What has President Buhari done to warrant the inexplicable nostalgia for Jonathan that we’re reading from some quarters? Have we forgotten so soon where we came from? Very soon, the unrelenting Jonathanians may start displaying “miss me yet?” stickers and slogans, just like George W Bush supporters did when Obama came on board and boldly began to undo and repair the damage done by their bumbling hero.
Buhari’s presidency has been decidedly underwhelming, and in some cases outright disappointing. But this assessment is valid only in relation to Buhari’s own standards and promises, not in relation to Mr. Jonathan’s.
We will continue to critique Buhari’s missteps, pace, and the absence of policy clarity in the economy because he deserves our vigilance and constructive questioning. But projecting the former regime as a benchmark for evaluating the current one is unacceptably disingenuous.
Besides, the damage from the previous government is such that Buhari can only realistically be expected to play a stabilizing, reparative role, not a transformative one. Already, he seems to have stopped the bleeding and impunity.
I never expected him to be a revolutionary figure of radical change, never mind what fanatical Buharists believed and continue to believe. So, I am not as disappointed as some people may be.
I see Buhari as a transitional president on whom providence and history have bestowed the simple, modest role of correcting the errors of the post-1999 period and then bequeathing the stability to a more radical actor. If he is judged on this basis, he comes off looking good so far.
Enough of the melodramatic reactions of Jonathanians to Buhari’s actions and inactions. And enough of the declarations by Buhari cultists that the president is the expected one who has now taken away the ills of the nation.