2018, a year of regrets, by Nigerians


From an array of Nigerians came the verdict that the Federal Government failed woefully to meet their expectations in the outgoing 2018. As far as they are concerned, 2018 remains a year to regret as killings, unemployment and insecurity jolted the nation, just as the economic fortunes of the country nose-dived, climaxing with President Muhammadu Buhari’s confirmation that the economy was indeed comatose. They are, however, yearning for a better 2019, which should be heralded by free, fair, credible elections in February.

Mr. King David Okafor, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Igbo Amaka TV
“Nigerians have been disappointed with the government for not fulfilling all the promises that it made, even as there is today, no clear economic policy. The poor management of the economy has taken Nigeria backward and this retrogression has created so much hardship for the citizenry. The truth is that Nigeria does not seem to be under democratic rule.

“My expectations as we cross over to 2019 are that the government should conduct a free, fair and credible election. I want an election without interference, rigging or militarization of the states. Vote buying in whatever shade or form should not be entertained.

“I will appreciate a government that would come in with a clear vision, proven pedigree and not mediocrity. It should focus on nation building and how to run a 21st century economy. Structures should be in place to rejig the economy, while competent people from different parts of the country should be made to man different offices in the land. The government should put an end to nepotism, which is in itself a very high level of corruption.

“I expect Nigeria to truly become the number one country in Africa, with one of the fastest growing economies in the world, and with good Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth. I want naira to be strong again and the economy should be diversified.”

Olayide A. Jinadu, Medical Director at Charis-Med Hospital 
“The year 2018 taught me to be frugal. I learnt how not to mix business with pleasure, and my thought pattern changed tremendously. I saw many lives wasted due to lack of infrastructure, but things cannot continue this way.

“The Federal Government has not done well at all in healthcare delivery as the amount, which was allocated to health sector was simply ridiculous. We need to make healthcare a priority. However, I have decided not to expect anything from the government because the current government itself clearly needs help, so why burden the system? I rather create a self- sustaining system that can cater for my family, others and me.

“For example, expecting 24-hour electricity supply from the government is not wise, so I would rather generate my own electricity and give others what is left.

“We all know that doctors are leaving the country in droves daily, and that speaks volumes. I am staying back with the understanding that I make my own fate, I decide what I earn, and not the government. I am getting better at what I do, and so no need to expect anything from the government. Besides increasing allocation to the health sector, strict monitoring should be put in place to avoid misappropriation of funds.”

Mr. Cornelius Chuks, Teacher
“The present Federal Government has not done enough, and I would have preferred a government that spends more resources on education. More funds should be allocated to education in the coming years.

“The level of intolerance and insecurity in the country has been on the increase this year and many lives have been lost.

“With gaping holes on our roads, there should be a radical infrastructural development. Government has a lot to do in that sector, as well as, addressing the challenges in the housing sector because there are too many people without decent houses.

Also healthcare facilities should be addressed because many hospitals are in a shambles, with inadequate personnel, who are also poorly paid.

“We are still yet to get it right politically and always trading blame. I want the government to take actions and stop blaming others for the current challenges. The goverment needs to be effective.

[FILE [PHOTO] Human rights lawyer, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa

Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, Human Rights Lawyer
“In 2018, many Nigerians struggled to make ends meet, many could not pay school fees, house rents or meet other basic obligations. Many people lost their jobs and many businesses collapsed. Even those who consider themselves fairly comfortable, 2018 saw them all crowded by relatives and friends all demanding financial assistance to meet their basic needs. The outgoing year was characterised by failed promises, as politicians backtracked on their manifestoes and openly denied their promises to Nigerians during their campaigns.

“Violence got to an alarming rate with needless and multiple killings, and the announcement of deaths as if human beings were animals became commonplace.

“The most painful aspect of 2018 is that Nigerians are still in darkness due to lack of electricity. This has affected businesses and the earnings of most Nigerians were drained by the purchase of diesel, fuel, as well as, maintenance of power generating sets.

