By May 29, 2023 when President Muhammadu Buhari would be exiting from the inner fortress of the well protected walls of the Aso Villa, I am wondering where he probably would be retiring to; Daura or Katsina? Or both?
He has always lived in both Kaduna and Daura anyway, except that this time, he would be leaving behind a very fractured, heavily polarized polity with insecurity reigning supreme.
He would be retiring to a Kaduna that no longer sleeps at night, a Kaduna that has become a hotbed of bandits’ attack, where the Nigeria Defence Academy was attacked, two officers killed, and another still in captivity.
By that time, if we follow the present progression in crime and criminalities, President Buhari may become a soft target for these daredevil criminals who have held us hostage under a government that has shown obvious incompetence and incapacity to rein them in.
In Daura, president Buhari would be unsafe in a community that has become notorious for abduction of school children and general insecurity. Despite President Buhari’s leadership, rather than abate all the insecurity challenges, he has succeeded in destroying the very fabric of our nationality.
So, I am envisaging a Buhari as ordinary citizen at a time when all the security apparati would have been withdrawn and left with skeletal security aides that would provide him skeletal protection. If bandits could penetrate the NDA, it would be commonplace to penetrate any where.
That is the country President Buhari would be bequeathing to his successor, a country that is heavily burdened by all manner of criminality. It is not in doubt that president Buhari has destroyed our national psyche, and the thin line of unity that hitherto bound us together.
Through his lack of creativity, his effort has been a matter of a drop in the ocean. He hardly communicates, and whenever he does, he creates more problems than solutions.
He leaves his listener utterly bored by the sound bites of a defective communication strategy and skill. Rather than inspire, he offends the sensibility of the people. (See the derision they made of him in Imo State). You would easily come to the conclusion that the president is surely battling a puzzle that is beyond his cognitive capacity.
He may have tried all the possibilities, but his inability to find a roadmap around the disturbing trend of insecurity is a sore thumb of this administration.
It won’t be out of place to state that President Buhari has become an unfortunate leader of the 200 million Nigerians. Unfortunate in the sense that he came on board with very high expectations, having defeated an incumbent president.
Nigerians were looking forward to own their government and their country. They waited with bated breathe to see the rendition of leadership intelligence that would provide direct response to prevailing developmental challenges, but alas, just like a punctured balloon, President Buhari dashed the hopes and expectations of the people.
Aside from his own obvious leadership gaps, his square pegs in round holes appointees are the direct consequence of a president that couldn’t interrogate competence and capacity. He ended up appointing cronies and party men who are far from reality. The Nigeria he inherited was a far more robust and promising one, than the state it is presently.
All the promises he made while he was campaigning for votes, have all been dashed. We are now in a season of despondency and hopelessness. By the time he would be leaving, I am waiting to read the footnotes of his valedictory speech, and what he would document as parting shots of achievements in the face of gloomy economy, with naira being slaughtered in the courtyard of the dollar.
When Buhari was contesting for election, he condemned the exchange rate regime that was within the threshold of N197 to a dollar. He wondered why the then government would allow the naira such a free fall when productivity should be encouraged.
By the time he came on board, his near-zero economic policies further exacerbate an already volatile currency regime and catapulted the naira to a level of abysmal plunge down below intolerable limits. In a couple of days, naira may exchange for N600 to a dollar.
And before the year ends, one dollar will exchange for a thousand naira right before the very eyes of president Buhari who promised heaven and earth during his electioneering campaigns, and yet manifestly incompetent to deliver on them.
The economic dislocations and backwardness in the last six years have been most debilitating for a citizenry that is caught within the web of promise and performance. The prohibitive cost of staple food items is another pain in the neck.
A bag of rice in president Buhari’s world sells for N35,000 from its N8,500 pre-Buhari era. Two cubes of tomatoes sell for N200. A bag of Knorr, Royco and Star Maggi, sells for between N800 to N1,200, from N150 pre-Buhari. President Buhari is known as a harbinger of hardship and poverty. In his first adventure into the world of leadership of the nation, Nigerians went through hell as a result of leadership contradiction and hypocritical handling of governmental business.
It was a season of poverty and austerity measures easily adopted by the citizens who were at the receiving end of his rebarbative policies. Little wonder the government was eased out without qualms.
At a most auspicious time when he ought to have improved on his leadership capability, he seems to have given up hope, and often times, calling on Nigerians to resort to prayers.
Other countries in the world are already exploring the space to build a new world, exploring technology to simplify life and human existence, electric cars are gaining traction, robotic engineering is becoming the order of the day, but in President Buhari’s world, we still discuss grazing routes and travelling to states to commission one ridiculous traffic light.
Pardon me? Are we truly serious? You mean President Buhari left Abuja for Owerri to commission a flood tunnel, a job that should ordinarily be undertaken by a local government Chairman?
President Buhari still has a slim window of opportunity to make amends, but you cannot give what you don’t have. Rather than preaching sanctimoniousness as a mark of his self-acclaimed puritanic stature, I would expect to see a president who should be worried about his place in the evolutionary process of a new Nigeria.
I would rather have a corrupt President Buhari who can perform wonders to help impact life of the average Nigerian, than having a man who prides himself as a moralist, yet steeped in hypocrisy and contradiction.
When a man self glorifies himself, he leaves behind the real job he was recruited to undertake. That is why we hear rhetorics such as “nobody can accuse me of corruption”, such weather beaten recurring self righteous indignation.
He is more concerned about his person than the destiny and place of Nigeria in the comity of nations. He wants to be at peace with himself but leave Nigeria in pieces. He prefers people especially his sychophants to sing his praises, than for them to celebrate the growth of Nigeria.
He doesn’t seem to know that the beauty of a nation is predicated on the smiles and moods of its citizenry. When gloom overwhelms their facial expressions, when frown is boldly written on their faces, when they sweat profusely from doing hard jobs to eke a living, they rain curses on anyone who is their leader, their president. This is why president Buhari should please wake up.
This slumbering is becoming unbearable. He needs to rejig his cabinet and introduce new hands. Nothing is wrong in trying to energize a system that is rudderless. The beauty of nature is to change old habits to emulate new ones that fit into the contemporary age.
Remaining stoic and withdrawn from a system, when you are supposed to be involved in the frontline, is a mark of laize faire leadership. Such leaders never own up to their failures. They never.