The vigor with which APC campaigned for elections in 2015, made it seem like improvement to the ailing Nigerian economy will take place the minute their candidates stepped into office. Before and during the campaigns, APC was vocal and in front of every issue facing Nigeria. They were quick to comment publicly on current issues and they were never shy about telling President Jonathan and his counterparts how to run the country. But the previously vocal APC spokes men seem to have gone mute, including the president. What happened to all that energy?
Every time I read another sad story in the news about Nigeria, which seems to be every day, I am reminded of the boiling frog anecdote (read here). Maybe Nigerians are great exploitation subjects because Nigerians are quite happy according to a survey published by BBC in 2003 (read more). Nigerians can continue to adjust to the horrific conditions but there is an underlying and even scarier problem: the elderly politicians that have been in politics for decades have an average age of about 65 (Ben Bruce just turned 60 and Florence Giwa just turned 70). When these elderly politicians die, are the poorly educated youths that have never ran a country before expected to take over and magically run the country successfully?
The biggest concern I observe is President Buhari’s distant approach of leadership. Even if the president has bad advisers can he not take cues from the United States? I am not a fan of President Obama but he is in front of every issue and always connected (He knows Honey Boo Boo for crying out loud) – if there is a shooting somewhere, President Obama holds a press conference within hours of the incident; the weather is bad somewhere in the United States and he is on TV calming everybody down and telling them help is on the way. There is something comforting about a president keeping constant communication with the masses.
All we see these days is the President Buhari jetting off to some country, shaking hands, and hooping on the plane again. I mean does he even know that the exchange rate is currently #1 to $400? He seems so detached and unconcerned, it’s disturbing. It has been almost a year since President Buhari took office and the Nigerian economy has not only gotten worse, it is currently at the brink of collapse. Forbes identifies failure to communicate as one of the signs of bad leadership ( read here), so is President Buhari a bad leader? The shoe seems for fit for now.
With a high US Dollar to Naira exchange rate consumer products are more expensive because majority of these products are imported. Meaning, with salaries held constant, an average Nigerian is getting hit with weekly inflation as the Naira continues to freefall. I see campaigns on Facebook all the time asking people to stand with Buhari in his fight against whatever it is for that day. Well Mr. President, we the masses need to hear your voice, and we need you to stand with us as we weather this terrible economic storm.
Is Mr. President staying mute and hoping all the problems will blow over or does he have something cooking? Abraham Lincoln once said “give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” For the sake of humanity let’s all hope that President Buhari will make start making progress soon.
Written By Lola Fajemirokun