Top 8 reasons why Buhari MAY fail Nigerians

As a Village Town Crier with a low status in the society, I wasn't given the an invitation to the Eagles square in Abuja to witness Buhari's inauguration ceremony. I had to watch the entire event from a mountain top. It was glorious, celebrations were intense but I had this cynical feeling that the joy maybe short-lived.

Congratulations to President Muhammadu Buhari on his assumption of the highest political position in the country. Nigerians have been ushered into a 'new Nigeria' and the words of the All Progressives Congress national party leader Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu on May 29, 2015 is a confirmation of this claim. Majority of Nigerians especially the masses are beginning to have a magical view of development in the country as Buhari is being tipped for an instant healing of the ailing country.  There is no doubt that the administration of ex President Goodluck Jonathan plunged the country into more darkness and backwardness. The concept of corruption was close to be legalized, insecurity was the other of the day, power failure, dramatic incidences relating to fuel issues in terms of subsidy removal and the fatal scarcity that almost crippled the country's economy. The list of damages is still endless.

Buhari has been tipped by the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair to follow the steps of Indonesian President Joko Widodo but taking advantage of the massive support he has from the people to take hard decisions towards reviving the Nigerian economy.

Buhari has the image of incorruptibility. This has qualified him to be the serum to cure the country of her virus. Let it be known that a tree can't make a forest. It is acceptable and understandable for Nigerians to be impatient about development when 110 million people out of 170 million people in an oil rich country are living below the poverty scale according to the Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo. One would wonder why Buhari has gradually been going back on his campaign promises such as the rescue of the 214 Chibok girls from the hands of Boko Haram fighters, the rumoured promise of creating equity in value between a dollar and a naira, wiping out Boko haram etc. Buhari seems to be pleading for patience probably because the campaign period elevated him to the position of 'Jesus Christ' on the basis of mere talk which is cheap. This is a case of difference realities attached to being a spectator or a player on the field who is directly feeling the heat and intensity of play.

Personally, I am a great fan of Buhari. I campaigned for him massively and also voted for him. The battle of development doesn't end in his emergence as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I have taken ample time to list some top reasons why Buhari may do a 'Jonathan'. My points are listed and explained below:

1) Poor state of the Nigerian Economy
Nigeria has an unhealthy dependence on oil, which represents over 80% of its national
income. Plummeting oil prices since October, 2014 globally have presented new challenges for Nigerias economy. Buhari is inheriting a crises-ridden economy just like he did as a military Head of State in Nigeria in 1983 where he had to battle the obnoxious terms of the International Money Fund (IMF) for loans to revamp the Nigerian economy.
The much needed oil allocations from central government to the federal states have been
delayed, making it difficult for some to meet recurrent and capital projects expenditure. The
free-falling oil price is forcing the government to draw down its foreign reserves to augment the

Now, with oil prices hovering around $50 per barrel, many have declared the 2015 budget unrealistic. It is on this note and the failure of over 18 states to pay workers' salaries that the ex Rivers state Governor, Rotimi Amaechi has come out to declare Nigeria broke. Nigeria has a lot of problems that will require funds to tackle. How do you think Buhari's administration will source for funds to undertake developmental projects?
The dwindling oil price has the following major effects on Nigeria:

- Exchange rate volatility:
95% of foreign exchange earnings is tied to oil and with shortened revenue in dollars terms, the Naira will be under continuous pressure.

- Savings stagnation:
With the excess crude account at $4.11bn, declining oil prices means that Nigeria might not be able to add additional revenue due to pressure from states that also run high recurrent expenditure.

- Debt spiking
Debt servicing will possibly rise, especially foreign debts and Nigeria will need more fund to
cover budget deficit (difference between accrued revenue and expenditure). With stagnated excess crude account savings, raising debts is the glaring alternative. Nigeria currently has a debt of over $60 billion which poses a serious threat to the economy.

- Capital expenditure under threat
The haste to spend on recurrent items will remain, as they are fixed charges, unless drastic reforms such as downsizing personnel sharp cuts in overhead costs occur.

- Employment:
The public sector is still is still the largest employer of formal labour and with cut government expenditure due to falling oil, prices, and with cuts to number of new jobs will actually continue on a decline.

