Posted by Mayowa Okekale | 4 March 2016 | 3,820 times
The ecstatic feeling that our dear President Muhammadu Buhari has turned a tourist – having entered the inner-room of the Holy Ka’aba in Saudi Arabia – is no news to vulnerable Nigerians. That is originally what we know, as such is no news to common men. I am speaking from the angle of needs of Nigerians, but not the pleasure being enjoyed by Mr President.
But, when close to a year those expecting the good news of the Change promised are beginning to doubt the efficacy of the change mantra, such news becomes a pain. As for those who are still expecting the Chibok girls, such news becomes increasingly disturbing. Currently, the Nigerian currency is in a quagmire, and Nigerians want to see it appreciate again, even rapidly. The point I am trying to buttress is this: such a development means nothing to our people when, in this period of heat, they cannot enjoy five hours of electricity supply of the 24 hours in a day. Yes, it is as bad as that. And yet, the leader from whom much is expected has taken so much time in a travelling escapade, for over eight months. Is it the desired change when government approved 40 per cent hike in electricity tariff? Thank Goodness for the Labour protest and the National Assembly’s response. We all fought for the rejection, anyway. But it is very disheartening that the Federal Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, SAN, threatened a black-out across the country, if Nigerians fail to accede to such imposition.
The news of the President’s travelling escape equally means nothing to those underprivileged citizens whose houses are on fire in the face of the economic downturn. In fact, it is news of agony to those who cannot afford a sachet of water, which now sells for N20 in some states. From what I learnt in Development Communication, at the University of Ibadan, I can boldly state that the President has not been moving on the path of development or Change, which he promised Nigerians. Nigerians are now beginning to realise that the Change which was promised nine months ago is far from being accessed. I humbly challenge our President to tour the states to see and personally understand the plight of his citizens. He should stop travelling to where they don't even value 'a country of criminals', as Nigeria is called (as he confessed recently).
Even if our President uses all the money we are supposed to be managing to develop our dying country to tour the world for four years, romancing them to visit here to invest, they will not. I am very sure of that. They have common sense and would not act arbitrarily. These people are human beings, and they think.
However, can we judge this from the value of what we have here to invite foreign investors? Do we have the wherewithal to make them stay? Are the infrastructural facilities available to entice them to stay? What are our economic policies which could convince the foreign investors to stay in Nigeria? These are some of the things which should have been worked upon and achieved to gain the hearts of investors. I can also boldly state that the Oyo State Government under Senator Abiola Ajimobi has exerted all possible means to attract foreign investors to the state, but all to no avail. All the projects he embarked upon then, which the people of the state found very offensive and threatening, are now abandoned. This is to say that, as a country, we lack the solid framework and will to actualise dreams.
Nigerians want to see Change! And President Buhari should give them that desired change. The All Progressives Congress (APC) government should desist from lies and propaganda. They should get down to business. Nigerians are yet to understand why they have voted for change. Therefore, the new leaders in government have to double their efforts to make this a dream come true.
•Mayowa Okekale, whose photo appears alongside this piece, is Abuja Correspondent o
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