Editorial: Buhari is a disaster foretold!
That former President Muhammadu Buhari drove Nigeria into Golgotha for the eight years his administration lasted is no longer news, especially as he has retired to his Daura home in Katsina State, North West Nigeria.
What will resonate much longer with Nigerians is the fact that the disaster called Muhammadu Buhari was foretold well in advance but his daft followers listened with the deaf side of their ears and cheered him on until he drove the country into a ditch it may never crawl out from.
Even his most fervent followers like ace television presenter, Ms. Kadaria Ahmed (North), human rights activist, Barrister Inibehe Effiong (South South), the convener of #RevolutionNow and Publisher of Sahara Reporters, Mr. Omoyele Sowore (South West), to mention but few, have all come up openly and denounced him and his style of governance.
Others frankly acknowledged that the immediate-past Buhari-Osinbajo Government is the most atrocious civilian administration in the history of Nigeria.
A few examples of the woeful Buhari administration will suffice.
Buhari led the country without any known economic direction that further enriched the already rich or privileged few and impoverished the poor, driving 133 million Nigerians into poverty, amidst promises to lift 100 million people out of poverty.
He had unveiled his government’s plans to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty by 2030.
However, according to report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), number of Nigerians living in poverty stands at over 133 million, representing 63 per cent of the nation’s population.
For reasons yet to be fathomed, Buhari “closed the borders for those who import bags of rice on motorcycles and permitted those who use the ships”, building magical pyramids that disappeared after three days.
When he assumed power in May 2015, the Naira exchanged for 197 against the Dollar in the parallel market, but on Monday, May 29, 2023, when he vacated office, the Naira exchanged for 760 to the Dollar.
In his eight-year autocratic rule, several companies packed up or left Nigeria for greener pastures, as the “japa” reached its unprecedented high with whole families fleeing the countries after selling homes and vehicles.
BudgIT, lamenting Buhari’s 8-year rule in a report titled ‘The Economic Legacy of the Buhari Administration’, stated that the Buhari regime messed up the nation’s economy.
It said, “According to the Budget Office, between 2016 and 2022, the Buhari government raised total revenues of N26.67tn and expended N60.64tn, leaving a deficit of N33.97tn.
“The gaping hole was financed with FG domestic debt, which rose from N8.84tn as of December 2015 to N44.91tn as of June 2023, while external debt rose from $7.35bn in December 2015 to $37.2bn in June 2023.
“This excludes support provided by the Central Bank amounting to N25tn. Ultimately, President Buhari moved Nigeria’s debt profile from N12tn to N77tn.
“This has had attendant effects on debt servicing, which rose from N1.06tn in 2015 to N5.24tn as of 2022. In fact, under President Buhari’s administration, the debt-service-to-revenue ratio grew from 29% to 96%.”
In the words of Senator Shehu Sani, he left behind record inflation, record devaluation, record unemployment, record fall in Gross Domestic Products (GDP), record figures of poverty and record plunder of state resources.”
Nigeria under Buhari dropped five places in the 2022 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) index, according to Transparency International (TI). Nigeria scored 24 out of 100 points in the 2022 index during the Buhari’s administration.
For example, operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on May 16, 2022, arrested a serving Accountant General of the Federation, Mr. Ahmed Idris in connection with diversion of funds and money laundering activities to the tune of N80 billion (eighty billion Naira)!
A video appeared showing an ally of Buhari and the Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje collecting dollars believed to be bribe from a contractor marking the third episode of the Governor Ganduje dollars bribery scandal, yet Buhari extolled him and endorsed him for a second term.
The House of Representatives said it has uncovered illegal payment of N2 billion made by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, for the prosecution of some terrorism suspects during the Buhari regime, to mention but few examples.
Hundreds of millions of dollars was also widely believed by pundits and critics to have been squandered by the Government in running international propagandas (cultural violence) against defenseless citizens of Nigeria.
The Buhari regime failed to secure the lives of Nigerians with some 63,000 people killed by a combined forces of militants, including Boko Haram, the Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP), Fulani herdsmen, bandits, et al.
An international human rights organisation under the aegis of Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) said no fewer than 60,000 persons were killed in 18 Northern states of Nigeria due to insecurity.
The CDD in its report covering the North-Western states of Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara said about 14,000 people lost their lives between 2011 and 2021.
Within the same period, some 3 million persons were thrown into Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps across the country, and another 366,000 ended up as refugees in neighbouring countries.
Several thousands were kidnapped, many of who never returned to tell the tale.
Buhari was even accused of aiding/arming his tribesmen, the murderous Fulani herdsmen, who have unleashed mayhem on the Nigerian populace, killing, raping, maiming and destroying sources of livelihoods and shielding and emboldening perpetrators of mass atrocities.
There are not less than 50 major state actor conduct atrocities in Nigeria under the eight atrocious and tortuous years of Buhari and Prof. Osinbajo Government.
There were also existential threats and attacks directly unleashed on indigenous members of the Nigerian ethnic nationalities and their properties especially the Judeo-Christian-Traditionalist citizens of Old Eastern Nigeria and their counterparts in Benue, Plateau, Nassarawa, Kogi, Yobe, Kebbi, Gombe, Taraba, Adamawa, Borno, Niger and Southern Kaduna as well as some Christian parts of the South-West.
The attacks included air-bombing and mass shooting and killing of defenseless civilians in Christian communities of Kala-Balge in Borno, Numan in Adamawa, Munya and Shiroro in Niger, Southern Kaduna in Kaduna, Jos North and Jos South in Plateau, indigenous Christian/Muslim communities in Kebbi and different parts of Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, Abia, Imo and Akwa Ibom States (targeting Christians, Judaists and Traditionalists) as well as mass killing of Shiite Muslims in Zaria in Kaduna State and FCT.
Between July 2015 and November 2023, the Nigerian Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force and Defense Headquarters), the Nigeria Police Force and its crack squads, the Directorate of State Security Services and the National Intelligence Agency have been identified as atrocious security establishments.
According to the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety), “perpetration and perpetuation of mass atrocities under the watch and full weight of the above named public establishments and their elected or appointed top occupants was the trademark of the above referenced atrocious central Government in the past eight years.
“Mass atrocities are simplified as ‘large-scale and systematic violence against civilian populations and perpetration of other internationally prohibited acts or conducts such as unlawful imprisonment, unlawful killings, unlawful executions, abduction of slain victims’ bodies, extrajudicial killings, sexual violence, persecution against an identifiable group on the grounds of tribe/ethnicity and religion, enforced disappearance of persons, torture and other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health and acts of propagation and promotion of radical religion or ethnicity, etc.
“The sum-total of the above amounts to crimes against humanity, war crimes, ethnic and religious cleansing, mass murders and ‘domicide’ or systematic and indiscriminate burning or destruction of defenseless civilian homes and sacred places of worship and their symbols.”
Intersociety concluded: “Buhari ran ‘government for the destruction of easterners and Christians’”.
In the words of an analyst, if there is any iota of integrity left in the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hagues, Netherlands, the time to act is now as there is an avalanche of petitions against Buhari for crimes against humanity lying unfurled with the court waiting for action.
See below an avalanche of petitions to or at ICC: