100 Days Of Hardship And Hopelessness

100 Days Of Hardship And Hopelessness

Celebration of 100 days of a regime is often regarded as the honeymoon period of an administration. It is called honeymoon because it’s the period that the people are expected to be treated with love, compassion, kindness and caring attitude only comparable to that given by a groom to his newly wed, beloved bride. Food is in abundance, mobility is surplus, togetherness is assured, dialogue and communication guaranteed, empathy encouraged, legitimacy of union apparent since honeymoon proceeds directly from the official solemnization of the marriage.


In Nigeria, the reverse is the case. 100 days of this regime has brought untold hardship to the people. Fuel is now N617 per litre, but N185 when this regime assumed office. Naira is N920 per dollar, but N450 per dollar when this government came in. Pound today goes for N1,150. Manufacturing confidence in the economy reduced to 52.7% in the second quarter of 2023. Our soldiers were slaughtered like cows in Niger State and non-state actors were brought in to Aso Rock to call them thieves. No regime in our democratic history has registered such casualty among our military officers in the first 100 days in office. There was no legitimacy in the marriage between the leader and the led and this has led in the total rejection of any kind of honeymoon between the leader and the led and made Nigeria a mocking stock all over the world. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) which pleaded for the amendment of the Electoral Act to make electronic transmission of election results compulsory to enable it organise free, fair and credible elections that will be transparent, accountable, and acceptable, openly admitted to some glitches in deploying electronic transmission in the presidential election result, only to go to court to argue that electronic transmission of results is no longer mandatory. Appointments of service chiefs and ministers have been overtly lopsided to the embarrassment of the people who were touting this present leader as a detribalized unifier. Every known law guiding every action this leader has taken has been grossly violated from the removal of the oil subsidy to the belated, uncompleted appointment of the ministers of the federation.


Our first shock was the continuation of the slogan renewed hope as guiding principle for this administration even after being sworn in. Hope, by definition, is a feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen. In other words, when hope is adopted as a campaign slogan, it’s an assurance that on assumption of office, such particular things promised during campaign will start happening. Adopting same slogan, even after being sworn in, is an unfortunate assurance from this regime that we will remain hoping in expectation and desire till the end of this regime. Even God said in Proverbs 13:12 that “Hope deferred makes the heart sick”. Are you still surprised why everyone, both who voted for or against this regime, is depressed and sick?

This is exactly how the All Progressives Congress (APC) promised change in 2015 and Nigerians bought into it without realising that change can be positive or negative, forward or backward. At the end of the eight years of the first APC regime, Tinubu, the leader of APC, who purportedly single-handedly brought in President Buhari to power, described the financial system of Buhari for the eight years as rotten. In his policy of selective justice, Emefiele, who was Buhari’s right hand man in the management of the nation’s treasury for the eight years is locked up in jail while his master is working free around. In its policy of desecrating the rule of law, Bawa is almost approaching 100 days in detention without trial. In all these posts whose occupants were removed, the present leader replaced them with persons from his own Geo-Political Zone. It’s becoming crystal clear within this 100 days that this present President doesn’t have what it takes to be a nationalist.


The first incomplete Federal Executive Council meeting took place just some days before the 100 days mark and it was supposed to take place latest after 60 days of the inaugaration of the regime, but with the unconstitutional creation of the post of Minister of State without portfolio as a trick to deny about 7 states their constitutionally approved substantive Ministers of the Federation, the desire for the actualization of a complete cabinet as required by law may remain in hopes and expectations throughout the tenure of this regime, no matter how short. It may baffle anyone that cares to read that it is during the first Federal Executive Council meeting that this leader rolled out its eight point agenda to its ministers. According to the leader they include food security, economic growth, access to capital, rule of law, fighting corruption, improving security, ending poverty, improving the playing field on which people and companies operate. It’s not surprising that the purported eight point agenda is coming out now because the presidential candidate of APC never attended any formal debate or town hall meeting, yet was declared winner of the presidential election by INEC.


Apart from being an after thought, the performance of this regime so far is quite contrary to the purported eight point agenda. They should go and tell the citizens of Niger State that they should go back to their farms in rural areas, without first of all, accounting for the 36 military personnel that were mercilessly murdered in ambush. An airforce helicopter was also brought down by the bandits, killing all the occupants. These were fully armed military personnel that were massacred. What chance does an unarmed timid farmer in the rural area have in confrontation with these bandits who are out to destroy the peace and prosperity of the farmers and Nigeria. I did not hear anything about empowering state governments to set up their own police which was the consumate favourite slogan of all the notable politicians from the South-West. It is preposterous that the Federal Government will know how to police Niger State more than the residents and indigenes of Niger State. The issue of insecurity is threatening the whole of Nigeria and this disrupts the entire food chain and supply.


When this regime talked about economic growth, it’s laughable because no company will easily flourish in a capitalist economy where the market, not the leaders, determine the prices of the products it produces. In civilized societies, it’s the leadership forces, not the market forces, that determine the prices of the products they produce and they use such forces to sustain the value of their currency. In a corrupt society like ours, the corrupt leaders, under the pretext of market forces, extort money from the citizens in a desperate effort to transfer the cost of their incompetence and dishonesty to the people. In the USA, whenever oil is too much in supply, they stock their reserves with oil. Whenever it’s scarce and the price threatens to rise above tolerable level, they release their reserves and bring down the price. This is leadership forces being deployed to prevent their economy from the shock of sharp increase in price of a necessary product like oil.


This regime met oil at N185 per litre and from day one increased it to N537 and within one month increased it to N613 in price, representing almost about 350% increase in price. The price would have been increased further but for the resistance of the Nigerian people. Meanwhile, four refineries are lying waste without any attempt of repairing any of them within the 100 days mark. China built a massive hospital within 6 days to cater for the welfare of its sick citizens during the Covid-19 pandemic, yet Nigerian government under this regime cannot put any of the refineries to use in 100 days. Any government that is promising you economic growth while fuel price remains that high is a one chance government of renewed hopelessness. For the avoidance of doubt, there is a manager of a water factory that was paid the sum of N200,000.00 monthly. He lives in Kubwa and works in Lokogoma axis. When this regime came into power and inordinately increased the price of fuel, the manager had to resign from his work. The reason can be objectively stated. He works for 26 days in a month and spends N7,000. 00 to fuel his car everyday to work. This comes to N182,000.00 a month on fuel only, leaving him with a paltry sum of N18,000.00 to spend on all other things. This regime should go and preach its agenda of ending poverty, improving the playing field on which people and companies operate to this manager and its workers it’s still paying N30,000.00 as minimum wage in Nigeria. They should not forget to remind them that the only thing it promised them was hope not the realisation of that hope.


This regime should tell Bawa of its promise of rule of law and the people of Kaduna, Zamfara, Kano, Abia, Nasarawa, Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa etc that they should continue hoping in rule of law when they are denied their fundamental human right to liberty and discrimination by this government with the unconstitutional appointment of Ministers of State and no Minister at all for them. Isn’t it obvious that the eight point agenda is dead on arrival as there are no discernible institutions built to ensure their achievements, but as earlier stated, this regime promised only hope and even refused to entertain debates and interviews during the campaign stage and maintained its promise of hope even after being sworn in. Strictly speaking and biblically, you do not expect to see hope, because hope seen is no longer hope. God even asked, “Who hopes for what they already have”. Fellow Nigerians, brace up for more hardships and hopelessness or stand up for more prayers for divine deliverance.


Kenneth Okonkwo

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