by Joe Onwukeme
Every journey starts with a single step and every presidency begins with the first 100 days in office and every presidents’ 100 days in office is very vital in it’s government. Albeit success in the first 100 days, however, has never meant a guarantee of success later nor have early difficulties necessarily doomed a presidency to failure.
A president’s first 100 days in office lays a foundation of how it’s government would be run before the end of it’s tenure. Like the early returns on election night, the first 100 days is always a subject of great interest and speculation. But should also be viewed with skepticism, prudence and caution.
President Buhari’s first 100 days in office will in a few days time be a subject of review by majority Nigerians, who in the not too distant past, overwhelmingly said no to the former ruling party PDP that held Nigeria by the scrotum for 16 unbroken years.
President Buhari, who after he was inaugurated was confronted with an early difficulty as a result of extreme profligacy of previous permissive governments that left our nation on the throes of demise.
Mr. President, a man reputed for his disdain for corruption has set the ball rolling by running an open government which to a reasonable extent, is a clear departure from what was obtained in the past.
In every fora, he has been creating a result-oriented awareness targeted at instituting justice against all those who in their gluttonous accumulation of wealth left our nation in a near-comatose state.
Though many are increasingly of the opinion that president Buhari is very slow, It takes the discerning to understand that Mr. President is not a magician and will not change the misfortunes that has befallen us in 100 days in office. He has started on a slow but steady path with clear emphasis on curbing insecurity and corruption.
To show his committment in curbing excesses in government, President Buhari, along side his vice president, Prof. Osibanjo, began by fulfilling one of their main campaign promises, by slashing their annual income by half immediately they were inaugurated.
While I strongly disagree with those who are of the opinion that PMB is grappling with hang over of dictatorship, citing his delay in constituting it’s cabinet. PMB should understand that time waits for no one in his search for saints to make up his cabinet.
President Buhari’s last week’s appointments into his cabinet has worsend the already generated tension over his continued neglect of some sections of the country in his appointments which ran contrary to chapter II section 14(3) of the 1999 constitution that stipulates — (3) The composition of the Government of the Federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity, and also to command national loyalty, thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few state or from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in that government or in any of its agencies.
One of Mr. President’s media aides has come out to deny the news making the rounds in both conventional and internet media that PMB, through his appointments so far, is more of a sectional than a national president and would ensure all sections of the country will be considered in his government.
Nobody is disputing the fact that all sections of the country will be considered, but what consideration are we talking about when nobody from a particular region is among the top 10 sensitive positions at the national level?
If truly, those appointed were based on competence and credibility, does it mean that in his almost 100 days in office, he didn’t or yet to find anyone, including “technocrats” from the South-east region credible and qualified for appointments?
Howbeit, let us not rule out the fact he’s gradually restoring sanity in our political space and some of those challenges we thought are impossible a task to sanitize are being tackled head on.
EFCC, our anti-corruption agency that was redundant, inactive and alleged to be embroiled in monumental corruption in the recent past has suddenly woken up from it’s slumber and is now knocking on the doors of known politicians and their cohorts who in the past missaproppriated public funds.
Our moribund refineries which past governments, either by default or design never thought it necessary to repair and ensure they worked at maximum capacity is becoming a reality.
Steady power supply which has been an impossible a task in our nation is having a face lift and so far electricity supply all over the country has risen to an unprecedented height.
Unlike what was obtained in the last few months of the past administration, Mr president has never sought for loan to pay it’s work force and has been consistent in the payment of workers’ salaries since he was inaugurated.
It is gratifying to note also that in less than 100 days of president Buhari in office, even with the decline in the sale of crude oil in the global market, Nigeria has been able to save trillions of naira from the sale of crude oil alone.
Above all, PMB, as a repentant and elected democrat should be cognizance of the fact that, no immunity will shield him from public odium if he and his yet to be constituted cabinet does not initiate other radical reforms and policies that would rescue this nation from it’s accumulated and hydra headed problems.