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Urban Central

BUHARI : THE LAPSED DAWN

The 2015 Presidential Installation — yes you read right; Installation — presented Rtd. General Muhammadu Buhari as the Nigerian President for a second bite at power. I never had any expectations of him as President, because I felt he had nothing concrete to offer — you can’t give what you don’t have.

The APC tried to rebrand him with the usual propaganda wankfest; photo shoots, drinking sachet Milo, attending a church service, and ended in one giant mount of pretence; calling himself a “ reformed democrat”. Goebbels would have been envious. Even though his wife found a liking amongst proletariat Nigerians with obvious pretentious photo-op servicing, some still saw past the deception. It takes more than a high five with a kid to show that you have been reformed. For all the external “Change” in appearance, the man inside virtually remained the same. It was a case of “old wine in new bottle”. In a different post, I will explain why I describe Nigerian presidential elections as installations.

All the 2015 hopes are now swimming in the doldrums of disappointment and failed movements. Even Buhari’s fiercest supporters are beginning to jump ship. A lot of us can come up with elements of his larger failure on a whim, but we’re here to highlight certain overlooked facets to this failure, with a more focused spotlight on neglect of potentially positive, material facets to Nigerian power. From my respectable knowledge, I will highlight issues, inactions and raise questions on the leadership of Pres. Buhari. From my earnest knowledge, I will also try to show how things could have been done differently.

SOUTH-EAST

The first issue is that of the how Pres. Buhari has poorly handled an already strained relationship with the South-Easterners (Igbo). When you choose to be a leader, you should be a leader for all; including those who didn’t support your mandate. Unfortunately, the president’s actions have shown otherwise. I expected Pres. Buhari and his team would have hatch with a plan towards winning the Igbo over, considering the APC’s poor numbers in that region during his election, as any political stalwart with nõus will do. No such steps were taken. Thus, giving credence to Guyman, Nnamdi Kanu’s message of utter neglect and historical victimization, amidst other sizeable accusations. Yep, don’t be deceived, Nnamdi Kanu na proper conman. A discussion for another day.

Over time, the Igbos have. grown to distrust Northern Nigerian leaders, and who can blame them. What would I have done differently?

i. I’d have gone on a tour of the South East and held meetings with the stakeholders of the region — political, business, religious and traditional leaders and most important of all, the youths.

ii. I would allay whatever fears they have about me and my incoming administration and listen to their expectations of the administration.

iii. I would guarantee them a place and participation for them at the table with well orchestrated clichéd messages of Nationalism. With proper governance, vision, investment and policies, the South East has the potential to become the manufacturing hub of Sub-saharan Africa.

A true leader will help identify and realize the potential of his people. It doesn’t take a genius to see that a prosperous south east region is going to be a massive boost for the economy. Also, there are projects that are important to that region and the nation as a whole. Making a project like the 2nd Niger Bridge a priority would have shown the Igbo that it’s not just words, but action. I see this as a missed opportunity for Pres. Buhari to increase his support base and clear whatever “falsehoods” were circulating during campaign season. A real leader knows that his greatest ally, is the People. I sincerely believe that if Pres. Buhari had taken such steps, the Nnamani Kanu and IPOB issue wouldn’t have degenerated to the level it has even though it would still have occurred and become a notoriety.

Some Nigerians are cynical towards the Igbo, for reasons best known to them, but the leader of Nigeria, cannot afford to be one of such people. Even though certain rules of human nature don’t “apply” in Nigeriore a, humanity is still prone to episodes of surprising its onlookers( The Watchers?). All the great leaders knew how to work their citizens by giving them exactly what they needed. A great example of such a leader is my idol, Josip Broz Tito of Yugoslavia, better known as Marshal Tito. Buhari will do well to study the great leader and elder statesman. Considering that both leaders and countries bear some striking similarities. But what are the odds Baba will do that? Considering the support Buhari garnered to seize Aso Rock, he had the potential to be a great leader, because he had the support of the masses, and as a leader what more could you ask for?

APPOINTMENTS

One of the first red flags of President Buhari’s tenure was unnecessary delay in setting up his cabinet — 4 months to send the first batch of nominees for confirmation. A comical list of names without portfolios attached. How would the Senate know the right questions ask? I believe that any serious individual running for office already has at least a mental list of appointees before election day, and if by that time the individual doesn’t have one, the period between his win and Swearing In ceremony is more than enough to come up with a list.

