It is novel to Nigeria and carries with it, monumental loads of expectations from eager and clearly disenchanted citizenry that are just surviving perhaps the most corrupt and profligate era in the troubled history of Nigeria.
Buhari is coming to power at a time the nation has been practically hobbled by insensate corruption, horrible governance, impunity and ineptitude.
The huge expectations being piled on Buhari’s shoulders by both his supporters who fervently voted for him and his antagonists who did everything humanly possibly to stop his historical march to power is a load that comes with his sweeping ride to power.
Every Nigerian has moulded a magician of Buhari who is expected to, in one clear swoop, banish the specters of 16 years #PDP misrule and place Nigeria firmly on the threshold of progress.
Even those that unleashed brazen violence, impunity and deadly hate, those that emptied the national treasury in a blinding bid to stop Buhari’s ascension to power have hewn a fat list of expectations Buhari must compulsorily meet on his first day of power.
But Buhari is coming prepared to cleanse the badly desecrated Augean stable. He is fully kitted for a very drastic mission to rescue a well endowed but viscerally crumbled country from the deepest pit of rot where a purblind outgoing government has plunged it.
Buhari is fully clothed for war against the deliberate vicissitudes that were employed to reduce Nigeria to a region in hell even with monumental oil wealth, rich natural resources and abundant human potentials. He is preparing no excuse and he will give none to anybody, least of all, sore vermin that are still bitterly ruing their rustication from power.
Buhari is primed to meet the eager expectation of his genuine followers and supporters who wove a fitting garb of a rescuer for him as the debauchery and irresponsibility of the outgoing Jonathan regime reached a feverish pitch with the regime’s consuming desire to hang unto power.
For the avoidance of doubt, this is not the best of times for any Nigerian to take up the delicate task of reinventing a country that has been practically grounded by corrupt and clueless leadership. It is that rare capacity to rise above the din of the ordinary and rescue a sinking ship that marked Buhari out as the harvester of the fervent support of Nigerians during the elections.
It us not an ordinary expression of sentiment that Nigerians feel Buhari is well equipped to lead the salvation task in a practically crumbled country, gasping for breadth at the feet of an inept and ultra corrupt cabal.
To be sure, Buhari had led this country at such sorry pass of its chequered history before and his stellar performance then coupled with a rich swathe of rare honesty, integrity, discipline and firmness made him fit for the role he is assuming in a 2015 Nigeria that has become a study in unbridled brigandage and outlandish prodigality. Buhari is meeting with the huge ruins of an empire lost; a house that has fallen and a paradise misused.
The Nigeria Buhari is meeting is an empty shell. The treasury has been completely drained. The #state of infrastructure is horrible. The economic conditions are austere. Corruption is on its most prurient state. Nepotism, sectarian division, ethnicism and tribalism have inserted deep cleavages of hate, anger, intolerance and disillusionment. Poverty walks on all fours, even with the prank of periodically writing flowery economic reports that mean nothing to a famished and weather beaten people that are existing on the very brinks of survival.
Today, Nigerians are aimlessly roving in pitch darkness as the public power sector has practically collapsed even with a dubious privatization program that ended up exposing millions of Nigerians to barbaric exploitation by the czars of the outgoing regime.
The energy sector is in total chaos as a deliberate culture of corruption has ensured that the sixth largest oil producer on earth undergoes an embarrassing pang of excruciating fuel crisis. Unemployment is at its ever highest pitch as the figure adds up each day with proven official incompetence to manage the issue.
The country has become the butt of ribaldry in international affairs as a visionless government had become a big rebuke in the comity of nations. All fonts of economic generation have been milked to feed an idle coterie of sybaritic eunuchs that live on singing the dumb praises of a clueless government and tickle its fancies.
Life expectancy has plummeted to an embarrassing level that Nigeria is practically an expansive grave for citizens who are forced to survive on sheer will to live.
These and more are dreary pictures that stare Buhari and his incoming government in the face. These are the pallid state the out going government leaves Nigeria and for which its grieving denizens expect Buhari to fix on his first day in power.
Yes, they said Buhari has no excuse for not doing wonders with the despicable state they have rendered the treasury! What a bunch! They said Buhari should unleash the miracle that made Nigerians to reject their rotten commission and vote him. Lest we mistake the sore grapes of these displaced free loaders with the original demands of patriotic Nigerians that Buhari should come arrest the drift of the state through accountable and responsible governance, Buhari is ready and very prepared to tackle the gargantuan rot the out going government is leaving behind headlong. There is no doubt about this in the minds of genuine supporters of Buhari and he will do it.
What we must do is to offer him our sincere support and ideas, where we can, to do the tasking work. Many have talked of patience, yes, we must give him. Many have talked of understanding, yes, we must give him. Many have talked of patriotism, yes, we must give him.
To be candid, Nigerians have given these abundantly to the strings of prebendal leaders that have ruled this country and ended up hugely disappointed. Buhari will get enough of it. Nigerians will help him to succeed for there lies our last hope; our last card to survival and progress as a nation.
By now, it is my fervent expectation that Buhari has his acts well cut out; waiting for unleashing on a country that simply cannot wait.
Days seem like years and the huge relief Buhari’s early policy directives will inflict to a pinning and parched nation will be seen on Inauguration Day as anxious citizens hear, with wrapt attention, the policy thrust of the new regime.
His early pronouncements and his early postures will uplift the soul of a dreary nation and wake the dead bones of a disheveled nation to life so we eagerly await May 29 and I know Nigerians will never be disappointed.
As to what we expect, these have been clearly articulated by the flotilla of prescriptions that have been put up by both friends and foes since Buhari emerged but by now, Buhari must have employed the meat cleaver to sift the grain from the chaff in these demands.
He must have cone out with a priority list that encapsulates what we need and require most, even with the enormity of problems created by the outgoing regime.
Buhari must have discerned that #Nigerians need power, that we need jobs, that we need fuel, that we need good roads, that we need food on our tables, that we need good security, that we need accountability, that we expect him to make those that have swallowed our national patrimony to vomit same for the task of fixing Nigeria.
On the last item, there should be no compromise because he needs to set the moral template of a depraved nation by ensuring that those that steal the common patrimony pay.
Buhari should know that governance in Nigeria needs form and sequence and no more the jumbled jungle we are just emerging from where there is no head and lickspittles ran riot because the head is rotten and weak.
He must show strong leadership as this reflects on the quality of governance he renders and seeps down to the type of country he will leave behind after his stewardship.
To do these, there is no way Buhari can make an omelet without breaking an egg. He needs to be firm and decisive on corruption, as we know he will be, knowing that his success depends on how well he tracks this stubborn decibel.
He must step on toes; rotten fat toes that have stood on our success as a nation. He must feel free to offload the compromised deadwoods the departing Jonathan is packing in the entire system as he prepares for exit.
He must have his men firmly in all spheres because success or failure of his regime is his and his alone.
I expect Buhari to reverse the flurry of questionable appointments Jonathan has lately made his favourite pastime and imbue in the system men who are equally driven by his passion for a new Nigeria.
As we wait for the long days between now and May 29, 2015; the longest days in the Nigerian history, we anxiously await the dawn of a new era when the country will bounce back to its lost years of glory under the able leadership of a man moulded by history and dint of personal effort to lead the daunting task.
We have no doubt that he is equal to the difficult task.
Peter Claver Oparah
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