All eyes have been set on tomorrow, Monday May 29, 2023 as the nation transits from one government to the other. This is expected to happen at the federal level and most states of the federation except Osun, Ondo, Edo, Kogi, Imo Bayelsa where elections are yet to hold or have held to complete the democratic circle This means there will be new governments at the federal level and about 30 states. President Muhammadu Buhari’s 8 year tenure which began on 29th may 2015 will end tomorrow being 29th may 2023 in accordance with Nigeria’s constitution. Elections have taken place and winners have emerged at the federal and state levels for both legislative and executive positions. Even though alot of litigations are presently lodged with election petition tribunals across the states and the FCT, our constitution abhors a vacuum and therefore governance must continue.
At the centre, President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu who was declared winner of the 25th February Presidential Election will be sworn in to take over from outgoing president Muhamadu Buhari.
Alot of expectations have filled the air both at the federal and states involved where new governors are expected to take over.
This transition looks quite different from others because of all that has happened in the last 8 years. When Buhari took over from former President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015, the expectation was that things would change especially the insecurity that pervaded the north central and north east geopolitical zones of the nation. The nation witnessed heightened insecurity at the time with the negatively celebrated abduction of the Chibok school girls most of whom are still not found. The coming in of President Buhari gave hope that the situation was going to be addressed especially that a retired military general was taking over. Most people had believed that with his background as military man whose career revolves around security, the nation can go to sleep. But the nation could still not sleep throughout the 8 years with military Buhari as helmsman.
What the people kept getting are endless excuses by the government and the Apc party in government on why the insecurity has remained unsolved inspite of hundreds of billions of naira spent. Other sectors of the nation such as the economy, agricultural, mining, educational, health, tourism,etc of the country did not fared any better. In essence, the hope of the people have been dashed . The gains of the government are just but minimal against the huge expectations of the people. A lot of people have died as a result of the insecurity while poverty is on the increase. The purchasing power of majority of Nigerians dwindled which created many other problems across the nation. The main stay of the nation’s economy which is agriculture was deliberately and painfully neglected by governments at all levels while individuals in governments kept their farms very progressive, including Buhari himself. The much talked about diversification only started and ended on the table of the President and the governors. Even agriculturally viable states like Benue, Plateau,Taraba, Kaduna could not realised their potentials because of the type of governors that ruled them in the last 8 years.
The situation reached an alarming stage where the quality of the democratic process is àlso being threatened. The high rate of the debt burden of the nation created by the outgoing government for the incoming administration both at the state and federal levels is worrisome. Even with about 5 days to vacate office, Buhari was still seeking the approval of the National assembly to borrow more money. The figures of the monies already borrowed is yet to be made officially public but its quite very scary. At the state levels, it can only be imagined what most states will look like after taking over tomorrow. In short, there were reckless borrowings which were not judiciously utilised and accounted for. New governments will have to devise new ways of survival to cater for their people under very tight economic situations. The new governments especially those of the states who always relied on monthly subvention will be more pathetic and therefore need uncommon decisions and actions to overcome. Some of these actions must be the initiation of recovery processes to get back all the stolen wealth of the people.
In the last few months, Nigerians of all faiths have been praying as never before so as never to witness the type of misgovernance witnessed in the last 8 years where majority have been giving testimonies of how they survived. It has not been easy for most families. Many people have died as a result of not getting as little as 500 naira to but drugs to take care of high blood pressure while many others have died from starvation, avoidable accidents, kidnappings,abductions and other violent crimes, etc. Many could not pay school fees while many are indebted as the nation is, and always in crisis of how to pay. Alot of problems that were strange to Nigerians have cropped up and many have been living by grace. That is why alot of new crimes and criminalities have sprung up and springing up just for those who do them to survive. Many farmers who would have been independent in their occupations have also been crying because of absent of fertilisers or high cost of it and other implements. All these happen while the outgoing governments look the other way. Most of those who governed our states are people who lacked basic ideas,capacities, passion amd compassion but were those who were just after political power for selfish and personal gains.
Many people have jokingly passed messages that to have survived the last 8 years of the Buhari government is to qualify for a certificate of survival( Survivor Certificate). Even though its a joke but a message passed. Now that a new government is about to take over at the federal government and many states of the country, it is left to be seen how sensitive and willing, prepared and competent the occupants of the offices are towards making life better for the people. This is not to say that the outgoing government has not done anything, but to say that enough good has not been achieved in public governance to fix and close the existing gap of poverty, economic backwardness and insecurity. The incoming president Asiwaju and the governors of our states must live up to their billing. They must work to uplift the standard of lives of the people, provide adequate security for them, strengthen and empower their occupations and sources of livelihood and improve the economy.