By Hassan Ahmad Usman
To begin, I would like my readers to understand that, unlike games, there is no “cheat code” for good governance. Governance is practical, with little room for derailing if the desired outcome must be achieved. If there is anything that President Buhari-led’s administration taught us, it is to shun unrealistic optimism. There is nothing wrong with setting standards for our leaders or being optimistic about the prospects of their leadership.
At the inauguration of Buhari in 2015, one would believe by now that he is rounding off his eight years stay, our four refineries would be functional, the epileptic power supply would be a thing of the past, security tackled, and so many things accomplished.
Notwithstanding, people overlook many landmark achievements by his administration. Why? Unrealistic optimism. They are not the standards we set for him from the on set. In a year, we’ll have a new president, new administration and new policy makers. In between, we’ll have an election that will bring a new government.
The leading candidates so far are former vice president Atiku Abukar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), former Lagos state governor Bola Tinubu of All progressives Congress (APC) and former Anambra state governor Peter Obi of the Labour party (LP). These candidates are enjoying a large support base.
My candid advice to the “Batists”, “Atikulateds”, and the “OBIdients” is to learn from the travails the Buharists went through in his defence. They marketed Buhari to the extent that we thought only miracles would better his performance in office, and failure was an impossibility in our imaginations. We again gave him another chance despite his dissatisfaction with his first term because the Saraki/Dogara-led National Assembly was a block to his reform agendas. They also told us that the 2016 economic recession was a catastrophe due to the then-ever-falling oil prices. With these excuses, whether acceptable or not, we should understand that there won’t be a smooth ride for any president in a developing economy like ours.
So, I remind those supporters to moderate their optimism and understand and study what development is all about in modern civilization. It is not as easy as we thought. It would be best if you weren’t in defence of your candidate throughout his stay in office.
Nigeria had her chance to turn things around when the oil price was at its highest. Unfortunately, indecisions and a lack of foresight from the leaders made it impossible. We are now living to bear the brunts of the indecisions of our past leaders.
To Nigerians, we should understand that good governance that translates into sustainable growth and development cannot be achieved through “quick-fix” solutions. It’ll take longer than expected time for it to manifest. We’ve read and heard of the turnaround of countries like China and the United Arab Emirates but never paid attention to the processes they passed through before making it to the big stage. If development is what we all crave, we must all make sacrifices that come with it and know that we may not be the immediate beneficiaries of our own strides.
Hassan Ahmad Usman writes from Lafia, Nasarawa State, Nigeria. He can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org.