It’s been three months and some few days into President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; and it appears that some people are already running out of patience - most especially with his style of governance. All manners of names have emerged, describing the slow pace in which the president is handling matters. Some call him Baba Go Slow, others say Baba Go Steady. The particular one I found so hilarious is baba slow motion. All these names emerged in the space of three months, barely one hundred days since Buhari took over from his predecessor, Ebele Jonathan. One fact remains, from the little experience that I have garnered in the course of my driving that, no reasonable driver increases the speed of his car while driving on roads with a lot of potholes. Common sense tells us that when there are potholes on the road, you drive slowly and the moment you leave the portion of the bad road behind you, then you can accelerate.
It would be highly irrational of any person living in Nigeria today to think that Buhari’s administration would get things done in the space of three months in office. In fact, it would take an Angel-like President, with magic sticks (like the powerful rod of Moses that parted the Red Sea) to fix Nigeria in four years. What this administration inherited is a systemic failure, which has hindered the growth of this nation for more than 5 decades. It is difficult to believe that Nigeria, after 50 years of independence, with so much natural resources; would be struggling to break-even economically. There are so much poverty in the land, high rate of unemployment, corruption, weak infrastructures, and weak educational sector amongst other problems. Previous administrations before President Buhari came and built on these systemic failure and failed woefully. Since Nigeria returned to proper democratic settings in 1999, it appears things grew worse than we had in the military era. The dividends of democracy which every Nigerian should benefit from appear to be cornered by some few political elites. While a larger percentage of Nigerians are suffering, politicians are becoming richer and richer everyday at the expense of those who voted them in power. This obviously should not continue.
President Muhammadu Buhari rose to power on the mantra of ‘change’. Let the gospel truth be told, change cannot just happen overnight!. To change the way things are done in Nigeria, first of all requires that you get rid of the status quo. The President cannot be talking change and still be building on the existing corrupt systems he inherited. This alone is the reason why he is yet to announce his cabinets and also make some key appointments. It would be unthinkable for anyone to raise eyebrows at the way Mr. president is gradually carrying out his reforms of some key sectors of the Nigerian economy. For instance, you cannot expect a President who says he wants to change the way things are done to continue with that old system we have in NNPC (the engine room of corruption) as we have it in the previous administration. I know a lot of Nigerians want Buhari to exterminate Boko Haram in a hurry. The truth of the matter is this; the insurgency did not start last week. This is a problem that capitalized on the weakness of the Nigerian Military to become what it is today. We had an administration in the past who tolerated Boko Haram from seedling until it becomes a mighty tree. I am sure this current administration wouldn’t want to work with such a military setting and hence, the reforms in the military.
Let us get the record straight. Whether you agree with me or not; one of the slowest forms of any style of government is democracy. Things don’t just happen very fast like we see in military era where a decree is all you need to get things done. In a democratic setting, there are checks and balances. There are wide consultations for every move, rectifications of appointments here and there. As a President, you are checked every step of the way and therefore, you don’t want to commit so much errors. In our own democratic setting, things even become much slower because you have a national assembly that goes on recess every now and then. When the President makes appointments, you need a National Assembly to screen and verify those candidates. Apart from this, Nigeria is confronted with a lot of problems which requires a slow and steady solution to them. Like I mentioned earlier, no reasonable driver moves 100km/hr on roads that have plenty of potholes. It requires you go slow and steady to overcome them. Nigeria numerous problems are the potholes, President Muhammadu Buhari is the driver.
There is a popular saying that speed kills, slow and steady wins the race. Reforming the decadence that has taken roots in Nigeria is not going to happen all of a sudden. Like the Biblical saying that you don’t put new wine into old wine bottles. Any attempt to do that would result into you losing the new wine and the bottle. This administration represents the new wine, a departure from what we used to have in the past. President Buhari, although slow, sure knows what he is doing. He is a painstaking man who would not rush into taking decisions because of pressure. As a matter of fact, being painstaking does not require speed at all. What Nigeria requires to move forward are formidable institutions and trustworthy individuals that would make those institutions work. The president is got 48 months to make things happen in Nigeria. He’s only spent three months out of them, barely a one hundred days in office. I think the best we can do as Nigerians is to watch patiently as things unfold. Whether he is baba go slow, or baba go steady or even baba slow motion as some called him; as long as baba is moving, the sky is the starting point for Nigeria.
Finally, let me conclude by saying this, I am glad I voted for #BabaGoSlow. Being slow is not a problem. What we all should be scared of is being stagnant. I have no doubt in my heart, that by the time President Muhammadu Buhari would be rounding off his first-term tenure, we would all have something to celebrate about the new face of Nigeria. Thank you for reading. Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.