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Adichie Condems Buhari's Govt In Blistering New York Times Op-ed - Literature - Nairaland

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Adichie Condems Buhari's Govt In Blistering New York Times Op-ed by LordVarys: 9:12pm On Oct 18, 2016
LAGOS, Nigeria — I was 7 years old the first time I recognized political fear. My parents and their friends were talking about the government, in our living room, in our relatively big house, set on relatively wide grounds at a southeastern Nigerian university, with doors shut and no strangers present. Yet they spoke in whispers. So ingrained was their apprehension that they whispered even when they did not need to. It was 1984 and Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari was the military head of state.

Governmental controls had mangled the economy. Many imported goods were banned, scarcity was rife, black markets thrived, businesses were failing and soldiers stalked markets to enforce government-determined prices. My mother came home with precious cartons of subsidized milk and soap, which were sold in rationed quantities. Soldiers flogged people on the streets for “indiscipline” — such as littering or not standing in queues at the bus stop. On television, the head of state, stick-straight and authoritative, seemed remote, impassive on his throne amid the fear and uncertainty.

And yet when, 30 years later, in 2015, Mr. Buhari was elected as a democratic president, I welcomed it. Because for the first time, Nigerians had voted out an incumbent in an election that was largely free and fair. Because Mr. Buhari had sold himself as a near-ascetic reformer, as a man so personally aboveboard that he would wipe out Nigeria’s decades-long corruption. He represented a form of hope.

Nigeria is difficult to govern. It is Africa’s most populous country, with regional complexities, a scarred history and a patronage-based political culture. Still, Mr. Buhari ascended to the presidency with a rare advantage — not only did he have the good will of a majority of Nigerians, he elicited a peculiar mix of fear and respect. For the first weeks of his presidency, it was said that civil servants who were often absent from work suddenly appeared every day, on time, and that police officers and customs officials stopped demanding bribes.

He had an opportunity to make real reforms early on, to boldly reshape Nigeria’s path. He wasted it.


Perhaps the first clue was the unusually long time it took him to appoint his ministers. After an ostensible search for the very best, he presented many recycled figures with whom Nigerians were disenchanted. But the real test of his presidency came with the continued fall in oil prices, which had begun the year before his inauguration.

Nigeria’s economy is unwholesomely dependent on oil, and while the plunge in prices was bound to be catastrophic, Mr. Buhari’s actions made it even more so.


He adopted a policy of “defending” the naira, Nigeria’s currency. The official exchange rate was kept artificially low. On the black market, the exchange rate ballooned. Prices for everything rose: rice, bread, cooking oil. Fruit sellers and car sellers blamed “the price of dollars.” Complaints of hardship cut across class. Some businesses fired employees; others folded.

The government decided who would have access to the central bank’s now-reduced foreign currency reserves, and drew up an arbitrary list of worthy and unworthy goods — importers of toothpicks cannot, for example, but importers of oil can. Predictably, this policy spawned corruption: The exclusive few who were able to buy dollars at official rates could sell them on the black market and earn large, riskless profits — transactions that contribute nothing to the economy.

Mr. Buhari has spoken of his “good reasons” for ignoring the many economists who warned about the danger of his policies. He believes, rightly, that Nigeria needs to produce more of what it consumes, and he wants to spur local production. But local production cannot be willed into existence if the supporting infrastructure is absent, and banning goods has historically led not to local production but to a thriving shadow market. His intentions, good as they well might be, are rooted in an outdated economic model and an infantile view of Nigerians. For him, it seems, patriotism is not a voluntary and flexible thing, with room for dissent, but a martial enterprise: to obey without questioning. Nationalism is not negotiated, but enforced.

The president seems comfortable with conditions that make an economy uncomfortable — uncertainty and disillusion. But the economy is not the only reason for Nigerians’ declining hope.

A few months ago, a young woman, Chidera, came to work as a nanny in my Lagos home. A week into her job, I found her in tears in her room. She needed to go back to her ancestral home in the southeast, she said, because Fulani herdsmen had just murdered her grandfather on his farm. She showed me a gruesome cellphone photo of his corpse, desecrated by bullets, an old man crumpled on the farm he owned.

