By Serah Ebah.-Illorin
A focused political leader is desperately needed to rescue Nigeria from the depth of chronic indiscipline
Nigeria today is currently pregnant with a myriad of colours of problems and crisis including security situation which may soon get out of hand unless conscious and deliberate efforts are made and geared towards protecting, securing and safeguarding citizens and institutions
The present administration of maybe largely lagging behind in terms of effective handling and securing the country.
The president who was a onetime major general served as a military head of state between 1983 and 1985 following the ouster of a civilian regime but unfortunately, he was deposed in a coup less than two years later.
Prior to his emergence as the president in 2015, Nigeria’s security situation and its peaceful nature was at a tilting point and many observers believed that a focused political leader is desperately needed to rescue Nigeria from the depth of chronic indiscipline, disorder and decay.
Against this background, in 2014, the All Progressive Congress, Party nominated Muhammadu Buhari to stand for election as its Presidential candidate in the 2015 election.
The APC as a new political party then came into existence after a merger of some other political parties like the APGA, ACN, ANPP and the CPC.
Meanwhile, Mr. Buhari had unsuccessfully contested previous three in the country’s presidential polls since 2003.
As a former military ruler who had been out of power for close to 30years and although, very popular, especially in the northern part of the country, there was little evidence to prove that he has what it takes to fix the country.
However, Buhari was seen as a leader with firm character, integrity and determination who could turn Nigeria around and he enjoys to a large extent a massive cult-like followers in the country.
More so, whoever won the presidency at that time will be needed to deal with a growing jihadist insurgency which was predominantly ravishing the north east and an economy under strain due to the falling oil prices. Many believed that as a former army general, he was better placed to combat terrorists, militancy and banditry.
On May 29, 2015, General Muhammadu Buhari was sworn-in as the President of Nigeria after defeating the incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan.
The incoming administration was expected to urgently tackle several challenges that had hindered economic prosperity, sustainable security and an overall national development.
Some of these challenges include but not limited to terrorism, violent conflicts, widespread poverty, youths unemployment, electricity shortage and corruption.
During the electioneering campaigns, Muhammadu Buhari and other top APC members made lots of promises to Nigerians upon which they won the election and rode gallantly to power.
In one of his campaign rallies, he promised to tackle the country’s insecurity by leading the war against insurgency at the front, kill corruption completely and revive the economic worries of the country.
Amongst such other promises were; public declaration of assets and liabilities, state and community policing, ban on all government officials from traveling to seek medical care abroad, implementation of the 35% appointive position for women, revive the Ajaokuta steel company, free education at Primary, Secondary and Tertiary institutions and many more.
Nigeria and Nigerians today have become more at risk and endangered than never before under the current administration.
The Islamic extremists have grown more deadly fangs and have attacked and killed more Nigerians in the first 39days of this government.
A recent slitting and massacre of 43 rice farmers in Zabarmani in Borno state and other killings by bandits have proven that the war against Boko Haram insurgents is not over yet.
Bandits and banditry have become a new national anthem we listened to in our daily lives.
Kidnappers and kidnapping have become a lucrative order and they are largely being motivated by money. In other words, ransom was frequently being paid to abductors by government officials.
Just recently, 279 students from the Government Girls Science Secondary School in Jangebe, Zamfara state and other schools were kidnapped by bandits.
Another twenty seven boys and their teachers were earlier also taken from their school in Kagara, Niger state where one of the students was shot on the head.
Following reported cases of incessant invasion of schools by gun carrying militant groups and subsequent kidnapping of pupils, some governors in the North West and North East ordered the immediate closure of boarding schools.
Students have become endangered species and they were no longer safe in their learning environment
Nigeria slipped into it second recession due to policy inconsistency and poor economic implementations after its gross domestic product contracted for the second time in consecutive quarter.
The rising unemployment rate, the inadequate and unreliable electricity supply is another critical aspect that the government failed to tackle in order to enhance the standard of living of the citizens.
Despite being Africa’s top oil producer, Nigeria till date still imports petrol and kerosene for the bulk of its domestic demand. Its huge reliance of fuel importation is due to an underperforming refining system.
The present government has openly abandoned the repairs of the refineries despite allocating billions of naira in the annual budget for the maintenance and revival of the refineries.
Nigeria has consistently being ranked low in Transparency International Corruption Perception Index over the years.
The anti-corruption war is neither here nor there. A former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr. Ibrahim Magu was rejected by the Senate twice due to a letter from the DSS indicting him of corrupt practices but the president went ahead to grant him permission to head the agency on acting capacity for close to four years, which in itself was a dent on the fight against corruption
Many observers felt President Muhammadu Buhari should not have appointed Mr.Ibrahim Magu on acting capacity in the first place and that he failed the integrity test of the Senate and therefore was not fit and capable to carry out his duties creditably as the head of the anti-graft agency.
Not long after, Mr. Magu was subsequently removed from office due to corruption accusations. The service chiefs who had exhibited lack of zeal, ineptitude in the fight against insurgency were allowed to overstay their tenure.
It was obvious that these service chiefs had definitely run out of ideas but unfortunately the government held on and kept them for 5years beyond their retirement age.
The fanfare, the enthusiasm and expectations that greeted the victory of the present government may have all died down and forgotten. Nigerians too may have woken up and realized that dummies were sold to them.
Nigerians do not have confidence in the government anymore and they think this is the worst thing that has ever happened in the history of the country.
Boko Haram and Fulani Herdsmen now attack and kill defenseless Nigerians frequently. Nigeria has become a “banana republic”
Many Nigerians are feeling dissatisfied and aggrieved with the present state of the nation where prices of general goods have skyrocketed. Nigerians are frustrated and angry and this was made obvious during the EndSARS protest across the country in October of 2020.
Again, the president has displayed gross incompetence and lackluster attitude towards the country and its citizens. The life of a Nigerian is valueless and worthless and it shows government does not really care if all Nigerians are killed in one night.
The government has failed to further galvanize all segments of the Nigeria society as well as regional bodies and International communities to deal decisively with the Boko Haram threat but rather granted amnesty to repentant Boko Haram members who had committed crimes against humanity by rendering women widows and children fatherless.
The government has also failed to better equip the military, police and security forces to enhance their capacity in order to deal with the security challenges.
The government has failed to declare the bandits and killer fulani herdsmen terrorist organization despite pressure from the home front and the international communities but did not hesitate to declare IPOB a terror group
With all these issues, the question is, should we blame the President of the country or Nigerians?