By Amiru Halilu
“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” – Abraham Lincoln.
When insecurity and ineptitude became the hallmark of former President Jonathan’s administration, Nigerians opted for a greener pasture in APC in 2015. People hoped that the candidate featured by the then major opposition party, APC, would be a leader with a big picture and capacity to overcome the deep-seated insecurity that bedevilled the country. Why? He depicted himself as someone, who was actuated by altruistic desire. But, sadly, President Buhari has never been that someone.
In less than one year in office, his ineptitude and lack of competence became apparent. At present, Nigerians feel like a lost cause, trapped in a lacklustre, ennui, directionless and uninspiring leadership. We have been bearing the brunt of his gross incompetence, cluelessness and nonchalant attitude towards compelling issues and burning problems. Nigerians now feel what it means to have a president who is so wildly unable to fulfil his responsibilities.
To Buhari, being a president is just to occupy the highest office in the land, chairing executive council meetings, delivering empty speeches, sitting at the comfort of the presidential Villa while assenting to bills that have nothing to do with citizen’s well-being, junketing from one country to another dissipating our little resources and wooing ghost investors. These are the major duties Buhari has been performing as a president and the requirements of being a president in his school of thought.
From the day former President Jonathan and President Buhari were inaugurated as the fourth and fifth democratically elected president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, ‘competence’ got missing from the country’s leadership code. What do I mean by “competence?” The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as “the ability to do something successfully or efficiently.” What has Buhari done impeccably to distinguish himself from his predecessor? Virtually nothing! To some extent, he ends up making his predecessor a hero in the eyes of many.
Nigeria is technically at war yet, we have an intellectually handicapped president, who doesn’t even have accurate information of what is happening around the nation, who cannot do serious preparation of any kind, who has hollowed out the government, filled critical posts with lackeys and selfish money-grubbers, and who has taken governance like sophomoric kid stuff. Buhari has been behaving like a president of the most peaceful nation on earth, where citizens go to bed with their two eyes closed.
What is the essence of a president under whose stewardship the country becomes a shrink tree with dead branches. Anything that will make Nigeria a subject of ridicule in the comity of nations is happening under this amateurish government. So many embarrassing events that had caused the resignation of government officials in live and breathing countries had already occurred in this lethargic and non-functional regime yet, no one was sacked because the president is grossly incompetent; he accommodates mediocre and appreciates mediocrity.
Buhari’s leadership is characterised by disappointment, uncertainty, instability — occasion by emotional trauma, grief, sorrow and misery. The only dividend his administration is paying to Nigerians is precious living. The most disastrous event now in Nigeria is travelling by road. His so much indifference to the burning topic of the day — insecurity had set off a wave of opportunities for high-profile criminals to graduate from armed robbery to kidnapping.
Travellers are unsure of getting to their final destination without being kidnapped and taken to the bush in exchange for ransom. Just as other countries are progressing in other walks of life, ours is vice-versa. Northern Nigeria is about to be taken over by armed bandits and other terrorist groups, and Buhari is leaving a dangerous vacuum filled by increased attack after attack after attack! Incessant killings are gradually becoming a daily routine in northern Nigeria.
Education, the backbone of any developed society, is under a serious threat as many schools were compelled to close down owing to a series of kidnappings. Farming, the only recourse to abject penury, was since crippled by gruesome murders. Most of the farmers who have access to their farms have met the demands of the armed bandits operating in their respective areas.
When a nation had a nominal commander in chief, it’s doom.
Amiru Halilu writes from Kaduna and can be reached through firstname.lastname@example.org or @AmiruHalilu.