Femi Adesina, a former media aide to ex-President Muhammadu Buhari, last week said the former president regretted some of the decisions he took while in office and felt he could have done some things better.The ex-presidential spokesman stated this while speaking at a programme tagged ‘Media Dialogue with Femi Adesina’, organised by the Association of Veteran Journalists in Osun state. Even before the ex-presidential spoke person’s outburst,i t has always been typical for Nigeria’s former leaders to regret carrying or failing to implement certain policies/actions while in office.
Sometimes, even as an individual, one is bound to make a mistakes in the course of carrying his/her responsibilities. That is why we are human beings. We are not perfect. While human beings make mistakes, some are deliberate, some are due to incompetence and others are unintentional. Adesina did not tell Nigerians which policies his former boss implemented or failed to implement that led to his regrets. But he seemed to be more specific on the benefits of the naira re-design policy, few weeks to the 2023 general elections.
Prior to his election in 2015, Buhari denied the existence of petroleum subsidy and called it a fraud. He promised to stop it if elected. During his campaign, Buhari promised to fight corruption, fix the economy and secure the country. However, on assumption of office, the former president came to terms with stark realities and met balloons of problems ranging from broken a economy to deteriorating insecurity.
While he underrated the magnitude of the problems outside power, he was overwhelmed by the same problems when in power. The subsidy payment, which he promised to stop, suddenly jumped up under his watch. The subsidy payments continue to gulp trillions of naira until he left office. Insecurity, which was confined to the North-east zone, with Borno state badly hit by the activities of Boko Haram, became a national phenomenon. This led to bandits, killer herdsmen and unknown gun men operating with little or no resistance.
Yes, the former president did his best in the eight years he served the country. He prioritised agriculture which boosted food production and enhanced job security. He also made impact on other sectors of the economy. Though, the former presidential spokesman did not tell Nigerians which policies or actions made his former boss to regret, politicians should stop promising what they cannot deliver.
Buhari’s policy documents before he came to power entitled “My Covenant With Nigerians” promised to provide 10 million jobs to Nigerians every year. That was not all. The administration made countless other promises which did not see the light of day. Little wonder, when Buhari completed his tenure, some Nigerians scored his government low. The enthusiasm which it enjoyed in 2015 did not last. It faded or simply evaporated.
However, i put the blame of Buhari’s remorseful regrets on the table of his ministers and advisers. They failed to advice him appropriately when the need arose. Did they keep quiet whenever policies served their interest? When the immediate past government came under scatting attacks, no past minister mustered the courage to defend it. Why?
Buhari’s regrets did not come to many Nigerians as a surprise. However, it should serve as a wake up call to our leaders that power is transient. There is life after power. That is the period leaders regret their actions and inactions while in power. The present administration of Bola Ahmed Tinubu needs to look before it jumps. The time for politics is over. What Nigerians need now is good governance anchored on accountability.
President Tinubu will not leave to regret if he fixed the country’s four refineries. This will guarantee affordable petroleum products to Nigerians and stabilise the inflation prone economy. Tinubu will not regret if he tackled the insecurity bedeviling the nation. Bandits, killer herdsmen, unknown gun men and criminal elements are holding the country to ransom. He will not regret if the 133 million multi-dimensionally poor Nigerians are uplifted and enjoy good standard of living. He will not regret if the poorly paid civil servants receive decent and better wages.
Pambegua, Kaduna state