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Buhari: Why Nigerians are angry

Olakunle Olafioye

The call on President Muhammadu Buhari by some Nigerians not to seek reelection in 2019 has been described as a major indication of the increasing anger by Nigerians against the president who was believed to have won the 2015 presidential election on the strength of the goodwill he enjoyed from Nigerians.

Although the president is yet to make an official pronouncement as far as the 2019 presidential election is concerned, analysts believe that some events in the last few months, particularly the re-appointment of the Minister of Transport and former governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi as director of his 2019 presidential election campaign, is the strongest indication of the president’s second term ambition.

With the picture of the president coming out to seek a reelection in 2019 becoming clearer, some Nigerians in the last few weeks have openly called on the president to perish the idea, claiming that the massive goodwill, which ensured his victory in 2015 had waned drastically and replaced with resentments from Nigerians.

A legal practitioner, Ugwumadu Malachy, though contended that the claim of growing resentment against the president was subjective, he attributed the dwindling popularity of the President to the inability of his government to speedily address the challenges inherited from the previous administration.

“It is subjective to say there is a growing resentment against the president. You will recall that in 2015 there was high expectation arising from the abysmal failure of PDP-led government in the hand of Dr Goodluck Jonathan. That created a vacuum that needed to be filled and it was expected that Buhari would speedily address those challenges. That alone meant that the expectation was not just high, Nigerians were desperate to see it fulfilled instantaneously. The general disposition is that he has goodwill. That goodwill needed to be matched with actions and quickly. But he started dissipating the goodwill when he didn’t respond as speedily as the Nigerian people needed.

“The question is: do you begin to chastise a government that is taking its time particularly when they said they didn’t know that the looting of the treasury and the desecration of the system was that high? In a sense that is an indictment on them for making all the promises they made when they had not ascertained the detailed fact. A government that took six months to deal with just composition of government functionaries should have known that in the desperation of Nigerians that they didn’t have the luxury of time.”

Ugwuamadu, while noting that the economy determines the presence and functionality of a government in any society, said the failure of the government to fulfill its promises in the areas of job creation and security of lives and property of the people might have contributed to the anger in the country. “The economy is what determines whether a government is first in place and secondly, whether it is functional. Now from those two perspectives, you will recall the very serious promise about job creation and so on. All of those constitute the welfare of the Nigerian people.

“The second important element is security. The welfare of the people and security of lives are primary purpose of the government. The jobs are not trickling in as they claimed. Security wise, as they are plugging the holes in the North-east, the bubble are bursting almost simultaneously in other parts of the country. People are getting killed daily, allegedly by herdsmen and we are all romanticizing, without putting in actions in terms of deterrent and punishment for those perceived to have done that,” he said.

“And what is more? You just woke up one day and said there is no need for the restructuring of the country. That kind of statement is not sensitive. You might not personally believe in it just as some of us are convinced that some of the protagonists of restructuring don’t even mean what they are saying. But in actual sense of it, you need to listen to the reality of the Nigerian state,” Ugwumadu also pointed out.

He, however, expressed the view that the situation was not entirely hopeless and urged the President to sit up and assert himself. “People voted for Buhari because they saw integrity, they saw a strength of character, they saw determination to at least fix the collapsed structure and saw raw determination drawn from his antecedent to right the wrongs.

But when all these are not happening; jobs are lost in droves, lives are becoming short, brutish and  nasty, which precisely is what cost Jonathan his presidency arising from the incidence of Boko Haram, apart from his very weak position on corruption, people will begin to reconsider their options,” he said.

Also speaking on the development, a former presidential candidate, Dr Chekwas Okorie described the dwindling popularity of the president among Nigerians as a reflection of the suffering in the country. Okorie also identified the growing insecurity arising from killings in parts of the country as another reason for Nigerians’ resentment against the president.

“The anger on display is a reflection of the situation in the country.  Buhari came with a profile of integrity and uprightness. And during his inauguration, he gave everybody the hope that he was for everybody and was for nobody. But his administration, as you can see, has carried on with the highest degree of nepotism promoted by him.

“It is not a question of the most things going to the North; it is about the most things going to the Fulani of the North.  Aside that, the average Nigerian is suffering more than he had suffered before. There is so much anguish in the land and he doesn’t seem to bother about it. There have been suggestion everywhere on how things can get better but he doesn’t seem to care. Killings in Nigeria now can only be likened to what is happening in Rwanda. It is insulting and provocative to hear that he is going for a second term,” Okorie said.


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Posted by on Jan 14 2018. Filed under General Politics, Muhammadu Buhari (1983-85), Presidency. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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