ONE YEAR IN OFFICE: Mixed Grill As Joy, Regret, Anxiety Abound

Date:

* Insecurity, poor economy cause fear

*Masses waiting to see campaign promises *President working to better things – Information minister

By Dauda Ismail and David Maxwell

As has become the tradition in Nigeria’s democracy, it is now one year when President Bola Tinubu and about 28 governors took over the mantle of leadership on May 29 last year. For many, the current administration at the federal level has not lived up to expectation, while expectedly others believe that the president only needs more time for the gains of his policies to be felt by the Nigerian masses.

Many Nigerians who have openly accessed Tinubus administration believe the economic woes felt by Nigerians began when he, during his inaugural address announced the removal of subsidy on petrol, which immediately prompted many petrol marketers shut their stations, and queues began growing at filling stations. By the following day, Nigerians awoke to a rise in prices of petrol which began to sell for N568 at NNPC retail stations, while other marketers began selling between N700 and N650 in the Lagos and Abuja areas. This directly had a domino effect on prices of goods and services which reacted with an upward flight.

Insecurity from terrorism to banditry, kidnapping, armed robbery, cultism and the return of highway robbery has left many Nigerians in fear an apprehension.

Speaking to AljazirahNigeria, Ismail Bologi said: “while there is nothing wrong with the removal of subsidy, and I commend President Tinubu for his rather bold step in wasting no time in doing so, I think where the president got it all wrong and which has plunged the country into the current economic woes was the delay in Nigerians seeing the palliatives either monetary or material even till today.

“How could you easily and boldly remove subsidy and it took you months to announce a palliative that the vast majority of suffering Nigerians are yet to see one year after? I think that in his rush to do what is needed for economic growth, Tinubu ‘put the cart before the horse’ and this has been the bane of his administration as the shylocks at all levels have capitalised on the subsidy removal to further impoverish an already poor Nigerian masses who are earnestly waiting to see his campaign promises.”

But like in every human situation, it has been a mixed grill as some are satisfied with this administration despite the disappointment of others. And yet there are some others who have remained indifferent as they have lost hope in the political leadership of the country. One of such is Madam Bolanle, a roadside food seller popularly known as “Mama Put’ who said: “Whether Buhari, Tinubu, Atiku, Obi or any other person who comes to rule Nigeria, what is my business with them? Will any one of them assist me in feeding and training my children? Please, I no longer care whoever rules Nigeria; all I care about is for God to bless my hustle and help me train my children. Who Nigeria help sef?”

On his part, former Deputy National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Bode George, while putting the reason behind the economic woes of the current administration on the ineptitude of the previous government, charged President Bola Tinubu to rejig his economic team saying Nigerians have suffered enough.

Addressing newsmen in Lagos on the state of the nation, the PDP leader said due to the failure of successive leaders to grapple with the problems of nation building, Nigeria is currently facing an existential crisis. “Because successive leaders have failed to successfully grapple with the problems of nation building, Nigeria is currently facing an existential crisis. This crisis became complicated between 2015 and 2023 during the administration of my oga President Muhammadu Buhari. The Nigerian state almost collapsed because many Nigerians will agree that, that eight-year era was probably the worst in Nigerian history since 1960 when we got our independence. It was as if nobody was in charge of the country.”

For the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Alhaji Mohammed Idris he has expressed optimism that things will get better in Nigeria as some of the policies of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration will begin to crystallize into reality.

He assured that the economic situation in the county will soon improve and impact positively on the lives of Nigerians at the event organised by the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on International Cooperation and Bank of Industry.

“Tinubu’s determination to engage on the global stage to position and sell Nigeria as an investment destination is something he takes seriously, both at home and abroad. He is the Chief Marketing Officer of the country and always goes the extra mile to fulfill this role with boldness and determination.

“He gave the approval to constitute a National Communications Team, to harmoniously engage with Nigerians, and showcase our journey as a government determined to leave a lasting legacy of reset and reform in every facet of national life. I want to assure you that you will see a lot more of our work as a Team as we enter this second year of the administration.

“We will continue to engage with Nigerians, home and abroad regarding our work, prioritising truth, credibility and impact. I want to express my clear and unshakable belief that things will get better in Nigeria. A lot of the work that was put in during the last 12 months is just now crystallising into reality.

“I am indeed very optimistic about what this second year that we are going into will bring, and I invite you all to share in this enthusiasm,” Idris said.

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