Buhari’s failure to fix Nigeria


President Muhammadu Buhari is a retired Major-General, a no-nonsense former military ruler who zoomed into office in 2015 promising to completely overhaul Nigeria by rescuing its battered economy, killing corruption before it kills Nigeria and crushing Boko Haram terrorists in the country’s northeast. 

But so far, with six months left in his 4-year term presidency and with another election fast approaching, his agenda seems to be on hold.

On November 18, Boko Haram militants stormed a military base in Metele locality in Borno state and killed, according to local newspapers, more than hundred soldiers. Many others were left missing and their whereabouts remain unknown almost two weeks after the bloody attack. 

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The massacre by Boko Haram was not an isolated incident. Over the past few months, the terrorists have massacred hundreds of troops in many attacks, and dislodged military bases, as well as snatched weapons.

With the security situation worsening, Mr Buhari who has repeatedly claimed that Boko Haram had been defeated in 2016, convened an emergency security meeting of Lake Chad Basin leaders on Wednesday, and ordered security forces to descend on the militants with more ferocity.

But the meeting in Ndjamena, Chad, was an acknowledgment that at the end of his presidency, Mr Buhari was leaving Boko Haram as he found it or even worse.

The economy has also continued to worsen, and the National Bureau of Statistics came under fire recently for refusing to make public unemployment numbers and the overall health of the Nigerian economy. 

Atiku Abubakar, Nigeria’s main opposition candidate in the upcoming 2019 election has said millions of jobs have been decimated under Mr Buhari and urged Nigerians to send him back to his farm in Daura, Katsina state, where he could be more useful to his sheep. 

The crash of oil prices has made things even worse for a country that relies mainly on oil to run the government, pay salaries and build infrastructure. 

Assailed by all sides and with little results to show, Mr Buhari has resorted to blaming the failure on the “mess” left by his predecessor,  Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, who recently released his memoir, saying the country was now worse off than when he was in power.

On the fight against corruption, the story seems to be the same. While no major conviction has been secured so far, Mr Buhari’s own political allies, indicted or accused of major corruption allegations, have not been prosecuted, leading opposition to argue that the President’s fight against corruption is just a weapon against political enemies.

With the three pillars of his presidency now run aground, former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo and several others have endorsed Atiku and called on Nigerians to reject Buhari and change the “change”, Mr Buhari’s slogan in 2014 and 2015.

But Buhari still has a huge followership in northern Nigeria where he hails from and where many still see him as the last hope for the common man, or at least the tormentor of Nigeria’s mega thieves.

Write Simon Ateba simonateba@https://www.https://www.todaynewsafrica.com 


Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba covers the White House, the U.S. government, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions for Today News Africa in Washington D.C. Simon can be reached on simonateba@todaynewsafrica.com


  1. Mr. Ateba i will start by saying well done for choosing me among the people that will benefit from your publication
    but when it comes to popularity of the Nigerian president is not only reduced to the core north if you were to be informed fair minded observer when you south western part of the country you find the story remain the same and few part of the south south
    thank you
    yours in confidence
    Armayau Muhammad Hashim


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