Change slogan is losing melody


10 Apr 2016

Change slogan is losing melody

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The change mantra and Sai Buhari that ushered in the new administration are  losing their allure in the federal capital. Why?

By Favour Nnabugwu,Vivian Yiye  & Samuel Chia

A good campaign slogan is like a good fortune: concise, clever and crisp. The ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, found one in the slogan Change, which was to drive home the party’s campaign for the change of what was considered as the difficult situations Nigerians believed they were living under in the years before the historic  May 29, 2015,  handover from the former ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to the APC.

President Muhammadu Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari

That campaign slogan was also buttressed by the slogan adopted by enthusiasts of the party’s presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, which was Sai Buhari! Sai Baba!

Ten months into the life of the new administration, the slogans that heralded the new administration to power are being turned into a mockery by the vicissitudes of the political environment.

Besides the rot that was inherited, the new administration has been challenged by depressing revenue stoked by the collapse of the price of crude oil which is the country’s main revenue source.

Sai Baba, Sai Buhari was adopted as a way of greeting, popular among Okada riders, market men and women and even in corporate offices before the March 28 presidential polls.

It is not surprising that some who just a year ago were chanting Sai Buhari! Sai Baba! are today muttering Sai Yunwa (hunger).

Indeed, the majority of Nigerians knew that the year 2016 would be a tough year. Perhaps, they only underestimated the toughness that the year would bring.

The last five months have been particularly hectic. Almost everything has been ‘dollarised’. From sachet water to staple foods, groundnut oil, palm oil, beef, fish and all consumables are beyond the reach of the ordinary man.

Dispirited and weary, the majority of them expressed disappointment that they now buy sachet water for N10 and a bag of rice, which they bought N10,000 last Christmas is now N15,000.

And beyond the harsh economic situation, the weather condition is also harsh. The intense heat in the day and night is killing and electricity that would have provided soothing relief is now a scarce commodity. Even worse, in some states like Lagos, residents who do with generators are forbidden to buy fuel when available using their kegs. What a life!

Mr Sunday Oyemade, who runs a business centre in the Area 10 commercial section of Abuja, said that though, the country’s economy was already in bad shape before President Buhari took over but that he expected that things would have improved a little,   ten months into the life of the present administration.

“When this government took over, the economy was already in a bad shape; many states were owing debts and the government had to use bailout funds to help them pay salaries.”

He, however, believes that the state of insecurity is the major cause of the poor growth of the economy as he told Sunday Vanguard that foreign investors were still scared of venturing into Nigeria.

Mr Chidi Okereke, a welder who operates from Area 1, affirmed that ordinary Nigerians have been worst hit by the change that has come saying the fight against corruption is a distraction.

“We hear the government is doing something about this bad economy but the masses are suffering, there is no light in my workshop and no jobs since the year began, I have not eaten since morning because there is no money, the government should forget about fighting corruption and do something about the economy.”

Mallam Dansali Mohammed, a local tea vendor popularly known as Mai shai without holding back said the suffering in the land has become too much for him and his family to bear.

“People are saying things would get better but for how long do we have to endure the suffering?    I voted for President Buhari but with the way things are going, Sai Buhari Sai Baba is not a slogan l want to be part of again until there is visible improvement in the economy that would by extension reflect on me.”

But not all are totally despondent. Mr Akiola Alamurin, a businessman, based in Area 10 said that things are not as bad as they seem to be.

“I have not seen anything bad so far with the government. I think the President is fighting corruption for justice, but people have been complaining about money and that is true because even myself I have not been making money the way l used to.”  “But all l have to say is that Nigerians should be patient, give him a chance and support the government.”              A taxi driver who simply gave his name as Ugochukwu vented out like wild fire when asked about his assessment of the situation in the land.

“We raised our hope that it was a better government not knowing it’s worse. What is going on in the country is called political telecombo it means the government is confused, the government only talks about corruption and as time is going people are suffering ‘people are in poverty.

“And the president claims to be the minister for petroleum but he can’t come face to face with Nigerians to tell us the situation on ground.

‘’This Government is afraid of criticism it means that they don’t want to take correction.”

Mallam Muhammad Ohiani, a civil servant on his part, said, ‘’We wanted change and so we voted for change but we have not seen the change. The only thing we see is the hardship. Even at my place of work, they owe us a month salary and l have children in higher institution and l cannot afford their school fees.

“The government always talks about probe but yet there is no change in what we have seen so far, even all the construction companies have either been shut down or laid off their workers, so where is the change we are talking about?”  Not surprisingly, the distressing slogan of change is now song to partisans of the opposition PDP. At every opportunity, those who clamoured for change a year ago are today being harassed for the change that they said would come with Buhari.

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News Source: VanguardNigeria, 9jaTales

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