Not many people will think twice before answering the above question in the affirmative mode. This is understandable. The myriad of problems facing Nigerians, ironically at a time they thought they were very near the Promised Land, is enough to wonder whether or not Nigerians were actually right in their choice of a new president last year.
Indeed, I have heard and read, on the social media, a new campaign: #Bring Back Our Corruption. And the argument is that if with the monumental corruption of the previous government, we had petrol, inflation was single digit, U.S Dollar was about N200 and available, the electricity companies could still provide light for about six to 10 hours a day, and the general econometrics of life were yet attainable, then we should have that brand of corruption and let life continue. Those who hold this belief argue that Buhari’s fight against corruption, apart from appearing as the mono-agenda of his government, has not translated in any way to better life for the people both for those who voted for him and those who didn’t.
I must admit that the arguments are indeed tempting.
Matters are not helped by the fact that President Buhari’s legs seem to have been whipped by the spirits, hence he keeps junketing round the world and cannot stay at home to solve our crushing problems, especially the fuel scarcity menace , even as he is the substantive Petroleum minister.
Those who are a little uncharitable liken him to Emperor Nero who sat atop his courtyard fiddling away while Rome burnt.
As one who deeply believes in the Buhari ideology of Change and his ascetic disposition, I have been buffeted by calls, and enquiries, some of them in open mockery, on the “foolishness” of the “Change” we clamoured for. They settle for the lousy cliché that “the devil you know is better than the angel you don’t know”. The devil in this case being former President Goodluck Jonathan while the unknown angel is President Buhari. Everyday, wherever I turn, it is a heated and drawn argument.
But as bitter and harsh as our experiences may be, I see the rising of the sun. The sun that will brighten our days and light up our lives. The sun that will usher in a new dawn and give us a new lease of life and hope. It is natural for people to resist change. It is even worse when the said change comes with long and sharp spikes.
Yet, I know that the “glory of the latter House shall be greater than the former” Things will get better.
My conviction is built on the Jarikre phenomenon.
Jarikre is an Urhobo word that literally means “it is suffering that appears to last long”. And so it is, for the nearly one month that Nigerians have been going through hell sourcing petrol, it looks like eternity. Nigerians have truly had it to their hilt.
It is perhaps trite restating the fact that the current mess Nigerians are wading through is part of the miasma of inefficiency inherited from past governments.
Yes, the argument can be made that it is because of the sordid performance of the Jonathan administration that the Buhari administration was voted into power with steaming ululation from the Nigerian voters. But almost one year after, the Buhari administration does not seem to have come to grips with the reparative work it elected to fix. And Nigerians are getting impatient not only with the state d’affaires but also with the poor information flow from those who should reassure Nigerians of what indeed is happening.
But more discerning persons do know that the country was deep in monumental mess. Sometimes, I wonder what our collective fate would have been if Jonathan won that election.
Yes, so much money has been recovered and more are still being recovered from the treasury looters of yesteryears. The amount of financial malfeasance of the past is unimaginable.
It strips some of the past leaders of whatever honour left of them. Even the recent revelations of the Panama Papers are quite very telling.
Many quick-fix ‘experts’ are wont to ask what has been done with the recovered loots. In times past, loots had been re-looted. But I dare say that such cannot or would not happen in this regime.
If nothing else, the Buhari administration has been able to tame the monster called impunity.
I am certain that when all the lousy litigations of some of the recovered loots have been settled, the recovered loots will be ploughed into bettering the lives of Nigerians in very specific ways and manners that can be identified, seen and touched.
My belief in Buhari’s capacity to revamp and redirect the Nigerian economy remains unshaken. I believe that soon as the petroleum product supply normalizes in a matter of days, and electricity supply improves, the economy will recover from the present inertia.
Nigeria will be like a shrub cut down but ready to regenerate, trying to sprout forth from all the buds.
My hope for a better tomorrow is not diminished by the present challenges, so long as we do not depart from the path of national recovery and redemption.
My philosophical interpretation of this phase of our experience is that we are suffering at the moment so we can secure a better tomorrow. A friend countered this by saying that are the same sermon he had heard all his life, right from his primary school days where the gospel of “belt tightening “ has continually been preached. He asked: “when shall this belt ever be loosened?”
So back to the Jarikre phenomenon, I am confident that by the time the teething problems of this administration have been addressed and we seemingly float into a new order of reprieve, Nigerians are very likely going to forget the present sufferings and hardships. The bliss of tomorrow will wipe away the tears of today.
When that happens, the lesson of the Jarikre phenomenon would have been fully achieved.