Tinubu: No Silver Lining In 365 Days

By Dan Onwukwe

LAGOS MAY 30TH (NEWSRANGERS)-This much is plain truth: Every government in power is judged by the success or failure of the promises it made prior to, and on assumption of office. During the presidential campaigns last year, Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the All Progressives Congress candidate made scores of  promises to Nigerians that were later compressed into what his handlers called his 8-point agenda. They include: food security, poverty eradication, economic growth, 50 million jobs, access to capital inclusion, rule of law, and fight against corruption. As his administration marks one year in office tomorrow, it’s not unkind to say that his government in one year has compiled a more dismal record, perhaps worse than his predecessor in that office. In one year, this much is also very obvious: there has been so much impulsiveness, driven by lack of planning and insincerity of purpose.       

It  has been a hard slog for Tinubu in this troubled one year, with little to show for as real accomplishments for a man who wanted to be President and Commander-in-Chief by all means. What he has given Nigerians  in one year include pain, sorrow, horror, hunger and poverty as prices of everything in the country have soared beyond the reach of ordinary citizens. There’s perhaps nothing to compare what most Nigerians are going through right now. It’s all tales of woe and disillusionment. The evidence is everywhere, and verifiable. In just one year, Nigeria is in a worse shape than Tinubu made it. At 33.69 percent, inflation rate has reached a 28-year high for the month of April on the twin triggers of petrol subsidy removal and the consequent high pump price and the unification of the official and parallel market that has failed to yield the intended results because of lack of adequate planning and consultation. With the latest hike in monetary policy rate by the Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank at 26.25 percent, the interest rate charged by banks is gradually exceeding the threshold of 30 percent.                    This is bad for businesses and even worse for investment. Food inflation now is at all-time high of 41 percent, with prices of food items never seen before in decades. The naira, as of last week, exchanged for N1,500/$1.

But Nigerian leaders are a different specie of humankind. They are know-it-all. It’s part of the present source of despair in the land . It has become the occupational disease and servile nature of the present crop of our politicians, especially at the National Assembly. They are always, without shame, ready and pliable to dance to whatever tune the presidency decides to whistle.  The grim and bizarre, or rather, amusing aspect of  the trouble with this government is the adaptive lies, empty bragging and self-glorification by the President himself and his aides. We saw that  during the 10th German-Nigerian Business Forum last year in Berlin, when President Tinubu claimed that he “deserves to be in the Guinness World Records”. And you may ask, for what? On this page, November 28, 2023,  I did say, figuratively, that  “Tinubu deserves to be on the Guinness book of Records”, because of the wrenching pain his policies have inflicted on Nigerians in such a short time.

Yes, his reforms have broken hearts and destroyed many lives. A young banker in Lagos who committed suicide in her office early this year dropped a sad note for her colleagues, in the bank’s toilet, saying she took the  decision because she could no longer bear the hardship in the country. As experts  often caution, when a policy sounds too good to be true, it probably is. That’s what happened to the subsidy removal and the unification of the exchange rates. They were done without any serious thoughts. They have failed to achieve the intended results. Nobody has accounted for the trillions of naira said to have been saved. Perhaps they are keeping it for the 2027 Presidential election.

For President Tinubu and his cabinet,  the lesson of this one year in office mirrors the mind and soul of a leader for whom power simply means being able to bend people to his will. It’s a sorrowful reminder of that timely warning by historians that power reveals. It means that when a leader gets enough power, when he feels he doesn’t need anybody anymore, then we can see how he has always wanted to treat people all along. In one year,  it’s fair to say that the acquisition of power to accomplish personal goals, not power to achieve great purposes,  is lacking in this government. In all of this, my unsolicited advice to Tinubu is: don’t be a footnote in the pages of history. The trappings of an ‘imperial’ President may give you a short-term advantage, but it has long-term, incalculable damage to democracy. It’s not too late to make amends.

Dan Onwukwe can be reached on 08111813033 or email: danonwukwe7@gmail.com

The Sun

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Posted by on May 30 2024. Filed under Features, National. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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