Buhari: A President intent on taking an electoral gamble

By Chiedu Uche Okoye

Until 1999, despotic military regimes interspersed with bumbling and egregious political administrations characterized Nigeria. Then, both Civilian and military administrations caused the stagnation of our national development. Our economy was in a tailspin; and, there was technological backwardness in the country. More so, ethno-religious conflicts nearly caused the dismemberment of the country.

So, when democratic governance dawned in Nigeria again in 1999, not a few people heaved a sigh of relief and thought that things would turn out better for the country. However, and sadly, too Chief OlusegunObasanjo, who was installed in office as our President to placate the indignant Yoruba people over the annulled June 12, 1993 presidential election, squandered our collective goodwill and frittered away the opportunity given to him to better our lots in life and transform Nigeria,Positively.

And, his successor in office, the late Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’dua, was hobbled by a terminal illness, which rendered him incapable of performing his presidential duties at his optimal capacity. Sadly, he died while serving as our president. And, his successor, Dr GoodluckJonathan, whose emergence as the president of Nigeria was fortuitous, was ill-prepared for the political leadership of Nigeria. Indecisiveness and tardiness marred and marked his leadership of Nigeria. And, he couldn’t bring about the development of Nigeria.

In the run-up to the 2015 presidential election in Nigeria, millions of disillusioned Nigerians were disenchanted with his political leadership of Nigeria. So, some parties coalesced to form a formidable politicalparty called APC on the platform of which Muhammadu Buhari contested the 2015 presidential election.

Dr Goodluck Jonathan was worsted in that election. And MuhammaduBuhari got into the loft of the presidential seat on the coat tail of his probity, ascetic disposition, and perceived zero tolerance for corruption. His ascetic nature and personal integrity endeared him to millions of Nigerians. But a man’s probity and zeal for political leadership cannot transform him to an able and visionary leader. 

President Buhari was touted as the political messiah that would right the wrongs in our polity, clean the Augean stable, and take Nigeria to unprecedented economic and technological heights. However, unexpectedly, he was overwhelmed by the demands of his office. His failing health did not help matters. But the fact is that President Buhari’soccupation of the most exalted political office in Nigeria has led to his demystification and unraveling. He is a giant, who has feet of clay.

His lackluster and uninspiring leadership of Nigeria has caused him to lose the people’s goodwill. It took him a considerable length of time to cobble an executive cabinet. And some of his ministerial appointees can be rightly described as square pegs in round holes. Little wonder, his political administration has not lived up to the people’s expectation.

And, his appointment of personnel into the top security apparatchiks and other federal institutions in the country has betrayed his ethnic chauvinism and religious bigotry. He seems to have embarked on the total northernization of federal institutions in the country. So, his doingshave deepened our ethnic and religious fissures.

So, today, Nigeria is more divided along ethnic and religious lines than before. More so, the murderous and bloody campaign of the Fulani herdsmen has put our dear country at equidistance between peaceful co-existence and war. The Fulani herdsmen, who have put proprietary hand round the presidential seat, have run completely amuck, killing innocent people with impunity and glee.

More so, the Boko Haram insurgency has not been totally uprooted in the north-east of Nigeria. The Boko Haram members still detonate bombs and kill people in the north-east in furtherance of their resolve and plan to install Islamic theocracy in the country.

President Buhari’s inability or failure to tackle the vexed issue of insecurity in Nigeria has not put him in a good stead in the race for Asorock’s coveted top political post. To make matters worse, not a few people feel that he is sympathetic to the expansionist plot of the Fulani herdsmen as exemplified in the proposal to give cattle colony to Fulani herdsmen in all states of the federation.

It is not only in the area of security that he has failed, abysmally. His anti-graft war, which is skewed, is being used to persecute his political foes. Now, Nigerians are waiting with bated breath to see those who are convicted and jailed for looting our exchequer. 

Again, he has failed to grow the economy as we have expected. Our economy went into recession; and, luckily, it slipped out of it. But, is oureconomy growing? The issue of graduate unemployment has not beentackled as the government cannot expand the economy to create job opportunities for the teeming millions of unemployed Nigerians. Now, millions of Nigerians wearing threadbare clothes and disintegrating shoes pound our streets daily searching for non-existent jobs.

More so, there is infrastructural rot in the country with roads in the south-east, especially the Enugu- Onitsha expressway, qualified to be called death traps.

Today, regarding President Buhari’s leadership score card, the verdict of a majority of Nigerians is that he has performed abysmally and far below our expectations. The people are palpably hungry and angry regarding the parlous economic situation obtaining in the country. They want change.

Yet, president Buhari, who has overlooked the mood of the people, has thrown his hat into the ring as to his seeking re-election in the 2019 Presidential election. He has the inalienable right to contest the presidential poll. However, his contesting the 2019 presidential election will amount to his taking an electoral gamble in which the odds are heavily stacked against him.

Okoye sent this piece from Uruowulu-Obosi, Anambra State.

QUOTE: Today, regarding President Buhari’s leadership score-card, the verdict of a majority of Nigerians is that he has performed abysmally and far below our expectations

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