Timeline: This is a full list of scandals since Buhari became president

by Dolapo Adelana

The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has been plagued with a plethora of scandals since he took over the mantle of leadership on May 29, 2015.

From the delay in the appointment of cabinet members, to the padding of the 2016 budget, the Buhari administration has ironically been through one scandal after another despite having been elected on a platform of ‘change’.

Here is a full list of all the scandals so far:

May 29, 2015: On assumption of office, it took Mr. President at least six months to search the globe for ‘capable’ hands to serve as aides and ministers in his cabinet. Alas, Nigerians were shocked when the list of nominees presented by Buhari was a crop of the same old politicians who have been involved in governance for donkey years.

July 7, 2015: The poor treatment of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) was uncovered showing resident of the camps not only living in poorly managed facilities but also being underfed.

Further investigations showed that government officials were accused of diverting food items meant for the IDPs. The Human Rights Watch also alleged that camp officials and security agencies were sexually abusing female IDPs.

December 12, 2015: On this day, members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) were involved in a clash with the Nigerian Army in Zaria, Kaduna. The group, also known as the Shiites, were alleged to have made an assassination attempt on the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai. Moments later, over 300 Shiites were dead and the leader of the sect, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky was arrested, and remains in detention till date.

February 12, 2016: For the first time in the country’s history, Nigerians got introduced to the phrase, “budget padding”. The Presidency stated that it observed discrepancies in the budget it submitted to the National Assembly and the one returned to the executive.

It would be recalled that the 2016 budget also got missing at a time.

June 24, 2016: The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, and his two wives were accused of purchasing a property in Dubai. The scandal angered many Nigerians as Buratai was the Director of Army Procurement before his appointment as COAS.

August 3, 2016: Nigeria’s U-23 team were left stranded in Atlanta ahead of their opening match against Japan. The team arrived Brazil, barely five hours before the game, showing how disorganised and inefficient the government operated.

October 7, 2016: The homes of seven judges were raided in what was a sting operation carried out by operatives of the Department of State Services. The raid generated outrage as many questioned the legality of the action, which affected two justices of the Supreme Court, and five justices of the Federal High Court.

October 14, 2016: President Muhammadu Buhari during a state visit to Germany displayed misogynistic tendencies when he said First Lady, Aisha Buhari belonged “to his kitchen, his living room and the other room.”

Buhari, said this while standing beside German Chancellor, Angela Merkel. The president was reacting to an interview granted by his wife to the Hausa service of the BBC were she stated that his government had been hijacked by persons unknown to the President.

November 29, 2016: The death of Ifedolapo Oladepo at the Kano orientation camp of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) brought to the fore the negligence of officials of the scheme. Two other corps members, Elechi Chiyerom and Ukeme Monday also died at the Bayelsa and Zamfara camps respectively.

Ifedolapo’s death led President Muhammadu Buhari to order an investigation into her death.

December 4, 2016: Nigeria’s female football team, the Super Falcons which won the African Women Championship (AWCON) for the eighth time in Cameroon began their journey to getting paid their allowances and winning bonuses. The scandal was heightened when the players staged a protest to the National Assembly and the Aso Rock, Presidential Villa.

December 14, 2016: Some senators demanded the immediate resignation of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal. Lawal was accused by the Senate of being involved in a contract scam in the North-East region of the country.

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