Buhari's many failed promises
By Jim Lawson Moses
When in 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari, PMB, won the Presidential election after a keen contest with the then incumbent President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, most Nigerians were happy thinking that the 'messiah' that will take Nigerians from the woods to the 'Promised Land' had come. Many, also jubilated with the firm belief that the ''change'' which he and his Party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, promised Nigerians was certainly going to transform Nigeria.
But with just about 100 days to the end of his first year in office, PMB is still apportioning blames rather than proffering solutions. Rather than shop for those that will help him fix the nation's bleeding economy, President Buhari is busy globetrotting; spending the little resources that Nigeria is left with abroad and returning back home with little or no results for his missions abroad.
I am calling for the humble resignation of Mr. President because of the following obvious reasons:
During the 2015 presidential electioneering campaigns, PMB, promised to make the Naira equivalent to the United States of America Dollar. With this pronouncement, most of us where happy since our economy is an import dependent one. As at May 29, 2015, when he assumed office, the value of the Naira to the Dollar, in the black market was N195.00 against its current rate of N385.00. As a result of this, cost of almost every commodity in the market has skyrocketed.
Just few months ago, his government announced that 500,000 unemployed graduates where to be employed as teachers. Again, this was greeted with much applause. But just recently, the PMB led government announced that these teachers would be trained under its social welfare scheme to serve as voluntary teachers; what a deceit.
Unpreparedness for leadership
To prove PMB's unpreparedness for leadership, in April 2015, after the Presidential election, he mentioned to Nigerians that he was not sure that former President Goodluck Jonathan will concede defeat. To further buttress this position, it took President Buhari about seven months to appoint his ''saints'' Ministers. Ministers without any allegation of fraud. To make matters worse, it took Buhari nine months to discover that the recently sacked 26 Agency heads were working for the PDP, as announced by the APC Chairman, Chief John Odijie-Oyegun.
Again, to show how unserious he takes the business of Nigeria, it is taking the President too long to get the 2016 budget passed. His 'Zero-based' budget of 6 trillion for the 'change' agenda, presented with so much fanfare, expected to perform wonders for Nigerians, has been rejected by the National Assembly because of massive blunders discovered in the document after it was initially declared missing.
What does PMB and his APC Led government take Nigerians for? According to the late reggae icon, Bob Marley, you can fool some people sometimes but you can't fool all the people all the time.
With reference to the controversial budget, full of concocted huge sums of Naira, with so many so-called errors attributed to the Presidency, how can a government that means well for its citizens plan a higher budget for its Ministry of Information against a lesser one for the Ministry of Agriculture in a country plagued by poverty, hunger and starvation? Or is this deliberate in other to equip the Minister for Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Muhammed, for what he knows how to do best; propaganda.
How did N5 million proposed for buying computers for the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) and the Film and Video Censors Board mysteriously became N398 million? What error accounts for the N3.8 billion allocated for capital projects at the State House Clinic meant for the president, vice-president and their families alone; compared to the N2.6 billion allocated for all the 17 government teaching hospitals nationwide.
Based on the foregoing, is the budget truly a reflection of how PMB loves Nigerians and the Nigeria he once cried for? Is it also a true reflection of the 'change' he promised? What brands of tyres, batteries, fuses, c-caution signs, fire extinguishers and towing ropes will amount to more than quarter of a billion Naira of tax payers' money, considering the fact that this budget is just for one year and that some of the listed items come with brand new cars. How can a President who claims to be fighting corruption present such a budget?
Exposing Nigeria to external aggression
President Buhari goofed seriously when he made the Dasukigate investigation public. Even in the advanced world, matters of national security are handled secretly on-the-need-to-know bases. But in PMB's case, he preferred to make a big show with it thereby exposing the nation's vulnerability and susceptibility to external military aggression and possible invasion by any country; no matter how small that may want to display its military might and superiority. PMB, in doing this, forgot he took an oath to protect Nigerians.
Lack of tolerance for the opposition
PMB's intolerance for the opposition remains unparalleled. He has not congratulated any governor in the opposition political parties who emerged victorious in any election, since he assumed office as President. This may also be the reason his anti corruption fight is perceived to be a vendetta mission, an attempt to reduce the opposition to nothing. This writer is not against the anti corruption stance of Mr. President but his approach is seriously assuming a dangerous dimension; Nigerians are watching.
PMB's corruption war seems to be targeted and limited to the Jonathan's administration. Is PMB telling Nigerians that previous administrations were corruption free? Or is it because Dr. Jonathan did not in the military? What are the reasons for limiting this fight to Jonathan's administration and the PDP alone? What about the men in his cabinet, whose names are associated with so many alleged corruption issues? Is PMB surrounded by saints, is he saying that all present and former governors of the APC are corruption free or they never corruptly enriched themselves? In about three months , his administration will be one year. Nigeria needs a president that can move her forward not one that has taken her 30 years backwards.
What about his party leaders who have been alleged to have converted state government properties into their personal properties? Why has PMB refused to tell Nigerians the source of funding for his electioneering campaigns and how those who funded it with billions of Naira acquired such stupendous wealth? What about the numerous under aged Nigerians that voted for him in the northern part of the country which may have contributed to his emergence as president; has he made any categorical statement to condemn this act? How can a President, who was corruptly voted into power fight corruption? How can a President whose election campaigns were corruptly funded by corrupt persons who allegedly corruptly enriched themselves fight corruption?
President Muhammadu Buhari should resign as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Nigeria's business is a serious one; not meant for people who lack vision to move the nation forward. Nigerians are tired of his anti corruption mission which is not even yielding fruits. His anti corruption fight is seriously hemorrhaging the nation's economy. Nigerians are hungry. And rather than spend the past 9 months since he assumed office to fight hunger, starvation, poor health care delivery systems, and shelter for the homeless, PMB has been busy junketing the entire globe and painting Nigerians black as corrupt people.
Is it his war against corruption that has refused to yield results as buttressed by a recent statement by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) boss, Ibrahim Magu, that 'senior lawyers are frustrating the war against corruption? Is it his victory over Boko Haram which he claimed can no longer carry out any conventional attack yet they bombed Maiduguri, Borno State capital, killing and injuring scores? The same Boko haram bombed an IDP camp too killing and injuring scores of harmless women and children he swore to protect. And just recently, the same group of terrorists razed Mala Keri in Konduga Local Gorvernment Area of Borno State.
Is it the 'padded zero-based' budget of 'change' corruptly designed to enrich some pockets which they also claimed some rats smuggled some items into it, as reported by the BBC or the Treasury Single Account (TSA) which he recently pronounced was a creation of Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan's administration? Would it be only the Dasukigate? Of what immediate benefit is Dasukigate to Nigerians compared with the sorry state of the Naira or faulty policies like the one which has caused even students inability to pay their school fees abroad?
President Muhammadu lacks clues on how to move Nigeria forward. He also lacks the capacity to be Nigeria's president. This is because he equally lacks ideas on how to diversify the economy of this great nation blessed with abundant natural and human resources. His team also lacks cutting edge ideas that will take Nigeria out of the woods. They have nothing new to offer as his 'miracle making' and 'saints' ministers are of the old school or old brigade with little or no achievements to show in their past leadership roles except for Babatunde Raji Fashola.
Nigeria, a country with about 220 million people does not need a president that lacks a 22nd century vision. We need one with solutions to her challenges. The kind of president that can set the propellers and the turbines of Nigeria's economy running rather than bringing it to a total halt; a president that can place the most populous black nation in the world, in its rightful place, in the committee of nations.
Mr. Jim Lawson Moses, a public affairs analyst, wrote from Lagos.