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2019: An Appraisal Of The President's Performance Before Today's Election. - Politics - Nairaland

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2019: An Appraisal Of The President's Performance Before Today's Election. by Opharhe: 4:28am On Feb 23, 2019
Feyi Fawehinmi

Feb 21.

Against Sai Baba
Let me start by being upfront about my biases/feelings so no one’s time is wasted
President Buhari, by his own admission, dislikes the Nigerian elite. I consider myself, by the grace of God and sheer good luck and some hard work, to be a part of the elite (I desire that as many more people as possible can have the kind of luck and opportunities — and better — I’ve had in my own life). So the feeling is mutual — I dislike him even more than he thinks he dislikes me.
I have also grown to dislike him on a personal level. To me, his hypocrisy is glaring to see now. I recently had a small bet with a friend that Buhari won’t campaign in all the 36 states of Nigeria. To my amazement, I lost the bet (thank God it was for a small amount of money). That the man who has treated his fellow citizens with open disdain over the last 4 years could summon the energy, when it came to campaign time, to start talking to the media and touring the country, is amusing to say the least.
Even though the election on Saturday is his to lose, I’m hoping and praying he loses and is sent back to Daura to continue his retirement that was interrupted by the presidency 4 years ago.
What’s Beef?
President Buhari sees the world as it is and tries to manage it that way. This is my biggest problem with him and is why I think you should not vote for him.
A perfect summation of this was at the recent town hall meeting moderated by Kadaria Ahmed.
She asked him a question about education and his views were revealed. According to him, primary education is the responsibility of the states and so if things are going wrong there, Nigerians should shout and hold their governors. It is this world view that has turned him to the harbinger of poverty and will continue to make him so if he gets a second term.
To him, the current situation where states handle primary education and then transfer the kids upwards to the federal government to take over their education from secondary (unity schools) and then university is
how the world is. His job, therefore, is to manage things as he received them. He of course thinks that he is a better manager than other people who came before him since he is clothed in immense integrity.
But he is wrong.
The capacity of states in Nigeria to deliver primary education is wildly different. What Lagos can do is very different from what Yobe can do. Yet we know that the early years of a child’s education are the most critical and shape that child’s life forever in a way that, by the time they get to secondary and university, there is nothing the federal government can do to reverse any damage done to them. And that’s if they even get there, as I’ve written about before.
The current situation is the world as it is . But there is a strong argument that the world as it is should not be so. The federal government has better capacity and ability to mobilise resources, local and international, such that if we want every child in Nigeria — whether in Lagos or Yobe — to have the best possible start in life, the responsibility for primary education should rest on the FG or at least the FG should have a big role to play in it. That is, the world as it is should be changed . But Buhari, due to a combination of personal laziness and a chronic lack of vision, can never see this. His job is to manage things as they are and let others do their part.
Education is not the only area where this seeing the world as it is manifests in him. Consider the forex crisis which he triggered in 2015 and which eventually crippled the economy and led to a recession. Before the APC won the election, This same Emefiele, as CBN governor, had allowed the naira adjust from N159/$1 to N179/$1 and then to N199/$1 in response to the change in external circumstances. And then Buhari took over. The president went around the world proclaiming he would not ‘murder the naira’. And the naira was held at N199 while the black market was running riot and overheating.
But notice what Buhari did not do. He did not say that the naira should be N50/$1. Nope. He did not say that it should go back to N159/$1. Nope. He simply saw the world as it was when he took over and held on to it. Surely if moving from, say, N199/$1 would have killed the naira, surely taking it back to N100/$1 or lower would have given it more life? Nope. He just takes what you give him and then manages it — with integrity, of course. He cannot conceive of how things got to where they are or what the next level should be. No vision.
How about the fuel crisis that began in late 2015 and went on for months till the second quarter of 2016? Again, this was about him seeing the world as it is. I was in Nigeria in early 2016 and that fuel crisis remains the worst I have ever seen in my life. I was sitting in a restaurant with some friends when we were told to leave — at 8pm — because they wanted to turn off their generator to save fuel. Radio stations shut down at 10pm to save fuel. I was at a friend’s office when he told his staff to go home around 1pm so he could shut down the generator and save fuel.
Yet, just before APC took office, we saw Diezani Alison-Madueke as petroleum minister, use the fuel price as an election gimmick, reducing it by N10/litre. The price has no real basis in reality as it’s a government fix — it can be moved up or down for political reasons. But Buhari held on to this price like a long lost scroll recovered from the dead sea. And just like with the exchange rate, it had to be violently taken out of his hand only after so much damage had been done to the economy.
There is not a single bone in his body that believes in or understands the idea of growth. This worldview —seeing the world as it is — explains the mess he has made of the economy in the last 4 years. The Nigerian tech sector was growing fast and carried so much promise. In 2015, it needed some dynamic and visionary government collaboration to continue what Omobola Johnson had set in motion. He put Bayo Shittu in charge of it, one of the most disgusting things he has done as president. Why? Because to him the job is simply to manage what is there
as it is. Vision for the future? Nah. Growth that can unlock various other parts of the economy? Nope.
