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President Buhari’s 8 years of waste

 

President Muhammadu Buhari assumed presidential powers in Nigeria on the 29th of May, 2015, after an election conducted by his predecessor, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, whom, himself, was a candidate, in which he lost and conceded defeat peacefully to Buhari. Goodluck Jonathan said that his political ambition was not worth the blood of any citizen. At the same time Goodluck was making his statement of peace, Buhari was making his statement of crisis. According to him, if he were not declared the winner, the baboons and monkeys will be soaked in blood. Indeed, during his eight years, not only that Nigerians were reduced to baboons and monkeys, literally, they were soaked in blood. The primary purpose of any government, according to Section 14(2)(b) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, is the security and welfare of the people. In Buhari’s eight years in office, about more than 62,000 people were killed. About 518 people were killed in Zagon Kataf Local Government in Southern Kaduna alone in six years. People were kidnapped daily and taken to forests where they are kept for many months, burrowing in caves and wilderness, practically like animals, held in horrible conditions by their captors, until the negotiated ransom amount reached on their heads for their freedom was paid by their families like slaves. Never in the history of Nigeria has Nigerians been so degraded, dehumanized and deprived like they were in Buhari’s regime.

The major killing fields in Nigeria today are Benue, Southern Kaduna, and Plateau State with substantial dangerous flicker of bloody violence rising from time to time in Nasarawa and Taraba states. The North-West has become the nest of bandits, terrorists, kidnappers and armed robbers with deadly consequences in cost of lives and property of citizens, with Zamfara and Katsina (President’s own state) states being the epicentre. The North-East is still the hotbed for insurgency and terrorism which result in serious internally displaced persons situations. The unknown gunmen originated and peaked in Buhari’s regime in the South-East. Oil thieves peaked in the South-South under Buhari with 51 unofficial pipes projected illegally into the official pipeline for stealing of crude oil while being transported to the final destination for export. The ritualists and cultists fester in the South-West while the North-Central remains the epicentre for the killer herdsmen carnage.

The most disgraceful security breach that happened under Buhari, right under his nose, was the assault on Kuje medium security prison, Abuja, where the terrorists launched the attack and released about 61 of their arrested members and inflicted casualties on the security guards without sustaining any to itself, signifying total collapse of inter-agency cooperation among the security agencies of this country. The disheartening thing is that the Kuje jailbreak happened after 44 intelligence reports and warning that bandits and terrorists were about to strike to release their own. The failure extended to the unfortunate attack on an Abuja-Kaduna bound train which led to the kidnap of more than 72 persons that languished in the forests for more than eight months without any of the terrorists arrested. Huge ransom was paid for their release by their families while the government stood aside and did nothing. This failure was replicated in all spheres of our lives. Nigeria that should be flowing with milk and honey was soaked in blood and tears in fulfilment of Buhari’s prophecy, throughout his tenure.

Having failed in the most basic duty of any government, which is the security of lives of the people, one will think that he will perform better in their welfare. He came into power on the tripod of promises of security, anti-corruption and revamping the economy. The greatest testimony of the economic failure of the Buhari’s regime is the building of the Dangote Refinery. This refinery was built within four years of its commencement. It costed about $19 billion to complete. It is rated one of the, if not the largest refinery, in the whole world. Buhari’s government, on the other hand, built no refinery throughout his eight-year rule. His government spent more billions of dollars in the purported repairs of the four refineries, than Dangote spent in building a new one, without any meaningful change in the fortunes of the refineries. Despite promising not to pay subsidies on refined oil importation, which he rightly described as fraudulent, he ended up paying more than N24 trillion in subsidies in his regime. Till date, none of the refineries is working, just as every other thing he did failed to work. He completed some rail lines, but none is working because people are afraid to ply them due to insecurity. He built roads which people are too scared to use. People cannot fly because it’s too expensive. The most disturbing thing is that Buhari did not create ventures that provided revenue to its government, but borrowed all the funds he used to build infrastructure that the people could not assess. He is going to leave a debt of about N77 trillion to his successor while he inherited about N12 trillion in national debt.

