SPECIAL EDITORIAL: It appears Pres. Buhari doesn’t understand that things have fallen apart

Most people who voted in Buhari in 2015, if asked about the situation of things at present, would say it is not a reality they had expected. Things have either been the same or gone downhill since the general elections in 2015. In Buhari’s defence, not everything he caused, but everything he had the opportunity of making better or solving but he did not. He has not.

The economy has steadily gotten worse since the general elections. This was caused largely by the global fall in the price of crude oil, Nigeria’s major and most profitable export. This expectedly affected our foreign exchange earnings. However, things would not have gotten so bad if the government had made concerted and informed efforts to arrest the situation. Buhari’s refusal to float the currency when experts had warned that the government had to do so, and the eventual floating of the currency when the economy had already begun to recede is an example of the seemingly lack of urgency with which his government operates. Foreign investors have noticed too, and they have severely restricted capital inflows into the country. A Financial Times report revealed that foreign inflows dropped by 75% in the second quarter of 2016. The handling of the economy made sure Nigeria entered its first recession in 29 years.

A factor that undoubtedly helped get Buhari elected was his stance against corruption. He promised to fight corruption in government and promote good governance. However, recent happenings within his government have proved otherwise. Several members of his cabinet have been named in corruption scandals in the past few months, but not a single one of them has been sacked or prosecuted over such allegations. His government has said these individuals will be investigated but even that seems to have gone nowhere. His government however seems to be going exclusively after members of the past government. In case he is unaware, it is hypocritical to play the ostrich when your closest advisers are accused of corruption but go after officials of the previous government with fervour for similar offences.

On security, things are not only troubling but dire. In Southern Kaduna, news of bloodshed and terror come out every other week. On Christmas Eve, when the inhabitants of Goska town in Southern Kaduna were preparing for Christmas, they were attacked by Fulani herdsmen who proceeded to murder several inhabitants, burning down houses. This would not be the first time communities in Southern Kaduna would come under attack. The only response Buhari has given to this crisis was through his spokesman who said the president cannot talk about every issue and in any case, the governor of Kaduna State was on top of the situation. The governor, however, is far from being on top of anything. Governor Nasir el-Rufai has proved wilfully incapable of dealing with the situation. It is baffling that security agents cannot be drafted in their numbers to Southern Kaduna but can be sent to stage a siege-like occupation in the South East that is, in truth, unnecessary.

These issues and many more point to the fact the things are falling apart in several places, in the economy, security-wise and even in the fight against corruption. The president’s actions and inactions are worrisome, he needs to be decisive and be on top of things. For a man who contested for the presidency a record four times, he cannot afford to leave Nigeria worse than he found it. He cannot build a legacy on nothing. Pres. Buhari needs to understand that things are not going so well, we need him to act before it gets a lot worse.

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