IN THE LINE OF FIRE

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Kekenapep –

IN THE LINE OF FIRE

President Buhari does not deserve another four years, argues Ayodele Segun

Above all qualifications and considerations, Muhammadu Buhari as a presidential candidate on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2015 election was voted for, by many Nigerians based on the belief that he is a man of integrity and Spartan disposition as opposed to the unreliable and profligate features of the Goodluck Jonathan administration.

Even though a good number of Nigerians who had some intimate knowledge of Buhari’s weaknesses took time to caution that the former military head of state was not the saint he was being painted, the average Nigerian shut his ears to such timely warning.

Three and half years down the line, Nigerians have come to realize that there was a huge mistake in bringing Buhari to power as his integrity posturing has been nothing but a farce. Keen observers of events and record keepers in these years of his governance can readily attest to the catalogue of his lies at one time or the other.

Buhari’s main opponent in the February 16 presidential election, Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) may not be a saint, but he would certainly not tell the kind of lies President Buhari has told Nigerians to bring himself to power and has kept telling in other to sustain himself in power.

Beginning with his intent to participate in the 2015 election, Buhari told Nigerians at the earliest stage in 2014 that he was so poor that he had to take loan to buy his presidential nomination form. By this posturing, he had tried to make Nigerian masses believe that he was on their side and certainly not one of the beneficiaries of looting in the public space. If Buhari was as poor as he painted his situation, how could he have maintained his two children who were undergraduates in a United Kingdom university? Who was paying their huge tuition in foreign currency?

President Buhari, prior to his election in 2015 and even now in office, keeps advertising his self-assumed austere lifestyle ostensibly to cajole less discernible Nigerians to believe that he is not corrupt. So how can he explain the luxuriant lifestyle of his family? In 2017 his son Yusuf was involved in an accident with a motorbike that has market value of about $157,000 according to media reports. How did the young man get such amount to buy motorbikes? If Buhari’s integrity and anti-corruption posturing is anything to go BY, charity should have begun from his house.

In his presidential speech to mark Nigeria’s independence anniversary in 2018, Buhari had told Nigerians that efforts were on course in the Niger Delta to clean up polluted lands. As I write nothing tangible has been done two years after the Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo flagged off the Ogoni clean-up. The Ogoni issue is a clear case of deceit by an administration, which had promised to right the wrongs of the past particularly in the Niger Delta region.

Also, the same President Buhari had told Nigerians in his Independence Day message that the conflict between herders and farmers was being addressed decisively. How could he have made such a volte face when in June, 2018 during his visit to Plateau State after herdsmen killed hundreds of Nigerians there, he had said that “there is nothing I can do to help the situation except to pray.” If President Buhari is sincere with his Independence Day assertion that the conflict was being addressed, let him tell Nigerians how many of the perpetrators of such heinous crime have been arrested and prosecuted. What evidential measures are on ground to forestall recurrence?

The suspension of hostility in the area for now is not because Buhari’s administration has taken any serious steps to nip the crisis in the bud but arguably to allow elections hold before they renew the attack. The innocent citizens of the Middle Belt should not rejoice yet as the masterminds and supporters of the organized unprovoked attacks are still very much around.

On the issue of corruption, it is evident that Buhari’s Independence Day assertion that his administration “is making progress in the fight against corruption is only but a hypocrisy. Otherwise what has been the level of prosecution of those who have been investigated and have cases to answer? If his administration is making progress as claimed, let him tell Nigerians in what direction. Is it by welcoming into the APC fold politicians accused of corrupt practices like Senator Godswill Akpabio, Musiliu Obanikoro and others whose cases were dropped as soon as they defected to APC? Obanikoro was the “courier” of the multi-billions delivered to Ayodele Fayose for the 2014 governorship elections in Ekiti State.

The former Minister of State, Defence who was wanted by Buhari’s administration in 2015 to face criminal charges has since become a saint because he defected to APC. He is now being used as prosecution witness against Fayose. Is that the progress Buhari is making in the fight against corruption?

Two years after the former Secretary to the Federal Government (SFG) Babachir Lawal was accused of corruptly enriching himself by diverting money meant for internally displaced persons, it was only a few days ago that the government has woken up to announce his trial in the court after much pressure from the public. The same thing goes for the former Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) Ayodele Oke in whose wife’s (Folashade) apartment about $43.45million was found. Why would it take such a long time to arraign them and how are we sure the trial would even proceed to the end before this administration leaves office?

President Buhari also lied to Nigerians in his Independence Day broadcast when he stated that “as president I will continue to work tirelessly to promote, protect and preserve what really matters.” The truth as evident from his actions and inactions in the last three and half years is that never has Nigeria been more divided than what we have now because Buhari continues to appoint mostly Northern Muslim Fulanis to sensitive national positions without regard to the constitutional requirement of federal character.

With the exception of Chief of Naval Staff and Chief of Defence Staff, all other service chiefs including the Inspector-General of Police, heads of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Nigeria Immigration Service, Nigeria Customs Service, Nigeria Security & Civil Defence Corps, Department of State Service and so on are Northern Fulani Muslims.

By these appointments, Buhari has demonstrated that he is out to protect and promote Northern Fulani Muslims interest over and above the general interest of all Nigerians. He has implicit confidence in his ethnic cum religious brothers with absolute distrust in others even when he has sworn to an oath of office, pledging to be impartial in the discharge of the functions of his office.

With regard to the economy, Buhari in his Independence Day speech told Nigerians that “there is now an enabling environment for local and foreign investment in Nigeria.” This is not true as there is capital flight in Nigeria. In 2013-2014 Nigeria was number one in the list of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Africa but in 2018, the country was not even among 10 highest recipients.

Segun, a development analyst, wrote from Ado-Ekiti


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