While on a oneday working visit to Imo State recently, President Muhammadu Buhari awarded himself a pass mark claiming that he has recorded some achievements.
The number one citizen lamented that his achievements had remained unknown to people because of the failure of his aides to be loud enough about them. New Telegraph considers this a faux pas. President Buhari campaigned for the highest office in the country promising Nigerians restructuring, improved security, a zero tolerance for corruption as well as economic rejuvenation.
In his 2015 inaugural address at the Eagle Square, Abuja, he pledged not to discriminate against any Nigerian or part of the country on grounds of tribal, political or religious affiliation saying that he would govern in line with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
It was in the same address that he declared that he belonged to no one but instead belonged to everyone while promising to put an end to medical tourism in a bid to run a frugal and costeffective government. Unfortunately, from the outset, Mr. President drifted from these promises.
He displayed the mannerism of a ruler who was not prepared for governance at the highest level. We recall that it took the number one citizen six months to constitute his cabinet. President Buhari ended up with a cabinet that was unwieldy and has remained so thus making the nation bleed to death with an unimaginably high recurrent expenditure, given the juicy salaries and perks ceded to the ministers, senior special assistants and other aides of his.
Some of the ministers and other appointees have been found to be at sea with regard to their official responsibilities, to the extent that their performances have been disturbingly low in their different beats including that of petroleum, which has President Buhari as its minister.
Under the number one citizen, Nigeria’s four oil refineries have remained in a malfunctioning state with the nation being subjected to the self-inflicted agony of importing refined petroleum products. Electricity is on the Exclusive Legislative List.
This means that only the Federal Government (FG) can take decisions in the critical sector including the distribution of electricity to consumers in the country. This development has helped unleash recurring unstable but avoidable power supply on the nation.
It has equally helped compromise the functionality of the manufacturing sector that is reasonably dependent on uninterrupted power supply. Acknowledged, terrorism, spearheaded by a sect known as Boko Haram dates back to 2002, but it has in the over seven years of the administration of President Buhari, developed wings with many citizens now restricted to making flight journeys despite the high cost and even for travels that could have been undertaken by either road or rail.
New Telegraph sadly recalls that the citizens of the different socio-economic classes have been abducted with bandits and their allies boldly negotiating and dictating the ransoms before the releases of their captives. Terrorism appears deepened with the new trend whereby armed gangs allegedly accompany herdsmen.
We observe with dismay that virtually all the sectors have been on recurring strikes in the over sevenyear tenure of President Buhari. The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has been on strike since February 14, this year, with the FG unable to meet the demands of ASUU. mr. President has been unable to do a realistic re-alignment of national priorities.
Despite voicing out a frown of disapproval against medical tourism in his 2015 inaugural address at the Eagle Square he turned out to be probably the greatest exponent of medical tourism. His administration has also become a habitual borrower, either by borrowing from foreign countries or the indigenous banks or through, what is commonly referred to as ‘Ways and Means’.
Despite his pledge not to discriminate against any Nigeria or any part of the country on grounds of gender, tribal, political or religious affiliation, the number one citizen ended up appointing a reasonable number of persons from one part of the country into strategic positions in almost all the FG-owned organizations.
The self-evaluation of the number one citizen and the claims of his appointees cannot and may never change the already poor record of this administration. With barely eight months remaining of his tenure, we still feel that President Buhari can still consciously begin to right some of the wrongs of his administration. He may not be able to accomplish all but with a demonstrable monastic dedication, Buhari would be able to do justice to some of his gaffes, which include the failure to meet the demands of ASUU, to stop medical tourism as well as the inability to judgment and prosecute the sponsors of terrorism.
The gaffes to do away with also include the continued appointment of individuals from one part of the country to sensitive positions, the equally sustained payment of attractive salaries and extension of juicy perks to all elected and appointed political officeholders.
Also among the poor performance indicators to be addressed are: the dysfunctionality of the four public refineries, refusal to grant licenses to more operators of modular refineries and the constant attraction to borrowing sprees.