By Ehi Ekhator
The President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari may be asking for absolution from Nigerians through his ongoing choice to the youth of the nation.
Buhari is a retired major general in the Nigerian Army and was the former Nation’s head of state in 1983-1985 after taking power in a military coup d’etat and now, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The president is known to “take it by force”,as he has never appealed for anything and two things place him in that position. One as a military officer, a known military despot and a Muslim whose ego is taller than his stature.
The programmed democrat was confirmed on May 29, 2015, and since his assumption, the country’s concern intensified and the President, just like 1983, faulted his antecedent, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.
The economy was steered into the rocks and floated into recession, the division amongst Muslims and Christians expanded, herdsmen become more powerful and death recorded in every part of the nation with the President staying quiet and unconcerned.
In two events, Buhari, in his typical style casts the fault on the youth. In February 2016, Buhari told the New Telegraph, UK that Nigerians were hoodlums and they are profoundly rejected for their high criminal records.
“Some Nigerians claim is that life is too difficult back home, but they have also made it difficult for Europeans and Americans to accept them because of the number of Nigerians in prisons all over the world accused of drug trafficking or human trafficking,” he told The Telegraph.
“I don’t think Nigerians have anybody to blame. They can remain at home, where their services are required to rebuild the country.”
While talking at the Commonwealth Business Forum in Westminster in April 2018, Buhari likewise pointed the finger at Nigerian youth after failing to fulfil one of his campaign promises where he said that each jobless Nigerians will be paid N5000 stipend.
The President said Nigerians like to do nothing since they feel Nigeria is an oil-rich country. According to Buhari, a considerable number of young Nigerians have not been to school, yet they want everything free.
Buhari said “Nigeria has young population and our population is estimated conservatively to be 180m. More than 60 per cent is below the age of 30 and a lot of them haven’t gone to school and they are claiming that Nigeria has been an oil producing country, therefore, they should sit and do nothing, get housing, healthcare, education free. “
As a young and energetic military head of state, he also had this tendency, a development that necessitated one of the late Afrobeat maestro, Fela’s popular hits: “My people are useless, my people are senseless, my people are undisciplined.” Thus, when at the start of his government in 2015, he held a meeting in London with a former British Prime Minister, David Cameron, who had earlier described Nigeria (not Nigerians) as fantastically corrupt and Buhari’s opinion was sought, he merely stamped Cameron’s position and asked to be refunded loots stashed away in the United Kingdom. He also once made a snide remark at his wife for openly criticising him, saying she belonged to “the other room”, among others.
Nigerians have kept on blaming their President for taking credits for the uncompleted projects of Jonathan’s administration. Some say the President hasn’t conceived an idea while the Presidency stays firm to its argument that Nigeria can’t be resuscitated in 3 years subsequent to being obliterated for 16 long periods of the Peoples Democratic Party’s government.
As the 2019 Presidential race approaches, Buhari’s pressure expands. On Nigerian democracy day, May 29 2018, the President was questioned by Reno Omokri who was an aide to Jonathan, over the rundown of accomplishments in his May day speech. Nigerians likewise responded depicting his purported achievements as a “heap of untruths” while Omokri saluted the President for entering the Guinness Book of record for the most lie President in the history of the nation.
As Buhari loses his trust in the hands of his kin and now at loggerhead with the National Assembly, he is making move to apologize to Nigerians without hurting his ego.
For a man who hasn’t asked for anything or complied with the rule of law, most likely once in his life, is connecting as the 2019 Presidential election approaches. Is first move was to sign the “Not Too Young To Run Bill” which, by the way, he has declined to execute.
African Democratic Congress, ADC, threatened to drag President Muhammadu Buhari to court for shifting the effective date for the implementation of the Not Too Young to Run bill signed into law by the President last week.
The National Publicity Secretary of ADC, Chief Anayo Arinze, in a statement said: “We see the executive restraining order of Mr. President as a continuation of his inglorious rating of Nigerian youth as lazy, immature and uneducated.
“The ADC shall raise a legal team to study the new Not Too Young to Run law, law vis-à-vis the President’s shifting of the effective date of the implementation of the law to 2023.
On the 6th of June, 2018, Buhari likewise appealed to the Yoruba race, again, without giving it away by directing that, with effect from 2019, Nigeria’s Democracy Day, which is denoted each May 29, be moved to June 12 to Honor Moshood Abiola, the winner of the 1993 presidential race.
The Buhari government said Mr Abiola will now be conferred with nation’s highest honour, the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic, GCFR. The honour is exclusively conferred only on presidents and former presidents.
Also to receive a GCON is late Nigeria’s foremost pro-democracy activist, Gani Fawehinmi.
Buhari said “For the past 18 years, Nigerians have been celebrating May 29th, as Democracy Day. That was the date when for the second time in our history, an elected civilian administration took over from a military government. The first time this happened was on October 21st, 1979. But in the view of Nigerians, as shared by this Administration, June 12th, 1993, was far more symbolic of Democracy in the Nigerian context than May 29th or even the October 1st,” a statement by the presidency said Wednesday.
“June 12th, 1993 was the day when Nigerians in millions expressed their democratic will in what was undisputedly the freest, fairest and most peaceful elections since our Independence. The fact that the outcome of that election was not upheld by the then military Government does not distract from the democratic credentials of that process.
“Accordingly, after due consultations, the Federal government has decided that henceforth, June 12th will be celebrated as Democracy Day. Therefore, Government has decided to award posthumously the highest honour of the land, GCFR, to late Chief MKO Abiola, the presumed winner of the June 12th 1993 cancelled elections. His running mate as Vice President, Ambassador Baba Gana Kingibe, is also to be invested with a GCON. Furthermore, the tireless fighter for human rights and the actualization of the June 12th elections and indeed for Democracy in general, the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi SAN is to be awarded the GCON.
“The investiture will take place on Tuesday, June 12th, 2018, a date which in future years will replace May 29th as a National Public Holiday in celebration of Nigeria Democracy Day.”
His ongoing move may catch some aggrieved Yoruba race who complained they have been sidelined by the present administration.
However, the present presidency may have failed in all implications, it might be sufficiently shrewd to interest Nigerians by granting what they had constantly needed. The President may soon appeal to different locales obviously.
Inflation is gnawing hard, joblessness is in the high, insecurity it’s more than ever, Nigeria now one of the third most appalling countries to live on the planet, corruption intensifies under the Buhari’s administration, selective prosecution, political terrorism (intimidation), high rate of nepotism and above all, narrow mindedness borne out of intolerance are quantities of sicknesses endured by Nigerians up until this point, however the President may, in any case, win the 2019 general election on the off chance that he keeps on sneaking on Nigerians with aberrant interests or “a beg for forgiveness”
Ehi Ekhaor is a UK based freelance Journalist and he is the publisher at Naija Center News published by Teldems Communication Limited.
He can be reached at [email protected]