How times change. From hope to despair. The promise of change by the president and his party in 2015 is seen today by many as no more than an empty promise and ruse to win the 2015 elections. Frustrations and despondency is growing. Many common folks, especially the youth are angry and disappointed with the crushing socioeconomic state of the country.


Three years ago, May 2015, General Muhammadu Buhari was sworn in president and commander-in-chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The former military dictator (1983-85) won the election on the well panel-beaten wings of a no-nonsense, ramrod straight, man of integrity reputation.

For some folks, the return of Buhari to leadership was nothing short of exultant hope. It was a magical and boisterous time, of a rosy promise that the future, driven by integrity and discipline, will yield golden rays of sunshine, peace and plenty for all.

Indeed, ecstatic common folks like Suleiman Hashimu and Abubakar Duduwale went to extreme and extra miles to celebrate Buhari’s 2015 electoral victory. Hashimu walked over 500 kilometres over 18 days from Lagos to Abuja, while Duduwale walked over 1,300 kilometres from Yola to Abuja, to congratulate and participate blissfully in President Buhari’s inauguration.

Today, three years later, scales appear fallen off the eyes of folks who had unabashedly supported Buhari. For darkness now seems to blanket the land and the results are disappointment and regrets. Indeed, just a year after Buhari’s inauguration, a regretful Suleiman Hashimu, announced with a sad mien that his support and Johnny Walker action of 2015 was a big mistake. Why? He says Buhari is a big disappointment who has made life unbearable for the masses.

The well spoken and articulate Ilyasu told journalists after he touched down that Nigerians are suffering from severe economic hardship, adding that: “pervasive hunger and poverty in Nigeria is inexplicable.” He said that he is against President Buhari’s bid for a second term in office…


Another fellow, Isa Mohammed Munlaila, dressed in mourning black and carrying a small coffin painted in All Progressive Congress (APC) colours with the bold inscription “R.I.P. APC” on the coffin sides, yesterday, began a long walk from Lagos to Abuja. Why? He says it is a protest against President Buhari’s reelection bid. There is suffering in the land he said, adding that the APC government has failed to fulfill its campaign promises.

Perhaps more spectacular is yesterday’s story of Nura Ilyasu, 28, reportedly persuaded by some lawyers, after 24 hours atop an Airtel telecoms mast, to climb down and stop his planned seven-day hunger strike at the mast top in protest against President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election bid.

He braved electromagnetic waves that mast antennae transmit and receive, the harsh elements and very strong winds blowing at the mast top, estimated at over 50 metre high. The resolute young man was clearly undeterred by swarms of fearsome security personnel in the exclusive area he chose to protest in, as the mast he climbed is only a few metres from Aso Villa, the presidential residence and Lungi Army Barracks in Asokoro, Abuja.

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The well spoken and articulate Ilyasu told journalists after he touched down that Nigerians are suffering from severe economic hardship, adding that: “pervasive hunger and poverty in Nigeria is inexplicable.” He said that he is against President Buhari’s bid for a second term in office, stating: “I don’t believe General Buhari deserves another four-year term in Nigeria.”

Deaf and blind to the desperate message of protesting angry young men, our politicians will ignore the wavelets and continue the desolation of the land until the wavelets become big waves and the big waves turn into a tsunami that comes crushing all.


He criticised the APC government’s “incompetence and cluelessness, presidential impunity and general docility displayed by the masses,” and declared with revolutionary aplomb: “We can’t continue like this.”

His was a novel, one man, peaceful protest that grabbed newspaper headlines and attracted wide public attention across the country.

How times change. From hope to despair. The promise of change by the president and his party in 2015 is seen today by many as no more than an empty promise and ruse to win the 2015 elections. Frustrations and despondency is growing. Many common folks, especially the youth are angry and disappointed with the crushing socioeconomic state of the country.

But trust Nigerian politicians. You can be sure that there would be a great rash of trekkers for a Buhari Must Win 2019 campaign soon. Watch out. That’s how we roll in Nigeria. Deaf and blind to the desperate message of protesting angry young men, our politicians will ignore the wavelets and continue the desolation of the land until the wavelets become big waves and the big waves turn into a tsunami that comes crushing all. Sad. Isn’t it?

Ken Tadaferua is a media and marketing communications consultant. Twitter: @ktadaferua

Picture credit: Reuters.