PRESIDENT BUHARI AND HIS LIFELESS PRESIDENCY BY ADEBAYO RAPHAEL
Since the beginning of Nigeria’s fourth republic in 1999, the present administration of the All Progressives Congress (APC) led by President Muhammadu Buhari is unarguably the worst. The failure of the incumbent administration to live up to expectations, within and outside Nigeria, relegates every measure of the towering hope that welcomed it.
The current president of Nigeria has consistently proved to the world that he is undeserving of leading this magnificent country of 180million extraordinary people imbued with unimaginable potential. The Nigeria that our current president projects in the world, is a backward, ignorant, antiquated, unalluring, visionless, confused, unimaginative rudderless country. At different times when president Buhari has had the opportunity to blisteringly fly the flags of Nigeria before the world, he unabashedly sullied it instead.
So when I learned that the unscrupulous president of the United States of America, Donald Trump, allegedly referred to Nigeria’s president as a “lifeless” person he never wants to meet again, I shuddered in grief and astonishment. Grief because I realized that once again, our president has fumbled abroad. Astonished because the president’s henchmen ostensibly painted a picture of Eldorado after the meeting. Although this is characteristic of the APC and president Buhari’s administration, it is an insult to the collective intelligence of Nigerians. And I must confess that I am excruciatingly worried, as president Buhari meets with the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Theresa May today. And I hope he doesn’t fumble much, or at least, he should be considerate and not sell Nigeria off.
Although I do not wish to dignify president Trump with a response, but as the saying goes, “if it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.” The administration of president Buhari is exceptionally lifeless. It only comes to life when it wants to abuse human rights, arrest journalists, invade the homes of judges, shield corruption, waste public resources on presidential junkets, hire crowds to attack peaceful protesters, subvert the democratic process, and engage in fruitless propaganda.
Under this administration, Nigeria’s economy slipped into a recession, and Nigerians have been dealing with emasculating economic hardship ever since, despite statistical claims that we have exited the recession. As of today, more than 10million people have lost their jobs in the last three years of this administration, despite its promise to create 3million jobs annually. Nigeria currently shares about 15% of the world’s unemployment rate with approximately 30million unemployed people in the country. According to UNICEF, Nigeria has about 10.5million out-of-school children – the highest in the world, and 60% of these children are in the northern part of the country, and 60% of them are girls. According to the Brookings Institution, Nigeria is currently the extreme poverty capital of the world with about 87million extremely poor people, and a trend of Nigerians sinking into extreme poverty every six minutes. At the helm of Nigeria’s economic affairs, is a minister who has shown no remorse for forging the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) certificate – all under president Buhari’s watch.
If you choose to look beyond Nigeria’s economic woes, you certainly will not find solace in her messy security crisis. Since president Buhari came into power in 2015, thousands of Nigerians have died from the sanguinary binge of killer-herdsmen, with debilitating impact on Nigeria’s food basket in the middle belt of the country. Almost on a daily basis, the number of Internally Displaced Persons and farmers being forced out of their farms continues to skyrocket. The consequence of these endless attacks by herdsmen is the impending famine that would likely hit Nigeria in 2019 or sooner. The commander in chief of Nigeria has refused to address this national threat head-on for reasons best known to him. He has refused to do as much as admit that these killer-herdsmen are terrorists, as swiftly as he did with members of the IPOB in the Southeast, who never killed anyone with impunity, even at the climax of their agitation. Nigeria’s soldiers hardly get their pay, and when they die, the army either denies it or abandon their bereaved families.
The tyranny of president Buhari’s administration on the people is demonic. He has unabashedly shown us that once a tyrant is always a tyrant. His endless assault on freedom of speech and of the press is emblematic of his past as a military dictator. His intolerance for criticisms renders his facade of a reformed democrat null and void. His haughtiness for transparency and accountability is inimical to democracy. His lack of empathy is cruel to humanity. His lack of objectivity, irredentism, and bigotry taints the dignity of leadership. His lack of capacity for a progressive leadership worldview is unbefitting of our great country. I don’t know about you, but not only is president Buhari lifeless, his presidency is lifeless, too.