One of the greatest enemies of emotion is expectation. When we love someone so much, we always want them to behave in certain ways to justify our emotional investment. We are burdened because we don’t want them to disappoint us. When emotional expectations are not met, we become dejected and disappointed. That is where supporters of President Buhari are right now. I will call it a STATE OF SUBDUED DISAPPOINTMENT. Subdued, because many of them still won’t want to admit that they have been disappointed.
But, I see some posts on social media and real life lamentations and I wonder if their messiah, Buhari, is no longer the miracle worker they claimed he was.
During the campaigns, I listened to very enlightened people boasting of what Buhari would do within three months and I was always dazed. At times, I always wondered if they were actually referring to another Buhari and not the one who once ruled us.
And when the man came in, another slogan entered our political lexicography: “body language”. Again, we warned them and they said we had not gotten over our loss. You see a 40 year-old master degree holder telling you this:
“You see you life. The turn-around-maintenance (TAM) of refineries PDP could not do in 16 years, Buhari has done it in FOURTEEN DAYS.”
How could an educated man think even my Lord Jesus Christ can do TAM of refineries on the kind of old refineries we have in FOURTEEN DAYS? But our compatriots believed one Hausa Fulani man actually did it. And they went to town with celebrations of achievements.
Then we started seeing different headlines – $200 BILLION recovered! Ibrahim Magu, the EFCC boss, said it was $3.5 billion. Oshiomhole, the Edo governor, said US officials told him one minister alone stole $6 billion. Someone even said Obasanjo returned N200 billion as Buhari “closes in”.
When deception finally ran its course and reality set in, the first excuse came: WAIT FOR ONE YEAR BEFORE ASSESSING THE GOVERNMENT. Then it was as if it was competition between government and ruling APC officials on who could blame the last government best. They have not really made any meaningful public statement if they did not blame Jonathan and his team.
Then one year after, the next excuse: YOU DON’T EXPECT WHAT WAS DESTROYED IN 16 YEARS TO BE REBUILT IN ONE YEAR. I, Samuel Opeyemi Ajayi, did not even expect it to be done in FOUR years, but some of you blind followers said it would be in THREE MONTHS. So why blaming those who are raising issues after one year?
The next one is trending now: THINGS HAVE TO BE TOUGH FIRST BEFORE THEY GET BETTER. And that is why someone sent me a message before I saw it in a couple of walls that wailers are silent as price of tomatoes crashed and I began to wonder how such will be credited to Buhari. What policy did he put in place that crashed the price of tomatoes?
Maybe they should be reminded how much they sell bag of rice now. And you know what? Some will want to blame even Vice President Osinbajo but not their messiah.
I still maintain my stand: no matter how terrible Goodluck Jonathan was, Buhari could never have been a better option. Never. One of the mistakes many keep making is that when a leader mouths fighting corruption, EVERY other thing will fall into place. No! It can never be.
The Nigerian economy is in shambles and the social fabric of the society is under threat of breaking into smithereens. And that is where we are now with politics of second term/succession gradually creeps in.
Now, the lamentations on social media, mainstream media and in real life are a reflection of a self-deception that has finally ran its course. That is the tragedy of emotional expectations against realistic ones.
Samuel Ajayi is a Nigerian journalist. Connect with him on Facebook.
The opinions expressed here are solely those of the authors.