Signs that Buhari’s regime was going to be a tale of wasted years started quite early in his regime. For seven months after he was sworn in, he neglected, refused and failed to set up his Federal Executive Council. Couldn’t appoint Ministers. This is the first time in Nigeria such an attitude will happen. He was running the government by the instrumentality of a cabal which Aisha Buhari, his wife, revealed, were five persons. When he finally appointed his ministers, he still appointed the same politicians that he would have appointed the same day that he sat on the saddle as president, by which time, things have already gone awry in his administration. The Ministers came in as servants to the cabal who had the final say in whatever decision was to be taken. It’s quite funny to realise that Buhari signed an alteration to the Constitution that compels his successors to set up their cabinet before 60 days in office. This is a repudiation of his wastage attitude and sluggish administrative style by Nigerians, through their representatives. Even Buhari, by signing that alteration, is rejecting his own legacy of waste.

On the issue of the economy, he boasted that he will make one dollar exchange for one naira. He met the dollar exchanging for about N180 when he came in. He declared that he will lift more than 100 million Nigerians out of poverty, provide employment and electric power to the people, among very other lofty economic objectives. Unfortunately, his boast became hollow as the economy under Buhari became comatose with the naira depressingly going for more than N740.00 per dollar and about N925.00 to a pound. The electric power generation became a disaster with more than eight national grid system collapse in one year. All our refined petroleum products are imported and fuel subsidy payment is at its highest today. Diesel, kerosene and aviation fuel costs are racing to about N1,000.00 per litre, God forbid, and PMS is ever increasing in price as all our refineries are comatose in a land richly blessed with oil. During the naira redesign policy, Nigerians were buying their money with their own money, first in history.

Our aviation industry is collapsing with no end in sight. Our public educational system is on the verge of collapse as the university lecturers, led by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) went on strike for more than eight months last year, the first in history. Unmployment is at all time high at about more than 40 per cent of the population and the cost of living has blown through the roof. Inflation is staring us in the face at about 22.2 per cent, as even bread has become unaffordable. More than 133 million Nigerians are suffering from multi-dimentional poverty with no access to basic nutrition, basic healthcare, basic education and basic sanitary condition. President Buhari has borrowed more than he can pay and presently the revenue he is earning for Nigeria cannot even service the debts he has borrowed as the borrowed funds were not invested in productive ventures that can pay back the debts.

His anti-corruption war is now like a comedic movie in Nollywood, as the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) was alleged to have misappropriated the sum of about N109 billion. His Minister of Power was recently arrested by EFCC for allegedly misappropriating about N22 billion. The so-called social investment scheme is now a theatre of the absurd for sharing money to cronies and hangers-on in the name of poverty alleviation or how can one justify the sharing of such amount of money yet more than 133 million  persons were thrown into more poverty than the 100 million he promised to pull out of poverty. The President even illegally borrowed from the Central Bank, above the statutory limits of the law, through the famous ways and means, to the tune of about N22 trillion, which the National Assembly illegally and retroactively ratified before the end of its tenure.

In Management, the job of a leader is not complete until he institutes a worthy successor. The process of instituting our leaders in a democracy is free, fair and credible elections. Buhari allocated about N400 billion of borrowed money to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) because of the introduction of electronic accreditation and transmission of results through the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS). On the election day, this costly device was circumvented and was not used according to the law that established it which Buhari signed. Citizens were brutalised openly and prevented from voting. Ballot boxes and papers were snatched and burnt. Results were openly falsified and mutilated. In all these things, President Buhari kept mum. He even went further to commit crime on the day of election by sychophantically voting for a candidate and advertising it to his followers to influence them to a particular direction in breach of Section 122 of the Electoral Act. At the end of the day, he became part of the criminal enterprise of the deliberate and wilful manipulation of the electoral process to produce an unsubstantiated INEC declared winner of its flawed election. INEC till date has not furnished anybody with the certified true copy of all the presidential results it claimed to have announced. This President is like no other and our prayers are that there should never be a President of Nigeria that will ever be like him as he ends his career as the worst regime in Nigeria, if not the whole world.

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