Chidera’s grandfather is only one of the hundreds of people who have been murdered by Fulani herdsmen — cattle herders from northern Nigeria who, until recently, were benign figures in the southern imagination, walking across the country with their grazing cattle.

Since Mr. Buhari came to power, villages in the middle-belt and southern regions have been raided, the inhabitants killed, their farmlands sacked. Those attacked believe the Fulani herdsmen want to forcibly take over their lands for cattle grazing.

It would be unfair to blame Mr. Buhari for these killings, which are in part a result of complex interactions between climate change and land use. But leadership is as much about perception as it is about action, and Mr. Buhari has appeared disengaged. It took him months, and much criticism from civil society, to finally issue a statement “condemning” the killings. His aloofness feels, at worst, like a tacit enabling of murder and, at best, an absence of sensitive leadership.

Most important, his behavior suggests he is tone-deaf to the widely held belief among southern Nigerians that he promotes a northern Sunni Muslim agenda. He was no less opaque when the Nigerian Army murdered hundreds of members of a Shiite Muslim group in December, burying them in hastily dug graves. Or when soldiers killed members of the small secessionist pro-Biafran movement who were protesting the arrest of their leader, Nnamdi Kanu, a little-known figure whose continued incarceration has elevated him to a minor martyr.

Nigerians who expected a fair and sweeping cleanup of corruption have been disappointed. Arrests have tended to be selective, targeting mostly those opposed to Mr. Buhari’s government. The anti-corruption agencies are perceived not only as partisan but as brazenly flouting the rule of law: The Department of State Security recently barged into the homes of various judges at midnight, harassing and threatening them and arresting a number of them, because the judges’ lifestyles “suggested” that they were corrupt.

There is an ad hoc air to the government that does not inspire that vital ingredient for a stable economy: confidence. There is, at all levels of government, a relentless blaming of previous administrations and a refusal to acknowledge mistakes. And there are eerie signs of the past’s repeating itself — Mr. Buhari’s tone and demeanor are reminiscent of 1984, and his military-era War Against Indiscipline program is being reintroduced.

There are no easy answers to Nigeria’s malaise, but the government’s intervention could be more salutary — by prioritizing infrastructure, creating a business-friendly environment and communicating to a populace mired in disappointment.

In a country enamored of dark humor, a common greeting among the middle class now is “Happy recession!”
http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/10/19/opinion/chimamanda-ngozi-adichie-nigerias-failed-promises.html?smid=tw-nytimes&smtyp=cur&referer=https:///1ZDLP01PgM

186 Likes 33 Shares

Re: Adichie Condems Buhari's Govt In Blistering New York Times Op-ed by LordVarys: 9:15pm On Oct 18, 2016
Let the zombies attack Adichie now, probably the most respected Nigerian voice in Western intellectual circles. She's Igbo so I can forsee the insults from the bigots already.
Cc lalasticlala

215 Likes 17 Shares

Re: Adichie Condems Buhari's Govt In Blistering New York Times Op-ed by yeyeboi(m): 9:19pm On Oct 18, 2016
The Person Above Me Which Is The OP Has Said It All angry

2 Likes 1 Share

Re: Adichie Condems Buhari's Govt In Blistering New York Times Op-ed by PRYCE01(m): 9:20pm On Oct 18, 2016
Chai! This piece just broke El-Dullardeen's ball! This one na Terra-Punch!

115 Likes 10 Shares

Re: Adichie Condems Buhari's Govt In Blistering New York Times Op-ed by kyrios: 9:25pm On Oct 18, 2016
LordVarys:
Let the zombies attack Adichie now, probably the most respected Nigerian voice in Western intellectual circles. She's Igbo so I can forsee the insults from the bigots already.
Cc lalasticlala
am sure you didn't read the article

47 Likes 3 Shares

Re: Adichie Condems Buhari's Govt In Blistering New York Times Op-ed by kinibigdeal(m): 9:29pm On Oct 18, 2016
Insightful

7 Likes 1 Share

Re: Adichie Condems Buhari's Govt In Blistering New York Times Op-ed by inkon: 9:34pm On Oct 18, 2016
God bless you Adichie for saying things just as they are.

83 Likes 2 Shares

Re: Adichie Condems Buhari's Govt In Blistering New York Times Op-ed by GoldCircle: 9:39pm On Oct 18, 2016
Oh how the tables have turned. Just about 18 months ago, it was all about Jonathan being called an 'ineffectual Buffon'.

The APC should stew in their own vomit. Their brand of politics is being served graciously to them.

134 Likes 7 Shares

Re: Adichie Condems Buhari's Govt In Blistering New York Times Op-ed by sholay2011(m): 9:59pm On Oct 18, 2016
Hmmmm....
Re: Adichie Condems Buhari's Govt In Blistering New York Times Op-ed by collinsVP: 10:00pm On Oct 18, 2016
The trouble with this administration is as complex as Nigeria herself.

PMB is somewhat incapacitated to run his government.

It is more complicated where there are no party ideologies.

People say GEJ ggovernment was hyjacked by cabals but i believe he was aware it was been hyjacked. He allowed it as a compromise for his second term ambition. It bomeranged though.

PMB on the other hand is not even aware he is loosing grip of his government to cabals due to his incapacities.

63 Likes 5 Shares

Re: Adichie Condems Buhari's Govt In Blistering New York Times Op-ed by Angelsss(f): 10:36pm On Oct 18, 2016
this is why Africa would never go forward...sycophancy has taken over us...
It was still this Adichie woman that praised Bihari last year when he won the election, saying GEJ Regime had failed her and everything crappy about GEJ ...
She's now speaking against Because her tribes people are being killed....

let's stop this behavior and stand for the truth...we need writers like her and Soyinka to preach to Nigerians to see the light... what has Adichie done to effect moral and social development? apart from loaning us extremism of feminist ideas?

what the Fulani' herdsmen are doing is so wrong... but what did you expect when you supported a fanatic?

28 Likes 2 Shares

Re: Adichie Condems Buhari's Govt In Blistering New York Times Op-ed by NATIONALPASTOR: 11:18pm On Oct 18, 2016
good one

2 Likes

Re: Adichie Condems Buhari's Govt In Blistering New York Times Op-ed by Fairgodwin(m): 6:34am On Oct 19, 2016
I am losing sleep each night these days..... I need help.... And we all need help in and with our country. Very sad.

5 Likes

Re: Adichie Condems Buhari's Govt In Blistering New York Times Op-ed by emmabest2000(m): 6:35am On Oct 19, 2016
Another monitoring spirit ....

7 Likes 1 Share

Re: Adichie Condems Buhari's Govt In Blistering New York Times Op-ed by veekid(m): 6:35am On Oct 19, 2016
We don enter one chance already now

4 Likes

Re: Adichie Condems Buhari's Govt In Blistering New York Times Op-ed by Movicq(m): 6:36am On Oct 19, 2016
Ok

16 Likes

Re: Adichie Condems Buhari's Govt In Blistering New York Times Op-ed by donbrowser(m): 6:36am On Oct 19, 2016
This article shed lights on many things. I just hope Buhari listen to the warnings from all angles.
I believe he has taken some dangerous steps and has made some mistakes.
Passingshot please tell your boss to look back and see how many supporters he have left.

24 Likes

Re: Adichie Condems Buhari's Govt In Blistering New York Times Op-ed by KingRex1: 6:36am On Oct 19, 2016
Aboveboard indeed
Re: Adichie Condems Buhari's Govt In Blistering New York Times Op-ed by lilmax(m): 6:38am On Oct 19, 2016
not bad

1 Like

Re: Adichie Condems Buhari's Govt In Blistering New York Times Op-ed by Doug07034780891(m): 6:38am On Oct 19, 2016
Chimamanda for daring to be apt about the illiterate Bubu then get ready for your arrest once you step into Nigeria.

All your accounts will be frozen and EFCC will trace some loots to your bank accounts. Then DSS will break into that your big house at the dead of the night.

You are in trouble..see you in the other room! cool

79 Likes 2 Shares

Re: Adichie Condems Buhari's Govt In Blistering New York Times Op-ed by Akshow: 6:38am On Oct 19, 2016
Angelsss:
this is why Africa would never go forward...sycophancy has taken over us...
It was still this Adichie woman that praised Bihari last year when he won the election, saying GEJ Regime had failed her and everything crappy about GEJ ...
She's now speaking against Because her tribes people are being killed....

let's stop this behavior and stand for the truth...we need writers like her and Soyinka to preach to Nigerians to see the light... what has Adichie done to effect moral and social development? apart from loaning us extremism of feminist ideas?

what the Fulani' herdsmen are doing is so wrong... but what did you expect when you supported a fanatic?
U are still suffering from the defeat of Jonathan Mr man. Life is to short, move on. Nobody doesn't know Jonathan is a colossal failure. I think you are the Sycophant here. You expected her to support Jonathan even though he failed cos of some sentimental reasons.

34 Likes

Re: Adichie Condems Buhari's Govt In Blistering New York Times Op-ed by keypad1: 6:38am On Oct 19, 2016
Get ready to receive dss in ur house adichie

4 Likes 1 Share

Re: Adichie Condems Buhari's Govt In Blistering New York Times Op-ed by Sweetguy25: 6:39am On Oct 19, 2016
And yet when, 30 years later, in 2015, Mr. Buhari was elected as a democratic president, I welcomed it. Because for the first time, Nigerians had voted out an incumbent in an election that was largely free and fair. Because Mr. Buhari had sold himself as a near-ascetic reformer, as a man so personally aboveboard that he would wipe out Nigeria’s decades-long corruption. He represented a form of hope.

This woman is a terrible disappointment. As "enlightened" as you are Adichie, you welcomed the emergence of an ex-military dictator who almost destroyed the country?
There is no other country in this world where a former military dictator will contest and win elections twenty yearss after his exit from power except in this useless Nigeria, whilst having the backing of supposedly enlightened people.
Nigeria is the only in the world where people vote ex military dictators and we wonder why we are not progressing.

44 Likes 1 Share

Re: Adichie Condems Buhari's Govt In Blistering New York Times Op-ed by naijamerican: 6:39am On Oct 19, 2016
Powerful words from a powerful woman. Buhari is a devil.

12 Likes

Re: Adichie Condems Buhari's Govt In Blistering New York Times Op-ed by Ekeremgba(m): 6:39am On Oct 19, 2016
[quote author=LordVarys post=50316820]LAGOS, Nigeria — I was 7 years old the first time I recognized political fear. My parents and their friends were talking about the government, in our living room, in our relatively big house, set on relatively wide grounds at a southeastern Nigerian university, with doors shut and no strangers present. Yet they spoke in whispers. So ingrained was their apprehension that they whispered even when they did not need to. It was 1984 and Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari was the military head of state.

Governmental controls had mangled the economy. Many imported goods were banned, scarcity was rife, black markets thrived, businesses were failing and soldiers stalked markets to enforce government-determined prices. My mother came home with precious cartons of subsidized milk and soap, which were sold in rationed quantities. Soldiers flogged people on the streets for “indiscipline” — such as littering or not standing in queues at the bus stop. On television, the head of state, stick-straight and authoritative, seemed remote, impassive on his throne amid the fear and uncertainty.

And yet when, 30 years later, in 2015, Mr. Buhari was elected as a democratic president, I welcomed it. Because for the first time, Nigerians had voted out an incumbent in an election that was largely free and fair. Because Mr. Buhari had sold himself as a near-ascetic reformer, as a man so personally aboveboard that he would wipe out Nigeria’s decades-long corruption. He represented a form of hope.

Nigeria is difficult to govern. It is Africa’s most populous country, with regional complexities, a scarred history and a patronage-based political culture. Still, Mr. Buhari ascended to the presidency with a rare advantage — not only did he have the good will of a majority of Nigerians, he elicited a peculiar mix of fear and respect. For the first weeks of his presidency, it was said that civil servants who were often absent from work suddenly appeared every day, on time, and that police officers and customs officials stopped demanding bribes.

He had an opportunity to make real reforms early on, to boldly reshape Nigeria’s path. He wasted it.


Perhaps the first clue was the unusually long time it took him to appoint his ministers. After an ostensible search for the very best, he presented many recycled figures with whom Nigerians were disenchanted. But the real test of his presidency came with the continued fall in oil prices, which had begun the year before his inauguration.

