Nigerians express diverse emotions as President Buhari inaugurates cabinet after five long months


Nigerians can now heave a sigh of relief after holding their breath for five long months in anticipation of a new Federal Executive Council following President Buhari’s ascension to power. According to a statement from the president’s office on Sunday, the 8th of November, President Muhammadu Buhari will swear in members of his cabinet on Wednesday.

“President Muhammadu Buhari will officially inaugurate a new Federal Executive Council on Wednesday, November 11, 2015 … Before the commencement of the inaugural session of the council, the ministers-designate will take their oaths of office in the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa,” said the statement from Femi Adesina, special adviser to the president on media and publicity.

The inauguration ceremony, one of the most anticipated events of 2015 (after March general elections, election results announcement, and Buhari’s swearing in), is set to begin at 10 am local time (0900 GMT), after which, portfolios will be assigned the new ministers.

In general, Buhari has been under fire for being too slow with implementing the change he sang about during his campaign, but no subject has he been more critiqued for than his late submission of his ministerial list. After which, he faced backlashes for submitting an incomplete list, with a meagre 16 percent representation of women.

Due to the plunge in crude oil price, Africa’s most populous nation is currently having an economic downtime since oil plays a major role in the country’s economy, accounting for about 70 percent of government revenue and 95 percent of foreign exchange income.

There is a major anxiety as to how well the new cabinet will perform, due to the fact that the president has tagged them “noisemakers” who leave all the work to the technocrats. Given the state of the country’s economy, will they live up to expectation as the game-changers? Nigerians hope that with ministers in place, the country’s economy will experience a lift as critics have said that their absence created a policy vacuum that aggravated the economic problems caused by the fall in oil prices.

By now, Nigerians hoped to have seen significant progress from the 72 year old whom they deemed their saviour, but clearly that is not the case. With his administration’s constant lamentation of the state of the country’s economy, which they never fail to point out is caused by the past administration, Nigerians are becoming frustrated and impatient; where is the much talked about change?

If anything, President Buhari’s failure to keep to his campaign promise of a 35 percent female representation in appointive positions indicates a retrogression in the area of inclusivity. Considering the amount of time taken to select his cabinet members, the president has no excuse for not presenting Nigeria with a well rounded cabinet.

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