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What your CHANGE now means to us- Nigerians tell Buhari

•Plead he fights hunger too, not only corruption 
•Past govt failed to save for rainy day—FG
•Says genuine effort being made to revamp economy By Chidi Nkwopara, Luka Binniyat, Samuel Oyadongha, Jimitota Onoyume, Peter Duru, Daud Olatunji, Suzan Edeh, Francis Igata & Abudulsalam Muhammad
In the twilight of the Goodluck Jonathan-led Peoples Democratic Party administration, Nigerians lamented that they had never had it that bad. The challenges confronting them appeared insurmountable. There was pervasive corruption that threatened to sweep away the entire nation. Insurgents were having a field day in the north, declaring their own republic within the Federal Republic of Nigeria and annexing towns and villages while the government looked helpless. There was massive unemployment and the energy sector was in comatose with unending and seemingly impossible fuel and power shortages.BUHARI-NIGERIA The generality of Nigerians, with the exception of those who were directly benefiting from the government of the day were totally disillusioned. They cried for change and yearned for a messiah that would restore sanity in the land. When the former military ruler, General Muhammadu Buhari therefore emerged the presidential candidate of the then opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, there was wild jubilation in many parts of the country. For someone who hated corruption with a passion, Buhari was seen as the only person who could fight corruption to a standstill. He was known for his fight against indiscipline when he was military head of state. With his large following and his pedigree, his victory at the presidential polls in April 2015 was not a surprise. He had tremendous goodwill both at home and abroad. Alluding to this in his inaugural speech on May 29 2015, President Buhari said “my fellow Nigerians I can not recall when Nigeria enjoyed so much goodwill abroad as now. The messages I received from East and West, from powerful and small countries are indicative of international expectations on us. At home the newly elected government is basking in a reservoir of goodwill and high expectations”. To whom much is given, much is therefore expected. Nigerians expected President Muhammadu Buhari to hit the ground running. The president himself promised to tackle the challenges 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”, Buhari declared in his inaugural speech. One year after assuming office however, Nigerians have expressed total disappointment in his administration. They are agonising that they have not felt the desired change they voted for in President Buhari. Great efforts have been made to curtail insurgency and the government deserves huge commendation for that. The fight against corruption is well appreciated but it appears targeted at politicians only as the customs, the police, the civil servants are still corrupt. It is still business as usual in so many sectors. There is a groundswell of criticisms of the government’s response to the economic crisis which led to increase in prices, growing unemployment, job losses, pay cuts and owed salaries. Even President Mohammadu Buhari’s ardent supporters like fiery Catholic Priest, Ejike Mbaka are commending him for the fight against corruption but accusing him of not equally responding to an economic emergency that has left many families struggling or unable to feed. Mbaka, in a sermon to his congregation on July 23, said “hunger is everywhere. As the president is fighting corruption, some of us are praying that he will equally fight hunger. The landlords are crying, tenants are lamenting. Sellers are crying, buyers are lamenting. Many students are being rusticated from school because they can’t pay school fees. Proprietors are distressed. Many companies are winding up. The economy is hard”. Nigerians across the country agree with the Catholic Priest who however maintains that the blame of today’s condition should go to the Jonathan administration. Nigerians are now saying that what they are experiencing now is not the CHANGE they bargained for, that they have been deceived by the APC government that led them out of the biblical Egypt and the government has now abandoned them in the wilderness to die of hunger and misery. We sought the views of many Nigerians especially the commoners. And their common saying is that the Buhari CHANGE has not brought the expected change but gloom. Salisu Saidu, bricklayer, Kaduna state “I used to make about N1,500 to N2000 everyday I went out to site, and there was plenty of work up to 2015.

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