Muhammadu Buhari – the President Nigeria shouldn’t have had

Nigeria was in desperate search of an alternative to the rudderless and directionless government of erstwhile President Jonathan due to the profligacy that characterized his government. Many felt he mounted the podium of power without preparing for the position, hence the reason for his being incompetent to handle the office of ruling the most populous black nation on earth.

Before the government of Jonathan, his predecessors had treated the nation as their personal property, looting the treasury with reckless abandon and most annoyingly, done with impunity. All measures to curb the excesses of the government Nigeria had entertained from 1960 failed to deliver as the legislative arm of the Nigerian government had no moral wherewithal to see the necessary bills through. The Nigerian people turned to chess games and were blown here and there by every wind of inhuman enactment of laws that the politicians deemed was necessary to appear like they were working.

Cascaded down from Independence till now, we have been entangled in a vicious cycle of abject poverty characterized by the falling standard and purchasing power of our currency. Lack of electricity is now synonymous with us as a country despite the staggering sum of $16bn expended during the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo to provide stable electricity for the people. Everyone in the corridor of power is there to have their own fair share of the national cake. Our industries are moribund. All sectors of the economy have long been lifeless and no right thinking successive government thought of reviving them. All they know how to do is to run abroad looking for aids when we have everything in abundance to sustain us. Our natural resources are untapped and we have a ministry that is being saddled with the responsibility of harnessing our resources.

Year in, year out, they keep passing mind-blowing budgets to the chagrin of the impoverished many because it never reflected in their lives. They divided the nation along party and tribal lines just to favor themselves. Yakubu Gowon did nothing, he rather looted the treasury. Murtala Mohammed who showed signs and glimpses of good governance was obliterated. Obasanjo took over and no tangible achievement was recorded and he spoilt everything by handing over power to a novice in the person of Shehu Shagari whose history I learned to be a teacher, not a season politician. As expected, he did nothing.

Muhammadu Buhari came on board and was rather jailing those he perceived as being undisciplined rather than focusing on good governance. Ibrahim Babangida was a schemer. While the whole nation was sleeping every night, he would be scheming on how to shortchange the nation. His singular action of annulling the widely-adjudged free and fair election that was suppose to bring MKO Abiola to power negated the processes of having good government till date. Sani Abacha was not different, a dictator of indifference to the plight of the people. Thank God he died. Abubakar Salami, I didn’t really read anything about him other than he handed over power to Obasanjo who was one of the masterminds of the woes the country is going through now even as he came back the second time. At least, I’ve started coming of age by the time he was completing two years in office. He lavished our money and globe-trotted the world instead of sitting back at home. He brought EFCC and ICPC into existence as if he was not culpable of corruption also. He jailed his perceived political enemy and pushed his contrived third term agenda but with no success. He now paraded himself as an elder statesman. Who made him an elder statesman? He has the effrontery to be criticizing the government of the day also.

President Jonathan was therefore bequeathed with power when his boss died and misbehaved throughout his six years in office. He had so much money he knew not how to spend it. He had so much at his disposal that the whole nation was plunged into penury. He had so much that his officials and subjects dipped their ten fingers into the coffers and took more than enough. He consented to all of the stealing and graft entrenched in his government. He was just a figure head and a mannequin that was being pushed around. He had no mind of his own as those controlling him were frequently fiddling with his brain. He conceded to defeat just to cover up his misdemeanor in office.

Nigerians needed someone to take them out of the quagmire they found themselves. And General Muhammadu Buhari showed up for the fourth time to wrestle power away from Jonathan, not PDP. He campaigned nationwide and his antecedent and pedigree of being corruption-free spoke more volume during his campaign than his manifestos. He was brimming with confidence and exuded statesmanlike kind of charisma. He spoke less in all of his campaign as all of his promises were not really coherent and detailed but summed up in a ‘change’ mantra that swept throughout the whole land like a volcano. Everybody was bamboozled by that mantra and we forgot to ask him to break it down into feasible steps to achieving the change he promised.

The election came and gone and he won with a landslide. His victory raised the hope of many. His carriage and charisma disposed like all our sufferings were over. It took him more than three months before he constituted his cabinet. Everything he ever decided to do took so much time before doing it. He started jetting round the world ostensibly to return Nigeria to his pride of place in the comity of nations as if that puts food on our table. He plunged the nation into recession and many people are now living from hands to mouth. Many things started assuming some heartrending shape that they never assumed before. He has wasted so much time recovering loots that even the loots recovered have no bearing on our economy. Where has the loot gone to? It seems this President is worse that Goodluck Jonathan. The nation is on a standstill now, nothing is moving. When he assumed office, electricity became stable for some couple of weeks but now, we are spending Christmas in darkness. We are spending Christmas in penury and recession and we claimed to have a President. A STATE OF ANARCHY IS BETTER THAN THE GOVERNMENT OF MUHAMMADU BUHARI. Is 18 months not enough to draft a clear-cut and crystal-clear roadmap for his government or what is wrong? It also seems he surrounds himself with incompetent people despite wasting so much time looking for technocrats to help deliver on his assignment in office.

Author: Olajide Oluwafemi