Give him a $500bn economy and 8 years later he will return a $500bn economy to you or even smaller. He’s definitely not giving you a $750bn economy let alone a $1trn one. Matthew 25:14–30 has more for those who need extra scholarship on this point. How the economy got to be $500bn in the first place (after all the economy was nowhere near that size when he was kicked out of office in 1985), is not something that concerns him. He will simply make everyone poorer since, even though he is returning the same $500bn you gave to him, there are now many more people in the country. If it’s any consolation, the new poverty will have the utmost integrity.
Consider a counterfactual. Imagine Buhari had become president in 1999. He would have seen the world as it was at the time — NITEL in bad shape — and then set about to manage it better by giving it a good dose of integrity. The liberalisation that unlocked hundreds of thousands of jobs and created new consumers out of hundreds of millions Nigerians who had never even used a phone in their life would never have happened . For someone who sees the world as it is , there is just no way for him to conceive of a world that is possible but does not currently exist. Now fast forward to today and imagine a country still battling with NITEL lines available to less than 500,000 people. It is a scary thought.
How about the pension reforms? No way. He would have seen the world as it was with government owing so many pensioners and then set about paying them their pensions little by little but with integrity. He would not have seen the reforms that transformed the idea of pensions and has been quietly solving the previous problem by giving people better security.
He would simply have managed the situation he inherited, but with integrity. And since we know that resources are finite, there will still be many owed pensioners today but they will be paid now and again.
Seeing the world as it is also explains why a big part of his re-election propaganda has been about ‘completing abandoned projects’. My good friend Tolu Ogunlesi, has even dubbed him the ‘completer general’. Of course that makes sense — his job is to manage the things handed to him, with integrity. But once you pierce through this argument, you see how limited and downright depressing it is. Eventually you run out of unfinished projects to complete.
The person who sees the world as it is has no vision for the future. The best that can be said about him is that at least this is a democracy and the most he can do is 8 years. But when such people are rewarded at the ballot box by voters, something else happens — such an outlook risks becoming orthodoxy and the ideas then outliving the person. We are already seeing this with people now coming to take a ‘sympathetic’ view of poverty as some kind of purifying experience. But there is nothing new or interesting about poverty — it is the default conditions of human beings. If a child is born and is not improved in any way with education or opportunities, he will grow up to be a poor person. Poverty is just poverty.
Nigeria as it is today is not something anyone should hope that their children inherits from them. Yes, there are many things good about the country not least the energy and talents of the people. But the country as it is is patently failing to maximise the potential. To change this requires vision — to see the country as it can be and then design ways to get there. Buhari does not even come close to being the person who can do this. If you can imagine him being in power for the next 30 years, the country will be the same as it is today with a few more pensioners paid, a few more subsidised railways finished (with some falling into disrepair) and many more people now living in poverty, but with integrity. The message will also remain the same depressing one — live within your means, go back to the farm. If you don’t like it, sign up for Express Entry and start the journey to Canada.
Many people are cynically supporting him because they view him as a gateway drug to Osinbajo as president. I wish them luck. However, is drinking bleach not too much to cure a stomach virus? Yes, the virus will almost certainly be eliminated. But…
Buhari’s worldview has no vision in it. It cannot change anything that needs changing beyond a fake ninja fight against corruption and personal integrity that breaks down every time it is stress tested. He makes his country poorer because he cannot conceive how they could be richer.
If you’re looking for another reason not to return him to power, here is one more. In the history of the world, very very few people have had the privilege to lead their country on more than one occasion. Here in Britain I can think of Gladstone and Churchill, giants of their time. In America, only Grover Cleveland has managed this feat. Once you remove countries like Chile that bar presidents from a second term (but allows non-consecutive terms), it is incredibly rare to find such people.
Buhari has now managed this and will go into the history books no matter what else happens. He joined the Army at 19 and was a Major General and leader of his country by 41. Exactly 30 years later — after doing nothing but live in retirement at the state’s expense and occasionally running for president — he finally got a second shot at leading his country, accumulating more retirement and healthcare benefits in the process. In exchange for all that his country has given him, he returns the favour by making his countrymen poorer and serving them a diet of misery and visionlessness.
Don’t feel too bad about voting him out of office on Saturday. He’s just one man and Nigeria has done more than enough for him to last several lifetimes.
Stay safe when you go out to vote.

Re: 2019: An Appraisal Of The President's Performance Before Today's Election. by seunlayi(m): 5:02am On Feb 23, 2019
This regime is just a visible failure

Re: 2019: An Appraisal Of The President's Performance Before Today's Election. by showafrica(m): 7:06am On Feb 23, 2019
Long one... Man of integrity indeed. In 2015, I was tired of GEJ and pdp but when I realized the alternative was Buhari, I just sat back in my house. No matter his integrity way back, how can I vote my grand PA to rule a country like Nigeria. Ask Buhari why he will do in the next 4 yrs, he does not know.
Re: 2019: An Appraisal Of The President's Performance Before Today's Election. by VcStunner(m): 7:08am On Feb 23, 2019

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