see to it that the effort is not derailed midway by the fight back launched against it by those being pursued.
We can go on, but suffice it to note that as much as his message as he sought the coveted office was pleasing, never could it have made him win all the votes at stake in the election. As is indeed the manner of all electoral processes the world over, all he needed do was win the majority votes cast in a good enough spread of the country. Consequently, that the election by which he assumed office was not a landslide matters less in the circumstances.
However, the fact that this has led to a dichotomy that has appeared to obliterate the good works on hand ought to be condemned by all the patriots in the land. All the more so, given that it had managed to somehow peter into the president’s deserved leave of absence. Suddenly, everybody that as much as calls for the fairest of details concerning the president’s state of health is counted among his detractors who never saw anything good in his body as well as spoken language by his helmsmen. The effort, more often than not, was seen as an unwarranted intrusion into his private affairs.
We at The AUTHORITY believe that this ought not to be so construed. It needs to be pointed out that much as there is an inherent pride in one being the Number One citizen of his country, there is also an undeniable price to be paid for it. There is no iota of doubt that a certain percentage of the population of this country fervently prayed – knees or heads bowed – for the recovery of the president while he was away. And amongst these, we daresay, number the many that wanted follow-ups.
Welcome back to work, Mr. President. The country needs positive results.