As reactions continues to pour in after Present Buhari’s declaration. Ebikapade Amasuomo, a researcher and co-founder of Africa Future Matters has called on President Buhari to shelved the idea of seeking re-election in 2019. Amasuomo said:
Former President Obasanjo brought some level of stability to Nigeria between 1999 and 2007. Nigeria grew under his administration and the nation made enormous progress. The many years of military rule pre 1999, had seen Nigeria heavily indebted to international lenders such as the Paris Club and World Bank. Baba Iyabo quickly got to work after he was sworn in, he invited Nigerian technocrats from far and wide to help move the economy forward. Around mid 2006, the tremendous work by Obasanjo’s economic team had paid off, Nigeria secured a debt pardon of over 50% while the remaining debt was paid off in full (Paris Club).
Nigeria attracted enormous international investment under Obasanjo. The former President attracted respect and admiration from the international community. High profile foreign Heads of States including: the then President of the United States, Bill Clinton; then British Prime Minister, Tony Blair; Japanese Prime Minister, Yoshiro Mori; President of the World Bank and IMF, all visited Nigeria. Nigeria held world events such as: All Africa Games, Miss World, African Cup of Nations. People were proud to be Nigerians once again. Multiple airlines were jostling for Nigeria’s airspace. Nigerians welcomed the Internet and cell phone operation.
Ebikapade Amasuomo added that, although Yar’Adua was sickly, the man demonstrated love for the country. Militancy in the Niger Delta was rife, a problem he inherited from Obasanjo, rather than dwell forever on blame games, he got on with the job of finding a lasting solution. He declared amnesty and pressured Niger Delta leaders to convince their folks into accepting amnesty, the programme was a success and Nigeria did well economically.
Jonathan took over and despite allegations of corruption, Nigeria and Nigerians prospered. The nation became the biggest economy in Africa, ordinary Nigerians had food on their table. workers minimum wage was increased to 18,000 Naira. There were multiple scholarships for indigent students. Nigeria witness an unprecedented influx of foreign investors including several automakers. Farmers were encouraged with loans and fertilisers, Youths were supported with entrepreneurial schemes. Almajiris were taken off the streets. There were multiple rail projects, airports remodelling across the country. Nigerian Navy built its first locally made defence ship. Markets women were happy, Nigeria became the happiest nation in the world. Nigerians bought fuel cheaply in petrol stations, there were less armed robberies and kidnapping. People slept with their two eyes closed, apart from the northeast where Boko Haram was allowed to fester. The Jonathan administration was far from perfect but Nigerians now long for those days.
Between 29th of May, 2015 and December of the same year, President Buhari had managed to reverse all gains made under Obasanjo, Yar’Adua and Jonathan. Fulani herdsmen are now the fastest killers of Nigerians, herdsmen conduct their killing business with complete immunity. The president’s economic policies and body language drove foreign investors out of the country. Terrible policies aimed at restricting dollar transactions made life unbearable for Nigerians and businessmen whilst at the same time, dollars were released for christian and muslim pilgrimage. Students intending to travel abroad for studies could not do so due to lack of forex.
The so called fight against corruption is restricted to members of the main opposition party. Medical tourism is now the order of the day. Exchange rates has increased by over 50%. Petrol scarcity still lingers and even when products becomes available, Nigerians pay much more than the official price. Boko Haram terrorist are waxing stronger. Nigerians now take their own lives due to hunger, armed robbers are more daring than ever before, kidnapping is on the rise.
Nothing is working under this administration. Nigerians are fleeing their country at an unprecedented rate. Ask a Nigerian for money, their reply “under this Buhari’s Government” as if to suggest that this is the worsts they have seen in decades. IDPs are completely at the mercy of international organisations, they have been completely abandoned by the government of the day. The list of reasons why president Buhari shouldn’t seek re-election are endless.
The only visible achievement of this administration include: the release of Dapchi and Chibok girls and encouragement to farmers. Any sane Nigerian who wishes to look beyond ethnic sentiment will completely agree with me that since the return of democracy in 1999, President Buhari’s administration has been the worst.
We must embrace the truth as a nation, all the points raised above are visible facts that cannot be disputed as at today. It is a pity that the average northerner cannot look beyond ethnic and religious sentiment. It beats my imagination why anyone should be rooting for president Buhari after all the pain and suffering unleashed on Nigerians.
We need a progressive minded president irrespective of tribe, ethnicity and religion. If another northerner is elected and he performs brilliantly, Nigerians will care less, if he seeks re-election. All we are asking for, is a president that will turn Nigeria into a large scale construction site. A president that will build 10 lane roads; massive railway infrastructure; massive funds into Nigerian universities; earmark enormous funds into research, innovation, engineering and IT. Nigeria needs a progressive minded president. We need to start making giant stride as a nation, we need to move forward, respected and recognised on the world stage. We need the best that Nigeria can offer at this point in time, that person is not President Buhari. It is a common saying that you can only give what you have, our beloved President does not have what it takes to take Nigeria to the next level. He has clearly performed below expectation in his first term, he his unlikely to do better even if given a tenth term.
God bless Nigeria and Nigerians.