TODAY, I will be falling on cheap stereotype by labelling President Muhammadu Buhari differently. My old world obsession for him and his vision have to collapse and give way to intelligent re-narrativisation of the ongoing social and economic nightmare staring Nigeria on the face. Call it reality check or bullish truth you are there!!! Certainties have to be re-examined when you take into consideration the drowning discontents of Nigerians who are openly saying that the president has muzzled their expectations for a better, richer and prosperous nation where lack is a thing of the past.
For 16 years under the profligate PDP, Nigerians lived and enjoyed a double life of waste and deceit. Stolen money was everywhere. Nigerians could afford to rub two thousand notes together. Yam, tomato, pepper, sugar, milk, potato, rice, beans, yam flour, gari, meat, poultry, eggs, bread, bags, shoes, clothes, electricity tariff, house rent, transport cost, pens, stationeries and even pure water were easily available under ex-President Goodluck Jonathan. Jonathan’s hyperdemocratic age ushered in plenty and Nigerians lapped up the luxury of living in a relative period of ease. Nigerians craved for indulgence and Jonathan obliged us by acting as a Godfather who could fix anything.
By the time Nigerians had their big break from the rule of Jonathan and his profligate style of governance, daily needs and other modern conveniences were relatively stabled.
What really brought down Jonathan was the rising tide of political hubris fed by stories of hyper-corruption that later acted as the main wrecker of his government. We mourned his government demise and also demonized most of his serving ministers as scums who did nothing but stole and stole until they were thrown out. Money was deployed to reassert the political clout of an incumbent president. Nigerians have made up their mind. They have had enough of a wasteful spender.
By May 29 2015, President Mohammadu Buhari sailed into our political universe. Nigerians recognized the complexities of the issues besetting them and promptly gave Buhari the mandate to challenge and demolish the old corruption orthodoxies that had caged them. He was seen as a man who could cause impolite political and social disturbance and get away with it. Buhari came as a man abundantly programmed to loath thieves, looters, and fight corruption and he did it to our cheering applause.
However, by the time he began to shake the ugly pillars of this nation, Nigerians went into a shock mode. We started to tremble and later bemoaned the loss of our beloved Jonathan who gave us access to affordable commodities in our various markets.
President Buhari’s vision is to repair our damage foundation but today majority of Nigerians still want to live like fattened mice. Buhari wants to usher in a period of painful craft of moral honesty but Nigerians are looking for the possibility of returning to the old ways of rubbing two thousand naira notes together. They are awake from their slumberand now praying for the return of bygone days when yam, tomato, pepper, sugar, milk, potato, rice, beans, yam flour, gari, meat, poultry, eggs, bread, bags, shoes, clothes, electricity tariff, house rent, transport cost, pens, stationeries and even pure water were easily available under ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.
Today, historical amnesia seems to have settled down so hard and fast on our collective memories and everywhere you go people are asking Buhari for their change.
Today the businessman/woman, teachers, market women, civil servants, students, artisans and even prostitutes are talking of the coming of a messy democracy that has crumble their hopes and dreams. Buhari’s political encounter has made survival harder than under Jonathan. Money is harder to come by under this Sheriff. Buhari is today seen as a leader who introduced into our society a sadist’s serving of unenduring pain, poverty, deprivation and hunger. People are looking for way to carve a tunnel of hope through this unending series of disappointments.
President Buhari, where is our change? We need our change to buy cheap foodstuffs and send our kids to school. We need our change to afford cheap accommodation. We need our change to survive the gruesome economic climate that is decimating our dignity and turning us into beggars. We need our change to live a more decent life as Nigerians. We need our change to pay staff salaries. We need our change to eat Turkey meat again.
We need our change to be able to drink cheap water. We need our change to rebuild our battered businesses that have stagnated due to scarce circulation of naira. We need our change to ride out of our current high level of inflation.
In a twist to our political tale, Nigerians who sent ex-President Goodluck Jonathan southward to Otueke are clamoring for his heroic return. Now…yes, now…now!!! They see in Jonathan the good old days of cheapies, abundance and profligate living. Even though Jonathan did not promise any change, Nigerians are yearning for the lost paradise under him. They are yearning for the mutually beneficialsocial commodities that were readily available under him but today are luxuries for the few. Business owners who were rolling in money and businesses under Jonathan cannot wait to have him back on the presidential saddle. Jonathan is fast becoming a subject of fascination and nostalgia among millions of Nigerians who had it so good during his presidency.
Nigerians are demanding for a change not for a cage. The idealism of change is becoming a cage for majority of Nigerians and the realistic expectations of a better life seems like a fading hope. President Buhari, where is my change?
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