President Buhari And His Unfulfilled Promises

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In 2015, Nigerians elected President Muhammadu Buhari who had made lofty promises to provide security, fix the economy and end corruption. Six years down the road, the President has not fulfilled any of those promises. Let me remind you of the many promises that the President made to Nigerians but which have sadly remained unfulfilled with barely two years to the end of this administration:

Security

1. Security was top on the list of promises President Buhari made to Nigerians. Unfortunately, there is nothing much to smile about as the country continues to witness an upsurge in the invasion of communities and killing of innocent people in their sleep by herders’ militia and other terrorists. Activities of armed banditry, kidnappings as well as herders attacks on farming communities have continued to rise with no end in sight. This is the reason why states across the country are devising ways of mobilizing the people to stand up and defend themselves in the face of brazen attacks by the invaders.

2. While Boko Haram is still unleashing terror on many parts of the North East, armed bandits have taken absolute control in Zamfara and Katsina States, killing everyone in sight unhindered. Kaduna and Niger states have become the safe haven for kidnappers. In states like Benue, it is a combined weight of killer herdsmen against unarmed communities who are bent on taking over our ancestral lands. In the South East, South South and South West, armed Fulani herdsmen are consistently attacking communities killing and maiming people.

3. The President has also failed to encourage the recruitment of police personnel and those of sister security agencies. He promised that at least ten thousand policemen will be recruited every year, but the promise has ended the way of numerous others.

Creation of three million jobs per year

4. This was one promise that sparked jubilation at all campaign rallies of the APC ahead of the 2015 presidential elections. Sadly again, the country has lost more jobs in the last six years than at any other time in the last few decades.

5. If the Buhari administration had fulfilled its promise to create three million jobs per year, there would have been 12 million jobs in four years for Nigerians. On the contrary, the rate of unemployment under the APC government has risen from 18:8 percent in May 2015 to 33.3 percent in May 2021, translating to about 23.2 million jobless people.

Building one of the fastest-growing emerging economies in the world

6.This was one promise the President made that gave hope to many Nigerians. He assured Nigerians that the country’s economy will receive a major boost under him with the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth averaging 10 percent annually.

7.But sadly again, instead of becoming one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, the Nigerian economy has gone into recession twice within just six years and has since been struggling in the face of high inflation and depleting foreign reserves.

Job Creation

8.President Buhari had promised to create millions of jobs for Nigerians to take the people out of poverty. The reverse has however been the case since 2015.

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9.The World Bank reported a few days ago that seven million Nigerians were plunged below the poverty line due to increase in inflation in the country in 2020. The World Bank statement came on the heals of President Buhari’s claim that in the last two years, his administration lifted 10.5 million Nigerians out of poverty. The global bank had earlier projected that an additional 20 million Nigerians could be impoverished by 2022.

Power Devolution

10.President Buhari also promised to initiate the process to amend the Nigerian Constitution to devolve powers to states in order to entrench true Federalism. Despite the loud clamour for constitutional amendment, the Presidency has developed a willful amnesia over this all-important promise. He has also ignored patriotic calls for a national dialogue, restructuring and state police. He chooses to communicate with citizens of the country through executive orders.

Strengthening INEC

11.The President also promised to make the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC stronger so as to eliminate electoral malpractices in Nigerian’s political system. But on two occasions, he refused to sign the amended Electoral Act and similarly turned down other reforms aimed at making the nation’s electoral system one of the best in Africa.

12.The President also promised to strengthen the naira and control inflation. But under his six-year rule, inflation has skyrocketed. In 2014, Nigeria’s inflation rates remained at a single digit ranging from 7.7 percent which was the lowest, to the highest point of 8.5 percent.

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13.In recent years, the nation has seen a persistent surge in inflation rates, reaching the highest levels in six years. Data released by the National Bureau of Statistics shows that in March this year, Nigeria’s inflation rate rose to 18.17% from 17.33% recorded in February.

Equate one naira to one dollar

14.This was another promise President Buhari made at every campaign rally in the 36 states of the federation before the 2015 elections. When he took over from Goodluck Jonathan as President, the naira was exchanging with the dollar at about N160 to one dollar. Today, the naira is exchanging with the dollar at over 500 naira to a dollar.

Debts

15.Nigeria’s debt profile has risen outrageously since President Buhari took over power. The country’s budgetary proposals are now hinged on debts. According to the Debt Management Office (DMO), Nigeria’s debt profile stood at N12.12 trillion in June 2015. In March this year, the Debt Management Office (DMO) reported that the country’s total public debt as at December 31, 2020 was N32.915 Trillion.

Fight Against Corruption

16.President Buhari was considered a messiah by many Nigerians before 2015. His promise to fight corruption to a standstill, drew applause home and abroad. But Nigerians are shocked at the level of corruption championed by the very government that pledged to end graft in public offices. There has been selective prosecution of corruption cases. A Governor or any other public office holder who joins APC becomes a ‘saint’ and his sins are forgiven.

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Federal Character

17.The Buhari administration has grossly abused federal character and upgraded nepotism to heights never before experienced in this country. All key federal appointments are given to a particular region of the country. He talks about competence as if only people from that region possess the qualifications and competences to occupy the offices they are given. He claims to be leading the country according to provisions of the Constitution and I wonder which section of the Constitution states that all key appointments should go to one region of the Nigeria.

Twenty-four hour power supply

18.Mr President also promised that his administration will generate, transmit and distribute electricity on a 24-hour basis in all parts of the country while simultaneously ensuring the development of sustainable/renewable energy. Six years down the lane, power supply is yet to improve in any part of Nigeria.

Fuel Prices

19.When the President went round the country to campaign for votes before the 2015 elections. The APC campaign team told Nigerians that petrol will be dispensed at N40 per litre under President Buhari. But today, how much is the pump price of a litre of fuel?

Food Prices

20.A key element of inflation in Nigeria during the Buhari years is the rising prices of food and related goods and services. Millions of poor citizens are today struggling daily to buy food at exorbitant rates with no programme initiated by the Federal Government to address the situation. Food inflation has climbed to 20.57 percent in 2021 year according to data released by the Bureau of Statistics, making it the highest in over 11 years.

Building New Refineries

21.President Buhari also promised to build four new petroleum refineries in Nigeria, if elected President. He was elected. Now, with barely two years to go, Nigerians are still wishing and praying that a private citizen, Aliko Dangote’s refinery may be completed. The Federal Government no longer remembers its promise to provide four refineries.

National Carrier

22.Another beautiful promise President Buhari made to get the votes of Nigerians was to revive the National Carrier. He had lamented that the absence of a national carrier was not only depriving the country of huge revenue but also giving private airlines the chance to make air travel unaffordable to ordinary citizens. Six years down the road, Nigeria has no national carrier.

Medical Tourism

23.The President also promised to ban medical tourism by political office holders from May 29, 2015. But he has undertaken more medical trips abroad than any other leader before him with no effort being made to improve the country’s health system any time soon.

24.With the avalanche of failed promises as shown in the few examples here, it is abundantly clear that President Muhammadu Buhari has failed millions of Nigerians who trusted him with their mandate. It is important that democracy should deliver on the promise of choice, freedoms, security, accountability, the rule of law and good governance.

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