President Muhammadu Buhari’s kinsmen couldn’t wait to regale him with a few home truths when the nation’s number one citizen checked into his hood last weekend for the Eid-el-Kabir celebrations.

While hosting leaders from the five local governments that constitute the Daura emirate of Katsina state, the president was told by the locals not to be deceived by the constant electricity he experiences whenever he is in town.

“Anytime the president is around we enjoy 24 hours power supply. But if he is not around, the power supply is not always stable,” Mohammed Saleh, one of the leaders, said, according to TheCable. 

President Muhammadu Buhari, Guinean President Alpha Conde, Governor of Katsina state, Aminu Masari and Emir of Daura, Umar-Farouq [Twitter/@BashirAhmaad]
President Muhammadu Buhari, Guinean President Alpha Conde, Governor of Katsina state, Aminu Masari and Emir of Daura, Umar-Farouq [Twitter/@BashirAhmaad]

In his response, Buhari said he is set to improve the lives of Nigerians as a way of appreciating the millions who handed him victory at the polls in last February’s election.

“Truly, the people know and understand my mission. This is what the votes showed. The administration will dwell on our campaign issues — security, economy and corruption. We will fight for the poor,” the president vowed.

A prayer for the president

During the Sallah Durbar held in the palace, Emir of Daura Umar Farouq called on Nigerians to support the president in his bid to combat the many challenges plaguing the country.

“I pray to the Almighty Allah to grant good health to Mr. President, give him the courage to lead the country right,” he said. 

“I commend him for his endurance and patience on the challenges he is facing. A leader must possess two qualities of endurance and patience, may Allah guide and protect him from all evils.

President Muhammadu Buhari presiding over one of the weekly FEC meetings  [Twitter/@femigbaja]
President Muhammadu Buhari presiding over one of the weekly FEC meetings [Twitter/@femigbaja]

“I am calling on Nigerians to continue to pray to Allah to enable the president succeed in improving their living conditions and move the country forward”, Farouq added.

Nigeria's crumbling power sector

Nigerians have endured a perennially fragile electric power grid that collapses without let, subsuming entire swathes of the nation in darkness, crippling businesses and sending millions to gas stations to purchase gasoline for guttural generators.

In recent times, power supply across the country has gone from bad to worse, with the meager 4,212 megawatts peak recorded mid-year plummeting to a little above 2,000 megawatts, amid reports of damaged gas pipelines and comatose power stations.

Fashola explains how it all works in the APC Situation Room during the 2019 general elections (Presidency)
Fashola explains how it all works in the APC Situation Room during the 2019 general elections (Presidency)

Former Power Minister, Babatunde Raji Fashola, never missed an opportunity to remind Nigerians that since the power sector has been privatized, there is very little the government can do to fix the sector. 

President Buhari rode to power in 2015 partly on the back of a promise to improve power supply to homes and businesses.

But outages and erratic supply of power remain recurring themes across Africa's most populous nation.