May 29, 2021 3:24 am
Ringtrue By Yemi Adebowale Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
In the twinkling of an eye, a man elected President of an entire country turns to a sectional leader, championing only the cause of his Fulani ethnic group amid bloodbath and mounting poverty in his country. This aptly sums up President Muhammadu Buhari’s six years of clannishness, ineptitude and mismanagement, resulting in boundless killings and pains across the country.
From Buhari’s reaction to southern governors’ ban on open grazing, one can safely say that his support for criminal herders and Fulani militias is no longer in doubt. He mischievously described the ban and other resolutions reached by the governors as “acts of politicking intended by its signatories to demonstrate power,” adding: “It is very clear that there was no solution offered from their resolutions to the herder-farmer clashes. It is equally true that their announcement is of questionable legality, given the Constitutional right of all Nigerians to enjoy the same rights and freedoms within every one of our 36 states (and FCT) -regardless of the state of their birth or residence.”
For six years, our supposed President unleashed Fulani herders on the rest of the country, turning our beloved Nigeria into a killing field. He persistently clears the way for herders still trapped in anachronism and cares less about produce farmers and lovers of serene coexistence. Guerrillas protecting herdsmen roam freely unchecked by security agents. As a result, blood has been flowing freely in communities in Benue, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Taraba, Niger and Plateau states. Children have been turned to orphans and women turned to widows.
Clips from the attack on Shikaan Mbagena Kpav community, in Katsina-Ala Local Government Area of the same Benue State last Thursday, during which several people were killed, reflect the chilling insecurity in our land. Tse Ancha and Agan communities in Makurdi Local Government Area of the same Benue State were also recently invaded by Fulani militias. Eight people, including a community head were killed. This happened barely 12 hours after scores of victims of the Abegana IDP camp killings by the same Fulani militias were buried.
The blood-spattered story is the same in the South-west and South-east. Even in his North-west, Nigeria’s Chief Security Officer turns a blind eye as criminal herders butcher Hausa farmers. Just last Monday, Fulani militias entered Damaga village in Maradun Local Government Area of Zamfara State, killing scores of farmers on their farmlands.
Buhari came to power in 2015 with an avowal to tame insecurity but Nigeria continues to degenerate along this line. Aside the problem of criminal herders, bandits and kidnappers continue to maul Nigerians. Boko Haram terrorists have also become emboldened under the Buhari government, expanding territories with intense carnage. In Borno State, the epicenter of Boko Haram, 20 of the 27 local governments are unsafe. It is depressing for a government to persistently make claims of degrading Boko Haram, yet, IDPs can’t return to their homes. They struggle for a meal a day while scores die daily of hunger, disease and malnutrition. After six years of Buhari, there are close to one million troubled people in these IDP camps in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states. The big question is: Why would a man, his wives and children remain in a squalid IDP camp if his community had been recovered from Boko Haram? These people can’t return to their homes because Boko Haran controls these towns and villages.
President Buhari saying persistently that he has technically defeated Boko Haram is heartless. Under Buhari’s watch, Boko Haram became the deadliest terror group in the world, with thousands of Nigerians killed in the last six years. Even in IDP camps, these traumatised Nigerians are persistently attacked and killed by Boko Haram.
Our gallant soldiers are struggling to end the Boko Haram war because they are poorly-equipped and poorly-motivated. They often struggle for allowances and equipment on the war front. Many of them have over-stayed on the war front, contrary to the rules of engagement, yet, they are not rotated. The last six years of Buhari have been awful for the military.
Let’s switch to the flagging Nigerian economy, which is in the three-point agenda of the Buhari government. Our President inherited a robust economy that was the largest in Africa, while Nigerians did their businesses with little encumbrances. Six years after, this country’s economy is in shreds and continues to suffer, with no hope in sight. Thousands of businesses are gasping for breath. Many have closed shop. At a point, inflation was almost at an unparalleled 18.72%. Note that Buhari, in 2015, inherited an inflation rate that oscillated between 7.7 per cent and 8.7 per cent. Daily, the waning economy pushes thousands of Nigerians below the poverty line. The sad news is that Nigeria has surpassed India as the country with the largest number of people living in life-threatening poverty in the world. This is an insignia of disgrace that should task Buhari. Regrettably, he is untroubled.
The Naira, our symbol of nationhood, is now in tatters. As at last Friday, it was trading at N490/$ in the real market. This is the same Naira Buhari inherited at about N220/$. Industrial estates across the country are under-utilised due to infrastructural challenges and inclement operating environment. The likes of Kakuri, Sherada, Bompai, Ogba and Ikeja industrial estates are panting for breath. Manufacturers are puffing for survival, while providing their own electricity, water, road, security, in addition to stifling multiple-taxation by all levels of governments. Power supply is still one big mess. Buhari promised to increase generation to 10,000MW within his first term. Six years after, this is still a mirage.
In Buhari’s six years, Nigeria’s joblessness rate worsened. Millions of Nigerians have lost jobs. The employment rate is a vital measurement of any economy’s health. The latest figures show that unemployment increased to 33.3% in Q4 2020 from 27.1% in Q2 2020. We all now have an army of unemployed youths in our homes. Unfortunately, this government lacks pragmatic job creation strategy. Buhari is still jumbling in his management of the economy, surrounded by eaglet economists.
