It’s a terrible mistake to compare Buhari of 1983 to present one – Baba-Ahmed

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The Director, Advocacy and Engagement of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, says Nigerians made a terrible mistake in comparing the present President Muhammadu Buhari to his old self as military Head of State.

He stated that while the Buhari that ruled from 1983 to 1985 ruled through decrees and accomplished things faster, the present one has found it difficult to operate in a democratic setting.

Baba-Ahmed, who was Buhari’s Chief Returning Officer in the 2015 Presidential election, said that the president only had a plan to clinch power but not how to use it.

According to the former INEC scribe, Buhari blamed an uncooperative legislature for his administration’s failure to achieve its plans in his first term but has still not performed better one year into his second term despite a fawning National Assembly.

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“First of all, it is a terrible mistake to compare a military Head of State who came to power through a coup and who ruled by decree. That is the Buhari of 1983 and 1985.

“Of course, it would be difficult for him to operate in a democratic environment and that was why he was fighting with the legislature and that was the legislature that was headed by his party men. But rather than collaborate with it, he ended up fighting all through.

“Now, he has a legislature that is working for him and his administration has absolutely no idea about how to deal with insecurity, economy, unemployment, about the country falling apart because those that rule the country have fallen apart and you don’t think it is your responsibility,” Baba-Ahmed said.

Baba-Ahmed added, “The truth is the main problem with President Buhari is that it has always been about him; it has always been his ambition to be elected and was elected in 2015 and he thought that was it.

“So, Nigerians should be grateful that he has become president and everything else that is not going right is not his fault; it is the fault of somebody else.

“But unfortunately, it is the same president that has continued with all his problems. If you listen to him or his people, they are always blaming the past and always recalling what he did in 1983 to 1985.

“What you did in 1983 and 1985 cannot be done now. That was when you were military Head of State. They did a coup, took over the country and had absolute power. So the understanding of a large number of Nigerians is that the man who had the iron fist because he had the power without democratic mandate is the same man whom they have given power to.

“And unfortunately, we have a leader who thinks he is the same person in 1983 to 1985 that is now leading and, therefore, he has no apology for the manner he is running the country. So the administration of Buhari has only one agenda: damage control.”

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