President Muhammadu Buhari is passionate about Nigeria, what he lacks is capacity to deliver. This is not a fault, but a weakness! His fault is in his inability to identify those with capacity to assist him deliver what he has been promising Nigerians.
In the 2015 electioneering period, he promised to deal with three major cardinal problems facing the country: insecurity, corruption and the economy. Nigerians were very much excited and elated to hear that he emerged victorious after knocking down a seemed clueless and incompetent president.
He went ahead to implement policies with Structural Adjustment Programme’s orientation perhaps imposed by the Briton wood institutions; the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, though without the consultation of his people. In spite of that, Nigerians decided to accept these policies and programs as welcome development largely because of the confidence they reposed in him.
The closure of border, the implementation of a rather controversial policy of Treasury Single Account (TSA) which relegated many Ministries, Departments and Agencies into condition of coma, and subsequently the removal of oil subsidies have, instead of reducing relatively absolute poverty, unemployment and hardship, deepened them.
Although, the overall aim of the aforementioned policies is to sustainably increase the Gross National Products of the nation, the ban on the importation of rice for instance didn’t stop completely. In fact, the so-called ‘sufficiency’ in the rice products is only happening in the press release by the presidency. The reality on the ground is that the importation of rice is still in practice even among the agents of government.
The collapse of MDAs’ accounts into single account domiciled in the Central Bank of Nigeria didn’t increase transparency and improve accountability but created a new style of corruption between the MDAs and CBN.
This, instead of curtailing corruption in the system, has created another one due to the bureaucratic bottleneck imposed by the reform. It is worthy to note that many heads of MDAs bribe the management of CBN in order to expedite the release of money approved by the Federal Government.
On a separate note, the fight against insecurity has achieved a remarkable feat especially in the area of Boko Haram insurgency. The hitherto seventeen local governments under the captivity of Boko Haram militia are now recaptured and of course the reconstruction and resettlement programme is making progress even though in a snail step.
The success achieved in the fight against Boko Haram militia has been as a result of effective monitoring by international community and as well the determination of our gallant military officers. This success didn’t however move beyond Northeast of the country.
The resurgence of farmers/herders conflicts in the North Central, the rise of IPOB and their call for secession, the army, police/ Shiite clashes and subsequently the escalation of banditry and kidnapping in the Northwest are among the areas of security concerns which the last administration failed to deliver.
29th May 2019 marks the end of his first tenure as the president of Nigeria. The success recorded in the February, 2019 general election paved the way for his second chance to be sworn in as the president again after defeating his major rival, the former Vice President of Nigeria in person of Alhaji Abubakar Atiku, Wazirin Adamawa.
The main thrust of his 2019 campaign was to consolidate the successes achieved in the last tenure. Unlike the first tenure where he promised reduction in the cost of governance, his second term increased the number of ministries from 36 to 43, an increase of over 19%.
Again his second term saw a rather quick appointment of cabinet members compared with the last administration which took him over six months before naming his ministers.
The appointment of his ministers didn’t surprise many Nigerians because most of the people appointed were because of the contributions they offered to make sure his government return to power. This is normal in democracy.
Perhaps, the cases of corruption attached to some of his cabinet members could affect his fight against corruption which at the long run may hinder the realization of his campaign promises.
Nigeria will continue existing under Muhammadu Buhari’s stewardship from 29th May, 2019 to 29th May, 2023. President Buhari’s inability to appoint people who have real capacity, intellect and talent will surely determine the success or otherwise of his second tenure.
Many people who voted for him in the last election did that not because of the satisfaction they had on his last administration, but for the trust they reposed in him and the absence of better ‘alternative’.
It’s high time President Buhari surrounded himself with people of good caliber and put Nigeria and Nigerians at heart. This is the only way to consolidate on the successes of last administration.
By Musa Ibrahim.