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It was all woes throughout 2017 for millions of Nigerians. Nigerians were wishing last year to end to usher in a brand new 2018.

It was all woes throughout 2017 for millions of Nigerians. Nigerians were wishing last year to end to usher in a brand new 2018.

The new year messages sent out by leaders at all levels especially command leadership – the Legislators, state and national levels, governors and the President were taken in confidence that at the inception of 2018, the nation's problems would begin to ease off particularly the crises in the petroleum sector would begin to change for the better. One month less the first quarter of 2018, the fuel ugly situation remains unabated. To avoid keeping you guessing why the above topic and what it means 2018 and -less in APC Federal government is associated with words with ending less. Such words include hopeless, cashless, visionless and tasteless. Before dwelling on the topic a revisit of the Discourse Column of 15-18 June, 2015 with the title “18th day after inauguration: Buhari and power, comparing what Buhari promised in 2015 and what is besetting Nigerians is enough to pigeon-hole and conclude that APC has frittered away the confidence of Nigerians and the international community. Take time to read and assimilate.
“Power is one phenomenon inexhaustible. Within the custody of a decent and transparent leader, it is positive.  Wrongly located, power is negative, vindictive. Whether positive or negative power is transient. Power is a word with different definitions or interpretations  the ability of the body to do something; a country with enormous influence in world affairs or with great capabilities; electrically, mechanically and mathematically.   Power in discourse is political control of a country or an area, presently entrusted to no less a person than President Muhammadu Buhari.
Elections are over and the challenges of nationhood are enormous, varying in dimensions. For those who seek power for materialistic purpose they are strategizing to recoup their expenses, angling to place their relations, cronies with juicy appointments to short-change the masses, the down trodden.
Power in the right possession, empowers all the people without discrimination, distinction or class. If every Nigerian who fortunately is voted into office realizes that without he or her people voting them into office, they would not be in office, definitely would do everything within their power to satisfy them so that their people would hold them relevant and endear them to their hearts.
This is indeed the stuff President Muhammadu Buhari is made of. Eighteen days into office, Muhammadu Buhari is charting a new course, beginning a process of engraving his name in gold in governance which is anchored on justice, equity, temperance, simplicity. Action is louder than voice. Example is better than precept. Buhari is leading governance by practicalities. He seems not carried away by mundane acquisitions.
In the 1980s when Buhari shot into national limelight as a Military Head of State little was known of him. During his sojourn as the Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces, his second in Command Tunde Idiagbon late was prominently assertive. Little wonder there was no opportunity to assess Buhari by Nigerians. Buhari left office through a coup and Nigerians held different interpretations about him.
More than 30 years out of office, now back this time as a democratically elected President, Buhari is no longer a neophyte, a green horn. At 70 years old or more, experienced he has enough information about Nigerians, Nigeria and the solutions to Nigeria's problem, independent of his party.
Less than 3 weeks after his inauguration, so far so good. He has acquitted himself creditably among friends and foes. His agenda is Nigerian, people-centered.
He is working in tandem with the inaugural speech he delivered at the Eagle Square Abuja on the 29th May, 2015. The speech was spectacular, point-blank, informative and implementable. It was devoid of showmanship, rabble-rouse and bombast.
President Buhari's position on the National Assembly leadership and that he accepted the outcome of the election of principal officers of the National Assembly  Senate President, Deputy Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives on Tuesday 9th June, 2015 was a statesman-like and a departure from the past when incumbent Presidents would hand pick principal officers of the National Assembly because they would like to see the National Assembly as an extension of the Executive Arm of government.
Today the President of the Senate is Bukola Saraki, the Deputy Senate President is Ike Ekweremadu, Mr. Yakubu Dogara Speaker House of Representatives, Yusufu Larsan Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives. Although both Bukola Saraki and Yakubu Dogara are members of the Ruling APC, their emergence was against the zoning arrangement of the APC.
According to the party's arrangement, one Senator Ahmad Lawan was penciled down for Senate President while Hon Femi Gbajabiamila as Speaker of the House of Representatives, was the choice of APC.
President Muhammadu Buhari had shown difference and uniqueness by before the election of House leadership to work with those who emerged from the election.
Unfortunately this is coming when APC leadership has already exposed its double standard and ignorance to Nigerians. Change is not only by sweeping away PDP at the national level. It can be across the board, encompassing to include the National Assembly leadership.
On that score, Nigerians condemn in strong terms utterances emanating from APC stalwarts such as Ahmed Tinubu, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Senator Barnabas Gemade and others for challenging or intruding in the independence and sacredness of the National Assembly. Agreed that many of the APC members opposed to the National Assembly leadership have agreed to accept the outcome of the House Leadership election, damage already done to the credibility of APC is irredeemable.