“I expect the government to summon enough courage and willpower to tackle the power problem. Nigeria’s economy and indeed, our collective prosperity depend on the availability of electricity, but above all these, I expect a free, fair, credible and peaceful election in 2019, through the deliberate intervention of the government, to ensure that peoples’ votes count.

“I also want the country to be truly restructured in order to achieve true federalism, and for states and regions to control their resources and be independent.”

John Njamah

John Njamah, Filmmaker
“I completed almost 70 per cent of the projects that I lined up, set a few others in motion, and waiting for 2019 to be kind to me while not relenting. I also established relationships with a few professional colleagues outside the country, relationships that all things being equal will yield positive results.

“The government did not meet my expectations, and I am done with worrying about or putting my hopes in the government because the political terrain itself is not getting any better. As long as we continue to have old wine in a new skin, it would be difficult to elect the right leaders to take us to the promised land, and we will continue to have what I call retrogressive progression.

“Having said that, I expect the new government to have the interest of the people at heart, create a conducive and enabling environment for people to work and live happily. Above all, political office holders should lead us and not rule us.”

Mr. Akin Benjamin, Head Teacher, Abuja,
“Like other Nigerians, I was also affected by the high cost of living occasioned by skyrocketing food prices. We paid higher fees in private schools since public schools have failed all over the nation.

“Apart from the problem of insecurity across the country, the government failed to meet my expectations in many ways. So, it is my view that the APC did not prepare enough to tackle the problem of poverty in the nation.

“The fight against corruption is partial and not enough to end the scourge, and I am disappointed because it seems once a corrupt person defects to the ruling party, he/she becomes clean and safe.

“Government has not raised the standards of living for Nigerians. In the face of skyrocketing price of goods and services, the citizens are crippled, and the cost of starting a family or maintaining one is so exorbitant to the extent that young men dread getting married.

So, I expect the new government to create an enabling economy, while education must be taken seriously. Having over 13 million children out of school is simply deplorable.”

Miss Bianca Okafor, Teacher 
“Frankly, I would say that many of the promises that the current government made have not been fulfilled. So, I wouldn’t say that I’m satisfied with its performance.

“Since we have the chance to elect a new set of polital office holders next year, I’m looking forward to it. If we want to make any change, we have to vote wisely next year.

Mr. Mohammed Lawal, Secretary, Oshodi Local Council
“Personally, I think President Muhammadu Buhari is doing well in tackling security challenges in the country. There was a lot of money in this country in the past, but which was stolen by greedy politicians, and the current government is trying to recover all that was stolen. I personally know that Rome wasn’t built in a day, but I strongly believe that Buhari is trying and he is better than past leaders.

“Boko Haram insurgency has remained a major challenge for me, but Buhari is trying his best and if we vote for him in 2019, he will perform better. The government is currently giving out loans to petty traders, and this TraderMoni scheme is very supportive of the less-privileged.

“If we vote Buhari into office for a second term, he will do better. This isn’t about us again, it’s about our children and their future. I want my children to be gainfully employed when they are out of school, and I want them to earn more than I do as well. I believe that another term for Buhari will guarantee us this.”

Tayo Yusuf, Entrepreneur
“The year 2018 has been a very tough one for our country because governance was lacking, the economy that we were trying to uplift fell drastically, security challenges showed glaringly; Boko Haram had a field day killing soldiers, while criminals ran riot committing atrocities.

“The citizens were neglected by the government and it is not supposed to be so. I would say that Nigeria fell this year because of the bad decisions that our leaders made, and their inability to manage our economy. The level of hardship is now alarming.

“We were promised better life and a better country by the current administration. This has not come to fruition. Now, that is what we must demand from the next government. Looting is still going on among our leaders till this day, and funds that should be used to help our nation are now stored abroad.

“Our universities are closed down because of lack of care, and even when students manage to graduate, they come out and there are no jobs for them. We need our leaders to take the country more seriously.

