“If you are not careful you could replace a bad government with one much worse!”—-Chinua Achebe.
The role of Patience Jonathan in the politics of Nigeria in the last administration was overwhelming. She was one of the (if not the most) active First Lady in Nigeria political history. She was a “born-political comedian” especially with her uncommon style of language. For instance, she has once said, “all the blood you are sharing”, “I would rather die than commit suicide” and of course the popular aphorism which is now every day Nigerian expression “there is God oh!”
So when Buhari said, about a months ago that Nigeria needed Patience. All the fans of Patience Jonathan would have leapt up popping champagne believing that the president wants to have her back into Nigeria politics. The truth is that Nigerian politics is very boring, and, if you notice, Jonathan’s administration would have even been more boring if Patience had not been there spicing the whole thing with her “comedy shows”. For Patience, press conferences are comedy shows.
Although Buhari looks very serious, it seems that some sort of comic elements attributive to Patience Jonathan are particles that can be found in him. Buhari forgets the name of his (the ruling) party? A media source said when Buhari was discussing the peaceful transition in Nigeria, he referred to APC as All Nigeria’s people’s congress. Earlier on during his campaign he had once referred to APC as “All Progressive Confidence” and INEC as “Independent Nigerian Electoral Commission”. Haba! Even our leaders do not know the names of their institutions!
Another comedian in Nigerian politics is Fayose. He adopts the politics of lies to spice his comedy shows. One of his great test displays was the one where he placed Buhari side by side with the Late Musa Yar’Adua. How can you do obituary posters for a man who is still alive? That is funny, isn’t it? Much more funny were his actions and statements after it was clear that Buhari had won the election….
Having carefully seen all this political comedies and comedy shows, one cannot but conclude that Nigeria needs patience for all these frivolities. The high truth is that we can not be patient with bad governance.
For how long will we be patient with a change that does not bring the change we want?
It will do more than fascinate my audience to acknowledge the fact that when it comes to making “heaven on earth” promises and building castles in the air, Nigerian politicians are proficient experts. The truth is that Nigerians have become so used to unrealistic and unconsummated political promises and claims that they no longer cause any positive effect when made these days.
When President Buhari and Vice President Osinbajo recently proclaimed their motive through an official memo with reference number PRES/81/SGF/17 to voluntarily slash their salaries by 50 per cent, it never really made any significant impression to Nigerians. This can be seen “to us as another glib approach to an endemic problem of waste in public life”.
If the memo is anything we must go by then President Buhari and Vie President Osinbajo will respectively earn approximately N7m and 6 point something million as against the annual remuneration approved by Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) which is put at N14,058,820,289.8 for the president per year and N12,126,289.8 for the vice president per year. Apart from that, the president and vice president allowance which translates to 50 percent of their basic salaries and consistent allowances which amounts to 250 per cent of same basic salaries.
From the above, what effect has the pay slash made on the problem of public waste? Nothing is given when one gives with his right hand and collects with the left. This administration cannot boast of the pay slash as anything significant.. This also calls us to reflect that the former President Jonathan during his tenure also slashed down his salary by 30 per cent at a time when our country was enmeshed in slumped price of crude oil. In the end such public steps only stands flowery and boost positive public commentaries. The truth is that they are in no way of positive substances of positive change. In like manner, some of our state governors have also followed that cue e.g. Kaduna, Abia, Kano, etc.
All these are public stunts and tricks that lack significant impact on the lives of the common man in the streets. The pointisn that how does this pay slash affects the sordid conditions of the poor electorate? Salaries are not the only things to be slashed. Both the executive and legislature should also slash allowances like security vote, hardship and consistency allowances, including travelling esta code, etc.