‘Buhari’s overall performance in eight years is a testimony of “one’s inability to give what one does not have”
By Valentie Amanze
Nigeria’s debt could pass $150 billion by May 29, 2023, when President Muhammadu Buhari would leave office; from a little over $60 billon in 2015, when he took over from the ex-President Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2015.
This is unacceptable in a country plagued with 22 per cent inflation.
No doubt, the huge debt is a big blow to the expectation of Nigerians, who wanted a “Change” from the alleged corrupt leadership of the then ruling party – PDP – Buhari’s overall performance in eight years is a testimony of “one’s inability to give what one does not have”.
Buhari does not possess what Nigerians felt he had in 2015, as his current form indicates.
With the mantra to fight corruption and insecurity, Nigerians were deceived that their messiah had finally come. Eight years after, they are gnashing their teeth in blood and in sorrow.
With hardship and failed promises, Buhari can now beat his chest in fulfillment of his ambition of being the nation’s democratically elected president.
Most of us who witnessed his disastrous military leadership of between 1983 and 1985 objected his second coming as a civilian president; but the corrupt few used propaganda to bring him back.
In all sectors, Buhari’s lesdership never met people’s expectation.
President Muhammadu Buhari is on record as Nigeria’s longest serving Petroleum minister.
As Army officer, Buhari was Nigeria’s petroleum minister in the 80s; and also held sway in his eight-year tenure as Nigeria’s president (2015-2023).
During his eight-year civilian leadership, the nation’s five refinaries remained comatous, leading to overdepence on imported petroleum products at high cost.
A litre of premium motor spirit (pms) or petrol, which he met at N89 now goes for N145 at official rate.
His tenure has witnessed an unpresidented period of large-scale oil theft, with his government accused of looking away while different groups in the Niger Delta steal crude from the pipelines.
His incompetence in the oil industry despite many years experience, led to Nigeria’s production plunging to a 30-year low in 2022.
The high level oil theft directly under Buhari, who also doubles as Nigeria’s petroleum minister, undermines his claim to be fighting graft.
On Monday May 22, 2023, Buhari was representated in Lagos to commission a privately-owned Dangote refinery. What a shame! What his government and himself could not do in eight years, an individual did it in less than seven years.
Buhari has not done well in his much talked about war against corruption.
How would one defend his inability to convict and jail even one corrupt government official in the past eight years, even with his military background? It was during his tenure that snake swallowed money, stolen millions of dollars were unearthed, yet there was no conviction.
His fight against corruption is a hoax meant to deceive Nigerians.
Buhari was there in 2022 and witnessed how presidential aspirants in his party, the APC, were buying N100 million form and looked the other way.
He never asked them, most of who were public servants, how they got the money? He also supervised the sharing of millions of dollars by the presidential aspirants at the APC Convention in Abuja. He is also the Nigerian president that organised the nation’s worst election in history. What an anti-corruption czar.
When he contested and failed the 2011 presidential election on the platform of CPC, Buhari wept and blamed the judiciary for his loss. He didn’t stop there. He vowed to deal with the judiciary when elected as president.
How would one explain his continued withholding the international passport of the Islamic leader, EL-Zakzakky, after the court freed him of any wrong doing. The same goes with that of IPOB leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, who was “kidnapped by the state” in Kenya, freed by the Nigeria’s Supreme Court, and still being detained by the government.
Nigerians are quietly observing Buhari’s body language in the ongoing Presidential Election Tribunal. His eight-year tenure has so much emasculated the judiciary to extent that Nigerians nolonger antecepet justice from the court.
Under his watch, his psrty members, who lost or never participated in the primary election; and those, who failed election, were given ticket at the Supreme Court. It is a pity that the man, who met a vibrant judiciary is leaving it low without respect.
Besiides, his only milestone in the judiciary, the electoral law, is being tested at the election tribunal, while the oil-sector law has not been tested.
In 2014, during his campaigns, Buhari boasted that he was the solution to the insecurity in Nigeria. In fact, he assured that if elected in 2015 that he would end the insecurity, which began in Borno State.
Though his efforts, including buying sophisticated war equipment (Tucano fighters from U.S.), to curtail the Boko Haram militants, yielded dividends, his leadership style aided the spread of high level insecurity to the South East, Middle-belt, and North West Nigeria.
He watched his Fulani ethnic group raid farms and killed their owners to takeover the land for the grazing of their animals.
Buhari also tried to make grazing laws to justify the killings by his ethnic group, the Fulani herdsmen, but was rejected by the Midle-Beltans and the Southeastners.
He has not arrested and prosecuted any killer Fulani herdman for the destruction of lives and property, which resulted in the current food crises in Nigeria.
Some of the armed groups created by the farmer-herder crisis have since transitioned into violent motorcycle-riding bandits targeting communities in the north-west and central states. These groups have helped turn a lucrative kidnap-for-ransom business into a behemoth that now extends countrywide.
Under his watch, many students are kidnapped daily in the North-West and North-Central Nigeria.
It is very hard to forgive the presidet for the destruction of Nigeria’s economy.
His method was pre-historic. I wonder why he had an economy team, whom he never consulted.
Who even advised him to close the nation’s boarders, when Nigeria was not yet self-sufficient in food production?
As he leaves, Buhari’s handling of the Nigerian economy will most likely be remembered for his botched attempt earlier this year at redesigning the local currency.
An otherwise rudimentary exercise descended into chaos as scarcity of the new naira notes, which have now almost disappeared, resulted in more hardship for millions in the country who relied on cash for basic needs.
Buhari’s integrity was also impugned by his frequent medical trips to the UK despite spending large sums to refurbish a clinic in the presidential villa.
This lack of transparency “drained taxpayers’ monies, encouraged illicit financial flows and other corruption-enabling activities the administration preached against.