“Come next year, we have the opportunity to choose a new set of leaders and we must choose wisely because we need serious work to correct the errors of the current crop of leaders.

“Nigeria needs a new administration next year, the current government has failed us and made things worse for us. Hopefully, we will get the solution that Nigeria so requires, but we need to join hands together to make the country move forward. The bigger push, however, must come from those in power. I hope for a better Nigeria come 2019.

Miss Yetunde Popoola, NYSC Member
The outgoing 2018 has not met my expectations at all because everyone appears to be suffering. I was posted to Bayelsa State for my national youth service, but the killings there were just too much for me to bear, and the poverty level is high.

“Right now, I don’t know what to expect from the next government, but I pray it should be a better government that will bring about real change in our circumstance. I’ll be really depressed if Nigerians fail to elect a people-friendly government.

“I know of so many people that are suffering, and there are many families that are even starving. When I walk through the streets and I hear working class people lament that they are out of cash because they are being owed salariesand allowances, my heart just bleeds. I can only hope that things would be better next year.”

Mr Igwe, Real Estate Manager
“We started 2018 fairly well believing that the economy was thriving, and we had hopes that things would be alright. Unfortunately, those in power are the ones that are getting the greater share of the national cake, while the masses are left to struggle for the crumbs.

“The massive money laundering going on among politicians has not been fully thrashed, while corruption cases involving politicians are mostly thrown under the carpet. This has made corruption to sink deeper into our national life while many continue to suffer.

“Our security challenges are getting worse now than they were before; the damage done by Boko Haram was intense and human lives are becoming increasingly insecure.

Unemployment got worse this year and it is as if nothing is being done to stem it. So many things have gone wrong in our system and if not properly looked into will become worse in 2019.

“Next year is time for us to make a choice that would better our nation or worsen it. But our leaders should put the interest of the people first when making decisions because we expect a lot from them in 2019.

Emmanuel Ibe, Civil Servant
“I would say 2018 has been a year full of mistakes made by those in power. We have a functional government, but it is not being managed wisely. Our funds were put into insignificant things; our economy is the way it is right now because of mismanagement.

Look at the security challenge that we have faced this year, crime has intensified in many parts of this country, the Boko Haram insurgents are slaying our soldiers and our soldiers don’t have enough standard equipment to perform their jobs efficiently.

“In Borno recently, the damage was alarming and we expected an immediate action from the authorities, but the reverse was the case.

“Education is supposed to be a vibrant part of any nation’s wellbeing, but our nation has proven incapable of upholding our educational system, students are in and out of universities because of strike, lecturers and teachers are showing nonchalant attitude towards their jobs.

“Go to the rural communities, you will see people dying due to lack of food, people are sick and they don’t have money to treat themselves, they are struggling to make ends meet.

“This administration gave room for corruption and now we are suffering its aftermath. People don’t have money; they can’t get jobs, and this leaves them open to illegal activities. A lot of these criminals and fraudsters would not be what they are if they were given an opportunity.

“Everybody is trying to run out of Nigeria because they are tired.

“Nigeria has a lot of potential, we have intelligent minds and hardworking people and we are still neck-deep in poverty. So, we need wisdom to move this country forward, our funds should be managed properly, and we all have a role to play in moving Nigeria forward.

“Come next year, plans should be put in motion to repair our economy; we need our leaders to keep the interest of the citizens at heart. Nigeria has a lot to offer, bit it just has to be managed appropriately.

Abuchi Nnanna, Student
“The performance of the government this year was disappointing because we invested our hope in them, and we were let down.
During their campaigns, we were promised a better Nigeria; we were promised change, but I don’t like how I am right now. I know Nigeria is not easy to govern, as it is full of difficult people, but it doesn’t justify the poor performance of the current government.

“The economic decline is alarming, our security challenges are becoming scarier, the education sector is being neglected, including issues pertaining to health, people are dying, and we need solutions fast.

“There should be a proper management of our economy, job creation and better living conditions. Our leaders have a whole lot of wrongs to make right come 2019.”

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