Under Buhari, this country is witnessing unprecedented infrastructure decay. Just check out decaying federal health institutions, roads and schools across the country. Those who use roads like the Lagos-Ibadan, Enugu-Port Harcourt, Aba-Ikot Ekpene, Enugu-Onitsha, Kaduna-Birnin Gwari, Kaduna-Kano, Manchok-Vom, Ilorin-Jebba, understand what I mean. As for health, even the President and his family members are regularly flown abroad to enjoy foreign medicals.
What about Buhari’s scam called war against corruption? The United States’ 2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices released few weeks back gives a ready answer to this incongruity called war against corruption. The report affirmed massive corruption in Nigeria in 2020, under Buhari’s watch. The United States report only emphasised what many of us have always known about Buhari’s failed war against corruption. I persistently point out the flaws, with a long list of untamed sleazes – NNPCgate, Maihajagate, Mainagate, Barugate, Yusufgate, Babachirgate and the rest of them.
Yes, corruption in MDAs predates the Buhari government, but he told us that it won’t be business as usual under him. This avowal was a sham. Under Buhari, corruption in almost all the MDAs is a bigger monster, depriving Nigeria huge revenues. The sleaze in Nigeria’s defence and security budgets for almost six years is most disgusting. Security agents are losing grounds to terrorists, yet, money for equipment to help reverse the trend is obstinately mismanaged. The National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno pointed this out early this year, but recanted under pressure. In this country, a serving army chief under Buhari bought a $2 million property in Dubai and shamelessly defended it with impunity.
Clearly, Buhari’s much talked about war against corruption remains a fantasy. Under Buhari’s watch, rent seekers are still collecting the proceeds of crude oil sales. This is why refineries are still not working; yet, this administration spends billions of Naira on turnaround maintenance.
What about the re-looting of recovered Abacha loot under Buhari’s watch? Despite outcry, dubious fees amounting to $17 million were allegedly paid to lawyers for the recovery of $321 million stolen by former military ruler, Sani Abacha. Spending on Buhari’s Social Investment Programme has also been puzzling, with doubtful outlays on School Feeding, Trader Money and N-Power programmes.
The biggest sin Buhari committed against this country within his six years as President is the division created with his frightening clannishness. Buhari has spent six years stoking our fault lines with no respect for Federal Character in his appointments. The military, para-military and key departments/agencies are mainly headed by people from a section of this country. This is largely responsible for hatred and bloodshed across our country. Ethnic and religious divides have assumed an unprecedented dimension, with our fault lines persistently stoked. This is certainly not the Nigeria of our dream.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s remark about Buhari’s clannishness in the early days of his government is instructive here. He said: “At no time in our history, except probably during the civil war, has Nigeria been so fractured in the feeling of oneness by the citizenry.” The ex-Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Dahiru Musdapher, concurred, saying “Nigeria has never been as divided as presently, since it’s amalgamation over 100 years ago.”
Bishop Matthew Kukah, hit the nail on the head during his sermon at the burial of Michael Nnadi, a seminarian killed by kidnappers. The cleric remarked that Buhari was running the “most nepotistic and narcissistic government in known history,” and concluded that the President had not only relegated the national interest to the background, but had also introduced nepotism into the military.
After six years, can Buhari, in all honesty, say that he has delivered on his promises of building a new and united Nigeria? Can he honestly say that Nigerians are better under him than they were under his predecessor? Can he say that he has positively impacted on the lives of the masses of this country in the last six years? Can he honestly say that Nigerians are secure under him? Can he honestly say that he is fighting corruption? The frank answers would be negative. Power supply, federal roads, hospitals and schools are in tatters. Bandits, kidnappers and Boko Haram are rampaging, with thousands of Nigerians sent to early graves. Poverty and unemployment pervade our country. In six years of Buhari, this country’s unity has been destroyed and diversity persistently mismanaged. My dear President, you still have two years to amend your ways. The first step is to discharge the legions of sycophants around you and surround yourself with unpretentious and selfless patriots. You must also consistently remember that you were elected President of the whole country, not of a section of the country, and start acting as father to all. This is the way forward for our beloved Nigeria.
Partying After General Attahiru’s Death
Clips from the wedding of Rahman Malami, son of the Minister of Justice/Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami in Sokoto State, hours after the death of Army Chief, General Ibrahim Attahiru, were disgusting. Yes, the marriage was planned long before the plane crash that claimed Attahiru and 10 others, but it should have been scaled down, after the plane tragedy, with no razzmatazz at all. This is what is called common sense. It was so depressing seeing five governors – Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State, Mohammed Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State, Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State and Yahaya Inuwa of Gombe State – clinking glasses and posing for photographs at the event, amid the calamity.
The Minister of Police Affairs, Muhammad Maigari Dingyadi; the Executive Secretary, Nigeria Police Trust Fund (NPTF), Ahmad Aliyu; Ali Modu Sheriff; and Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, also shamelessly participated at the fiesta. This ought not to happen hours after losing an army chief and several generals. Humanity has evidently gone bunkers among Nigerian politicians.