Buhari’s administration: My Regrets(OPINION)
By Kehinde Aderemi
May 29 2015 was like yesterday. As the clock ticks, by this time next week, President Muhammadu Buhari would have handed over to the “Emilokan”of Nigeria and the president-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the 16th President and Commander-in- chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
In truth, there’s nothing bad in being ambitious. It is our nature as human beings to aspire to greater heights.
But in seeking to be what we aspire to be in life, we must be conscious of the challenges inherent in the position we seek.
Over the years, I have learnt a great number of lessons from this reality of life, especially, with the Buhari’s administration as Nigerians draw the curtains on his eight year tenure of two term next Monday.
Before fate eventually smiled on him in 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari had attempted to be the president of this country on three occasions, contesting in succession between 2003 and 2011.
That was the beginning and the end of the story of “Olule” as told by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in his most controversial but spiritual message delivered in Abeokuta, Ogun State, when the race for the All Progressive Congress primary was still at its peak.
That was how the “Emilokan” became the sing-song in our political lexicon.
Having lost on those three attempts, Buhari sought to wine and dine with the ‘devil’ for him to actualise his dream of becoming the president at all costs.
He forgot the wisdom in the saying that whoever that wishes to wine and dine with the devil must surely have a long spoon.
And truth to God, it became a deal and Nigeria’s fate was sealed with the coming of Buhari as the president of Nigeria.
In 2015, Buhari rode to power with his integrity intact as a no- nonsense former military Head of state; an honest man that had held several positions of trust and left unblemished records of accountability and transparency.
That was why in 2015 when he assumed office, he was believed to be the ‘saviour of our time’.
Nigerians were happy that at last, the country would eventually enjoy tremendous progress, peace and a complete respite from the long suffering, occasioned by prolonged leadership failure that had been the bane of our country.
But in all of these, the Buhari administration took us for granted by first achieving his dream before showing us his ‘true colours’.
Nobody is perfect, but I regret sticking out my neck out in support of this administration. At every point of my discussions with colleagues, friends, and elders alike, I remained very “loyal” and “committed” to Buhari’s administration.
The reason for standing firm on my positive conviction about his administration was not because of anything, but also because the Daura- born Nigerian president had built a reputation that had earned him more respect and honour for years. A reputation like that of the living legend of our time.
But he blew all these within the eight years of his administration.
Buhari told us that he was for nobody and he was for everybody, yet his appointments during those eight years were shrewd in distrust. Nepotism became the order of the day.
For instance, how many of the other ethnic nationalities are fully represented in his administration?
He promised to revamp the Nigerian economy; and the question is, how has the Nigerian economy fared under his administration?
In the eight years that he called the shot, insecurity was worse under him as compared to that of his predecessors, with terrorists and bandits taking over some parts of the north.
Under Buhari’s watch, Nigeria is more divided, with various ethnic nationalities seeking self-determination.
In the eight years of his administration, corruption took another dimension without any control.
Public office holders are enmeshed in corrupt practices and things got worse.
How much was a bag of rice during Jonathan? How much are you buying it now? How much do you buy a litre of Premium Motor Spirit (Petrol), how much is it now?
Buhari had said it not once or twice that he had wished he was much younger before coming to power, he would have been strong enough to “transform” Nigeria, citing old age as reasons for his failures not to turn the country around.
He regretted coming at a time when Nigeria needed major overhauling and complete deliverance as a nation.
You know as the number one citizen of the country that you are aging, yet you took up the most demanding and unrewarding job on earth.
You know you have nothing to offer except ‘Garri and Groundnut economic policy’ you came to power to tell us that you have tried your best and that Nigeria should forgive you for whatever ‘sins’ you have committed during the terrible years you took us for granted.
Regrettably, the Central Bank naira swap and the attendant naira scarcity was a bad omen for the Buhari administration.
It is only in Nigeria that our leaders failed and sought forgiveness at the tail end of their administration.
Africa leaders are so deceptive in nature.
Today we celebrate a milestone in Dangote’s refinery. Yet Nigerian refineries are still dead.
If Alhaji Aliko Dangote could succeeded in making such great impact, what is the excuse for our ‘no-sense president’ to save the country from mystery of importing our crude and exchanging it with hard currencies at the expense of the mass of the people?
Time flies like an arrow. And that is natural. However, in the next eight days, Buhari’s administration will be history.
I regret he will be leaving a legacy of huge debts, economic woes, insecurity and sharp division among the ethnic nationalities.
I may be wrong by my estimation of his positives and his negatives as the president of this country, but it is my belief that Nigeria will continue to remember him for spreading poverty among Nigerians and making billionaires out of his cronies and allies.
.Kehinde Aderemi writes from Lagos