Nigeria’s post-independence era has been chequered; one abundant with ups and downs as the nation tries to find her feet. The birth of democracy–a governmental system reputed to concentrate power on the people and ensure masses enjoyment of political leadership dividends–in 1999 seemed to be the answer to our prayer for admission to the league of developed countries. Still distant from the Nigerian dream after 16 years of domination by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), a sizeable number of Nigerians relished the idea of change of government and political party patronage.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) party’s appearance on the political scene close to 2015, persistent claim of being synonymous to change, and nomination of acclaimed frugal, corruption-antagonist General Muhammadu Buhari as presidential flagbearer, resembled a perfect script. Subscription was massive. The present seriously gainsays that arrangement and sparks the view herein that the APC government has changed from a dream to a nightmare.
The President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC federal government came to power with the agenda of tackling insecurity, fighting corruption, and revamping the economy. Current indices of the administration’s performance in these crucial areas are far from satisfactory. Almost on daily basis, people are being murdered in different parts of the country with impunity. In fact, such grisly reports are quickly becoming mainstream in media outlets–newspapers, news television and radio stations, social media, and so on. The Benue massacre which saw hundreds of Nigerians, among whom were unsupecting Christian clerics performing their priestly duties, lose their lives bleeds the heart. What about the Plateau killings where scores of citizens the government swore to protect met untimely deaths; the picture of a pregnant mother gruesomely butchered and foetus unearthed from her belly is hard to discard from the mind. Organizing mass burials has become the default response. The sheer reactiveness of the APC government under President Buhari of Fulani extraction, despite awareness of some Fulani herdsmen as the immediate cause, elicits thoughts about its possible complicity.
Furthermore, the corruption fight seems lopsided and ludicrous, considering most of the culprits have been from opposition parties. The immediate past secretary to government of the federation, Babachir Lawal, an APC stalwart, walks free to date after weighty, convincing allegations by the national assembly of defrauding the government. The recent shocking Kemi Adeosun NYSC certificate scandal, which allegedly hitherto compelled her to approve billions of naira for some mischievous federal lawmakers behind the scene to keep the secret buried, has been treated with kid gloves. She remains finance minister in an anti-graft driven government. What a paradox!
Today, the giant of Africa has reportedly surpassed India as the nation with the highest number of destitutes in the world. Most Nigerians are hungry and denied equal opportunities of success in life. Basic amenities are still being seen as a luxury. Some corporations are either laying off staff or winding up due to an inclement business operation weather. Nepotism prevents the average qualified graduate from getting employed in big government companies like CBN and NNPC, because he/she knows no senator, representative, minister, or governor. Need I mention the latest brazen usage of government security agencies to intimidate perceived political opponents? Yet, we are reminded at the slightest opportunity that Nigeria is in the change dispensation. But facts say our dream has turned to a nightmare.
Finally, the APC government came in 2015 with so much promise and promises. Nigerians believed in them; maybe a part of you, too. Her focal points in taking the nation to the next level can be rightly appraised as unimpressive. Her move to stay in government beyond 2019 under the same captain is bemusing and questions their supposed good intentions for this nation.