“When a leader does not address the problem, the problem becomes the leader, and the leader becomes the problem.’’ The above case seems to be the case with Nigeria and her current leader.
How have you fared under President Buhari, is a legitimate question which can be answered without sentiment.
President Buhari still has one full year and some months to stay in office, but those remaining months are like eternity. It will be some tough and harsh months. How can Nigerians survive this period?
President Buhari entered 2022 as a damaged good. His incoherent media chat with Channels Television dashed all hopes that this elephant would dance. Though his years in office and presidency will be officially over in 2023 he has become the lamest of lame Presidents in history. Recent opinion polls conducted soon after his media chat with Channels showed that 80 per cent of the population want him gone, including those who fanatically voted for him in 2015 and 2019.
How bad is it? It has got so bad that members of his party, including the party leader himself, are taking turns to officially inform him that they want his job. Almost everyone wants to be president because the office has been reduced to a retirement home where you are paid to do the wrong things and paid to be wrong.
Those trooping to the Presidential Villa for Buhari’s anointing are not his cabinet appointees and therefore do not need his permission to run for office. They are not telling the party hierarchy or the people that they want to be president and why. Rather they are telling the president they want to continue from where he stopped. We understand where we are with Buhari at the moment. What we have witnessed which Nigerians will not forgive or forget are broken promises, decline in our standard of living, general insecurity, inflation, deteriorated economy and a divided nation.
Bola Tinubu is the APC Party leader who did everything to field himself as Vice President in 2015 but failed before he, allegedly, grudgingly sent in his surrogate. Now, both he and his surrogate want to be President. BAT told newsmen after he met with the President that being president is his “life-long ambition”. Imagine for a second having someone whose life-long ambition is to be President as a deputy. The gods were then with President Buhari, otherwise your guess is as good as mine.
I nevertheless commend Bola Tinubu for his sincerity. Quite unlike Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State who told newsmen that God asked him to run for president blah blah blah. Excuse me! God is not an author of confusion. God will not send you on a mission he does not want you to accomplish. If God sends you, He will not leave you a strawman.
Politicians who lie in God’s name explain why Nigeria is a huge market for diviners, sorcerers, prophets and pastors who promise prosperity without labour. They are dreamers hoping to succeed without hard work and determination.
After listening to Dave Umahi, I also imagined what would have been the reactions of the Christian community if a Muslim man had claimed Allah told him to run for president. The singsong would be that he is an Islamist who wants to Islamize Nigeria. That’s how emotional and mental we have become with religion. I sincerely wish our politicians will leave God out of their politics and lies.
My advice to Governor Dave is to get to work if truly he wants to be president. According to my dear friend, Ronke Apampa whose words have been a source of inspiration, “God is not a man that He should lie. We need God and need to walk in the light of his words”. However, Nigerians don’t need a ‘fake prayer warrior’ after Buhari but a President who will do His will, give Nigerians security, economic prosperity, stable standard of living and unity.
I pity those going to President Buhari for anointing. Though an incumbent, the President is old and too weak to help anybody. He will not be in position to determine who succeeds him . He has not done well. He ran a terrible government. He never kept a single of his election promises. Worst of it is that he has polarised and divided the country.
If a free and fair election is conducted, there is no way anyone associated with his policies will win.
Nigerians are waiting for Buhari’s presidency to be officially over. They are counting days and hoping to survive him. Anyone who wants to be president should be able to run on his merit and not otherwise. That person should be able to stand the scrutiny of Nigerians because we don’t want to repeat the same mistake of 2015 and 2019.
On the economy, Nigerians have not had it so bad and cannot forgive a regime that has badly affected their standard of living. Inflation is not an act of God but the consequence of bad government policies. When Central Bank devalued the naira and print excess Naira notes to meet up with outsized government spending, the result is inflation without doubt.
When the government borrows funds purportedly to build infrastructure and half of the money ends up in private pockets, we are not only depleting our foreign reserves but mortgaging our future with debts. This is not an act of God but the consequence of corruption.
When government policies cause foreign investors to withdraw and repatriate their foreign deposits from our banks, it is not an act of God. When foreign investors flee Nigeria due to insecurity, it’s not an act of God.
Not even our own citizens have confidence in the Naira. Many people are running away from the Naira and converting their savings to the US Dollar, Euro and British Pounds. Consequently, the Naira is on a free fall. This isn’t an act of God but a reaction to wrong monetary and economic policies.
The other day I spoke to a restaurant owner who served me a miserable food at high cost. She told me that everything is now expensive in the market. That cost of food items have increased. Most items cannot be found in shops anymore and when you find them, they are not affordable. And this includes cost of ordinary sachet (pure) water.
Nigerians want to be able to afford basic things like food, shelter, clothes, medicines etc. The President in his recent interview asked Nigerians to return to the land because his newly appointed Chief Economic Adviser told him that only 2.5 per cent of Nigeria’s arable land is cultivated. That’s not correct. The lands are fallow due to insecurity. Roads to burial sites are now busier than roads to farms due to the menace of militia herdsmen, bandits, insurgents and unknown gunmen. To go back to the land, Nigerians want safety and security which the government is not providing.
All the billions invested on our security forces are like wasted money because our security forces become weak in the face of our never-ending security challenges. The entire country has become a criminal war zone. Those who can afford to migrate to the city centre have migrated, while the poor remain in the rural areas at the mercy of criminals who abduct, rape, maim and kill them at will.
The unity of the country is under severe stress. We are now more divided than we had ever been. President Buhari by his actions and inactions remain a polarising factor. Thus far, he has run an administration that successfully fractured the unity of the country. Without unity we cannot make progress. We need a president who will be a unifier, a president who understands the economy and someone who will be firm and ruthless against insecurity.
Until our prayers are answered and a truly patriotic and intelligent President emerges in 2023, we will wait out the next 18 months in bated breath, living from hand to mouth and hoping on God for our survival. I believe it will all end in His praise