Updated: February 28, 2021
By Simon Ateba and Ehi Ekhator
President Muhammadu Buhari, a former military dictator turned democrat, who promised to clean up Nigeria, grow its economy, reduce unemployment, crush Boko Haram, free the Chibok girls and “kill corruption before it kills Nigeria”, has failed.
The economy has continued to tank and unemployment has continued to escalate so fast that millions of Nigerians have remained jobless under his bad leadership. The number of unemployed officially ranges from two million to 4 or 6 million Nigerians.
The country has almost been turned upside down with mass killings virtually in all regions of Nigeria, either by Boko Haram Islamist terrorists in the Northeast, Fulani herdsmen all over the country or heavily armed bandits elsewhere. Many have equated Nigeria under Mr. Buhari, a hardcore Muslim, to a killing field.
The bad economy is caused mainly by lack of electricity, poor policies, failure to follow through with his diversification propaganda and the fact that Mr. Buhari 76, is too old to understand the digital economy.
It seems hard for him to understand that the world is now being dominated by knowledge economy rather than old ideas that failed earlier when he was a military dictator between 1983 and 1985, ideas that are bound to fail now, 33 years after he left office and came back.
Apart from an economy under siege with growing unemployment numbers, Mr. Buhari has repeatedly waged a war against Nigerian youths. The former farmer of Daura turned President has repeatedly told foreigners that Nigerians are lazy and good for nothing. He has also referred to them as criminals who make things worse for themselves by engaging in drug trafficking.
“Some Nigerians claim is that life is too difficult back home, but they have also made it difficult for Europeans and Americans to accept them because of the number of Nigerians in prisons all over the world accused of drug trafficking or human trafficking,” he told The Telegraph in February 2016.
“I don’t think Nigerians have anybody to blame. They can remain at home, where their services are required to rebuild the country,” he added.
While talking at the Commonwealth Business Forum in Westminster in April 2018, Buhari likewise pointed the finger at Nigerian youth after failing to fulfil one of his campaign promises where he said that each jobless Nigerians will be paid N5000 stipend.
The President said Nigerians like to do nothing since they feel Nigeria is an oil-rich country. According to Buhari, a considerable number of young Nigerians have not been to school, yet they want everything free.
“Nigeria has young population and our population is estimated conservatively to be 180m. More than 60 per cent is below the age of 30 and a lot of them haven’t gone to school and they are claiming that Nigeria has been an oil producing country, therefore, they should sit and do nothing, get housing, healthcare, education free,” he said.
Thus, when at the start of his government in 2015, he held a meeting in London with a former British Prime Minister, David Cameron, who had earlier described Nigeria as fantastically corrupt and Buhari’s opinion was sought, he failed to defend Nigerians and asked to be refunded loot stashed away in the United Kingdom.
He also once made a snide remark at his wife for openly criticizing him, saying she belonged to “my kitchen and the other room”.
Mr. Buhari has failed woefully. His policies have failed. His persistence that he should remain in power beyond next year is damaging to Nigeria. He should bow out.
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