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Nigerians Score Buhari As President Winds Up Tenure



…Buhari gets knock over security, economy, applause on infrastructure

As the 8-year governance of President Muhammadu Buhari comes to an end, Nigerians have scored the 15th president of the country.

Buhari’s government rode into power in May, 2015 on the change mantra, promising Nigerians a better deal than former President Goodluck Jonathan’s term, which was palpably marred with insecurity.

Buhari emerged as President amid heightened hope as a messianic figure that would rescue the country from downslide.

The administration claimed it had been one of the best things to happen to the country. On several occasions, the government argued it had fulfilled most, if not all, the promises it made to Nigerians during its campaigns.

Although opinions are divided on whether the administration has kept faith with the people, Buhari has always maintained that it dwarfed the performance by previous governments.

However, as the curtain draws on the eight-year administration of the former Head of State, Nigerians may not have been satisfied with how he handled the security and economic sector of the country.

Prominent Nigerians and experts who shared their views on the Buhari government and how well it has fared in the last eight years have different ideas about the government and its performance.

Speaking with AN24, a former Nigerian Ambassador to the Philippines, Yemi Farounbi, knocked the Buhari-led government for its failure to deliver on its campaign promises.

Farounbi noted that the hope of Nigerians that the outgoing president will end insecurity in the country was dashed as terrorists got bolder under his watch.

He said, “When Buhari came in in 2015, a lot of Nigerians had hoped that he is Mr Integrity. He promised that he would fight corruption but we have seen that he is unable to fight corruption, judging from what we are seeing, either from the former Accountant-General or some ministers. Because he was a retired general, a lot of Nigerians had hoped that he would tackle insecurity, they were excited when he also promised to. But after eight years, we have become more insecure today than we were in 2015. It is not only Boko Haram we are bothered about right now, there is massive insecurity in North West, North Central, South West, South South and there is the IPOB situation in Southeast. So, the security problem has not been solved.”

The Veteran Journalist and Ace Broadcaster, however, commended Buhari in the area of infrastructure but he maintained that he has taken Nigeria and its citizens back to the stone age.

“There are things he did in terms of infrastructure, like the Second Niger Bridge that we must recognise and thank him for and the one that is going on between Oyo and Ogbomoso expressway and the work still going on on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway. We thank him for all of that but in terms of economy, the currency has completely been devalued. From N165 to N740 per dollar. And a lot of people today, their pockets are completely empty, emptier than it was in 2015, that is why I said he has not fulfilled the aspiration of the people,” Farounbi concluded.

On his part, the Executive Director, Centre For Anti-Corruption & Open Leadership, Debo Adeniran, stated that the Buhari-led administration has done its best for the people of Nigeria but added that it may not be good enough.

He stressed on the effort of the President to revive the railway services that were dead before his tenure and the maintenance of major roads in the country.

Adeniran added that several natural disasters like the global meltdown and the pandemic may have contributed to the administration’s perceived failure but strongly faulted him for the extravagant lifestyle of some players in Buhari’s government in the face of a hostile economy.

“No government has been appraised in the past to be perfect, every government is usually assessed as having done its best, although the best may not be good enough. And because politicians dominate the government, it makes it difficult to pin them down to anything because they can always justify the reason for failing on their promises. So far, it’s been so good. We are still in one piece in Nigeria. The prediction of anarchy, war, breakdown of the country has not come to pass up till now.

“Basically, we can say that on average, he has also performed well. Because they have given several excuses why they could not fulfill their electoral promises of stamping out terrorism, corruption and other crimes. But they have been able to do well in the area of infrastructures. At least, he brought back railway services and of course, renovation of several airports. Their presence in the renovation of major roads can also be attributed to them.

“They encountered a couple of economic calamities that might have disturbed whatever they wanted to achieve. I can talk about the global meltdown in the economy, we can also talk about the pandemic that shut every country down over sometime. When the country is shut, the economy is also shut. The inadequacy in the earnings of petroleum products. But we cannot forgive them for the lifestyle that some of the people in government adopted even in the midst of the hostile economy that we are operating. The cost of running a government (under Buhari’s leadership) is high. The allowances and other emoluments of government officials are high too.”

Also speaking to AN24, lawyer and labour rights activist, Femi Aborisade, said Buhari failed the test of his own criteria by failing to secure the release of all kidnapped Chibok girls.

“I think it is beyond controversy that President Buhari has not lived up to expectations. PMB set some criteria with which to measure the performance of his government. His administration failed the test of his own criteria. The failure to attain the release of all kidnapped Chibok girls remains a measure of his abysmal performance as far as unprecedented insecurity is concerned.”

The activist also faulted President Buhari for recently unveiling Aliko Dangote-owned private refinery while the four state-owned refineries were ruined under his watch.

“PMB promised to put an end to importation of refined petroleum products and to commence export of refined products after satisfying domestic market from state owned refineries. PMB ended up in creating opportunities for the private sector as represented by Aliko Dangote’s private refineriney to emerge at the burial ground of four state owned refineries which were completely ruined under the PMB regime. PMB succeeded in enacting the Petroleum Industry Act by which the oil industry has become the inheritance of the private sector.

“PMB promised he belonged to all and belonged to nobody. But an assessment of his regime has shown that in all important measures, PMB is committed to the interest of the wealthy and stubbornly against the interest of the oppressed. PMB regime has put in place enactments to facilitate the dispossession of societal wealth and inheritance of the same by the capitalist elite class.”

He added that poverty and criminalities have risen to unprecedented levels since the president was sworn in.

“There may be debates about the degree of failure but there appears to be unanimity that PMB’s and his Party, the APC have failed beyond my measure. PMB himself concedes that his government is a total failure. Hence, he appeals to the public for forgiveness,” he concluded.

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