By Kehinde Amusan
As the sun sets on the first four years of President Muhammadu Buhari’s democratic reign today, some deplorable events have gone unheard. Many of those heard lay unattended to before the concluded Buhari’s first administration. In fact, today’s inauguration of the ‘people’s choice’ brings unusual worries to the minds of many, who have been paying keen attention to the unpromising events unfolding in recent time.
About the entire month of May, which sees off the change-tagged administration of Buhari, is claimed by too many events of insecurity, specifically, ranging from kidnapping to day-light robbery. Even with the widely open eyes of the nation’s commander-in-chief, who once sworn to protect the governed, the perpetual demon of insecurity continues to besiege the country like it was with the people of Owu, who are now mentioned in history and during moonlight stories.
Unfortunately, these events leave its victims with tormenting implications. Such or similar words as: insecurity, abduction or kidnapping, gunmen, bandit, robbery, and ransom are spread limitlessly across headlines of daily news since the month began. It is so funny that Nigerians, who were not familiar with some of these words before the month began, are now overtly over-tutored by the daily news. Though the troubles of the insurgence, boko haram and the Fulani herdsmen are not novel in the country, we hope the current trend of insecurity, precisely the kidnapping incidents, would not be another unvented fart in the country’s masquerade vest.
It is more unfortunate when insecurity is not only all that put the country in the care of Buhari on a sour, tough and jeopardized growth, but also the country’s economic status (GDP), currently 2.0 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2019, “easing from a 2.4 per cent expansion in the previous period and below market expectations of 2.1 per cent, mainly due to a steeper contraction in the country’s oil sector”, according to National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) as summarily reported on Trading Economics (TE) website.
The report added that, “on a quarterly basis, the economy shrank 13.8 per cent, after a 5.3 percent growth in the last quarter of 2018. It is the steepest contraction in GDP since the March quarter of 2016.
“The oil sector shrank 2.4 percent in the three-months to March of 2019, after contracting 1.6 per cent in the prior period.” Consequently, the oil sector accounted for 9.1 percent of GDP compared to 9.6 percent a year ago.
Mind you, we import a large proportion of crude oil. It was reported on December 9, 2018 by Daniel Adugbo on ICIR, how this imported, not thoroughly refined, dirty fuel emptied Nigerian car owners’ purses because of the high quantity of sulfur contained in it that knocked down vehicles’ engines, produced thick emission of cars’ exhaust and denied many Nigerians of safe breathing. This really questions how intelligently Nigeria is being led. For hard work not done smartly only becomes a very hard work with no tangible outcome; little wonder the Nigeria economy keeps rising and falling terribly with loud and disturbing noises like the sea tides.
I am not dumbfounded the president would assume the acting Inspector General of Police’s (IGP) loss of weight to be a result of hard work on security, when recently, gunmen and kidnappers activities seem the best job in the country with its veracity and receipt of over a million ransom. To our dismal, that sum seems pretty handsome for unemployed Nigerians, who according to TE, “increased to 23.10 per cent in the third quarter of 2018 from 22.70 per cent in the second quarter of 2018.
“Unemployment rate in Nigeria averaged 12.31 per cent from 2006 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 23.10 per cent in the third quarter in 2018 and a record low of 5.10 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2010.”
If the Federal Government is asked how unemployment is being tackled in the country, their response would possibly be “N-Power is doing a great job in settling such issue.” Meanwhile, it is not enough a solution and does little in solving unemployment issue in the country, partly because those employed in N-Teach, the most popular of the National Social Investment Programmes (N-SIP), are only so for a very short time. Very soon, in a matter of two years, they would most likely become jobless again.
Also, an undercover report of Taiwo Adebulu on January 10, on TheCable, exposed the decay of N-Power and how billions of naira expended on it went down the drain due to lack of strict monitoring of some of the beneficiaries’ activities in their Primary Place of Assignment (PPA), where their absence was not noticed, and “have found their way to beat the system in a way that fetched them side money.”
On N-power, does the Federal Government not know that temporal solution to a problem would later haul back more of such problem in mighty folds and make the proffered solution to it unreasonable in the first instance? Why don’t we think like an entrepreneur would, by strategizing ways in which vocations and self-employment of most Nigerians would bring us a safer and better future?
We are only a fool of our non ideal thought, if we keep trying the same mechanism and expect a bit of different result. Must we keep trying and depending on strategies that keep failing us and ruining a better and safer future of the country? How much diversified is Nigeria’s economy? How much secured is the country not warred by external forces? Honestly, these are questions the concluding administration would leave unanswered, but promised to answer when the unforthcoming ‘Change’ is over and the ‘Next Level’ resumes.
Truly, an IGP’s loss of weight with nothing worthwhile to show for it, the president health trips and four years gone without us smelling the promised ‘Change’ are partly because Nigerians and their leaders dwell more on problems than solutions to it. Too much undeserved thoughts about problems make the mind heavy, whereas, much thought about solutions free the mind of heaviness and enhances the needed focus in solving problems.
Truth be told, it is not as easy as it has been said, because every proffered solution to any problem dangles on a good leadership, inclusive of the grass root level; a bad leadership strays far away from any way forward to a problem, even when he attempts approaching it. Nigerians, who are at the receiving end of the extant problems, are not excluded in making the proffered solution viable and worthwhile.
Indeed, Buhari’s re-election has massively expressed the faith Nigerians have in his leadership, pardoning him for failure to bring them change, although, now promised to bring them next level. Even with the unpromising events that closely precede his renewed tenure, there is little we can do in assuaging the trending pains of insecurity.
However, there is more we can do with our supports and faiths in him, who is the choice of our decisions. If our decision is regretted, Yoruba adage would console us and say – angrily throwing a knife away because it cut one’s skin will not heal the wound; the deed is done! The cut we received from the knife would only make us more careful with it next time.
Kehinde Amusan writes in from University of Ibadan via firstname.lastname@example.org