Today, September 5, 2015 is an unusually momentous day in Nigeria. Its build-up lasted for several weeks, while its anticipation stretches back as far as May.
It’s neither a national holiday (it’s a Saturday) nor a day of religious importance. Rather, it’s a day when several state governors in the country mark their 100thday in office.
More importantly though, it’s also the day that the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, clocks 100 days in office.
All over the world, the anniversary of the first 100 days of any administration is treated with much importance. It’s a day of stocktaking; a day that affords the leaders and the led an opportunity to measure the performance of their government.
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“The First 100 Days in Office” was coined by former US president Franklin D. Roosevelt in a July 24, 1933 radio address to his countrymen and it has since gained global currency. Over here in Nigeria, it’s been consistently marked since the country’s return to civilian leadership in 1999. The administrations of presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and Goodluck Ebele Jonathan were all assessed during this milestone. Today, it’s time for President Buhari’s administration to be assessed.
The verdict, it seems, had already been passed several days before the actual 100thday in office. Throughout last week, hashtags by disappointed Nigerians, such as #100WastedDays and #100FailedPromises, trended on microblogging site Twitter and they are likely to reappear today. Predictably, diehard supporters of President Buhari will not take it lying down, they are expected to counterattack with their own panegyric hashtags.
I’m neither a diehard supporter of the president nor a sworn enemy; I like to be objective. My dispassionate personal assessment of PMB’s first 100 days in office shows that he has not performed as badly as we’ve been made to believe.
Bearing in mind the country we are in, he’s not expected to perform wonders within 100 days. Not even a Harry Potter, a Merlin or a Gandalf can turn around in 100 days a country that has been enmeshed in a deep mess since the 1960s.
However, in spite of these difficulties, President Muhammadu Buhari has been able to record some successes in his first hundred days in office.