Taking Sides: An Open Debate on Buhari’s 100Days in Office

by Ola Balogun 


Since President Muhammadu Buhari resumed in office on the 29th of May 2015, the aspirations of many Nigerians know no bound. He is considered by many as the One. The one Nigerians have been waiting for to liberate them form the modern Pharaohs in power. Expectant Nigerians simply fall into three broad categories. There are those who subscribe to #Buhari100days in office– they simply believe in President Buhari’s ability to perform wonders and miraculous transformation. The second category comprises those who realised and agreed that true turnarounds cannot be easily come by with three months, considering the enormity of the rot; they, therefore, take to #UnderstandingPMBin100days. And the third group belongs to the pessimists, the cynics and the opposition who opined that it has been #100WastedDays. The debate was thought provoking, extensive and engaging.

#IOBalogun1: It is for this reason that I welcome you all to Taking Sides… an interesting debate between the Nigerian groups, #Buhari100days and #100WastedDays. I say hello to the viewers as introduce the first speaker, #Buhari100days. Happy reading….

#Buhari100days: Thank you.

Hello, fellow Nigerians and thanks to you for giving me this opportunity to express my views and that of millions of Nigerians. Let me start on a lighter frame of mind that we have witnessed in our life time as a people, in the course of the last administration, chicken eggs were being hatched inside many refrigerators, out of abandonment, since there was no electricity supply across the country but in the recent #Buhari100days in office, one has got to witness several eggs getting frozen in the same once upon a time abandoned refrigerators. May we never retrogress into that era in this country again.

I therefore find it challenging to comprehend how some people find it easy to scream #100WastedDays when and where millions of Nigerians now sleep without the disquieting and deafening noise of generators, such that power generator dealers and marketers are now frantically searching to diversify to remain in business. 

#IOBalogun1: #100WastedDays, you have the floor. Do you mind saying hello to our listeners? 

#100WastedDays: Hello fellow Nigerians, I must first of all shatter the illusions that we are playing opposition politics; we must state categorically that the interest of Nigerians is what is paramount to us. It is in this spirit that we consider #Buhari100days as #100WastedDays. Our reasons for this assertion are not far fetched. Within the last #100WastedDays, Buhari turned out to be the first Nigeria President to dissociate himself from his own campaign promises. Yes, we have heard the statement made by Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu but we still felt embarrassed by that position. We insist that if truly the President is not aware of that campaign promises as claimed by his Media Assistant, then some APC leaders should step down honourably right now not only for making campaign promises without informing their major candidate but also for keeping quite while Garba Shehu repudiated them.

#Buhari100days: Within the #Buhari100days Nigerians have seen a President that says little but resisted undue pressures from all quarters. He is radically placing Nigeria on the path of recovery from the 16 years of PDP maladministration and the #6WastedYears of the President Goodluck Jonathan (GEJ’s) era of ‘stealing is not corruption’. And in the least, within the #Buhari100days, stealing has been equated to corruption and Nigerians are now repositioned and more determined to fight the anti-corruption war just because of the body language of the President. Is it not instructive to hear the organised labour demand death sentence for corrupt practices in this country?

#100WastedDays: Our demand is that the president should go beyond just the ‘body language’ because the Great Wall of China was not built with body language. Within the #100WastedDays, there have been no policy directions from the All Progressive Congress-led federal government. We make bold to say General Muhammadu Buhari has no…

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#Buhari100days: No, his official name is President Muhammadu Buhari…

#100WastedDays: Okay, We make bold to say that President Muhammadu Buhari has had no minister of finance or special assistants to manage the falling economy and stocks. Imagine, a President with two media aides and one photographer but with no ministers. Is it not disturbing to compose a “committee to revive Nigeria Airways” without an aviation minister? How can people trust a government that favours a certain region of the country and disfavours others? In short, President Muhammadu Buhari has been sold a dummy and something must be done urgently to halt the retrogressive move of #100WastedDays. Just within the first 90 days, the APC government has virtually squandered Buhari’s hard-earned goodwill. No policy, no agenda. Just a blame game and denial of campaign promise.

#Buhari100days: Let me establish here that it is the peak of insincerity for my opponent to insist that he and his fellow wailing wailers have noticed no development in the last #Buhari100days. Even the blind could see and the deaf could feel that a new sheriff is in town and that official corruption is already down by 50 percent. Where were these ‘lamentators’ when Nigerians were taken through the 16 excruciating years of economic devastation by the PDP-led government? Is it not irrational to assume a repair of 16 year’s damage in just #Buhari100days? Unlike what was obtainable under the PDP-led government, the President has in the last #Buhari100days insisted on the rule of law and due process. It was usually one rule for the (government officials) and another for the masses. Today, that has changed and the sponsors of my opponents are not contented with that. Our yams have been in safe custody for the past #Buhari100days and some of those who have eaten our yams are already regurgitating them. We are prosecuting corruption. This is an unprecedented feat in the history of Nigeria.

#100WastedDays: Many Nigerians are saying Buhari have been awesome and thanking him for fighting corruption, but this was the same presidential candidate that promised to ‘hit the ground running’; now 100 days are gone, he is yet to form a cabinet, just as he is yet to make a statement on the crisis in Plateau State.

#Buhari100days: Yes, one might have promised that he will hit the ground running but when you hit the ground and you find out it is muddy, you just can’t start running. On the allegation of silence on Plateau crisis, we made bold to say that Mr President’s journey so far has been marvellous and we are certain that he will look into the plight of the middle belt very soon. In our own opinion, this is a good foundation lying days, after which solid structures shall spring out. Nigeria will be great again. It is audible to the deaf and obvious to the blind that PMB’s #100 Days is better than GEJ’s 6 wasted years.

#100WastedDays:  Nigerians should not find it difficult admit that Olisa Metuh and the opposition should be applauded for the great patriotism and fair criticism on the issue of security.

#Buhari100days: We equally appreciate the fact that he has undergone Opposition 101 but he has a lot to learn before he gets applaud from this smarter generation of Nigerians.

#100WastedDays: Now let us look at party maturity. See how mature Olisa Metuh’s reactions about security have been. Unlike the APC when it was in the opposition, the PDP has ensured that, as a responsible party, it does not play politics with terrorism. However, get this straight, fighting corruption will not end poverty; it won’t pay the salary of the civil servants and pay the school fees of the students. What really matter is the effective and efficient governance. Consequently, anyone can allege or accuse any person of corrupt practices, let them come up with their facts! People are being questioned, yes, but no single arrests have been made.  One will be forced to ask again: Why is it that the same party that was virtually acting like a parallel government some months back is now foot-dragging when given opportunity to form the government even after 100 days in office. APC-led Bukola Saraki’s Senate should be termed the ‘recessed assembly’, sitting only for 12 times since inauguration. Buhari has actually brought about mixed feelings of fears….

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#Buhari100days : Hopes

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#100WastedDays: Disappointments

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#Buhari100days : Expectations

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#Buhari100days : Unbelievable revelations

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#100WastedDays:  Lopsided appointments!

#IOBalogun1: Okay #100WastedDays would you kindly allow #Buhari100days to respond.


#Buhari100days: Thank you #IOBalogun1. Irrespective of my opponent’s argument, many Nigerians have recently acknowledged that they still prefer #Buhari100days of President Muhammadu Buhari to the #6wastedyears of Ex-President (Goodluck Jonathan’s) cluelessness. I don’t know how it works for some, but I wonder how they think what has failed to happen in 16 years will happen in #Buhari100days. Nigeria is working again. Do you guys remember how terrible it was during GEJ? Nigerians in the Diaspora are beginning to feel euphoric. Once in our life time, we can proudly say we are Nigerians!

#100WastedDays:  Proud indeedCan you tell us the place of justice, equity and fairness in the appointments made so far? I will suppose he looks carefully at balancing things up even if for the sake of Federal Character, national unity and cohesion. Yes, I do respect the President right to make his appointments the way he feels but he should at least, cut across the entire country for the sake of Unity. There’re equally many competent and credible people in all parts of the country. Inclusiveness is important, especially in Nigeria.

#Buhari100days: If the first thing that crosses your mind after a political appointment is made is: “where does he or she comes from?”, then you should consider yourself as anti-progress. So many bigots around! Their bigotry has blinded them to see the positive change in governance and they prefer to remain BLIND. Our people in Maiduguri are feeling the impact of change, Petrol price is gradually returning to 87 Naira without any noise made. Buhari knows his onions… where ever they are, he will identify them… May God Almighty give him the wisdom to choose the best.

You see, the exhilarating fact about the new appointments is that no one can fault them on quality, capability and incorruptibility. It is no longer the usual distrusts that were being recycled. We are gleefully waiting for the next batch of appointments. President Buhari-led government is business-friendly; he is not the kind that gives in to crony capitalism. Project Nigeria is more united now than ever before when we were divided along ethnic and religious lines. “The goat has finally been separated from the yam”. “Stealing is now corruption”.