The most unforgivable is the one credited to a member of the Northern Elders Forum, Junaid Mohammed. While it is true that Junaid Muhammed is rabidly identified with Northern agenda but this time around for attacking a supposedly Northerner from the Northern Central zone of Nigeria before the House election exposed Junaid's desperation and discrimination. According to Junaid, “the North will not accept a situation where one section of the country, that is, Yoruba will occupy three main positions. President, Speaker of the House of Representatives and Senate President. Whether or not Senator Bukola Saraki is from Kwara North Central is immaterial”.
Deriding the background of the new Senate President, Junaid fired, “He is a Yoruba. Let him even come from Saudi Arabia, he remains a Yoruba man. He cannot be Senate President. And if APC manipulates the person to throw him up as Senate President that will be the beginning of turbulence in the Senate”.
President Muhammadu Buhari's position on the National Assembly leadership is in line with the principles of Separation of Powers among the three arms of government.
He should not be afraid of the legislature as long as he carries his functions and duties with utmost patriotism and diligence.
In the discharge of powers conferred on him by the constitution, Buhari should be fair to all.
Very soon APC including Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu, ever loquacious Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Senator Barnabas Gemade may come to terms with the fact that Buhari is on different page with them. That they funded, supported Buhari's presidency does not translate into manipulating the President into regional agenda, or selfish endeavour. The best is to remain relevant and this is possible if Muhammadu Buhari is encouraged to take actions that are of national interest.
At this juncture, the Arewa Consultative Forum, the Northern Elders' Forum and the North are advised to moderate their language. No group, section is more Buhari than Nigerians. Resort to combustible, infuriating utterances should give way for dialogue, understanding and cooperation.
The on-going intrigues, conspiracy to desperately edge out the Igbo nation from the political equation of equitable power sharing is an exercise in futility,  sooner than later will backfire. The election of Senator Ike Ekweremadu, as the Deputy Senate President is in the national interest and corporate existence of Nigeria. Similarly, nothing should subvert the position of Secretary to the Federal Government announced to have been given to Dr Ogbonnaya Onu.
President Muhammadu Buhari is seen to be exercising power with care and caution and in consonance with the Oath of Office he swore on the 29th May, 2015”.
Post – Goodluck Jonathan and President Muhammadu Buhari presiding more than three years now has failed to justify the mandates Nigerians gave him. Today Nigerians are not proud to be identified as Nigerians.
All dividends of democracy President Buhari inherited from the immediate administration have been extinguished as the President tightens the noose on the necks of Nigerians under the guise of eradicating corruption. At the same time the President as the Commander-in-Chief of all security agencies has deliberately watched insecurity to be on the increase, exposing the lives of innocent Nigerians to Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen. Nigerians have refused to buy into the idea that both Boko Haram and killer herdsmen are invincible. Whether the Nigerian Police or the military both security organizations can't be overwhelmed by lawlessness.
With situation worsening on each passing day, the confidence of Nigerians is dwindling. The credibility of President Buhari is crumbing. APC is at the receiving end without taking credible steps to reverse its slippery slope.
The future of Nigerians is bleak. Nigerians are hopeless and helpless and life is tasteless when President Buhari is posting close to 40 billion dollars Foreign Reserve; when the government is mopping up billions of naira from the Treasury Single Account among others and there are no manifestations and transformation on the people.
 A government that is on a daily basis manifesting aggression is crediting itself in self-adulation with success. For instance, on Thursday March 8th the President while receiving a delegation from King Salman of Saudi Arabia boasted of doing his best since coming to power in 2015. He claimed to have done enough to secure the lives and property of Nigerians. For those Nigerians living outside the theatre of insurgence, the President boasted that only those living in the affected states could provide correct assessments of changes that have taken place since he assumed office in 2015.
Yes Salman of Saudi Arabia can be talked into conceding to the Nigerian President. If President Buhari had done enough his enough is not good enough.
The killings whether from herdsmen or Boko Haram will continue unabated as long as the heinous crimes have political undertone.
But undemocratically, the President has achieved. The National Assembly and the Judiciary are under attack for insisting that aberration and unethical democratic practices that endanger the nation's democracy under the nose of the President must be checked. Little wonder the Senate collectively drew the attention of Nigerians and the International Community that the country's democracy is under threat. Presiding at a session last week, the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu condemned in strong terms the disintegration of democracy as the lives of innocent Nigerians are wasted by herdsmen and Boko Haram. He was of the opinion that if nothing was done urgently, the military would hide under cloak of lawlessness to dismantle democracy it cost Nigerians to entrench.  Credit should therefore go to the National Assembly of both chambers for checking the rising despotism, nepotism, cabalism and cronyism emanating from the Executive Arm.
Families in Nigeria today go to bed hungry and not sure of food even the next day. The 2018 tasteless, blurred and bitter, Nigerians voted for change from good to better, not from good to worst.
Sydney .O. Madukwem, Guest Writer, Dile Emeohe Mbaoma Emii, Owerri North L/G, 07069123994.

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