Nigeria: President Buhari Six Years on

Published Feb. 18, 2021, 9:04 p.m. by Ibukun Olawore

It was evident that corruption and insecurity are the major afflictions battling the country before the election that brought President Muammadu Buhari into power. Insecurity, in the main, from the Boko Haram insurgency, that started in Borno state, but subsequently spread to other northern states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. Boko Haram with its unclear mission suggests western education is forbidden. Their indiscriminate attacks on places of worship, markets and villages have displaced a lot of Nigerians in the north-eastern part of the country. 

Someone would have thought that the portfolio of the former Major General fitted the mould of the character needed to fight corruption and to secure the lives and property of the people. 

President Buhari, on the assumption of office curiously chose to address three things namely, insecurity, economy and corruption out of the many items contained in his manifesto which include constitutional reform in favour of fiscal federalism.

Today, Nigerians can now make informed judgments on whether the change they desired is what Buhari’s government has delivered. In the last six years, the unemployment rate has doubled, 40.1% of the population lives in poverty and the economy has had two recessions. 

Boko Haram has become more ferocious and invidious deploying unconventional tactics and devastating villages, leaving sorrow and blood with episodic control of swathes of land in the northeast. 

The activities of Fulani herdsmen in recent years have assumed a new dimension characterized by killings, maiming, raping, kidnapping, arson and dispossession of farmers’ land. These are heinous crimes against hapless Nigerians which have remained unchecked by the federal government, institutionalizing impunity. 

There are more than 300 ethnic nationalities in Nigeria and the effective management of the diversities is imperative. It calls for a governance system that will conduct to full expression of the creative endowments of the diversities and for their deployment to national goals and objectives. The current governance system, in its centralized configuration, is inhibiting and exacerbates tension in the polity. The need for devolution of powers and responsibilities to states, as federating units, cannot be overstated. The state governors must set aside their parochial interests and see it as a patriotic duty to join in the advocacy for federalism in Nigeria.

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