#100WastedDays: Is this not a sheer celebration of sycophancy? No, not again, episodes of “Lies & Denials”! I thought Nigerians voted for change. I remember all the newspapers carried the #PMB100days Covenant campaign era. So, why denying it? It is stupid to do so.  It is really disturbing that Lai Mohammed, APC and Presidency are telling us they never saw the 100 Days Promise document? Isn’t that failing the integrity test so SOON? Rather than face the running of the country, the APC-led government are on a wild goose chase in a bid to distract Nigerians from their unfulfilled promises. The irrefutable fact remains that #Buhari100days is a flop. He should have said they didn’t know things were this bad hence the inability to meet the targeted promises rather than letting us down on our expectations.

#Buhari100days: Neither the President at any point in time, nor the party ever issued any document stating what the President would do in 100 days. And even at that, Aviation, Commerce, Power, Banking were grounded to a halt! The 2015 common sense revolution through the ballot box was timely! Agree, there have been no ministers, yet the government has achieved this much. There’s hope of a better Nigeria. Even the appointments that are now coming reveal that, it is no longer business as usual. If anyone was expecting miracles in 100 days of Buhari’s administration, such a person is living in a fool’s paradise. APC’s Manifesto is not the Koran or Bible; it’s subject to the vicissitude of time and storm of events. Jonathan was borrowing to pay salaries. NOW, we have earned over 50% of the budget and have not taken any loan to fund the budget. For crying out loud, the insurgents are retreating in the North East…

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#100WastedDays: As a father I feel the pains of victims of the insurgency, particularly the kidnapped children and women as well as millions of displaced persons. We thought the government will act on actionable intelligence to bring back our girls. Where are the Bring Back Our Girls advocates? They are now in the Senate, Assemblies and already taking government appointments. They told Nigerians that If GEJ was not voted out, the economy will collapse, but on the contrary, as we can now see, within the Buhari 100 days the economy is heading towards recession. How much is the Dollar to a Naira now? Over N200. Did you hear about the JP Morgan plan to downgrade Nigerian bonds? Is that what we voted for.

#Buhari100days: Like magic, things are by far better now.  Normalcy has returned to Nigeria, No fuel scarcity and power is relative stable, security has improved even in the North East, the nation’s revenue is on the increase. President Buhari’s public asset declaration has created a ripple effect, unlike GEJ who swore never to declare his asset. I can’t remember when last I fully charged my phone with a generating set. Kudos to PMB. Security and welfare are the primary roles of government. Owed salaries are being paid. Boko haram front liners are in custody. Buhari has successfully restored confidence in the bilateral and multilateral partnerships in addressing insurgency, including the procurements of needed ammunitions.

For the first time, Nigerians are showing a keen interest in what’s happening in government. This is change! Nigeria Customs is declaring profits, isn’t that new? Like a statement on the street, wailers can hug the nearest transformer, but they have to be careful this time with the transformers, as we now have regular supply of electricity, as Nigeria has achieved a record 5,000 megawatts of electricity for the first time ever. Please tell me, why was it difficult for GEJ to relocate the military command centre to the door steps of Boko Haram. Maiduguri. Buhari is actually taking us to places.

#100WastedDays: Buhari was portrayed with high hopes by his propaganda machinery. Now no achievements yet, except the building of corruption mantra of change. It’s funny how people who were calling Buhari all sorts of names are now praising him just within three months afterwards. You will do yourself and the President a great favour by praising him when he does right and criticise him when is wrong. Don’t be so hyper-partisan.  Bandied figures of imaginary loots by past government will not deter us from asking the president his pledge about the first 100 days in office. If Jonathan actually looted funds, he should be taken to court and not to the media. When did the media become the court?

Meanwhile, I know it may be too early to judge him for his four-year tenure now, but we can judge him based on his campaign promises for the first 100 days in office? We have a feeling that Buhari is surrounded by clowns, sycophants, minstrels, mediocre, and hypocrites. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s now obvious nobody can predict what President Buhari is up to.

#Buhari100days: Maybe we need to stop criticising Buhari and say a something about our Electricity over the past couple of months and about our Armed Forces that are regaining their credibility. From an era of an epileptic power supply, we now have electricity for a minimum of 18 hours daily- speaking for myself and many other Nigerians. Even citizens who do not enjoy electricity in Borno are still enjoying the administration because they can now sleep without fear. The clean-up in Ogoni Land is a master stroke that other regimes failed to address. How has Federal Character helped in killing corruption or delivering good governance? We need a nation that is free of stealing.

It is out rightly illogical to limit or restrict the President’s activities to a document he neither authorise nor the covenant to which he had no knowledge of. Increase in foreign reserves by over 2 billion dollars. Increase in the excess crude account by 200 million naira. The revamp of the Niger Delta amnesty programme through proper verification of beneficiaries and prompt payment of allowances, and the list continues.

#IOBalogun: Thank you both for coming we have to go now.

Ibrahim Ola Balogun; a Policy Analyst and Social Commentator writes from [email protected] and tweet @ IOBalogun1