New Telegraph

Divided Presidency: Let’s lower our expectations

“Expectations were like fine pottery. The harder you held them, the more likely they were to crack.”- Brandon Sanderson

The only reason we still expect great performance from President Muhammadu Buhari and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) is our voluptuous appetite for miracles. Nigerians have been so inundated with magic that we exhibit a nation-ofgamblers mentality, always expecting to reap from nothing. It is time we began to face reality and accept the fact that we have all failed woefully and shown we are incapable of positive changes in our land. An expectation is anchored on hope, the future; it could come true or not. That is why when the people elect a new government, they always expect something new and positive as a result.

Oftentimes this hope derives from actual campaign promises. That is not to say that the people forget the huge gap between promise and practice in politics, a feature in plentiful supply in this era. Whenever expectations are met, the responsible government takes kudos as responsive and focused. For a government to meet the people’s expectations it must be driven by a passion for them.

However, in some cases, there could be a passion without the corresponding variables needed to deliver the desirables. The variables may include but are not limited to the innate leadership quality of the person in the driver’s seat, in this case, the Presidency and the institutions needed to help push through the desires, the commitment and focus of the operatives.

Another key variable is the people’s level of mobilization to keep the government on its toes; here, civil society readily comes to mind. Like in a laboratory experiment, if you need to add one or two components to produce the desired result and you fail to do it, you might just be fantasizing about the result, knowing that you did not do the needful. That perhaps might be what Nigerians have been doing, daydreaming about having a people-oriented Federal Government even when there is nothing concrete to suggest that anything is being done. Empirically, since 2015 the federal administration has shown in all ramifications that it is disjointed from the foundation.

The political marriage of the various political groups couldn’t have been properly contracted because the fellows were of strange beds. So ab initio its foundation was laid on a quicksand just to grab power. There is a clear dearth of coordination in this administration.

The considerate efforts that are much needed in government for effective relationships among critical bodies and operatives leave much to be desired. Painfully, harmonious and cooperative governance has remained a scarce commodity since the regime’s inception.

It would therefore be difficult to understand why pundits still expect that the food being prepared in such a kitchen would be delicious and sumptuous. What we do in Nigeria is expect firstclass results from students who rarely attend classes. And because the students know the expectations awaiting them, they cook up their way and get the first-class anyhow. They collect all the accompanying accolades that are thrown at them by gullible society but, of course, will be unable to offer the deliverables to the same society that now bears the brunt.

This week, we should be looking at our hypercritical character as people who are still expecting President Buhari to perform miracles in his governance of the Nigerian state when it is obvious that this government lacks the needed elements to do that. For instance, Nigerians are still expecting this regime to lower the prices of petroleum products just because of campaign promises during electioneering.

The people were still expectant undespite the obvious fact that even as a Petroleum Minister cum President, product prices are hiked without his knowledge. Is it such a leader you expect to rehabilitate and build new refineries? Then we are expecting him to suddenly remember his military uniform and begin to quench all the fires being put on by criminals across the country. Many Nigerians believe that miracles come a dime a dozen, we expect insecurity to end just like that.

The President’s number one adviser on security, Major-General (rtd) Babagana Munguno, from all indications, is unaware of the whereabouts of the billion-naira vote for weapons. Since the National Security Adviser, (NSA) is not aware of the missing money, certainly, the Commander-in-Chief is also not aware.

The rebellious female activist, Aisha Yusuf, had sarcastically told us also that the President is not aware of mosquitoes in his room and talk less about what goes on outside. We all know how torturous and inconveniencing mosquitoes can be.

If the President was aware, he would not have rushed to put forward those suspected to have mishandled the weaponry money for ambassadorial positions. At least, he would have allowed them to clear their names before the promotion. True to type and in keeping with the promise to “garbage in, garbage out” all requests from the presidency, the Senate is rubber-stamped the nominations. Also, because we are a miracleexpectant nation, we still hope the president will fight corruption effectively even when all indices show the contrary.

How can corruption be fought from such a divided home where a section of the home ensured that Ibrahim Magu was never confirmed and he had to be disgraced out after the ‘juju’ that kept him there expired. Now, the forces that ensured Magu goes instal their stooge and we are thinking he will perform. How? Even when a rebellious member of the house, the Chairman of Presidential Advisory Council, Prof Itse Sagay, had cried out warning that the Minister of Justice and federal Attorney-General Abubakar Malami, who is being fingered behind all the changes in EFCC, will not allow the new man to fight corruption. You know in village squares where truths are often suppressed and things are said in whispers, it’s usually the mad man who shouts it out.

With all these, some Nigerians are still expecting this government to confront corruption. How? With what tool? The cog in the wheel of this government is gripping it tight all around and it’s become very clear that they are their own worst enemy. Rather than go on blaming this administration for disappointing us, we should blame ourselves for expecting too much. If you diligently follow political events in this country, you must seek wisdom on how to manage your expectations or how to give the right significance to your expectations; otherwise, you develop some serious health issues thinking about Nigeria.

Perhaps, to live well in this land nowadays, we all need to listen to the American writer and the author of Wonder Woman, Jodi Picoult. She says that the two ways to be happy are “to improve our reality, or lower our expectations.” If you’re feeling terrible and distraught at happenings in Nigeria today and are at the point of despair, just note Chuck Palahniuk’s warning: “What makes earth feel like hell is our expectation that it should feel like heaven.” God, help us

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