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|A Failure In Power by kennysoftSTUDIO(m): 1:40pm On Jun 23, 2021|
NIGERIA’S UNDER PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI GOVERNMENT
In 2015, Muhammadu Buhari was elected president of Nigeria, a country sometimes touted as Africa’s largest democracy, if only in name. Buhari defeated Goodluck Jonathan, whose major achievement during his tenure as president was leading the nation in becoming Africa’s largest economy. But Jonathan’s failures in national security—including the notorious kidnapping of 276 girls from a secondary school in Chibok in April 2014 by the terrorist group Boko Haram—proved disastrous for his political future. Buhari, a former military general, ran and was at least partially chosen by a majority of voters due to his promise to end security issues in areas of conflict, notably in the country’s northern region.
Seven years after the Chibok kidnapping, 112 of the girls are still missing. In fact, the Wall Street Journal reported in March that since last December, more than 800 children have been abducted in the country, a majority in Nigeria’s north and northeast. For the kidnappers, called bandits in the country, many request ransoms, sometimes as much as 500 million naira (approximately $1 million).
A 312-page report recently released by the International Committee on Nigeria and the International Organization for Peace Building and Social Justice has detailed how Boko Haram’s offensive and attacks by Fulani herdsmen have left tens of thousands of Nigerians dead in what is tantamount to religious genocide and ethnic cleansing. Buhari, who is from the north, in a nation where its north-south split is erroneously used as a proxy for its religious and ethnic differences and tensions, has undeniably failed to keep his security promises.
Buhari has failed to expand the economy, reduce the country’s dependency on oil, and follow through on his anti-corruption pledges.
Yet security is just one among this administration’s many deficiencies. Buhari has failed to expand the economy, reduce the country’s dependency on oil, and follow through on his anti-corruption pledges. Indeed, he may be presiding over the least effective government since Nigeria’s independence from Britain in 1960. Sadly, the current state of the country under Buhari was eminently foreseeable based on his political past.
the presidency as if it were his birthright, Buhari finally obtained it and, for the past six years, has demonstrated what most right-thinking Nigerians knew all along: He does not have what it takes to do the job.
His incoherent protectionist economic policies have sparked increasing inflation that, as of April, is at an annual rate of 18 percent, the highest it has been since January 2017. Under Buhari, in 2018, Nigeria overtook India as the country with the largest number of people living in extreme poverty. As of last year, that meant 40 percent of the population—82 million Nigerians—was living in extreme poverty. Last month, Bloomberg reported that Nigeria would soon become the country with the highest jobless rate. In a nation where “jobless” is a joking reference to people who are not busy enough and therefore attentive to trivial matters, its connotation will surely cease to be funny moving forward.
THE END SARS ISSUE
Moreover, parts of Nigeria are no safer now than in 2015; in truth, many are less secure due to the government’s failures at combating extremism coupled with an increase in poverty. The state’s response to the #EndSARS protests last October that galvanized global support to end police brutality in the country was a reflection of the nation’s leader: Protests in the country were met with violence by Nigeria’s armed forces toward protesters and onlookers alike, and threats were made by state and city officials, as well as Buhari, who implied that such dissent threatened the country’s stability. And in the end, judicial inquiries set up to investigate the events of last October were little more than a charade that failed to hold perpetrators of violence accountable.
Buhari has shown that he has neither the skill nor the courage nor the will to lead a country as complex as Nigeria.
THE NIGERIAN MISERY INDEX
According to the Misery Index, Nigeria is among the top ten saddest countries in the world, no thanks to its high level of unemployment (Q3-2018: 23.1%) and stubbornly high inflation (April 2019: 11.37%).
In the sphere of economics, misery tends to flow from high inflation, high borrowing costs, and unemployment. The most effective way to mitigate that misery is economic growth.
Nigeria’s Misery Index: Extending the concept of the Misery Index to Nigeria’s geopolitical zones revealed that the inhabitants of the South-West are the happiest, led by Osun state with an index estimate of 10.33. Despite being the money belt of the nation due to its oil deposits, the South-South region comes in as the most miserable region (led by Akwa Ibom state) with an index estimate of 20.58. This is because the region has a considerably higher rate of unemployment (c.30.58%) relative to other regions. It also explains the persistent restiveness in the region in response to perceived marginalization by the government.
UNEMPLOYMENT RATE IN NIGERIA
Unmanageable inflation growth is a challenge but just one among the red data the economy is grappling with. Unemployment (plus underemployment) also reached an all-time high of above 55.7 per cent last year just as the weak naira is crushing the purchasing power of an average citizen daily.
CONCLUSION OF MY OPINION
Buhari has shown that he has neither the skill nor the courage nor the will to lead a country as complex as Nigeria. He also does not have the values. Buhari has long faced allegations that he is an ethnocentric and religious bigot for, among many reasons, his lackadaisical handling of the Fulani herdsmen crisis (he is Fulani); his decision to address a linguistically diverse nation in Hausa, a language predominantly spoken in the north; and, by his own confession after his 2015 electoral win, his admission in a small press meeting in the United States that he would address the needs of citizens based on how regions in the country voted.
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