Nigeria’s economy is unwholesomely dependent on oil, and while the plunge in prices was bound to be catastrophic, Mr. Buhari’s actions made it even more so.


He adopted a policy of “defending” the naira, Nigeria’s currency. The official exchange rate was kept artificially low. On the black market, the exchange rate ballooned. Prices for everything rose: rice, bread, cooking oil. Fruit sellers and car sellers blamed “the price of dollars.” Complaints of hardship cut across class. Some businesses fired employees; others folded.

The government decided who would have access to the central bank’s now-reduced foreign currency reserves, and drew up an arbitrary list of worthy and unworthy goods — importers of toothpicks cannot, for example, but importers of oil can. Predictably, this policy spawned corruption: The exclusive few who were able to buy dollars at official rates could sell them on the black market and earn large, riskless profits — transactions that contribute nothing to the economy.

Mr. Buhari has spoken of his “good reasons” for ignoring the many economists who warned about the danger of his policies. He believes, rightly, that Nigeria needs to produce more of what it consumes, and he wants to spur local production. But local production cannot be willed into existence if the supporting infrastructure is absent, and banning goods has historically led not to local production but to a thriving shadow market. His intentions, good as they well might be, are rooted in an outdated economic model and an infantile view of Nigerians. For him, it seems, patriotism is not a voluntary and flexible thing, with room for dissent, but a martial enterprise: to obey without questioning. Nationalism is not negotiated, but enforced.

The president seems comfortable with conditions that make an economy uncomfortable — uncertainty and disillusion. But the economy is not the only reason for Nigerians’ declining hope.

A few months ago, a young woman, Chidera, came to work as a nanny in my Lagos home. A week into her job, I found her in tears in her room. She needed to go back to her ancestral home

and they will insist the dullard is not a full.

1 Like

Re: Adichie Condems Buhari's Govt In Blistering New York Times Op-ed by OkoNDOoBo: 6:41am On Oct 19, 2016
Angelsss:
this is why Africa would never go forward...sycophancy has taken over us...
It was still this Adichie woman that praised Bihari last year when he won the election, saying GEJ Regime had failed her and everything crappy about GEJ ...
She's now speaking against Because her tribes people are being killed....

let's stop this behavior and stand for the truth...we need writers like her and Soyinka to preach to Nigerians to see the light... what has Adichie done to effect moral and social development? apart from loaning us extremism of feminist ideas?

what the Fulani' herdsmen are doing is so wrong... but what did you expect when you supported a fanatic?
How dare u pair her name with wole soyinka,even her ancestor name achebe is behind him
Wole don't need to convince anybody again, he has won the highest honour in literature.
Was jailed because of useless Biafra war.
He is a strong critics of govt,he was in Aso Rock Months ago to hold a one on One meeting with the president.
what Else do you want from him

10 Likes

Re: Adichie Condems Buhari's Govt In Blistering New York Times Op-ed by sekundosekundo: 6:41am On Oct 19, 2016
Even the birds were scammed by Buhari and APC.

17 Likes

Re: Adichie Condems Buhari's Govt In Blistering New York Times Op-ed by sotall(m): 6:41am On Oct 19, 2016
k
Re: Adichie Condems Buhari's Govt In Blistering New York Times Op-ed by brixton: 6:42am On Oct 19, 2016
Dog Buhari

4 Likes

Re: Adichie Condems Buhari's Govt In Blistering New York Times Op-ed by Pavore9: 6:42am On Oct 19, 2016
Well written!

4 Likes 1 Share

Re: Adichie Condems Buhari's Govt In Blistering New York Times Op-ed by Dandsome: 6:43am On Oct 19, 2016
Hmm. Guys chill. Just relax. You'll see some people who will come here and attack the messenger and forget the message.

14 Likes

Re: Adichie Condems Buhari's Govt In Blistering New York Times Op-ed by shamecurls(m): 6:44am On Oct 19, 2016
The literature is quite informative but glaring that it's basis is about still winning audience as the Author's profession demands. It has failed to broaden, counter and profer solutions to her highlights like an economist would have done.

It's just about pain and gain, Buhari's policies re on track though I might disagree with some which is based on personal analysis judgement. Buhari is simply breaking bends that with flex our economy.

10 Likes

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