I want to begin this way: (excepting the corrupt elite) why would any ordinary Nigerian not like or even love Mr President?
Of course, I'm not unaware of the adage that says, a prophet is not revered amongst his people. Jesus, peace be upon him, was persecuted by his own people, the Jews. Noah, in the Bible and the Quran, after preaching himself hoarse, his people would not listen, until the judgement came upon them- the Deluge!
It seems to me, that the Nigerian ordinary man in the street, is confused and does not know his left from his right. And the majority here is the youth!
I watched a video of Mr Buhari as CPC presidential candidate with the fiery pastor Bakare by his side. In the video, Buhar iwas telling his audience, who were very attentive (with some air of bravado that could not be put on if you are not sincere): "I have served this country, Nigeria, in several capacities...from being a governor, a minister, chairman of an intervention agency (PTF) and as a head of state." He continued, "in all these, I never touched a kobo that belong to Nigeria illegally! "And I dare anybody who can beat his chest as I just did to come out and do same!" Words like this would not come out from the mouth of an impostor.
Of course, no one would try this- in a society where if you held office, from ordinary chairman of a local government to governor of a state, for just a month or less, you are most likely a billionaire!
I think qualities of this sort are what majority of Nigerians saw and decided to have CHANGE. And it was what the leaders of the advanced world saw and became awed by this uncommon man from Africa, nay Nigeria (of all places!)
However, there is still a large chunk of ordinary Nigerians who would give everything to have Buhari not at the helm of the Ship of State!
This group are composed of one, those controlled by sentiments. Two, those who lack any form of patience. They want miracle from an ordinary mortal. They are only interested in the present-antecedents-events of the past that shaped the present is of no importance to them; likewise, the future,is to them like eternity, so of no significance!
For the sentimentalists, their emotion or feelings might have been engendered by some some other individuals or groups or events in the past. Instead of taking every individual or event at his or its own face value, they lack the discerning power and the easy way out for this group is to lump everything and everyone together. for example, Buhari is a Hausa/Fulani man-just like others in the past!
For this group, we can only pray for their sense of discernment to be corrected.
The second group, the impatient. Well, if one can ask them: why were you not impatient in the years past, say from 1999 or even before that? Then maybe Nigeria would not be in this mess she finds herself. This people should have have shown their lack of patience when refineries remain just four for decades without adequate maintenance and getting outmoded; when road constructed since 70s and 80s are not maintained no new ones built; they should have shown their signature impatience when railway system left by the colonial master remain our only form of rail transportation, while other (even less endowed) countries are modernizing.
They should have made manifest their impatience when power generation remain below 4,000 megawatts even as the population has grown four-fold within the same time frame! Government schools, hospitals, agencies like the Police and others are nothing to write home about!
And most recently, they did lose their patience when, probably, for the first time in the history of our country and our military, soldiers were fleeing the battle ground for fear of their lives in the hand of some undisciplined ragtag militants!; when about seventeen local government areas were being taken over and school girls, in their hundreds, taken away from their schools and turned into sex-slaves and suicide bombers!: No signs of impatience, when crude oil were being stolen or oil pipelines were being vandalized and in the process few made themselves billionaires with the connivance of those who were supposed to be responsible for the safeguard our commonwealth. Again, they didn't see anything wrong when immigration rather than employ our teeming unemployed youth, under a wicked minister, instead brought sorrow and grief.
When the new sheriff came to town alas! It is time to be impatient
During his campaign trail, he promised Nigerians to fight and kill corruption before it kills Nigeria: to stop the insurgency(s) in its track; and to revamp the economy-which was obviously in trouble because for the first time in many years, some federal agencies could not pay the salaries of their staff!
As promised, he came with a three-pronged tool to fight Nigeria hydra-headed monsters.
The topmost echelon of the armed forces especially the military was ordered to move to the epicenter of the battle in the north-east. Later on, the corrupt leadership in the armed forces were given the boot. We all can testify to the amazing results that followed this development.
Corruption. Probably the worst enemy of the three. It would not be a hyperbole to say it gave birth to the other two monsters.
EFCC- the anti-corruption agency is now a formidable bulldog that can both bark and bite, but for the judiciary that has made itself a reliable ally of the corrupt. But the judiciary has been given a jolt like never before, and the believe is that it shall put its house in order sooner than later (what with a new CJN as head of NJC and promise to fight corruption by the new president of the Nigeria Bar Association, NBA)
Unfortunately, however, what was thought to be the least of the problems is proven otherwise-the economy. But the reason for this is not far-fetched.
The much touted "Africa biggest economy" was nothing but a charade after all. How can an economy based on only one commodity, as its source of revenue, parade itself as the biggest in a continent? Even if this was so, any right thinking government should have known this would not be sustainable and therefore, a deceit. This situation, if I may crave the indulgence of my readers, is not altogether different from that of our brother in South Africa, Pistorious, who of course, is a star athlete in the class of Usain Bolt. But this is when he is fitted with his leg-like blade; without this blade, they are in different worlds entirely! One, an able-bodied athlete; the other, "para-athlete".
Also, crude is losing its importance in the world as a major source of energy. For this reason, the buyers don't want to buy any more and those wishing to purchase do not want it above $30-$40 per barrel. A huge decrease from what it used to be-above $100. Add to this sad news is the bombings (of the major pipelines conveying the crude). This has brought about this situation where Nigeria can not meet up with the quota of sales as prescribed by OPEC. So, with this uncomfortable scenario, we can see why the new government cannot fast-track the revamping of the economy as promised.
But for me and maybe many other gifted with discerning mind, I can perceive the difference in what we used to have and what the new sheriff in town has brought to bear. I can see that this new government, unlike their predecessors, who seem not to know why we elected them, are taking seriously, the issue of infrastructure (rail, roads, power,etc.); diversification (solid mineral development and agriculture; tourism is being given a nudge, even if not the necessary push; direct job creation and empowerment of the youth.(N-Power and others).
Lest I forget: I shall recommend the leadership style of Buhari to others, even in the developed world!
As a military leader, he made his second in command so prominent that not a few thought that the number two man was in charge.
This time around, his vice, a professor of law and a clergyman, an obscure politician that someone was tagged an ordinary commissioner, is now probably the most powerful vice president in the world.
And for the first time in our recent history, everyone, I mean, every region is complaining of being marginalized. The south says, all the service chiefs and everything that as to do with security including the police (some included the EFCC) are having Northerners at the helm of affairs.
On the other hand, the Northerners grouse is that of not being comfortable with the huge power that reside with the vice president! He is solidly in charge of the economy! Not only that, the key ministries that Nigerians are looking up to, in terms of those that can change their fortune-all are having Southerners calling the shots.
I ask once again, why would any level-headed, ordinary Nigerian not like this president, Mohammadu Buhari?