Muhammadu Buhari was once Nigeria’s military head of state. He took power in the mid-80s overthrowing a democratically elected government and went on to launch a brutal dictatorship which lasted till his own lieutenants removed him in a coup citing corruption, his parochial approach, and a tanking economy as their reasons for toppling the draconian regime.
Three decades after his draconian reign in the mid 80s, General Buhari, working with some power hungry sponges in an opposition party, railroaded himself into the office of president of Nigeria in 2015 through an election that human rights activists, civil society groups, local and foreign observers noted was marked by massive rigging, voter suppression, and irregularities.
Some Nigerians assumed a President Buhari would come into office and run the country successfully. They suggested that Professor Yemi Osinbajo, the vice presidential candidate would be “in charge” of the government while Buhari would be a figure-head. They were sadly mistaken.
Not only has Buhari “locked Osinabjo” out of crucial security meetings, the vice president from the South, a Christian clergy, has been completely undermined and sidelined by the Islamist cabals that have followed Buhari into Aso Rock. And the president is on a dangerous crusade to destroy the Nigerian economy, destroy her institutions, institutionalise nepotism, and discard the Constitution of the country.
The sum of Buhari’s actions, since he took office in May 2015, threatens to break up the country.
Here are 10 reasons why Buhari is a calamity for Nigeria:
President Buhari has failed to set up a competent and credible economic team. Apparently Buhari is more interested in pursuing a personal agenda rather than a national one. In December 2015, Buhari prepared and presented a budget to the National Assembly amidst great fanfare, only for experts to shred the budget and point out irregularities, inflated costing, and outright corruption in Buhari’s budget. On social media it was tagged #BudgetOfYams, that is to say that Buhari and his croonies intend to steal and loot Nigeria’s resources in the course of implementing the budget.
Still on the economy, several companies in the country like Guinness, UBA, Diamond Bank, have either closed up or downsized, this has led to massive job losses and increased hardship in the country. Unemployment rate in Nigeria climbed to 12.1 per cent in the first quarter of this year (Q1 of 2016)
Inflation has risen to double digits under Buhari’s leadership (13.7% Q1 of 2016).
JPMorgan Chase delisted Nigeria from its local-currency emerging-market bond indexes tracked by more than $200 billion of funds, after Buhari’s restrictions on foreign-exchange transactions prompted investor concerns about a shortage of liquidity.
Corruption and Round-Tripping
For months Buhari has created a parallel market for the dollar in Nigeria. The astronomical margin between the dollar rate fixed by the federal government – N197 to a dollar- and the parallel market – N320 or N360 to a dollar – has been inimical to business operation.
In the meantime, there are reports that Buhari’s family and friends have received hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars at the low official rate and they sell at the high market rate, making a killing. While this is going on businesses are shutting down, employers are retrenching and laying off staff because they cannot access foreign exchange, and Buhari and his cronies feed fat through corruption.
GDP has tanked
For the first time in 12 years, the country’s GDP has dropped to a negative value (-0.36%) in Quarter one of 2016. We have Muhammadu Buhari to thank for that.
Crashes in the stock exchange
The seemingly endless losses recorded (1.15 trillion lost in Q1) in the Nigerian stock exchange is not good news to local and foreign investors. Foreign investors have fled. Local investors have withdrawn.
Power, Power, Power
Many commentators noted that Buhari wanted power for power’s sake. He has proven them right. Muhammadu Buhari is only interested in being president. He has no interest in ensuring that the system works, institutions are built to remain strong, education, and healthcare is strengthened, or that even competent people are appointed into his cabinet.
He told the BBC Hausa Service that he appoints friends because they are loyal. For a country of 150 million people to have this man as president is a calamity.
An Illiterate in Aso Rock
Around the world, secondary education is basic. It is even compulsory in developed countries. The basic qualification a literate person is expected to have is a secondary school certificate. For some reason the Nigerian constitution says that the basic qualification for the office of the president should be a secondary school certificate.
It turns out that this former military ruler does not have one and has used every trick in the book to circumvent presenting one. He has played a fast one on the Nigerian people. Being a scam artiste is one thing, but not having the basic education to run the office is destroying the country.
By the time, Buhari leaves office, he would have pushed Nigeria 120 years back. And to think that Nigerians in Nigeria and the diaspora are so well educated.
Human Rights Abuses
The human rights abuses by Buhari and his government have been alarming. Unarmed peaceful protesters have been shot and killed. Human rights activists uncover mass graves of victims of the Nigerian Army brutality in Kaduna in the North, and in Aba and Onitsha in the South East. Countless people have been arrested and jailed simply for daring to criticize Buhari.
Buhari’s enemies have been arrested and jailed on trumped up charges. UK Telegraph has just published an article that reveals that the Nigerian president is using foreign aid meant for Nigeria to fight his political opponents. He lacks the presence of mind, credentials, education, and enlightenment to be president of Nigeria.
It shows in his actions. You can rig yourself in but you cannot scam your way into delivering good governance.
Interfering with the Judiciary and Destroying It
Under Buhari there has been flagrant disregard of court orders by agencies domiciled in the presidency especially the EFCC, Nigeria’s anti-graft commision. Buhari has shown an interest in lining up judges who will try cases against his enemies and opponents. The attempt to beat the judiciary into submission is contrary to the principle of separation of powers.
Buhari, himself said in a presidential media chat that he doesn’t obey court that go against his personal beliefs. If this is not a calamity to Nigeria, I don’t know what is.
Failing Security Situation
The inaction of the presidency towards the carnage committed by Fulani herdsmen around the country is sickening. Muhammadu Buhari’s tribesmen go round the country killing, looting and raping women, and taking over farmlands. The president has been silent. Is Nigeria about to turn into another Darfur?
Buhari claims Boko Haram is ‘technically defeated’ yet they are still waging attacks on soft targets and controlling communities in the North East.
Buhari promised to rescue the Chibok school girls within three months as president. He has failed woefully.
The blame for the renewed hostilities in the oil rich Niger Delta region can be put on Buhari. He has failed a leader.
Buhari Has Destroyed Nigeria’s National Image
Nigeria’s image globally has been adversely affected by the president’s remarks during his foreign trips and during interviews by international press. It is a disgrace.
During his visit to Benin Republic in August 2015, while addressing the Nigerian community in Benin Republic who asked if they could come home and contribute to moving the nation forward, he responded thus “stay where you are, don’t come and add to our problems”.
In September 2015 he said that ministers are noise makers that do not do any work. There have been too many gaffes. Each day with Buhari brings another gaffe that destroys Nigeria’s image further.
In summary, Buhari has destroyed Nigeria. He has set the country back. Before Buhari, Nigeria was a developing nation, now under Buhari Nigeria is a destroyed nation. He is a calamity to Nigeria.
Edikan Uko is a business strategist. She tweets from @EdikanUko.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.