President Muhammadu Buhari
It now seems obvious that those who sold the idea of change to President Muhammadu Buhari did not reach what lawyers call ad idem with him from the outset.
Ad idem refers to a meeting of minds of parties involved in a contract on the very essence of that agreement. It is a critical ingredient whose absence is able to vitiate any contract subjected to the test of law.
Over the past 20 months, it has become increasingly discernable that those who hawked Buhari to Nigerians as the agent of transformation only successfully communicated half of the elements of Buhari’s agency to him.
This half, from what one perceives, ends with the urgent need for a change in leadership. That critical part wherein the desire to reform a country is followed through by a series of policies and actions was either not conveyed at all or got lost at some point during the conversation.
This is why it is impossible to reconcile the President’s avowed commitment to revolutionalise the way Nigerians think and conduct themselves with some of his actions. All of this makes you wonder whether Nigerians and members of the All Progressives Congress had the same understanding of change as they worked towards the definitive 2015 elections.
And please, no one should raise that already overstretched argument about change being a tedious, long process which an impatient nature makes Nigerians misunderstands.
That suggestion by itself, is a reprehensible slight on the resilient determination of millions of Nigerians who defied all odds to vote in Buhari about 21 months ago. What those who market this idea should realise is that even the long process of instilling effective transformation should be signposted by incontrovertible evidences of a deep, research-based understanding of the problem, a theoretical and practicable framework for the reversal of the problem, a palpable determination of the leader to solve the problem without fear and favour as well as an undisguised ability of custodians of the people’s mandate to lead by example!
Subjected to any objective evaluation, it is doubtful that the Buhari administration will exceed the very base of assessments on most of these fronts. The administration has, to say the least, wallowed in uninspiring ineptitude that should currently worry every Nigerian conversant with the urgency with which this country should get of the gallows of underdevelopment.
For example, Buhari and his party men have regaled us with tales of how we found ourselves in the current economic deep pit because past leaders of Nigeria allowed the importation of everything and anything to the detriment of production at home. They have gone further to promise to redress the situation and set Nigeria on the path of irreversible development.
Part of their design to achieve this is weaning the nation off its dependence on oil through relentless diversification and the encouragement of local manufacturing. A clear way to go, everyone would agree.
Towards the achievement of the latter in particular, this government has almost since inception imposed capital controls which have seen to the restriction of the importation of a number of items and the ability of many hardworking Nigerians to transact legitimate business, attend to their health care needs or send their children to school regardless of the import of the latter to the country’s future.
The President coverts the collaboration and sacrifice of all Nigerians on these but he and some of his close aides are not exactly inclined to subjecting themselves to the very demands they make of their compatriots.
He would show total disregard for the sensibilities of Nigerians when he made that comment about being able to send his daughter to school abroad because he could afford it while insisting that those who could no longer afford it, even if through no fault of theirs, would get no help from government.