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Buhari’s 100-Day Honeymoon

In the heat of the recent noise about gay rights and related issues in some Western countries, Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe, proposed to marry the United States President, Barack Obama. If Obama had accepted, perhaps, the two presidents would have ended up enjoying a fantastic honeymoon now.

When our own President, Muhammadu Buhari, visited the US recently, the issue of gay marriage also came up. Of course, our President rejected the idea. If he had accepted, perhaps, Obama might have asked him to extend his stay in the US. And that would have been honeymoon made in heaven.

This was the scenario playing in my mind when I read what Bola Ahmed Tinubu said about Buhari being on honeymoon for 100 days. The former Lagos State governor and national leader of the All Progressives Congress reportedly said, “May 29th was when this president was sworn in. It is an international norm all over the world; there is honeymoon period, at least minimum of 100 days honeymoon. ..

The time it takes you to plan, examine, rejig, re-evaluate is more important than the time you just rush into taking action because you are either being sentimental, being emotional and being driven by other forces that are not expected.” In a way, Tinubu is correct. As the saying goes, he who fails to plan,   plans to fail.

There is no successful enterprise that is not anchored on adequate planning. Highly successful entrepreneurs build their businesses on a solid foundation called business plan, which encompasses feasibility study, cash-flow analysis, sources of funding, revenue projections and many others.

Those who rush into business they know nothing about crash like a dilapidated aircraft. I experienced it myself after my youth service in 1993/94. I said I was not going to work for anybody and thus dabbled in a business I knew next to nothing about. By the time I realised my follies, my song had changed from “Abraham’s blessings are mine” to “abide with me, o Lord”. Likewise, the business of governance is not a tea party.

It demands rigorous and painstaking plans and strategies. That is why before anybody presents himself for elections, he must have done some form of feasibility studies about the position he aspires to occupy. He must have studied the problems of the society and how to tackle them. This could come in form of a manifesto. Buhari is not a novice in the business of governance. He had been there before. For three consecutive times, he contested elections to rule Nigeria. Now, he was elected in March and sworn in on May 29, 2015.

Honeymoons usually last for about one month. We have spent two months already and the ruling party is still giving excuses and engineering fights in the National Assembly. This is unacceptable. Nigerians are not asking their president to clear the systemic rot that has afflicted the country for ages in just two months. They are not asking him to complete the Second Niger Bridge within 100 days in office. They are not protesting against the non-completion of the Benin-Ore Expressway.

They are not angry that we don’t yet have electricity 24 hours a day. But they are wondering why the spate of insecurity has worsened in the last two months. The coming of Buhari gave hope that Boko Haram would soon be a thing of the past. In fact, the ruling party promised that it would root out the monster in two months of assuming power. But what have we seen so far? A monster that has made life a nightmare for Nigerians, especially in the North-East. Not only has the spate of suicide bombings increased, but also the number of deaths arising from the activities of the terrorists has risen astronomically.

Our president had met with his Chadian and Nigerien counterparts. Last Wednesday, he met with President Paul Biya of Cameroon and is billed to meet with President Boni Yayi of Benin Republic tomorrow to round off diplomatic shuttles aimed at clipping the wings of the terrorists. The president’s visit to the US also featured discussions on Boko Haram. So far, these shuttles have not yielded much dividend but we have been assured that they soon will. For many compatriots, the honeymoon is getting too long.

And that is why many Nigerians have continued to wonder why there is much delay in the appointment of ministers. It does not require rocket science to make such appointments. But the president has made us understand that he is still searching for the right people and that the list will not be ready until September.

This has put the ministries in a state of uncertainty. Will it also take three months to appoint the Secretary to the Government of the Federation? This is hoping that this particular honeymoon will end in September as promised. If it takes us this long to appoint ministers, how long will it now take to realise the N5000 monthly upkeep the ruling party promised unemployed Nigerians?

What of the one million jobs in the first one year in office and the free food for students? How long will we wait to begin to reap these benefits? Remember that the president had earlier expressed some reservations about celebrating hundred days in office. He too feels the period is too short to judge him. I agree. But Nigerians are dying. They demand faster approach to solving their problems. I only hope we will celebrate this year’s 100 days with more smiles than excuses.


-CASMIR IGBOKWE e-mail: casmir.igbokwe@theunion.com.ng

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