After ruling Nigeria for eight years, President Muhammadu Buhari will tomorrow hand over power to the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. As the outgoing administration winds down, President Muhammadu has used every available opportunity to regale Nigerians with his numerous achievements in office and scored himself so highly in spite of the administration’s below average performance. His aides and some All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftains have also harped on such achievements without minding the critical views of other Nigerians on the administration.

During the inauguration of President Muhammadu Buhari in office on May 29, 2015, he promised to tackle insecurity and corruption, fix the economy and the power sector and create more jobs, among others. Eight years after, these sectors are still facing more challenges than ever before. The nation’s insecurity has gone beyond the North East region, the epicenter of Boko Haram insurgency. It has escalated to other regions such as the North West, where banditry hold sway to North Central where herdsmen menace has wreaked more havoc.

There is insecurity in the South East and other forms of criminality such as kidnapping and armed robbery in other geopolitical zones. The power sector has not fared any better in terms of power generation and power supply. Power supply has remained erratic to the extent that millions of Nigerians actually pay for ‘darkness.’ The implementation of the national prepaid metering programme has been chaotic and unimpressive. While so many Nigerians are willing to pay for the meters, those in charge of the metering are still not forthcoming. Since 2015 when Buhari assumed office, the national power grid has collapsed 99 times.

Our current power generation capacity has hovered between 4,725MW and 2,674MW in May this year. We are yet to generate the 10,000MW promised by Buhari during his 2015 election campaigns. Corruption has increased by leaps and bounds instead of abating. In 2015, Nigeria was ranked 136 among 180 countries by Transparency International (TI), the anti-corruption watchdog. In 2022, Nigeria was ranked 150 on Corruption Perception Index by TI. In the same vein, Nigeria is not doing well in Ease of Doing Business as it currently ranks 131 out of 190 countries.

The economy is seemingly in its worst state. Under Buhari’s watch, Nigeria has become the poverty capital of the world. Consequently, 133 million Nigerians are said to be multi-dimensionally poor. Our national debt has risen to N77 trillion and we spend about 96.4 per cent of our revenue to service the debt. The fear of debt overhang is a possibility. When Buhari assumed office, the exchange rate was N190 to $1. Today, the rate is N750 to $1.

Eight years of Buhari administration has not translated to the much-needed improvement in the health and education sectors. More than any Nigerian leader, Buhari tacitly encouraged medical tourism throughout his years in office. Under Buhari, the public universities witnessed more strikes than ever before. It also witnessed a major strike that lasted for almost eight months.

Related News

Up till now, the issues that led to that marathon strike have not been addressed. Our health workers, including doctors and nurses, are daily migrating to United Kingdom (UK), United States (US), Saudi Arabia and Canada in search of greener pastures. Our youths are migrating to foreign lands in search of good education and better life. Nigeria cannot develop when its youths is moving in droves to other countries. We hope that the new government will address these challenges and stop the drift.

Admitted that he performed so well in some sectors, most Nigerians are of the view that Buhari did not do well in most sectors. They also believe that Buhari did not fulfill most of his campaign promises, which endeared him to Nigerians in 2015 election season. While the President performed creditably well in the area of provision of infrastructure, the same cannot be said of his performance in the power, education and health sectors. However, we give him kudos for the completion of the Second Niger Bridge at Onitsha, the construction of the Abuja-Kaduna railway, Ibadan-Lagos railway and some kilometers of roads across the country.

Buhari’s ‘I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody’ was just an ordinary political rhetoric tailored to suit the mood of the time it was uttered. In reality, Buhari belonged to some people, his people. This much is reflected in his lopsided appointments of key staff and membership of Nigeria’s top security architecture, where nobody from the South East region was considered good enough to be part of.

His distribution of infrastructure and other goodies of the government based on percentage of votes he got from every region was carried out in disfavour of the South East where he claimed he got five per cent of the votes. This parochial view of politics is against the tenets of democracy and against the idea of a federal system of government. 

We urge the incoming administration to learn from Buhari’s mistakes and carry every part of the country along in its appointments and distribution of dividends of democracy.