On Friday a new President was sworn into office in Nigeria. The new political administration has ushered in a lot of firsts. It challenged the dominance of a ruling party that remained in power for 16 years unhampered. The odds seemed stacked against President Muhammadu Buhari who had run for presidency three times prior to this electoral race. The general political atmosphere in Nigeria intrinsically discourages any radical improvement – the status quo always remains just that. This is why when the election result was announced on the 31st of March, it shocked even those who campaigned most fervently for it. Whether you were delighted or disappointed, you were certainly a little bit shocked.
We all hold different opinions about the new President’s suitability for the job and whether he can or will meet certain expectations. However, whatever your views are, he is now running the country and will do so for the next four years. All we can do is hope and pray he and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo have the wisdom to identify and address the nation’s challenges in the most effective way. This is because whilst the new leadership and the promises they rode in on are peppered with optimistic taglines, Nigeria has very real challenges. In his inaugural speech (the full text of which can be found here) President Buhari noted this by saying;
‘At home we face enormous challenges. Insecurity, pervasive corruption, the hitherto unending and seemingly impossible fuel and power shortages are the immediate concerns. We are going to tackle them head on. Nigerians will not regret that they have entrusted national responsibility to us. We must not succumb to hopelessness and defeatism. We can fix our problems.’
Recognition of the problems we face is one thing? It’s another thing to provide proper solutions for them. Some will argue that most of the problems in Nigeria are so deeply entrenched that we can never truly eradicate them e.g. corruption. Can we really fix our problems? It’s rare to find someone who isn’t jaded by the system, heartbroken, disappointed and frustrated by all the wrongs that have littered our system historically. We’re used to politicians BS-ing their way in only to amass personal wealth and leave us even more broken than when they arrived
I will dare to hope for a change, however. I think we all should. The thing is, if we don’t believe our problems can be fixed, we will never fix them.
What are your thoughts?
Have an awesome month! Its already June? Madness. See you on Wednesday!