A Simple Scorecard


Lekan Fatodu

The troubling situation that we so much dreaded has come upon us. The long predicted hardship, based on which many urged President Muhammadu Buhari to hasten up on economic decisions at the inception of his administration is here with us. And all the signs keep showing red. It is danger here, and panic there.

Everyday, the public is treated to unpalatable tales of suicide, depression and other debilitating diseases that have largely been attributed to the current harsh economic state of the nation.

Recently, a 50-year-old father of two was reported to have taken his life. Before embarking on the cruel journey to eternity, the man wrote a suicide note, in which he stated that he had no better choice since he could not cater for his family any longer due to the hardship in the country.

Similarly, some members of the underworld have started exploiting the situation as an alibi for their evil and criminal ventures.

Of course, this is what happens when a government tarries in maximising the goodwill and popular energy that brought it to power. When it takes too long to make critical economic plans. And when the public is constantly made to rely on third-party sources of information, usually distorted or inaccurate, on vital developments in governance due to laxity of the government’s information machinery.

And it is the actual reason it was deemed as deliberate acts of wickedness and sabotage particularly on the parts of those who were close to the ears of President Buhari when this government came in, and the president was persuaded by genuinely concerned citizens to get hasty and proactive on his humongous assignment of changing the life of the nation. But some self-serving allies and supporters argued that the President should not be rushed to action.
Whereas being hasty for a purpose is an acceptable practice and practicable work mode for governments in countries where such actions are needed like the Nigeria handed to Buhari in May 2015.

That’s why everyone appears disinterested in the unrelenting reference to the bad performance or crippled economy left behind by Buhari’s predecessor.

It is a known fact, and has been proven severally, that even in ruins there are dogged and excellent builders. And the history of leadership, from both the developed and developing world, is full of exemplary leaders and nation-builders who rescued their countries from total collapse and positioned it on the path to prosperity without constantly resorting to the mismanagement or failures of their past administrators.

The purpose of which the overwhelming majority voted for a change was clearly because they knew their precious baby under the care of her former minder was suffering from chronic malnutrition and living under conditions inimical to growth.

The statement was clear. With their votes, the people had called for a more competent and able hand that will not look back but get on the job in ensuring that the immune system of the baby is improved and is nurtured in a better atmosphere that will develop her great potential.

So it will seem very lame and suspicious; or a tacit demonstration of incapacitation when defence for inactions is consistently premised on the failures of the immediate past administration which essentially was the purpose of having Buhari as the new captain of the ship of nation.

Not a few knew that President Barack Obama assumed office in the midst of the worst depression in almost 100 years that threatened the socio-economic life and capacity of the U.S.

But instead of passing the buck or going for the blame game, Obama simply pulled himself by his bootstraps, rolled up his sleeves and got to work. Hastily. The U.S. President was not just seen prancing up and down the air-stairs of Air Force One for the fun of it. He knew he needed to get the job done; and very quickly.

And the outcomes of that attitude are right before us in what America has become under Obama’s change movement.
Undoubtedly, Buhari has wowed Nigerians and the world with his fight against corruption. Even as many look forward to the convictions of the suspected corrupt elements, no government has exposed the sheer greed, ridiculous selfishness and thieving-tendencies of Nigeria’s political and economic elites as his government has done so far.
But many Nigerians are presently shattered by the government’s actions on the economy. A simple scorecard from the populace will give a true picture of things instead of the usually poorly conducted, and badly doctored index on development and armchair assessments from lazy aides of the president.

By this, I mean a painfully realistic report sheet that highlights the growing hunger in the country; swelling statistics of countrymen forced into depression and, subsequently, on suicide missions.

Such a report will bring to fore the predicament of those who are routinely embarking on the dangerous Mediterranean sea-route in an attempt to escape from the hardship in the land. And the renewed efforts of some professionals to seek greener pastures abroad which will inevitably have adverse impact on the national life by widening the gap in the country’s scanty knowledge-economy space.

The foregoing and more are the dangers the government need to hurriedly avert. They can serve as triggers for more proactive undertakings on governance and veritable yardsticks by which performance can be duly measured.