President Buhari – A man unfit to govern
By Emmanuel Chigozie Osuchukwu
In 2015 I wrote rather prophetic but unheeded article titled, Neither Buhari Nor APC. I emphatically maintained that Muhammadu Buhari was very unsuitable for the office of the Chief Executive of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. That position was predicated on indisputable facts about the man. In his first stint as military head of state, his colleagues booted him out of office. The reasons adduced for overthrowing him, amongst his many sins were that he was too rigid and inflexible and as such unsuitable Head of State for a diverse and complex nation as Nigeria.
His draconian and insensitive disposition was too much for his colleagues to bear. Since that ignominious exit from office his utterances, activities, body language and lifestyle confirmed him as a reclusive ethnic and religious zealot. From 2005 he contested the presidential seat thrice and failed but in 2015, high level local and international conspiracies foisted him on a very expectant nation looking for a redeemer. Four years later we have the benefits of his record in office to make informed judgement of the man.
2019 is upon us, and another general election beckons. The presidential election is realistically speaking, a straight choice between the incumbent President Buhari and former Vice President, Abubakar Atiku. In one perspective this election is a referendum on President Buhari who was bequeathed with enormous goodwill by a nation clamouring for change in 2015. This is President Buhari’s end of term report. As a straight talking head teacher I would say that Buhari performed abysmally, and therefore do not merit the chance to be promoted to the ‘Next Level’.
I have chosen not to be harsh on the man because Nigerians should have been aware of President Buhari’s dismal antecedents. As a military head of state his sectional mind-set, lack of respect for rule law and total ignorance of basic economics were evident.
President Buhari remains on record as the only Head of State that ruled on Muslim/Muslin ticket, showed total disdain for rule of law and any dissent was shot down with his hollow War Against Indiscipline and corruption. When he left office, his preoccupations particularly his utterances indicated a man who has slipped further down into religious zealotry and clannishness. He did not engage in any activity normally associated with former Presidents that would indicate he has any inclination to improve on his knowledge, world views or improve his social circles.
Comparatively, General Babangida on leaving office maintained healthy social circles covering the entire Nigeria; Ex-President Obasanjo went back to the University, wrote books and enjoyed the comradeship of many international organisations.
The summary is that we were sold a fake article in 2015. Recall the controversies about Buhari’s age and basic educational attainments, what we know of President Buhari today and the relevance of those issues. It is very evident that the president apart from his known lack of intellect is now suffering from severe dementia reminiscent of very elderly age and we can’t blame anyone for getting old, only if greed for power overshadows his common sense and national interest. His gaffes on the campaign trail and performance at the NTA presidential chat are simply comical and pitiable. Who wants a president in this 21st century who cannot stand on his feet and make a spirited defence of the economic and other policies of his government? It is not enough to regurgitate anti-corruption slogans; in fact it has become self-defeating as the entire world now characterise Nigeria with corruption and crucial issues of national importance are left undiscussed.
The last four years has simply exposed President Buhari as a man not just unsuitable for presidential office but unfit to govern. His mental incapacitation is beyond doubt. In his 4 years in office he has avoided any spontaneous dialogue and where it becomes unavoidable; his utterances simply betray a man not in full control of his faculties. Even traditional Presidential debate was reduced to a presidential chat with the Vice President minding the President. As a result Nigerians are entitled to believe that what we have in place today is surrogate presidency, a situation where unknown persons are exercising the powers of the president. Whether it is Buhari exercising power or not, it is all done in his name and the record is dangerously unacceptable.
President Buhari has presided over a battered economy resulting in unprecedented high levels of unemployment and poverty; President Buhari’s incompetence, insensitivity, religious and tribal bigotry has placed the country on the precipice and more time to him will certainly tip the country over; President Buhari by design or neglect has endangered the security of the nation and there is hardly any part of the country without a deep sense of looming catastrophe.
Fellows Nigerians, President Buhari is causing our nascent democracy irreparable damage as he did in 1983. Do the needful and retire President Buhari by voting him out on 16th February. Say No to Buhari.
Emmanuel Chigozie Osuchukwu is a writer based in London. He can be reached by email on email@example.com