There’s no justifiable reason for the four months delay in sending his nominees’ list, and that action reeks of incompetence. Ministers are the policy makers in the economy, and when a new government takes over, investors are circling around to see the policy direction of the new administration. A favourable one will attract investment. But when four months pass, and the policy makers of an administration haven’t been appointed, it will has a negative impact on the economy and in particular perception. In the world of international politics, and the global economy, what matters is perception.

Even though this might be like a regurgitation, it is a core part of the ongoing administration’s failures. The recycled individuals in the list made us rethink, leading to a loss of confidence in this administration. The first step in failure as an administration is loss of the electorates’ confidence.

This was another missed opportunity for Pres. Buhari to implement the “Change” mantra he chanted through campaign. . There are countless Nigerians excelling in different aspects of life all over the world, who would have made better ministers. I have no personal issue with her but Mrs. Kemi Adeosun over Prof. Pat Utomi or Mr Andrew Alli as Minister of Finance? The economy of Nigeria is too important and sensitive to hand over to someone earlier nominated to serve as Commissioner of Finance for Ogun state. A ministry as sensitive as that of Education should have a qualified Minister. Mallam Adamu Adamu is not near qualified for Minister. As if his appointment wasn’t disastrous enough, he still has his job, despite failing at it for two years when a state of emergency should have been declared in our educational system desperately lacking in structure, vision, direction and much needed change. With administrators like Mallam Adamu in charge, you have a better chance of finding that Original exam certificate that no one seems to have than for progress to be made in our education system.

No leader can succeed with questionable supporting acts.

“The first method of estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him” — Niccolò Machiavelli.

Need I say more?

SOCIAL WELFARE FUND

There’s a popular saying, “give a man a fish, you’ve fed him for a day, teach a man to fish, you have fed him for life”. The #500billion welfare fund is meant to provide free meals for public school students; #5000 monthly for the poorest 1 million Nigerians amongst other things. I think this is a waste of scarce resources as this fund could be put to better use in a country battling economic recession , and considering the Nigerian predilection for embezzlement of cause-centric funds.

How do you identify the poorest 1 million Nigerians when the National Bureau of Statistics can’t even provide proper mapping for the National Health Accounts? A presidential spokesman had no qualms telling Nigeria that The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; a foreign charity organization was compiling the list. The joke is on us. One would have expected the National Bureau of Statistics in collaboration with the National Population Commission to draw up the list.

I jokingly tell my friends that the poorest 1 million Nigerians probably don’t know who Buhari is. I see this as a scheme to loot. If the president genuinely had the interest of the poor at heart, those funds should have been used to inject life into the moribund textile industry in Northern Nigeria. This would have been a major boost for cotton farming. The rejuvenation of the textile industry is sure to create jobs, generate revenue and even gain foreign exchange. Sad fact; the bulk of the 1 million poorest Nigerians are in the North, the President’s own region. A region strong in agriculture. A sound way to make those people benefit would have been to put them into work, making them earn their keep. Cotton grown in the North, will be sent to the mills to be processed, and after, there will be a large and ready market for textiles in the South and indeed the world as a whole. No matter how far technology advances, people will wear clothes, at least for the foreseeable future.

This would have helped create direct and indirect jobs, gain foreign exchange and help diversify from an oil based economy. I stumbled on an astonishing fact about how England doesn’t grow cotton commercially, but it’s textile industry is worth about £10bn yearly — that’s about half of Nigeria’s budget. The Cotton and textile industry is just one of the numerous areas that will benefit the country immensely, with sound investment, supervision and stringent, positivist measures. This Welfare fund is simply not a sustainable project, what happens when the poor become overreliant on the fund and a new Administration decides to scrap such welfare packages?

Nigerian is a country constantly operating without a plan when she could easily be a hub for at least 8 resources in the world.

INSENSITIVITY

I have come to the conclusion that our President doesn’t care much for public opinion. That would explain some of his utterances and actions. A genuine leader is one who shows concern and is sensitive to the plight of his people. Statements like “Dog and Baboon will be soaked in blood” , “97% vs 5%”, “Abacha not being corrupt” are clear red flags that show his insensitive and eerily nonchalant nature.

First and foremost, a good leader is an unbiased and severely couth judge of situations. At the height of the Herdsmen rampage in the Middle Belt — Benue in particular, I expected the leader of Nigeria to pay Benue a visit, primarily to show solidarity with the people, but also to reassure them. Instead, when the people of Agatu, Southern Kaduna and all other affected areas needed him the most, he abandoned them. I don’t think these people will forget anytime soon, not before 2019.

As if that wasn’t enough, Our President offered deafening silence In the aftermath of the unfortunate drowning of 26 Nigerian girls in the Mediterranean while attempting to cross into Europe. No Nigerian official was present at the burial of those girls, which was organised by Italy. In the light of the CNN documentary exposing the Libyan slave trade, seeing as those most affected were West Africans, I expected President Buhari to seize the opportunity to call for an emergency summit of ECOWAS leaders to find a lasting solution to curb the desert migration, from establishment of a joint patrol task force to long term policies that will address the root cause of desert migration. It was another missed opportunity — man seems to be missing a lot of opportunities — for him to solidify his position as a true leader and statesman both home and abroad.

FAILED PROMISES

Lmao, where do I start from. This is no joking matter, but I can’t help but laugh. 740,000 IMMEDIATE jobs, millions of jobs every year, free food for students, pay for unemployed graduates, N1=$1 ( how does this work? While. the Nigerian economy experiences astronomical rise, the US’s will suddenly go bust? Sai Baba probably foresaw Trump’s victory and his ruin of America).

The APC and Buhari flooded everywhere with campaign promises, from social media to advertising vans. They took advantage of the naivety and ignorant nature of the Nigerian masses towards governance. One of the first Bible verses I learnt was “ My people perish for lack of knowledge”, and true to that verse, Nigerians are “ perishing” due to their lack of knowledge. A knowledgeable person would. have known the promises weren’t realistic, at least not in the first term, considering the state of the Nigerian nation, both Politically and economically. Post 2015 elections, the tune changed. We started hearing otherwise. Now the saying “Empty barrels make the loudest noise” makes so much sense. That’s why I have taken it upon myself to set up an NGO in the nearest future, that will enlighten and educate Nigerians on issues of Governance and Politics, because the average Nigerian’s ignorance towards the aforementioned issues is staggering and baffling. That should be the job of the Government, but the selfish clowns in government would rather bask in sensationalism than carry out such sensitization projects, because it’s to their benefit if the masses stay ignorant.

While this is no galvanization of support for any candidate, voting Buhari in 2019 will be disastrous even if he builds us all towers of gold in the next 2 years, because the failure that u will follow will make those towers crumble, and lead us to our Mount Doom.

He belongs to everyone and he belongs to no one. Yet when Nigerians came together to protest the brutality of the most corrupt institution in the world, aka The Nigerian Police, we all saw where his allegiance was.

Nigerians have gotten used to his deafening silence on issues that affect the people. Explains why no one was suprised when he didn’t make any statement in relation to the #EndSars agitation.

The above mentioned are just a few of the issues that show Pres. Buhari wasn’t and still isn’t fully prepared and equipped for the task at hand. I sincerely hope we don’t make the mistake of 2015 in 2019.

We were rash in electing him in a bid to just get Jonathan out, but we shouldn’t be ourselves up. We’re still a Country in its growth phase even though we could be better. This should be a lesson on how to properly scrutinize any potential leaders in Nigeria. Buhari was a quintessential disguise. First off, his personality severely preached that of a hardened, stoic and incredibly sentimental conservative and we should have been wary. But like I said, it should be a lesson.

Some might find my tone to be rude, I am definitely NOT sorry, it’s because I am sick and tired of watching my beloved Nigeria being ruled by clowns with no agenda for the growth of Nigeria. This article came from a place of deep anger. We can no longer sit and watch failed past leaders from the “Old Guard” fully ruin the future of this nation. Men who would most likely not be alive in the next decade. Enough is enough, the damage they have done will take years to repair. Borrowing the nation into the ground, and they won’t be around when it’s time to pay back. One thing that scares me is despite the heavy borrowing, no genuine and concrete steps have been taken to ensure a healthy financial future for Nigeria. What happens when it’s time to pay back? This time there will be no wiping of debts for Nigeria. I am not one of the “Team Canada” Nigerians or one of the “Ndi Diaspora”. I have lived all 25 years of my life in Nigeria, and I intend to live out the rest here in Nigeria. This is my home, this is the country I want to raise my kids, I want them to be proud of their Motherland and heritage. I am a black and proud Nigerian, I can’t hide it, I don’t even have an “English” name. That’s why those of us who have the best interest of Nigeria have to work together to secure the future of our nation from those who would mortgage it for selfish personal reasons. Together we stand, divided we fall. *Drops Mic*

By PrinceOfPentos for Urban Central

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Urban Central

Urban Central

Urban Central is the Internet Magazine for the millennial mind, focused on the issues that matter for an evolving generation. Do follow us, Urban Central.