As Nigeria mark its 61styear as an independent nation, ‘I am for everybody but for nobody’ may be the worst broken promise made by any Nigerian president.
During his inaugural speech in 2015, President Buhari promised to unite us but instead has divided us. Not even in the civil war era was Nigeria this polarised and sharply divided by politics, ethnicity and religion.
President Buhari on his inaugural day declared that he ‘belonged to everybody but belonged to no one’. That statement is perhaps the worst broken promise made by any known Nigerian president since the birth of the country. A recent opinion poll indicates that 64 % of Nigerians believe the President is the direct opposite of his promise. They believe the president belong to his tribe and religion. They believe his loyalty is to the Fulani race and that he has a scant regard to the well-being of the nation and the constitution he swore to uphold.
I am saying nothing new. To accuse the President of nepotism is to say the obvious. Several people have spoken about this and against this too. Many fair-minded people even from the President’s tribe who love the unity and diversity of this country have spoken against the fulanisation of Nigeria just like they would have spoken against any attempt to either Igbonise or Yorubanise Nigeria.
Our beauty and our strength is in the diversity of our population and this is what this president is missing. His inability to belong to all of us is the reason why this country is in turmoil.
Nigeria is dangerously sliding into a failed state due to the president’s refusal to belong to all of us. His lopsided appointments especially in the higher cadre of governance and our security which gives preference to some sections of the country over others is what is fuelling the anger of many ethnic champions and all other self-determination groups. It’s unfortunate that despite criticisms in this direction, the President remain unmoved.
For instance, while all the federal roads and social infrastructures in the South East has collapsed making life miserable , the president is borrowing money to fix roads and railways in the Republic of Niger where he claimed to have cousins and relatives.
We are here suffering because we aren’t relatives of the president . He doesn’t belong to us and we don’t belong to him. He has by his own actions and inactions wrongly pitted the Fulani against the rest of the country.
In his first visit to the United States, President Buhari tried to justify the rationale for his flawed and vindictive nepotism. In his view which shocked the entire democratic world, he said that it would amount to injustice to treat equally those who didn’t vote for him and those that voted for him. Since the South East didn’t vote him the population in the region should not expect much from him. At best they are sentenced to die and rot on earth.
In all my life, I have not seen a president that is so embittered and angry in-spite of a landslide victory. Such corrosive mindset is not how to be a good president, but unfortunately this misguided notion is what has defined Buhari’s presidency.
While the country slides away, while we die and rot on earth in hell, the politicians are busy arguing about how to fraudulently win the next election. The Northern Governors and elders are arguing from the North refusing and rejecting restructuring , rotational presidency, VAT collection by States, anti-open grazing laws, instant electronic transmission of election results, amendment of the much criticized 1999 Constitution and every progressive agenda that can help put the country back on the right path, their Southern counterparts are busy with themselves arguing from the South on the same issue. None is thinking of how to build consensus on these issues which is what politics is all about. The President who ought to show leadership is less concerned because our rancorous talking over our heads suits his agenda. The country will be dead if we can’t meet each other half-way. Politics is about reaching compromises and this is lacking in our politics.
The president’s incompetence decision making has created a series of disasters and in many ways made his era an absolute disaster. If the President wants to change his style and unite the country , he has the power as the most powerful democratic president in the world to do so. The survival of Nigeria depends on him. May be someday before he leaves office , he will belong to all of us.
I belong to no one but for everybody is just one his many broken promises. Maybe the worst nightmare I have seen in my life time is the level of insecurity in the country. Nigerians are no longer safe at home nor outside their homes. They are neither safe in the city nor in the villages. As I write this article, news came in that Dr Chike Akunyili , a fine gentle man and husband of late Prof Dora Akunyili was shot dead by unknown gunmen just a day after he received an award on-behalf of his late wife. News also came in that Senator Ewuga was kidnapped and a certain Air Vice Marshal Smith Sikiru kidnapped in Lagos. Also, in the news was the killing and beheading of a certain young man by a group who used the beheaded head of their victim to paly soccer. The killers cared less about their action because they are certainly above the law. They knew there is no law , no order and no justice.
Buhari in his inaugural speech promised to restore law and order. He promised security of lives and properties which by the way is the primary purpose of any legitimate government. He assured us he will lead from the front. His media aide gleefully announced that a new Sheriff is in town and that crime has taken flight. Years later and instead of restoring law and order , we have a president conquered by unknown gun men, banditry and insurgency. No part of Nigeria is safe. Instead of rallying the country against foreign invaders, the president took sides. He wants us to give up our ancestral lands to ruthless invaders who killed our people without mercy and helplessly raped our daughters and our wives. It’s not possible that we can live side by side with these people because that means slavery for our unborn generations. What’s the worth of our lives? What’s the value of our freedom if we cannot live in safety as free men in our own country? Buhari’s failed promises is the reason why the entire country has become a mass killing field .
During his presidential campaign, he promised to grow our economy. He blamed our woes on corruption and clueless leadership of former President Jonathan. Then the Naira was exchanging for N160 to $1. Then a bag of 50Kg rice sold for N8,000. Fuel Pump price was N87 per litre of petrol. Then there was corruption . We were ranked 136 out of 180 countries.
We considered the above as unacceptable and had hoped that President Buhari will turn the country around for good. We trusted him and elected him president only for him to totally destroy all we had built. As I write the Naira is exchanging for N580 to $1, N780 to 1 British Pound; Fuel Pump Price is N170 per litre of Petrol; Price of Bag of Rice is N32,000; Bag of Cement is N3,900. Our debt profile rose from $9bn in 2015 to $34 Bn and we are still borrowing . No one is asking how we are going to pay instead we are borrowing to service debts and build infrastructures for another country.
Due to bad economy , people are suffering untold hardship. Nigeria is now a massive grave yard because of one man’s too many broken promises and incompetence. Under Saint Buhari’s watch, our corruption perception ranking index is the worst we ever had. On a sub-regional basis , we were among the worst performing countries in West Africa , only second to Guinea- Bissau which was ranked 165 in 2020. In Africa we are competing with shit-hole states like South Sudan , Sudan and Somalia.