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Friday, December 8, 2023

Femi Aribisala: Nigeria Under Muhammadu Buhari, From Bad To Worse

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[dropcap]B[/dropcap]efore Buhari, our primary security concern was the Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East. But thanks to Buhari, insecurity has become nationwide. Now the threat is not only Boko Haram in the North-East. It is also the Shi’ites in the North-West. It is the Biafrans in the South-East. It is the Niger-Delta Avengers in the South-South. But for the incompetence of the government, these new fissures would not have gained new prominence.

At his inaugural, the president claimed grandiloquently: “I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody.” But after 365 days in office, we now know that he belongs to Fulani herdsmen, after all, he called them “my people” to Lam Adesina of Oyo State. These herdsmen have been allowed to go from state to state on repeated murderous rampages, with nary a word of reproach until recently from the president who, with his 270 declared cows, is apparently their patron.

Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information, said in December 2015: “We can confidently announce here today that the (fuel) scarcity will end in a few days. We can assure you that we won’t be caught in this kind of situation again.” However, the kind of scarcity we have experienced since the making of this vain promise has been unprecedented in Nigeria’s history. On some occasions, the fuel queues at petrol-stations everywhere have been as long as half a mile.

When Jonathan reduced the petrol pump price from N97 to N87 per litre in January 2015, former Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola said the N10 reduction was too low and that Nigerians would get a better deal under Buhari. Later, in April 2015, one of Buhari’s arch-propagandists, former Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Professor Tam David-West, told Nigerians that, since a drastic decrease in the international price of oil had taken place, Buhari would reduce the fuel pump price from N87 to N40 per litre.

But all this turned out to be just another tissue of lies. Rather than decrease the price, Buhari has now increased it by a massive N56.50 to N145. This has fed into already high price increases and has led to further devaluation of the naira on the parallel market. The result has been even more hardship in Nigeria, especially among the poor.

National impoverishment

At the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomosho, Tinubu declared that the APC would eradicate poverty in Nigeria. He said: “A progressive government must turn its face from the austerity policies of the outgoing administration that tried to manage poverty, but not end it. Such policies serve only to deepen and prolong the hardship of the average person.”

But it is now abundantly clear that no government has impoverished Nigerians as much as this APC government. The rate of inflation in the country has grown astronomically. If the members of the lying brigade the government has trotted out in this one-year anniversary to deceive Nigerians are so sure of Buhari’s triumphant success, let them go to any market in the country today, North or South, and shout “Sai Buhari.” They should not be surprised if they are mugged or even lynched.

After just 365 days, Nigerians are completely fed up with Buhari and the APC. At the moment, the country is a powder-keg waiting to be ignited. This is the assessment of Balarabe Musa, former governor of Kaduna State: “It is quite obvious that this administration is a complete failure and does not have the capacity to solve any problems. The unfortunate thing is that the situation in Nigeria is so bad that the electorate is now cursing their luck for electing it.”

Femi Aribisala is a scholar and international affairs expert. He is currently an iconoclastic church pastor in Lagos. He is also a syndicated essayist for a handful publications in Nigeria. Connect with him on Twitter at @FemiAribisala and at his website, www.femiaribisala.com.

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.

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