2) Historical orientation (Apathy) of Nigerians about political leaders:
Politically, the maturity of Nigerians is still below average. How many Nigerian citizens trust the state to cater for his/her interests? All Nigerians are only concerned about amassing their personal wealth in order to assume the role of 'local governments' for themselves. This they do by providing the basic facilities for human life support for themselves like power, adequate healthcare, water, business finance etc. It is widely believed that politics is a dirty game with politicians acting as pigs to survive. We all believe they are the same. We all believe they have their personal interests ahead of that of the suffering masses. This will not exempt Buhari. He will still have problems getting the sincere support of Nigeria because our leaders have failed us in the past. The memories of massive corruption and economic hardships can't just go away easily. The wounds need to heal over the years. Can Nigerians ever give Buhari full support on his policies? Will probing Jonathan not yield a revolt from the South-South and South-East regions where he has a strong base? These are questions that are not easy to answer. Buhari may have all the powers in the country but without the necessary support of the people, his progress will be badly hampered.

3) Same old players and values being recycled:
The All Progressives Congress is still a conglomerate of the same old Nigerian politicians who one way or the other contributed immensely to our poor state of development today. Politicians who will not hesitate to join the opposing political party if their interests are not well guaranteed in one. Using these same political players to achieve a different result in this dispensation is a fallacy of unwarranted assumption. We should not forget that ex Vice-President Atiku Abubakar who has been defecting from one party to another freely like he is changing clothes is with APC. We should remember his stint in PDP with ex President Olusegun Obasanjo. Obasanjo is unofficially with APC with Nigerians accusing him of laying the foundation of the strong problems Jonathan inherited. Can we really trust the intentions of Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the great capitalist and political investor who is only concerned about amassing wealth from the state like he successfully did in Lagos. I once smiled when PDP, Lagos called the state 'Tinubu's family business'. There is an element of truth in that taking a look at his Oriental hotel investment, Lekki Toll Gate project and a host of others. What about Ex Rivers state Governor, Rotimi Amaechi who according to Femi Fani Kayode, the campaign director of ex President Goodluck Jonathan grew from a pauper that was wearing a shirt for 3 days to a major financier of the APC during the general elections? The Senate presidency race alone has been an eye-opener with some candidates almost merging the APC and PDP together to achieve success. What about Governors like Rauf Aregbesola of Osun state who is hitting the headlines for the wrong reasons of not paying the salaries of his state civil servants over a staggering period of 6 months? What will be the perception of Osun people of Buhari if the problem lingers? Only a man that is well-fed will have the strength to support and chant the 'CHANGE' slogan. I see another Diezani Allison Madueke rising up among these men. These are people that will gladly turn against Buhari if they don't get returns from their 'political investments' either in terms of human resources or financial resources. In summary, the nefarious activities of these people could incapacitate Buhari's administration.

4) Unhealthy rivalry with the opposition party:
Nigeria is a country that culturally practises the politics of bitterness. It's payback time for the People's Democratic Party and many of their foul-mouthed members like Femi Fani Kayode, Governor Ayo Fayose, party Publicity Secretary Olisah Metuh, Sule Lamido of Jigawa will be warming up to give Buhari a run for his money. It was APC's show when PDP was at driver's seat.
Buhari traveled to the United Kingdom on Prime Minister David Cameron's invitation some days to his inaugural ceremony and some set of people in the PDP circle started spreading rumours about him being sick and heading out to seek medical attention. His foiled ban of Raymond Dokpesi's African Independent Television (AIT) also welcomed a swift official statement from the PDP's publicity Secretary Olisa Metuh who blew the issue out of proportion. There was another attack on Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo for the figure of Nigeria's debt profile and others. Amazingly, there was another immature criticism of Buhari standing outside alone at a No 10, Downing Street, London house where he was snapped. Immediately, media outlets were mandated by some faceless politicians to tag that act as a disgrace to the country. Fani Kayode, Fayose and other PDP big-mouths also went ahead to criticize an illusionary statement Buhari made on his inauguration which is “I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody” Many more attacks will subsequently follow in the next 4 years. This will never advance the country but only cause unnecessary distractions in Buhari's delivery of his national duties.

5) Menace of Boko haram insurgency, MASSOB and Niger Delta uprising:
Nigeria has wasted billions of Naira that could have been invested in other viable sectors of the economy to ensure the betterment of the lives of the people in securing peace in troubled areas like the Niger Delta and the North East respectively. The amnesty programme for the Niger Delta militants is still a national burden to Nigeria. The Federal Government said, on February 17, 2014 it has so far invested N243 billion in the implementation of the Amnesty Programme for Niger Delta ex-militants in 5 years.

Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), a rebirth of Biafra representing the South Eastern part of Nigeria is also a budding threat to national peace, security and unity. The group held a closed door meeting in April, 2015 with Asari Dokubo which security operatives frowned at. The details of the meeting remains undisclosed but one fact remains the meeting agenda is far from being developmental to Nigeria. There have been brewing attacks in the region concerning a failed agreement with petroleum companies on financial terms. Shell Petroleum Development Company received threats (14-day ultimatum) from the Iduwuni Volunteer Force (IVF) to vacate its community on the 4th of April, 2015 and some oil pipelines were attacked. For example, a major high pressure gas pipeline at Ighwrenene Community in Delta State was blown up by suspected militants to fire a warning shot at Buhari 4 days after his victory at the presidential polls. These faceless elements accused the Northerners of instituting Boko haram to make the administration of Goodluck Jonathan unpopular. Also, a group of Urhobo youths under the aegis of Urhobo Gbagbako on the 3rd of April, 2015 claimed responsibility for the March 22, bombings of the Nigeria Petroleum Development Company, NPDC, oil pipe lines in Ekiugbo, Ughelli Local Government Area on a massive scale. It said that the aim was to give vent to their demand for pipe line surveillance contracts.

With the imminent revoke of the Niger Delta and Oodua People Congress (OPC) contract of oil pipelines and waterways surveillance by Buhari, a time-bomb could be triggered in that region. Ex militant Asari Mujaheed Dokubo who is a staunch loyalist of ex President Goodluck Jonathan has bitterly attacked Buhari on the social media on a perceived neglect of the Niger Delta ex militants. This crisis will be highly detrimental to the effectiveness of Buhari's administration if it excalates.

Boko haram on the other hand brought Nigeria to the centre of international attraction for shameful reasons. The Federal Government increased budgetary allocation for Defence which was raised to the tune of N968.2 billion in the 2014 budget simply because of fight against Boko
Haram. President Goodluck Jonathan also sought to borrow $1 billion from the United States to tackle Boko haram which was blatantly rejected by the National Assembly. On the 9th of September, 2014, APC claimed the Federal Government has spent $32.88 billion on Boko haram insurgency. Going by these huge figures, Nigeria has encountered a massive wastage of funds to ensure peace.
 The Islamic group no doubt contributed immensely to the loss of ex President Goodluck Jonathan in the recently concluded 2015 general elections. They are strongly capable of repeating the same feat in Buhari's administration if they are not contained immediately. With the leader of the sect, Abubakar Shekau threatening to assassinate Buhari, it seems the sky is almost the limit for him.

6) Buhari's old age factor:
President Muhammadu Buhari is 72 years of age. This is 12 years above the official retirement age of the civil service and private sector. Do we really believe Buhari can stand the rigorous demands of being a President in a country like Nigeria with looming sicknesses associated with old age? Can he replicate the strength of the President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe who is 91 years old? Remember Mugabe had an epic fall in February this year. It was on the basis of this that Governor Ayo Fayose defended his death advertorial on Buhari in the newspapers, claiming he is ''too old and far spent'' to be the President of Nigeria.

7) President Muhammadu Buhari's former military/dictatorial instincts:
A military man will always be a military man. Buhari although claims to be a democrat still nurses the instincts of a soldier who is used to ruling by decrees like he did in 1983 during his time as the Head of State in Nigeria. His failed ban on AIT is a vivid example of the trends of dictatorship in his blood streams. These traits would certainly not fit into a democratic setting. Hence, a looming crisis. For how long do we think he can suppress them?

8) Party factor:
PDP's Bode George once referred to APC as an 'experimental project' that may not stand the test of time. In his words:

"The new government hurriedly put themselves together. They have no taproot; no culture. All
they are after is power''

 I am optimistic about the success of the APC but an X-ray of the party will reveal that there is distrust between the Yorubas and the Northerners. There is a fear of domination of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in the party which the northerners are bent on curtailing. This is has been evident in the cold war the Senate Presidency race has generated involving Senator Bukola Saraki, Senator George Akume, Senator Danjuma Goje, Senator Abdullahi Adamu and Senator Ahmed Lawan. The controversy over the delayed zoning policy in the party also reveals the party's lack of internal cohesion.

Hmmmm! I must confess the mountain top is the best location to think deep and reflect on life issues considering the breeze, quietness and the view of the natural beauty of nature. I am not a pessimist by nature. I just decided to share my perceived negativity around President Muhammadu Buhari. The sun is scorching and I feel it’s best for me to retire to the palace. Thanks for joining me again today. I am Osayimwen Osahon George, the Village Town Crier.
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About Osahon

I'm a journalist and a Political Scientist undergoing a doctoral programme focused on media, democracy and governance in Africa. My mission is to uphold the role of the media as the 'fourth estate of the realm' and also tell the Nigerian Story to the world. You can contact me on Phone number: +2347053302356.
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