September 09, (THEWILL) – I am not sure from whence the parameter of 100 days for the evaluation of the performance of political office holders came from. There are 365 days in a year, and the person holding public office often has about four years to prove himself or herself. Holding public officers to account in 100 days after they take office certainly cannot reasonably assess the worth and value that this public officer brings to bear to the instruments of governance. The matter is all the more pertinent in Nigeria where politicians actually serve for just two years of their tenures and use the remaining two to plan to either perpetrate themselves or their cronies in power.
I have found out that this practice of monitoring and evaluating public offers within just a hundred days in office is not even a Nigerian thing. Part of the things politicians all over the world say to the gullible public is that within just a 100 days of their elections, they would do this and do that. But you see, that seems to be all that the public gets these days – 100 days instead of 1,460 days.
But then here we are with the 100 days of President Bola Tinubu. In some of the videos that I have seen, Nigerians have scored him from zero to a six over ten. Even though I have no idea upon what parameters or indices or standards have been used to judge him, one thing I can tell you for free is that they were based on the increased suffering in the land. Mr Tinubu took over from one of the most inefficient and primitive administrations that Nigeria has ever had since independence. From a time of boom where a bag of rice sold for only eight thousand naira, and bread for one hundred naira, things shot up to rice and bread being sold for almost N50,000.00 and one thousand naira respectively. We do not want to belabor the obvious but know that Nigerians expected a lot from the man who claimed that it is his turn to be president. Nigerians expect that within the shortest time at least, the heavy burden we all carry will be reduced a little bit. But no, it didn’t. It grew exponentially with the unplanned removal of the subsidy on fuel.
I will not be looking at Mr Tinubu’s 100 days as president for the short term. If I do that, I will be falling into the same trap as the good folk who are looking at the bravado with which he has conducted himself as president in one hundred days. I say bravado advisedly. Why? Here’s someone under the intense scrutiny of his opponents over his Chicago State University credentials, a suspected drug past, and the weight of age and a presidential petition dogging his heels. Another person would have caved in under such weight but there appears to be no such thing at the moment. And that perhaps is why we must not take these short-term assessments of political performances any seriously.
Many years ago, after leaving university, most of us served as assistant examiners for the West African Examinations Council, WAEC to assess English. We were given a rubric, COEMA, as a yardstick for the assessment of a candidate’s essay. With that rubric, COEMA, we were asked to ask ourselves several questions before we awarded any marks to the candidates. Some of the questions included the following, and in accordance with the COEMA rubric: Did the candidate have content, that is, did he or she answer the question? In answering the question, was the candidate organised to the extent that the content and his Expression, gave a hint that he had a mastery of the subject matter or question? Are there mechanical accuracy issues – spelling errors, punctuation, et cetera? All of these considerations ultimately help the assistant examiner to arrive at a score over 50 points. In most or all cases, candidates often have issues in the area of mechanical accuracy – wrong spelling and irregular punctuation.
For the long term, I may want to ask myself these questions, concerning the short- and long-term assessment of Mr Tinubu – in 100 days, and beyond, do I think that Mr Tinubu has the capacity to lead Nigeria out of the woods? Do I think that he can articulate his agenda within the context of carrying Nigerians along? Does he look organised? Are there instances of mechanical accuracies that may affect his overall ability to take Nigeria forward?
Yes, I do believe that Mr Tinubu scores pass marks in the areas of content and organisation. He has put in place a cabinet very Nigerian and has demonstrated a capacity to listen. We have called on Mr Tinubu to rev the railways. He is doing that now. We believe though that in the areas of how he goes about communicating his agenda, and management of his human errors, there are very serious issues. In the short term, Mr President barely scores 4 over ten. In the long term, however, given the fact that he has given a hint to his ability to put square pegs in square holes, I would recommend we give him a score of 5 over 10.
*** Written by Bob MajiriOghene Etemiku