Pulse Opinion: Is "Sai Baba" now a prohibited phrase in Nigeria?

General Muhammadu Buhari

One year after the 2015 general elections, can Nigerians still shout "Sai Baba" with all joy and gladness?

"Sai Baba!" "Sai Mai Geskia!" During the 2015 Presidential election campaign, Nigerians found solace in these phrases.

At the time, "Sai Baba" became an adopted  phrase for renewed hope for a better Nigeria.

Most Nigerians who had not attained the legal voting age of 18 years, those who did no have their voter’s cards, others who didn’t even know the meaning of the phrase "Sai Baba" chorused it for months.


The Sai Baba slogan contributed  to the victory of the APC in the 2016 slogan as much as the "Change" mantra. I say this because other political parties also promised to "change" things just as the APC did but they did not have a presidential candidate who many refer to as a "Man of Integrity."

Haven tested the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for 16 years, Nigerians wanted a change; the kind of change Sai Baba promised.

But one year after President Buhari’s inauguration, the question is: "Can Nigerians still joyfully shout Sai Baba like almost everyone did over twelve months back"?

Recently, I watched a comedy skit where a man said Sai Baba to a group of people in 2015, and they chorused Sai Baba. The man tried same in 2016 and he was almost beaten until he said he was only singing a popular song.

It may sound funny but the truth still remains that most Nigerians cannot accept that they voted the APC government into power given the present economic situation.

Although the APC promised to hit the ground running immediately it takes over power, President Buhari did not inaugurate his ministers until six months later. Most Nigerians still wonder why he took that long haven contested this position three times before winning on his fourth attempt.


We must however not lose sight of the fact that the  government’s effort to reduce cost by merging federal ministries but how about creating offices that have been termed as "a wasteful venture" by many?

After picking Bayo Omoboriowo a personal photographer (which is understandable), President Buhari appointed Sunday Aghaeze as his special assistant on photography?

Femi Adesina and Garba Shehu are both spokesmen to the president, so why not merge these offices?

Another reason the federal government gave for taking so long in appointing ministers was that it wanted to select ‘technocrats.’ If this has been done, I do not think Senator Dino Melaye (an APC member) would be calling for the sack of three of President Buhari’s appointees "for their incompetence."  They are; Kemi Adeosun (Finance), Godwin Emefiele (CBN governor), Udo Udoma (Budget).


Kemi Adeosun who had announced that Nigeria was in recession and needed to borrow money from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was fast to describe a recession as "just a word." Sad!

Before Senator Melaye’s call, the minister of sports and youth development, Solomon Dalung came under attack for referring to the United States of America as the "United States of Nigeria."

Are these the technocrats Nigeria waited six months for?


The APC promised to pay unemployed graduate the sum of N5,000 but recently, Lai Mohammed, the minister of information of culture said the money was for vulnerable Nigerians like the aged. Please, who could be more vulnerable than an idle youth who has graduated from the university for years with no job to do?

The National Bureau of Statistics in a recent report said over 4.8 million people have lost their jobs since President Buhari took over from Goodluck Jonathan.

The minister recently said Boko Haram has been defeated with the 200 schoolgirls that were kidnapped from Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno state, still missing.

Recall that President Buhari had said during his inauguration that "the fight against insurgendy cannot be said to have been won until the Chibok girls are rescued."

Babatunde Fashola, the minister of Power, works, and housing allegedly said the APC would provide Nigerians with uninterrupted power supply.

Today,  most homes and business spend a fortune on fuel and diesel to run power generating set. In fact, there is almost no home in Nigeria without a generator.

The fight against corruption has been described by many as "a fight against the opposition with PDP members as primary targets."

While the anti-corruption agencies have linked a huge amount of the funds used by the PDP for its campaign, no one has asked how the ruling party ran its own campaign.

It was alleged that Rotimi Amaechi and Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti state short-changed their states to contribute to the APC campaign. The APC has however denied these allegations without probing the individuals named like it has done to those in the opposition.

Diversification has been a move the Buhari-led administration has continued to say. But how can you tell people to turn to agriculture with Fulani herdsmen killing people and destroying farmlands in most parts of the country?

Everyday, "previous administrations destroyed Nigeria," we agree! But you knew it hence the promise to fix all that has been destroyed. So why remind us at the beginning of every speech what others did not do? Nigerians are tired of that sermon! We want to see the ‘change’ APC promised!


Lamenting in the bus on her way to the office this morning, a civil servant who works at the federal secretariat, Abuja said: "After changing from table water to sachet water, why is the federal government still saying ‘change begins with me’? Do they want me to start drinking well water before they know that this negative change started since they came?"

A passenger had provoked this comments when he said the federal government was trying to change Nigeria for good.

Just like this woman in the bus, most Nigerians in the bus do not support the re-orientation programme of the federal government which was launched on Thursday, September 8, 2016. Come to think of it, how do you tell people about change when you have not delivered on your campaign promises?

Nigeria’s N1,000 can only buy $2, with people are allegedly stealing food while others are exchanging their kids for bags of rice and all you have to tell Nigerians is that change begins with them? Although its is a good idea, but I think the timing was absolutely wrong.


Just one year after the APC took over government, the party is beginning to enjoy the same level of unpopularity, similar to what the PDP faced shortly before the elections. A terrible omen that the party must have to deal with by addressing the problems that bother on the welfare of the common man on the street.

Even as Nigerians continue to work and pray for a better society, the APC must remember that the failure or success of this administration would determine how the party is perceived in the forthcoming elections.

The federal government should bare in mind that "if" another political party takes over power in  2019, the APC would be blamed for not bringing the "Change" promised in 2015.


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