SIR: If most Nigerians are asked to make an assessment of all the governments that have ruled Nigeria, the unequivocal verdict would rate the current regime as the worst. But there was one particular situation that the current regime encountered upon taking office. Much of Borno State was occupied by Boko Haram. The first thing Buhari did was lead the battle against the insurgents by moving the military base to the hotspot. Although all formerly occupied territories were reclaimed by the Nigerian military under Buratai, most bandits only moved their bases to other parts of the country.
Another reason for the animosity against the regime is the issue of herders, especially their new militant status which has caused clashes between farmers and local herders resulting in many deaths. On this point, the regime led by Buhari has a question to answer, particularly on the militarization of herders under his regime. Next comes the issue of nepotism first highlighted by former President Olusegun Obasanjo in one of his many letters. President Muhammadu Buhari has been accused of only appointing people from his region to key positions. As typical of him, he never gave an answer to the allegation that everyone must have interpreted as a subtle admission of guilt.
Nigeria is made up of many components and appointment in any office is made based on this consideration so that no party can feel left out in the Nigerian business. That the Buhari-led regime has clearly eclipsed this provision is tantamount to sticking its fingers directly into the eyes of the citizens and it has become another issue for which the presidency could not claim to be blameless. But truth be told, even though the current regime could have done more than those that preceded it, the northerners have always dominated Nigeria’s juicy positions.
Despite the regime’s promise to tackle corruption, corruption seems to have gripped the current regime by the jugular as it appears completely overwhelmed. The nation’s continued borrowing has become a major source of concern for everyone as most of the projects the funds have been invested in leave much to be desired. Of course, some of these projects are clearly visible in terms of infrastructure and other social protection programs such as trader moni and school feeding programs. A common argument, however, is the relevance of infrastructure in a country plagued by so much insecurity.
Yet the current regime will only last eight years by next year.
By suspending its own key leaders such as former Federation Cabinet Secretary Babachir Lawal, EFCC President Magu and most recently the Federation Accountant General, the government has displayed zero tolerance for corruption, a clear departure from what happened in the past when corruption grew by leaps and bounds and was completely hidden from public view.
Jide Oyewusi, coordinator of Ethics Watch International, wrote from Lagos.