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Opinion: Is Muhammadu Buhari The Right Choice?



WHY is it difficult for us to raise fresh blood, with fresh and dynamic ideas to steer the affairs of this country? I do not know. We have the Fasholas, Oshiomholes, Amaechis, Ribadus before he switched over to the PDP and so many other vibrant fellows in the APC party, yet, they have again, chosen to go the recycled route by bringing in Mohammadu Buhari as their presidential candidate. Is Mohammadu Buhari the real deal?

Going through the book “ MKO ABIOLA-TO MAKE WHOLE AGAIN” by Abimbola Awofeso, published by Update Communications Limited 1990, from pages 15 to 24, you will find an assessment of Mohammadu Buhari’s administration. By the way, Awofeso is also a nephew to the great sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo. The chapter is titled; “All-Round Misery: Retrenchment, Roll-Back….”

I quote from page 18 “….since the Buhari administration came to power, its policy on public sector spending has resulted in all round misery: retrenchment of public sector workers, roll back in social services, particularly in the area of health care, the re-introduction of school fees, the closure of educational institutions, the re-imposition of certain obnoxious taxes and levies and the suspension of new capital projects.

All these have negative implications for the country’s long range development….with such deflationary policies as has been put in place by the Buhari regime, shows that we are headed for unmitigated disaster. As for the planned privatization, this is no more than a camouflage for concentrating the nation’s wealth in ever fewer hands……still, it cannot be said that its attempt at streamlining import licensing and foreign exchange disbursement procedure has been a roaring success. Racketeering persists and those who have no business having import licenses still do so.

The government’s performance in the area of debt management is even poorer. Apart from the questionable wisdom of using over 40 per cent of the country’s export earnings to service debts, it is open to question whether the government has fully investigated and verified all the outstanding debt obligations it is now attempting to settle……In the area of inflation and distribution, the government successes, if any, have been limited. Officially estimated at about 40 percent the rate of inflation is still debilitating to the generality of Nigerians whose incomes, under the income policy guidelines, are not expected to increase substantially (especially for those in paid employment).

As for distributive trade, the major actors of old appear to have been back in business; the Lebanese and Levantine merchandisers still control that business with the result that prices are still high and scarcities persist…….If there is any area of public policy in which the present government has been most inactive, that area has to do with the problem of unemployment…..It is a sad commentary on government’s commitment to tackling unemployment that although it set up a committee sometime last year to study the matter, as at this moment, the report of that committee is yet to be made public, let alone implemented..”

The above was the assessment of Buhari’s administration as highlighted in the above quoted book. There is more but due to space constraintone cannot highlight more which accounts the very little sympathies and resistance when he was overthrown from government.

That is the man our present day progressives are trumpeting as the messiah that will bring the much needed change for this country. Ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo once stated publicly that: “You cannot change a man in old age”, in reference to the late Adedibu’s excesses.

The big challenge for this country is producing the right leadership, not, a has been, with very obvious and questionable credentials. What this country needs now, is a radical departure from the normal. We need a youthful, focused, detribalised, enlightened, idea filled and go-getter leader who is able to ‘walk his talk.’

Recycling is bad. It is even worse when the individual we are promoting has passed his prime. That was how Obasanjo was brought in, the result of his actions and inactions are still reverberating till date. Incidentally, people are still running to him for directions. Every fault of Jonathan is rooted in Obasanjo; he planned, masterminded and executed the ascension of Jonathan to power. He also trained him in government, the PDP way, the platform Obasanjo instituted, which is the one the PDP is religiously using till date.

We are very forgetful in this country and lazy at recollecting the past. Our leaders are always leading us on the path of perdition, for their own selfish purpose(s), not for the general interest of the people. That is the choice the APC has made with Buhari as their presidential candidate. One can only wish them good luck.

Mr. Sunny Ikhioya, a commentator on national issues, wrote from Lagos.


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