On May 29, 99 days from today, President Muhammadu Buhari will return to his farm as he promised after piloting Nigeria for two terms equalling eight years.
After Nigerians voted out incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan, they decided to bring back Buhari, who was Military Head of States from December 31, 1983, to August 27, 1985, as president in 2015.
Young and old wanted the change mantra because they thought he would deliver on tackling insecurity and corruption and would make Nigeria’s economy blossom.
Understandably, Buhari had a lot to contend with, from insecurity spreading across Nigeria and ravaging most parts of the northeast, traversing across Lagos and throwing the FCT into panic.
Additionally, he was coming into the leadership of a nation where corruption had eaten deep into the system’s fabric and those operating with the system.
So, Nigerians validated Buhari that he would use his military expertise to change Nigerians’ fortunes into victory in his two core values.
But as he bows out of office, he has increased in age or used up his chance to serve Nigeria and brought undue precedents into his personality.
In 2015, Nigerian musicians and every ethnic group were optimistic.
They wanted the peasant from Daura who would revamp Nigeria’s security system for the better.
Maybe he had a few successes in the last eight years.
Still, it is safe to say that his best was not enough considering how insecurity has become worse and ethnic division and bigotry are entering the national dictionary.
Some angry youths reportedly stoned President Buhari’s convoy in Kano State in January.
It is a testament that some of those who believed in him are beginning to lose hope.
“Sheu Buhari, Sheu Baba” was a popular cliche in 2015.
Regardless of culture, tribe or religion, there is a consistent belief and pure love for the president, but as he leaves office, the #EndSARS protest across the country, the protest of fuel scarcity and the naira brouhaha, the ASUU strike debacle are national concerns that are making Nigerians lose sights of the expiration of the president’s tenure.
Ethnicity, bigotry and tribalism became frequently used and paraded under this administration.
The fueling national sympathy, cohesion, and peaceful coexistence Nigerians used to share before he took the reigns became a forgone story of the past.
Self-agitators, bloody revolutionaries and freedom pushers gained confidence and began to terrorise national peace.
Because living standards went out of bounds, the freedom fighters began to gain national appeal leaving Nigeria in a state of peace drought.
It took years of agony before the military began to record little success in neutralising insurgents and bandits who kidnap for ransom and other reasons.
Our national existence was in doubt at a point when criminal elements, terrorists and armed bandits, alongside herders, overpowered usual communalists and killed them for nothing.
Deadly attacks on the Abuja-Kaduna train and a more audacious strike on the Presidential Guards Brigade – all in 2022 – were a watershed for a comprehensive military onslaught against non-state militias and other criminals in Nigeria.
Our correctional facilities were not spared under Buhari, not more than two correctional facilities were vandalised, and prisoners were set free.
At the same time, our security architecture could do next to nothing because they also had to run for their lives.
And as at least 133 million Nigerians live in multidimensional poverty, the bulk starts and stops at president Buhari’s table rendering many with no option but to resort to criminal activities.
In 2015, the national belief was that president Buhari would end corruption in Nigeria.
But as he winds down his tenure, government officials have been involved in corruption cases as the Buhari administration struggles to fight the menace.
In this country, a snake swallowed money and an Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, had to be charged in court for allegedly stealing over N100 billion.
Ibrahim Magu, charged with overseeing anti-corruption in Nigeria, was also found wanting.
The former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission was also found to be corrupt, among other allegations and the ills at the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The icing on the cake was how President Buhari set the former state governors Joshua Dariye (Plateau) and Jolly Nyame (Taraba), who were serving jail terms for corruption cases free.
As a journalism platform, our work critiques what we have factually seen in the polity.
It is necessary also to state that Buhari’s government invested heavily in health, road and rail infrastructures alongside security in Nigeria.
The National Home Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP), Household Uplifting Programme (HUP), and Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) breathed relief and succour to some struggling Nigerians even though controversies marred them.
The government could also take the accolade for almost delivering the Second Niger Bridge, conceived by former President Shehu Shagari in 1979. Previous governments have promised but have yet to deliver the project.
President Buhari’s government reshaped Nigeria’s rail infrastructure, a legacy he could boast of that none of his predecessors brought to the fore in the current dispensation.
As much as he could, President Buhari also sustained representative democracy by signing the laws stamping local government and judiciary autonomy, the Electoral Act (2022), and the Petroleum Industry Act.
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