An Appraisal of the Buhari Presidency!

By our Correspondent

One of the early campaigners for a Buhari presidency, Ray Morphy, wrote the above column in Leadership Newspaper, Tuesday, May 23, 2023.

Not many Nigerians will have the patience to go through the copious piece. So, our correspondent reproduced it here. Read on …

Ray Morphy in Leadership Newspaper began by mentioning names of other Nigerians who struggled to campaign and market the Buhari candidacy as an Integrity and Anti-corruption project!

He wrote: “Therefore when Buhari became president, it was with high hopes for a better Nigeria where things will work and where corruption will not be tolerated! This was the level of hope and expectations.

“As we now count the days until he leaves office, it is time to examine the Buhari scorecard so as to see and know whether he is leaving Nigeria better than he met it, or worse.

Insecurity

According to the columnist: “Eight years on, can we say that Buhari handled Nigeria’s insecurity as expected? According to the Global Centre for Responsibility to Protect, more than 35,000 people have been killed in northern Nigeria since 2009 when Boko Haram launched its insurgency

“Remember that at this time the killings were restricted to the North-east of Nigeria. Thirty-five thousand deaths were the figure that Buhari inherited in 2015. However, after spending a huge amount of money on security in the last eight years Buhari is leaving office with over 63,000 Nigerians violently killed under his watch.

“According to data obtained from the Nigeria Security Tracker, NST, a project of the Council on Foreign Relations Africa program, 63,111 have been killed since outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari assumed office on May 29, 2015.

“The deaths arose from terrorism, banditry, herders/farmers clashes, communal crises, cult clashes, and extra-judicial killings among others. The NST documents and maps violence in Nigeria that is motivated by political, economic, or social grievances. Besides this outrageous number of Nigerians killed under his watch, killings that were hitherto restricted to the northeast in 2015 spread nationwide under the Buhari presidency!

Economy

“In terms of the management of the economy, especially inflation, the consumer price index (CPI), which measures the rate of change in prices of goods and services, rose to 22.04 percent in March 2023, up from 21.91 percent in the previous month. The inflation rate data is contained in the latest CPI report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). The March increase comes across as the third consecutive surge in the country’s inflation figure since the year began. According to the NBS report, “the March 2023 inflation rate showed an increase of 0.13 percent points when compared to February 2023 headline inflation rate.” Note that before Buhari came to power Nigeria has a single-digit inflation rate. Inflation was 8% in 2014 and 9% in 2015 under President Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari took inflation to 22% with dire consequences for the economy and the public.

Anti-corruption

“Buhari made anti-corruption the mantra of his campaign for power. However, corruption got worse under his administration according to Transparency International (TI) which documents the corruption perception index around the world. Nigeria got its worst rating on the Transparency International corruption perception index since 2015 under Buhari. In the 2020 index, the country scored 25 out of 100 points — with zero signifying the worst-performing country and 100, the best-ranked. It also dropped to 149 out of the 180 countries surveyed, making it the second most corrupt country in West Africa. The 2020 rating is one point below that of 2019 when the country scored 26 points, and two points below its ranking in 2018 and 2017 when it got 27 points. This is the unbiased verdict of Buhari’s anti-corruption campaign by TI.

Nigeria disunited

“With a clear nepotistic tendency, the country has also become more divided than ever before. It is under his administration that all the service chiefs were from a particular part of the country and religion in violation of the federal character principle that is enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution.

“Heads of the paramilitary agencies are of the same region and religion; from Customs to Immigration, NSCDC to Prisons and Police to DSS, NIA, and Fire Service.

“Patriotism is right now at its lowest ebb. President Buhari is leaving the country more divided than he met it.

Promises

“The Daura-born politician failed in so many promises he made to Nigerians. He couldn’t make $1 equal to N1, he didn’t build one refinery every year of his administration, and Air Nigeria is yet to fly despite humongous sums plunged into it.

Rigging

“Buhari used to insist that for years, he had been a victim of rigged elections until he was saved by technology in 2015 which provided the enabling environment for him to defeat the incumbent President Jonathan.

“Sadly, under his watch technology that ought to have given Nigerians free and fair election on February 25 presidential and National Assembly elections was crudely sabotaged and Buhari did nothing about it. He is therefore leaving office with a legacy of the worst election in Nigeria’s long history of shoddy elections. Indeed, this election under Prof. Mahmood Yakubu is unanimously the worst worldwide!

Naira value

“The value of the naira did not only collapse under Buhari, his attempt to redesign the naira was a major and embarrassing fiasco. According to the Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise (CPPE), the Nigerian economy lost an estimated N20 trillion to the naira scarcity. Mada Yusuf, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of CPPE, made the observation.

“Millions of Nigerians passed through unprecedented hardship because of the policy including several others that died in hospitals because they could not access their cash to pay for hospital bills. Nigeria lost millions of manhours due to this gross ineptitude, yet the guys at CBN are still keeping their jobs.

Misappropriation

“In 2020, the government’s own Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) shocked Nigerians with the revelation that it has traced to private accounts N2.67 billion meant to be funded for the Federal Government’s school feeding program.

‘”The program is executed by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development supervised by Sadiya Umar Farouk who was once quoted as saying that her ministry spent N600 billion on feeding school children during the Covid-19 lockdown. The ICPC also said another N2.5 billion appropriated for the Federal Ministry of Agriculture was found in the personal account of deceased staff of the ministry, who was also discovered to be in possession of landed assets including 18 buildings, 12 business premises, and 25 plots of land.

“Bolaji Owasanoye, the chairman of ICPC, made the revelations at the second National Summit on Diminishing Corruption with the theme, “Together Against Corruption and Launch of the National Ethics and Integrity Policy” by President Muhammadu Buhari. Nothing was further heard about this because, under Buhari, there are indeed sacred cows.

Debt

“Nigeria’s total external debt now stands at $40.06 billion under President Muhammadu Buhari’s government, up from $10.32 billion which his government inherited in 2015. This shows that there has been an increase of 288.18 per cent in seven years, according to the external debt stock reports by the Debt Management Office. A breakdown shows that in 2015, 36 states had $3.27 billion in external debt while the Federal Government had $7.05 billion. By 2022, states’ external debt rose to $4.56 billion, while the Federal Government’s external debt increased to $35.5 billion. The debts included loans from multilateral sources such as the World Bank, the African Development Bank, and the International Monetary Fund. They also included bilateral loans from China, France, Japan, Germany, and India, as well as commercial sources including Eurobonds and Diaspora bonds. To make matters worse there is a total lack of transparency and accountability on the terms and conditions of the loans and how they are spent.

“As President Buhari exits the presidential villa let it be known that he had ample opportunity to make Nigeria a better place, he had massive goodwill at the inception of his tenure (including this columnist), but he squandered it by allowing ineptitude, mediocrity, and nepotism to color and retard the progress of Nigeria under his watch.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *