Opinion

Buhari-Osinbajo dream team suddenly Nigeria’s worst nightmare

T his column is not enough to document how ‘the Buhari- Osinbajo team became Nigeria’s worst nightmare’ in a space of seven years. Even a book will not be enough to document what they did to Nigeria and how a promising country of over 200 million people with one of the largest economies in Africa was conned into electing two confused and incompetent persons as President and Vice President.

 

Ordinarily, the Vice President should be aiming to succeed the President at the end of their eight-year full term, but ask Nigerians this question and the answer is ‘NO’ hence we are now having the lamest of lame duck president.

 

The business of governing grinds to a halt as underlings turn to rivals jockeying for positions in the succession line. Because of failed leadership, Nigeria has become a corrupt war zone. Every single day scores of lives are lost on our streets making my heart bleed.

 

I decided to pen this article not essentially because of the severe pains the regime’s wrong-headed policies has inflicted on us but to show how a failed and incompetent leadership can cause needless conflicts and destroy and a bright future hope.

 

Leadership is about the future. It’s about who can lead the way, show the way and find the way. This opinion will help guide our future and to remind us of our responsibility to scrutinise all those in the succession line so that we don’t repeat the same mistake of 2015.

In the least, we deserve leaders who will respect and value us. Nigeria is a great country with lots of good people but governed by the worst of people. We are not good at making the right choice when it comes to choosing our leaders. We allow tribal and religious sentiments to cloud our senses.

 

It’s true that in 2015, PDP had outlived her usefulness as a ruling party and Nigerians needed change. Buhari’s change mantra resonated well with the people especially the very young voters. They saw him as a father figure who will help resolve their issues. They were wrong.

 

What Buhari promised the most was ‘change’ and he has truly changed the face of the country beyond recognition. Most of the things that are happening were not just unintended consequences of bad leadership and bad policies.

 

What is happening was expected and intended because they were designed to be so. The only exception being that the change happened too fast. A friend told me that Nigeria is finished, that Buhari-Osinbajo have killed Nigeria and that there is no hope of Nigeria rising above her current challenges.

 

According to him the only solution they see is balkanisation of the country. While I agree that Buhari-Osinbajo are incompetent in fighting corruption, incompetent on the economy, incompetent in uniting the country, incompetent on security, incompetent on education, incompetent in managing the pandemic, incompetent in everything, yet I do not accept that the country is gone. It is not impossible to reverse Buhari’s mistakes.

 

A good and visionary leader, who truly loves Nigeria, can build back the country to safety, security and prosperity. It may take a while and maybe a lot of hard work but not an impossible task.

 

One day this nightmare will be over. On his way to the presidency, President Buhari made lots of promises like ensuring petrol does not sell above N40/ litre.

 

He in fact inherited the PMS price of N87/litre, but under his watch PMS is now sold on the average of N160-N168/ litre. It is most likely that by January 2022 Nigerians will buy PMS at N320-N340/litre.

 

This will push up the cost of living and worsen an already bad situation. Another of Buhari’s failed promises was that he will make the naira equal to the dollar. Nigerians of course want a stronger currency and wished for the good old days when one naira exchanged for one dollar.

 

President Buhari inherited an exchange rate of N197/$1. But under his watch the FX rate averages N560/$1 and may likely peak at N1000/$1 before the end of his regime in 2023.

 

The rise in the exchange rate has escalated inflation. Over 80 million Nigerians risk starvation and death. Already, many homes are without food and will be without food this Christmas. Inflation rate which was at 9.01% in 2015 has averaged 17.42%. in 2021.

 

How people are surviving and will survive the remaining one year of the administration will require a detailed study. Perhaps, one area where the President’s broken promise was more visible is in the area of unity. Nigerians are now more divided than we ever were.

 

In a speech he delivered during his swearing in as president in 2015, he made some profound statements where he promised to be ‘for no one but for everyone’. But not sooner than he uttered those words he began to implement an agenda that completely defeated his oath of office and the constitution.

For a president who must see the entire federation as his constituency, he showed preference for his tribe and people of his religion at the detriment of others.

Nigerians are now sharply divided and separated between the North and the South, Christians and Moslems. His nepotism and tribalistic disposition saw to it that South Easterners are being forced out of Nigeria. Marginalization of the zone expectedly fuelled separatist agitations by the youths who want a country of their own built on merit.

 

The attempt to use force to quell the uprisings had led to widespread killings which has attracted international attention. Not even the arrest and detention of the ring leaders of the agitation has calmed the situation. The clamour for self-determination is getting louder and more deafening. The issue of self-determination is an issue that can be resolved through dialogue, restructuring and devolution of powers to the states.

 

But the regime has refused all wise counsels on restructuring which is the country’s best hope of survival. According to Mr. Peter Obi, Nigeria is like a car with a bad engine. And no good driver can drive it to its destination except the engine is Nigeria indeed is broken and requires fixing.

 

Who will fix Nigeria because Buhari- Osinbajo can’t? President Buhari was a retired military general.

During his campaign, he made very bold promises to end insecurity. Then insecurity was largely concentrated in the North Eastern region of Nigeria. Expectations were high that insecurity will become a thing of the past once he is elected.

 

It pains me that under Buhari, the entire country has become a corrupt war zone, a killing field, a mass concentration camp, a kidnap den and a living hell. In parts of Nigeria education has collapsed because bandits have made attacking schools and kidnapping teachers and students a regular pastime.

 

Not even the Nigerian Defence Academy, the elite Nigerian Army training school was spared. The North East Boko Haram insurgency has dangerously mutated to ISWAP, bandits, militia herdsmen and ‘Unknown Gunmen’.

 

One will be right to describe President Buhari as a general conquered by bandits. He may well be the president but he is not in charge. Terrorists, bandits and unknown gunmen are in charge.

 

There is no end to what Buhari-Osinbajo have done to Nigeria, but we cannot conclude this short conversation without mentioning his failure in addressing pervasive corruption. Corruption remains a blight not just in Nigeria but around the world.

However, corruption in Nigeria is endemic and has robbed the country of a brighter future.

Before he became president, President Buhari was the anti-corruption poster boy. Many expected him to eliminate the cankerworm, but again he has failed woefully. It’s an open secret that when you join the president’s party your sins are forgiven.

 

The anti-corruption war targets members of the opposition party. The politicisation of corruption is partly the reason Nigeria is conflicted. Everyone has his individual thoughts and experience on what Buhari did to Nigeria and how his partnership with Osinbajo became Nigeria’s worst nightmare.

 

While I hope to continue to put this down, let me know your own thoughts and experience. I also expect feedback from those with rose tinted experience of his leadership style

 

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