“Before you ask, ‘where is the change they promised us?, ‘ you must first ask, ‘how far have I changed my ways?.’”
– President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR)
September 8, 2016
1. I watched the official launch of the #ChangeBeginsWithYou Campaign & it reiterated my belief that the President Muhammadu Buhari is bereft of ideas on how to deliver on the promise of change to Nigerians.
2. My consternation was made worse by the fact that President Buhari made comments implying that the “Change” is not about economic progress or empowerment but about social reorientation and behavioural modification.
3. His statement that Nigerians should change first before they can see the change his administration promised is further evidence of his tone deafness & inability to take responsibility for the pain & suffering he has brought on Nigerians.
4. For the avoidance of doubt, Mr. President, Nigeria & Nigerians have changed. We have changed:
– From being the largest economy in Africa;
– From having an average 6% GDP growth per annum over the last 5years to a recession GDP of -2.38% in your first year in office;
– To a country where 4.58million people have lost their jobs in 16 months of your leadership;
– To a country where inflation has risen to 17.1% from the 9.6% that your admin inherited;
– To a country with the worst performing currency in Africa & third worst in the world;
– To a country where non-oil exports have fallen by 43.2% ;
– To a country on the brink of what most western media calls the worst food crises ever seen happening in the North Eastern part of the country;
– To a country where its citizens are increasingly unable to afford food and other basics (a bag of rice has gone from N9000 to N20, 000) & where hunger now reigns supreme, etc.
5. Mr. President, you need to realize that change begins with you. Indeed, change will come when you begin to fulfil the 81 promises you made during your campaign.
6. Again, for the avoidance of doubt and in the event that you may have forgotten, these promises include:
– Generation, transmission and distribution of at least 20,000 MW of electricity within four years and increasing to 50,000 MW with a view to achieving 24/7 uninterrupted power supply within 10 years.
– Three million Jobs per year.
– Making the economy one of the fastest-growing emerging economies in the world with a real GDP growth averaging 10% annually.
– Permanent peace in the Niger Delta and other conflict prone areas such as Plateau, Taraba, Bauchi, Borno and Abia.
– Public declaration of assets and liabilities.
– Ban on all government officials (yourself included) from seeking medical care abroad.
– Preserving the independence of the Central Bank.
– Creating additional middle-class of at least two million new home owners in the first year in government and one million annually thereafter.
– Requiring full disclosure in media outlets, of all government contracts over N100 million prior to award and during implementation at regular interval.
– Strengthening INEC to reduce, if possible, eliminate electoral malpractices in Nigerian’s political life.
7. The fulfilment of these & other campaign promises you made, not sermons, is what will change Nigeria from the current trajectory upon which you have placed us to a path of prosperity.
8. It is the fulfilment of these and other campaign promises that will ensure that you stop wasting tax payers’ money on colourful ceremonies and Tv/Radio.
9. President Buhari must realise that he cannot shift the burden of change onto Nigerians, many of whom voted for him on the basis of his promises to bring change.
Member, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)