Buhari is always quick to lament that he inherited an empty treasury. This cry baby behaviour has got to stop
In June of 2015, during a meeting with State House correspondents, newly elected President Muhammadu Buhari told the world that the treasury had been left bare by the time he took over the reins.
He was pointing the finger at his predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan.
"This culture of 100 days is bringing so much pressure with treasury virtually empty, with debts in millions of dollars, with state workers and even federal workers not paid their salaries..it is such a disgrace for Nigeria. I think Nigeria should be in a position to even pay its workers.”
In November of 2016, during a presidential parley and presentation of the report on poverty reduction by Course 38 of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, NIPSS, Kuru, Plateau State, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Buhari again lamented that he met an empty treasury.
The treasury was so empty, Buhari said, he felt like taking to his heels or absconding.
Said Buhari: "For 16 years and eight consecutive governments of the other party (PDP), you know that there was unprecedented revenue realized. The oil projection which can be verified was 2.1 million barrels per day.
"1999-2015, the average cost of each Nigerian barrel of oil was $100 per barrel. When we came it fell to less than $30 per barrel and is now oscillating between 40 and 50.
“Actually I felt like absconding because 27 out of 36 states in Nigeria cannot pay salaries and we know they have no other source than to depend on salaries. And I asked any savings? I was told there was no savings.”
And on Thursday, January 12, 2017, while receiving recipients of the 2016 Nigerian National Order of Merit (NNOM) at the State House, Abuja, Buhari again reminded Nigerians that he met an empty treasury.
"There was no money in the treasury," Buhari lamented. "We were producing less than one million barrels of oil per day, from the 2.2 million barrels we used to do. The country was in a terrible shape, but luckily, the people understand, and are cooperating with us."
Seriously, this has got to stop. Like, seriously.
Nigerians didn't elect a lamenter-in-chief that humid day in March of 2015. They elected a Commander-In-Chief.
This whole lamentation about an empty treasury is beginning to grate and rile. It's beginning to sound like a ready made excuse for failure. It's like an old CD that is now so badly scratched from over-playing, no one wants to listen to it anymore.
Even former President Olusegun Obasanjo has had it up to here.
During an interview session in September of 2016, Baba Iyabo (as Obasanjo is fondly called), pushed back on Buhari's claims that he met an empty treasury.
Obasanjo said contrary to the President's claims, Buhari inherited $30B from the Jonathan administration.
“When I assumed office in 1999, I inherited $3.7B in reserve, while Buhari met $30B, almost 10 times of what I met then, and the price of oil then was $9. When it got to $20, I was dancing".
So, maybe claims of an empty treasury are actually a load of bollocks--or not. That's not the point, though.
The point is that Nigerians are fed up and tired of hearing about problems. They want someone who can fix those problems without reminding them how bad things are, all the time.
They want solutions to the problems they already know exist.
In May of 2017, the Buhari administration will be two years old. It's been two years of blaming Jonathan. If you ask the petty trader or the shoe mender down the street corner, they just want their today to be better than their yesterday--and that's precisely why they voted Jonathan out and brought Buhari in.
If the 'new' Sheriff in town is just as horrible as the one before him, then what was the point?
If Nigerians wanted a lamenter-in-chief, they would have stuck with Jonathan.
Majority sent Jonathan packing because they longed and sought for a new day. You don't create that "new day" from moaning about problems.
Buhari has to quit lamenting about what he met or didn't meet in the treasury. Good leaders, like steel, are forged in immense heat. Good leaders are made in times of crisis and upheaval.
Buhari is yet to show that he can solve problems, not complain about them.
For Buhari and his team, it's time to brave the heat or step out of the kitchen.