Change and Patience Under Crisis in Nigeria: Emerging Insights from Citizens’ Politics of Reactions to the Country’s 60th Independence Anniversary

Change and Patience Under Crisis in Nigeria: Emerging Insights from Citizens’ Politics of Reactions to the Country’s 60th Independence Anniversary

On several occasions, a lot has been said about Nigeria’s growth and development. From public analysts to social commentators and citizens to global political leaders, Nigeria’s growth and development are not related to her level of material, human and capital resources in the last six decades. This feeling has largely been pronounced during national and democracy day celebration, including when the country is pictured negatively in national or global reports.

Like other Presidents, President Muhammadu Buhari has been critically examined and still been x-rayed from the leadership perspective. For instance, he has been found to project his administration as people-oriented and blame, berate and condemn the past governments. Since 2015, the blame game from the President is not augur well with many public affairs analysts, social commentators, civil society organisations and foreign non-state actors. A number of citizens are not also aligned with the blame game, they want the promised change.

With this, our analyst observes that ‘change’ and ‘patience’ are under crisis in the country. It appears that the change of the President requires patience while citizens believe that the leadership approaches being used by the President are slowing the path to the realisation of the needed change in social, economic and political life of the country. In its 60th independence anniversary speech, President Buhari stressed the place of collective efforts towards the attainment of the needed change.

From 1,991 words, he deployed while addressing the country, Nigerians as a word was mentioned 16 times after country, which was reiterated 17 times. Our analysis further indicates that President Buhari is happy about the progress of the country in the last 60 years and expects commitment of every Nigerian towards sustainable socioeconomic and political growth.

Analysis of the first 20 people’s comments shows trends towards being happy, passionate about the country progress with constant reference to how she does not do well like her counterparts that gained independence in the same year. While the President referred to the place of the citizens in the socioeconomic and political development, our analysis reveals that citizens [in their comments] emphasized why the President must perform according to their expectations.

Exhibit 1: Link of Dominant Words in President Buhari’s Speech

Source: President Speech, 2020; Infoprations Analysis, 2020

Exhibit 2: President Buhari’s Moods

Source: President Speech, 2020; Infoprations Analysis, 2020

React to the Past and Future

In their reactions, a total of 1,020 joy volume was found while 230 sadness volume was discovered from over 78,000 words used for appreciating the President’s efforts and express feelings about socioeconomic and political issues and needs. Analysis shows that citizens are not happy about the economic issues and needs but a little bit happy about social and political changes witnessed over the years [see Exhibit 3 to 5].

Exhibit 3: Percent of Emerging Joy and Sadness Tones in Economic Issues and Needs

Source: President Buhari’s Facebook Page, 2020; Infoprations Analysis, 2020

Exhibit 4: Percent of Emerging Joy and Sadness Tones in Social Issues and Needs

Source: President Buhari’s Facebook Page, 2020; Infoprations Analysis, 2020

Exhibit 5: Percent of Emerging Joy and Sadness Tones in Political Issues and Needs

Source: President Buhari’s Facebook Page, 2020; Infoprations Analysis, 2020

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