Friday, June 26, 2015

Opinion:Executive stalemate: Nigeria’s new regime grounded in confusion

             ...Choosing a wheelbarrow as an official car does not make a president morally decent and fiscally astute; it only exposes his ignorance to issues of fiscal policies.

Unable to choose his working team, Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari has been struggling to kick-off a regime he bragged so much about. The All Progressives Congress APC, it may be recalled, ran an electioneering race projecting their candidate, now the president, as a fiscally astute conservative who would curb corruption and appropriately manage the country’s economic and financial resources. The masses at this time are getting something entirely different.
While Buhari, a former dictator backflips with official duties in a representative system unfamiliar to his individual aptitude, his camp has been busy showcasing him with falsehood and deceptive fairy tales. To substitute for total lack of answers for his regime catastrophe, the APC social media warriors have been feeding disappointed masses with some worthless cock-and-bull tales of what is now termed the ‘Buhari Wonders.”

The first fake story to justify Buhari’s humility, and considerateness to money matters came during the government transition period, when the APC claimed that predecessor, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan presented a billion naira budget for delegates’ lunch, but Buhari the “good money-manager” declined any expenses, saying that his transition team would bring their own lunch. Meanwhile this president was in London at the time on a controversial mission not properly communicated to his constituents.
A similar story yet made it to the network from the Buhari’s camp on how during the South Africa’s trip, Buhari paid the hotel bills for his staff, and asked the rest of the entourage to pay their own bills. This was a president yet to name a single staff till date. The propaganda continued with another rumor that hundreds of politicians, including the Petroleum Minister, Alison-Madueke had returned billions of Dollars stolen from the government – because they were afraid of Buhari the “respected honest money-keeper” and disciplinarian.
It is despicable that at this crucial time in the regime, the APC social media ensemble, running out of Buhari praise-worship songs are busy telling self-indulgent stories including comparing Buhari and Jonathan’s cars, use of presidential jets, Buhari’s choice of transportation, and ostensibly his suya flavor. But how long would they continue to feed the masses with these tommyrots.
As I write, the Buhari’s camp in the social media are still tagging around senseless stories about Buhari opting to fly in the economy class over first class; or choosing Okada over official convoy; or proposing to be eating on the floor instead of an official dining table; or heading to Alhaji Suya "bukateria" for his inauguration dinner rather than the traditional Aso-Rock in-house executive banquet.
Major questions remain – when would Nigerians start getting substantial information about the running of the government? Where are the ‘missing girls’? When is this ‘change’ going to start? Where is the unemployment salaries? Where are Buhari’s ministers? Who has been making all decisions so far? Is this still a democracy?
Indeed, Buhari and those who bejeweled him into his current executive predicament have been facing a more complicated political landscape. Even as Buhari announced as a terror-defense strategy, a relocation of the country’s armory to Borno State, Nigeria has remained under a terrorist attacks. In fact, last Monday's suicide bombing at a crowded fish market occurred in the northeastern city of Maiduguri – the same region where the regime relocated its arsenal.

Let us be clear then – that a president chose a wheelbarrow as an official car does not make him morally decent and fiscally astute; it only exposes his ignorance to issues of fiscal policies. Buhari, and indeed his Yahoo drum-beaters should explain their frameworks and preparedness to fiscal reformation. They should tell Nigerians how the regime can sustain in the long run, the existing spending, policies, and tax - without jeopardizing Nigeria’s creditworthiness, obligations or projected expenses.
Without Ministers; not a single known adviser, and without any working team besides obsequious cohorts who worship him, President Buhari is already abusing his official duties, making contradictory policy comments, dictating unmanageable strategy undertakings, and flip-flopping with dire issues of national significance.
As a matter of urgency, the masses are waiting for their new president to at least acquaint them with his plans to proceed. They want to hear about the machinery to translate electoral promises into action, not about limousines, and jets. In a government structure where the President cannot communicate, cannot relate, and worse, cannot corroborate his own policies, there is every reason to worry. It is torturing that under the current regime, citizens have to rely on repentant party bloggers to know the fate of their current economic woes

By Anthony Ogbo

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