In less than a year to go, Mr. Muhammadu Buhari will be completing his 8 years in office as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Before the 2015 election which ushered him in as the president, Nigerians had high hopes that Buhari would outperform his predecessors, and make a difference in leadership. Eventually, Buhari was given the mandate by Nigerians on the mantra of anti-corruption and integrity.
Unfortunately, the reality fell short of our expectations from the president as he failed Nigerians and the nation at large. He let down millions of Nigerians, who were hopeful that he would make the country better.
Our Expectations on Corruption:
For years, Nigeria was plagued by flagrant misappropriation of funds, which subverted our socioeconomic development. The citizens were hopeful that Buhari would fight against corruption which he arduously stressed during his campaign and reduce it drastically, but this has never been the case. The reality dawned on us and then, it became glaring that corruption had worsened under his watch, which revealed that he merely paid lip service to it.
He rolled out several anti-corruption policies which he never implemented. Public officials who were guilty of financial corruption walked away freely without any prosecution. What about the recent fuel subsidy scandal and the presidential pardon given to Joshua Dariye, who was a Governor of Plateau State, and Jolly Nyame, who was a former governor of Benue State. Both were apprehended by the EFCC for financial crimes, but their pardon got a lot of publicity, which caused a public uproar. Nigeria even moved places up on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI).
These are some of the many ways in which corruption has become rampant and persistent under the Buhari administration.
Our Expectations on the Economy:
Another expectation Nigerians had for Buhari was that he would improve the country’s economic growth and development.
Unfortunately, Nigeria’s economy was in bad shape and was on the verge of being on the rocks under his watch. We were faced with successive economic inflations and recessions. The standard of living decreased. This could be ascribed to the poor economic policies made by his administration.
Buhari made poverty reduction one of his campaign promises before the 2015 elections, but while he was in power, the country had an increased poverty rate as the chasm between the rich and the poor widened. It was recorded by the World Bank that tens of millions of Nigerians were pushed into poverty.
Despite the numerous initiatives being put in place by the Buhari-led administration to ameliorate and revive the economy, such as the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), it remained in shambles.
Our Expectations on Security:
Another expectation Nigerians had for Buhari was that he would improve the country’s security. As a former general and military head of state, people believed that with his capability and wealth of experience in warfare, he would be able to end the insurgency that was bedeviling the northern part of the country.
Unfortunately, this was not the reality. Instead, the insecurity situation became more aggravated. Despite the relative peace being enjoyed in the North-East where the Boko Haram Sect emanated from and the minimal case of bomb blasts which was commended, the insecurity in the North-West and North Central part of the country gained momentum. Kidnappings and communal invasions steadily increased under his watch. Some communities came under the control of bandits.
His administration failed to improve on strategies that would have helped in striking down the perpetrators of the incessant killings and bloodshed.
Our Expectation on Education:
Buhari once countered the Goodluck Jonathan Administration for the poor attention they gave to the educational sector. Nigerians believed that education would become a top priority if Buhari were in the upper echelon of power.
Unfortunately, the education system was in a state of topsy-turvy under his reign. It had never suffered much neglect as it did under him. There were still subsequent industrial actions by government-run tertiary institutions all over the country due to poor funding, which revealed that education doesn’t seem to be the best legacy for him.
Under his rule, several plans were rolled out meant to make public varsity education unaffordable for ordinary Nigerians. The plan was to fix tuition fees at an exorbitant rate, but the proposal was swiftly rejected by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU)