Buhari: A President intent on taking an electoral gamble

April 16th, 2018

ByA�ChieduA�UcheA�Okoye

Until 1999, despoticA�militaryA�regimes interspersedA�with bumbling and egregious political administrations characterized Nigeria. Then, both Civilian and military administrations caused the stagnation of our national development. Our economy was in aA�tailspin;A�and,A�there was technological backwardness in the country. More so, ethno-religious conflictsA�nearly caused the dismemberment of the country.

So, when democratic governance dawned inA�Nigeria again in 1999, not a few people heaved a sighA�of relief and thought that things would turn out better for the country. However, and sadly,A�too ChiefA�OlusegunObasanjo, whoA�was installed in office as our President to placate the indignant Yoruba people over the annulled JuneA�12, 1993 presidential election, squandered our collective goodwill and fritteredA�awayA�the opportunity given to him to better our lots in life and transform Nigeria,Positively.

And,A�his successor in office,A�the lateA�AlhajiA�UmaruA�MusaA�Yara��dua, was hobbled by a terminal illness, which renderedA�himA�incapable of performing his presidential duties at his optimal capacity. Sadly, he died while serving as our president. And,A�his successor, DrA�GoodluckJonathan,A�whose emergence as the president of Nigeria was fortuitous, was ill-prepared for the political leadership of Nigeria.A�Indecisiveness and tardiness marredA�and marked his leadership of Nigeria. And,A�he couldna��t bring about the development of Nigeria.

In the run-up to the 2015 presidential electionA�in Nigeria,A�millions of disillusioned NigeriansA�were disenchanted with hisA�political leadership of Nigeria. So, someA�parties coalesced to form aA�formidable politicalparty calledA�APC on the platform of whichA�MuhammaduA�Buhari contested the 2015 presidential election.

DrA�GoodluckA�Jonathan was worsted in that election. AndA�MuhammaduBuhari got into the loft of theA�presidential seatA�on the coat tail of his probity, ascetic disposition,A�and perceived zero tolerance for corruption. His ascetic nature and personal integrityA�endearedA�him to millions ofA�Nigerians. But a mana��s probity and zeal for political leadership cannot transform him to an able and visionary leader.A�

President Buhari was touted as the political messiah that would right the wrongs in our polity, clean the AugeanA�stable,A�and take NigeriaA�to unprecedented economic and technological heights. However, unexpectedly, he was overwhelmed by theA�demands of his office. His failing health did not helpA�matters. But the fact is that PresidentA�Buharia��soccupation of the most exalted political office in Nigeria has led to his demystification andA�unraveling. He is a giant, who has feetA�of clay.

HisA�lackluster and uninspiringA�leadership of Nigeria has caused him to lose the peoplea��s goodwill. It took him a considerable length of time to cobble an executive cabinet. And some of his ministerial appointees can be rightly described as square pegs in roundA�holes. Little wonder, his political administration has not lived up to the peoplea��s expectation.

And,A�his appointment of personnel into the top security apparatchiks and other federal institutionsA�in the countryA�has betrayed his ethnicA�chauvinism and religious bigotry. He seems to have embarked on the totalA�northernizationA�of federal institutions in the country. So, his doingshave deepened our ethnic and religious fissures.

So, today, NigeriaA�is more divided along ethnic and religious lines than before. More so, the murderous and bloody campaign of the Fulani herdsmen has put our dear country atA�equidistanceA�between peaceful co-existence and war. The FulaniA�herdsmen,A�whoA�have put proprietary handA�round the presidential seat, have run completely amuck, killing innocent people with impunity and glee.

More so, theA�BokoA�HaramA�insurgency has not been totally uprooted in the north-eastA�of Nigeria. TheA�BokoA�HaramA�members still detonate bombs and kill people inA�the north-east in furtherance of their resolve and plan to install Islamic theocracy in the country.

PresidentA�Buharia��sA�inability or failureA�to tackle the vexed issueA�of insecurityA�in Nigeria has not put him in a good stead in the race forA�Asorocka��s coveted topA�political post. To make matters worse, not a few people feel that he is sympathetic to the expansionistA�plot of the Fulani herdsmen as exemplified in the proposal toA�give cattle colony to Fulani herdsmen in all states of the federation.

It is notA�only in the area of security that he has failed, abysmally. His anti-graft war, which is skewed, isA�being used to persecute his political foes.A�Now,A�Nigerians are waiting with bated breath to see those who are convicted and jailed for looting our exchequer.A�

Again,A�he has failed to grow the economy as we have expected. Our economy went into recession; and, luckily, it slippedA�out ofA�it. But, isA�oureconomy growing?A�TheA�issue of graduate unemployment hasA�not beentackled as theA�government cannot expandA�the economy to createA�job opportunitiesA�for the teeming millions of unemployed Nigerians. Now,A�millions ofA�Nigerians wearingA�threadbare clothes and disintegrating shoes pound our streets daily searching for non-existentA�jobs.

More so, there is infrastructural rot in the country with roadsA�in the south-east, especially the Enugu- Onitsha expressway,A�qualified to be called death traps.

Today, regarding PresidentA�Buharia��sA�leadership scoreA�card, the verdictA�of a majority of Nigerians isA�that he has performedA�abysmallyA�and far below our expectations. The people are palpably hungry and angry regarding the parlous economic situationA�obtaining inA�the country. They want change.

Yet, presidentA�Buhari, who has overlooked the mood of the people, has thrown his hat into the ringA�as toA�his seeking re-election in the 2019 Presidential election. He has the inalienable right to contest the presidential poll. However, his contesting the 2019 presidential election will amount to his taking an electoral gamble inA�which the odds are heavily stacked against him.

Okoye sent this piece fromA�Uruowulu-Obosi,A�Anambra State.

QUOTE: Today, regarding President Buhari’s leadership score-card, the verdict of a majority of Nigerians is that he has performed abysmally and far below our expectations

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