PMB Dwindling Political Fortune: How Fantastically Unbelievable Campaign Promises Unmade Buhari

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By Tom FredFish

Before the 2015 general elections, to many Nigerians and the international community, President Muhammadu Buhari was the most qualified politician with the Midas touch to transform Nigeria’s socio-political and economic fortune that has made the country a laughing stock among nations especially the embarrassing security situation occasioned by the continuous onslaught by Boko Haram in the north east of Nigeria.

Overwhelmed by these and many other incubus problems, Nigerians easily bought the bait when President Buhari and his political party, the All Progressive Congress, APC, dangled the “Change” mantra to them making numerous promises that many jubilate that ‘the messiah’ had finally come.

But unknown to Nigerians who hoped that the coming government will wave a magic wand and make all the problems disappear, President Buhari was never prepared to govern Nigeria because his victory over Dr. Goodluck Jonathan of the PDP was unexpected and swift.

According to a public affairs analyst, Mr. Jim Lawson Moses, “it took president Buhari about seven months to appoint his “saint” ministers who ‘are without any allegation of fraud’ and the president rather than fix the nation’s bleeding economy, was apportioning blames and globetrotting for almost one year of his four years in office, spending the little resources that Nigeria is left with abroad and returning back with little or no result from his missions.”

Buhari’s campaign promises as enunciated by Vanguard newspaper on May 28, 2015 covers a wide variety of subjects such as politics and governance; security and conflict resolution; national unity and social harmony; economy and infrastructure base on the economy; agriculture; oil and gas; social and capital human development of education; healthcare; and youth, sports and culture.

But thirty one (31) months down the line, President Buhari has not been able to fulfil one out of the many fantastically unbelievable campaign promises. A breakdown of the above subjects has the president promising to make the naira equivalent to the United States of America dollar. Nigerians were happy about the pronouncement because the country’s economy is an import dependent one but when Buhari assumed office, he initiated some wrong policies that backfired and saw the naira which stood at 195 to a dollar jumping to over 500 naira to a dollar and currently stands at 385 naira to a dollar. This increase brought about devastating effect to Nigeria’s economy as prices of commodities as well as food items /agricultural products witness an astronomical increase bringing about untold hardship to Nigerians.

Buhari promised good governance by upholding the rule of law but did not live to his words. He violated the rights of Sambo Dansuki, Nnamdi Kanu and many others who were granted bail by the courts – detaining them unconstitutionally. He also abused his office when he went against the federal character principles and appointed numerous persons from his geopolitical area as well as family members and cronies. He also deflated the principles of separation of powers when he approved the invasion of the houses of judges at night on trump on evidence without recourse to the rule of rule.

Through the instrumentality of the EFCC which is under the total control of president Buhari, the EFCC is being used to molest and harass members of the opposition PDP for being corrupt as Buhari corruption war seems to be targeted at and limited to only members of the PDP and the Jonathan administration. More so, people who were previously charged for corruption under PDP and who defects to the ruling APC automatically becomes saint and are free from arrest and prosecution. Analyst say these acts of the president are well intended to muzzle the opposition because the president is a man that lacks tolerance for opposition.

More troubling is the fact that president Buhari war against corruption has nosedived because the president has continued to protect persons found to be closer to him or his administration from prosecution and the country’s anti-corruption agencies has not earned any jail term for those arrested for corruption almost three years now.

President Buhari promised to revamp all the country’s refineries under one year and ensure the reduction of fuel price but on assuming office, the president increased fuel price by over 100 percent from 87 naira where the PDP left it to about 145 naira per litre. As at today, the price of fuel in most parts of the country are from 220 to 350 naira per litre. The lingering fuel crisis seems to have overwhelmed, enveloped and boxed the president who promised to revamp the oil sector and reduce fuel price in his first year in office to a corner of slitheryness, numbness and muteness.

Another area which has kept Nigerians appalled are the promises made by the president that he would place every graduate on salary for a year after their mandatory NYSC and would provide jobless Nigerians with about 5 million jobs per year. But this is not to be so as the president has acted amnesia on the issue of mandatory salary for graduates and instead of Nigerians gaining employment promised, thousands of Nigerians have lost their jobs. Recently, the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, noted that about 450, 000 thousand Nigerians have lost their jobs in the last one year.

Buhari’s continuous claim on forthrightness was recently placed on scrutiny due to his intentions to buy arms to fight Boko Haram. The disturbing information is due to the fact that the president celebrated the corrosive effect of the military over Boko Haram which was declared technically dead by the APC and the Nigerian Military. But these celebration seems to have waned down as bombings in Maiduguri is still the order of the day. Scores of innocent citizens have died as the group continues to gain momentum. The president who promised to crush Boko Haram in the first three months in office noted his intentions to use about $1 billion from the sovereign wealth fund to buy weapons to fight terrorist it declared dead many months ago.

The many unachievable and fantastically unbelievable campaign promises of president Buhai has yawned out many implications. Firstly, it has exposed the president and the APC penchant for expertize use of propaganda to exploit Nigerians who craves for genuine change and development. It has also brought to light the fact that Buhari lacks the requisite capacity and clue on how to move Nigeria forward and that the foundation of the APC administration is built on false hope hence nothing good can be achieved by this administration. The continuous flops by president Buhari has further opened the eyes of Nigerians on the propriety or otherwise of supporting someone whose only credential to the office of the president was ‘discipline’ rather than someone who has superlative experience and practical template for solving Nigeria’s avalanche problems.

It is, therefore, safe to conclude that a country like Nigeria with over 220 million people does not need a president that lacks a twenty-second century ideas to move the country forward but one that understands time and can propel the engines of Nigeria’s economy highly – cultivating on the advantages brought forward by globalization to make the most populous black nation of the world a state to reckon with.

Until then, President Mohammadu Buhari is not only a misfit for president, he is not just the man for the job come 2019. As the late Bob Marley once said, “you can fool some people sometimes but you can’t fool all the people all the time.” Nigerians are wise now.

_Tom FredFish is a public affairs analyst and the Managing Partner of Fishbone Brandyte International_

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