To assume that President Muhammadu Buhari has exhausted all he has in stock in building the Nigeria of his dream after his catastrophic first term and the beginning of second term that radiates nothing but despondency and gloomy days is a recipe for inducement of goose pimples on lifeless bodies. Barefacedly, too early into his second shot, the president now talks about who will succeed him and the mountainous job that awaits him/her as if he was elected to wake up every day, genuflect on the feet of these challenges with all sense of submission and servitude, retire to his bed palatial bed of roses and snore to high heaven. Apparently, the president is telling the world that they should not expect anything new from him.
From elementary history and what this writer has experienced as a young Nigerian, never in the annals of this country have we descended into such a despotic, divisive, contemptuous, drought, economic depravity and Machiavellian abyss of retrogression.
The signs are everywhere that our dear country has lost stability in a way never witnessed before. From the invasion of our territory by merchants of death who go on a killing spree of our citizens with brazen impunity, to the daily commando-style abduction of innocent citizens which the vice president, Yemi Osinbajo has consistently downplayed on the altar of political correctness, to the dwindling standard of living among Nigerians, to the vicious attack on the judiciary that has birthed the Shi’ite protest which has claimed the lives of dozens of citizens including a young colleague of this reporter, an NYSC member with Channels television, 21-year-old Precious Owolabi and a Deputy Commissioner of Police from FCT Command, Usman Umar.
The river of blood of our compatriots and security agents that flow uncontrollably in Borno, Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina the home state of the president and other parts of the country precipitated by the reign of terrorists and bandits is an open advert to how much the president like the Biblical sons of Sceva has been subsumed and overwhelmed by the demon he came to cast, having pontificated of having a one-click solution to Nigeria’s security challenges during his campaign in 2015. This again has given the Nigeria’s version of the word “defeat” a new meaning, with this new level of carnage coming from a President Muhammadu Buhari-defeated boko haram.
The worrisome deficiency of stomach infrastructure rattling many Nigerian families, threatening marriages and relationships cannot be extricated from the army of jobless people the president has created since he came to power in 2015. According to the 2018 Labour Force report of Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS), about 3.3 million Nigerians lost their jobs between December 2017 and September 2018, deteriorating to 20.9 million from 17.6 million in Q3 of 2017. According to the report, unemployment rate increased from 18.8 percent in Q3 2017 to 23.1 percent in Q3, 2018.
A reputable economist and former deputy governor of CBN, Dr. Kingsley Moghalu during the inauguration of his campaign support organization prior to the fraud-ridden 2019 presidential election said, “Nine million people have lost their jobs since Buhari came to power in 2015. Under Buhari, Nigeria has become the poverty capital of the world. Nigeria with less than 200 million people has overtaken India, with 1.2 billion people. We have more people that are poor”. What could be more startling and revealing than this?
Paradoxically, this is a government that promised to create three million jobs in three years. This same government rode to power on the crest of “change”, which they have now abandoned because of the negative connotation they have adorned on the word and have now adopted “next level”. Next level of what actually? Is it the next level of industries that have closed down under this government? Is it the next level of unfulfilled promises of job creation? Is it the next level of mass graves and recently secret graves that have dotted our lands? Is it the next level of refineries that gulp millions of Naira in turnaround maintenance but have not refines a liter of crude oil? Is it the next level of suicide that has assumed a dangerous dimension in our land?
It is on record that the fragility of our ethnic and regional hegemony has been graciously enabled under Buhari-led federal government. The line of divisiveness among the various ethnic groups has been widened with the primitive and archaic lopsidedness president Buhari has carried on like a sectional leader. This is manifestly seen in the regionally slanted appointments he has consistently made since his emergence as the number one man in our country. His choice of people to run strategic sectors, including security and economy where the Igbo were totally excluded is a perfect example of how not to be a pan-Nigerian leader.
Only the clannishly naïve blames Obasanjo for raising the alarm on a grand plan to Funanise Nigeria. Who didn’t see the hijack and the manipulation that characterized the emergence of leadership of the 9th National Assembly? For the first time in Nigeria, the South East, one among the tripod that made up the entity called Nigeria was excluded from the power sharing table in the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary arms of government.
Instructively, the government views any dissenting voice and criticism in utmost disgust and as an attempt to topple it. The number of journalists in detention under this government, including Jones Abiri, Bayelsa based journalist is a clear pointer to how much executive high handedness and intolerance reigns supreme in our land. A media entrepreneur and former presidential candidate Omoleye Sowore was arrested just few days ago over planned protest tagged #RevolutionNow in apparent effort to draw the attention of authorities to the depleting fortunes of Nigeria in virtually all sectors. This is a president who was brought to power by a mass street and online protest garnished with propaganda and outright lies against his predecessor. Interestingly, Sowore and his media platform Sahara Reporters play active role in bringing on board a Buhari presidency.
The penchant for clampdown on anyone opposed to Buhari’s cruel form of governance has been his stock-in-trade even during his days as military head of state. Using the crude Decree 4, social crusaders and media workers including Tunde Thompson, Nduka Irabor and many others were thrown behind bars.
To buttress the fact that the legacy of former President Goodluck Jonathan in our electoral contest has come under a heavy gang raped by those with untamable hunger to hold on to power, the recent visa ban on unnamed politically exposed individuals by US government speaks volume on how much the 2019 election was rigged in favour of Buhari.
No nation moves forward in an atmosphere where it is whimsical and caprical on one man to decide what constitutes a threat to national security. That is why those who designed democratic system of government set up three arms to foster checks and balances and checkmate power abuse. The continuous detention of El-Zakzakky, the leader of Islamic Movement of Nigeria since 2015 in deliberate disobedience of legion of bails he has secured from courts of competent jurisdiction is a recipe for breakdown of law and order which has already started manifesting.
There is hardly anyone who is not gripped in multidimensional disappointment with the performance of a man who has sought to become the president in futile three successive times before his tragic victory in 2015.
Those who are close to the president should tell him that his style of leadership falls short of expectation of many. No one stays in power for ever. Leaders are only remembered by the legacy they left. What legacy is president Buhari leaving today?
President Buhari, though better late than never should put the corporate unity of this country at the forefront on all he does. He must put into consideration our ethnic and religious multiplicity to give life to our fractured unity and peaceful co-existence.
He must go back to those promises he made prior to his election and have a critical look at them if they fall in line with what he is doing today.
Lastly, the number of deaths his presidency has recorded across the country is way too high. You cannot visit a people with hardship and death at the same time. He must deploy his military acumen to bring a stop to the mind-boggling insecurity holding us by the jugular.
Enemanna is an Abuja based journalist