May 29, 2023 was exclusively Muhammadu Buhari’s day of political reckoning. It was the day that the former president was tried and judged by history vis-a-vis his campaign promises and how he sabotaged them at the end of his political navigation of salvaging Nigeria.
When Buhari was too desperate to rule Nigeria, he presented himself like the messiah we were waiting for. His body language was very significant for its mastery of appealing to our sensitivities to make him the only political icon of the time. He was able to steal the then political show of relevance and majesty which many aspiring politicians could not showcase. But after woeful performance, that day convicted him that he was not the messiah we needed.
At last, the Buhari we adored had swung into proper inaction which culminated in giant despairs and end of optimism. Gradually, the grand euphoria that greeted his arrival had started to diminish rapidly leaving him politically miserable. His observed incompetence eventually found its way into our scheme of national affairs. His celebrated integrity inevitably vanished into the thin air and lost its moral values. The day of his political reckoning showed us that there was a great difference between his razzmatazz entrance and his dilly dallying adventure. ‘All that glisters is not gold’ was the judgement of the day.
After exhausting his eight years of political expedition and governmental activities, he left behind some disturbing political debts in terms of unfulfilled pledges for which prosperity will not cease to forget. His major trial was how he ‘technically’ degraded Boko Haram only to be substituted with brutal banditry. Prior to his stewardship, he promised to defeat Boko Haram but another version of Boko Haram erupted like a volcano in the North-west.
Buhari had earlier affirmed that the economy was very awful and ugly for our liking. He convinced us that if we elected him, the economy would be better off. However, little did we know that the real economic turmoils await us. After eight years, we are lacking a sense of economic belonging as well as prosperity. We are feeling the horrors of an economy that has no bright future for us. But in his self-defense, Buhari’s economy was the excellent thing that had happened to all of us. However, the day of his political reckoning confirmed that he left us poorer, inflation uncontrollable and unemployment attaining its zenith point.
If corruption were to speak, it would have indicted Buhari for not giving it the fierce fight it deserved. He was too sympathetic to corruption. What we realised was a mere empty rhetoric that could not inspire even our spiritual element to hate corruption. Don’t forget Buhari’s message of zero tolerance on corruption as a cardinal point of his campaign propaganda. Unfortunately, Buhari did not disappear from the scene until corruption was fully tolerated and entrenched in the heart of corrupt persons and supported them with uncouth mercies as it was the case with former governors Joshua Dariye and Jolly Nyame. Callously, he made them heroes of corruption under our watch. Thus, on May 29, 2023, Buhari was found guilty of cheating the crusade against corruption and he could not disprove this sin.
If government is all about fighting the evils of subsidy to relieve the masses of untold hardship, Buhari’s glamorous idea of selling a liter of petrol above N50 as an act of injustice was well applauded by many Nigerians. But it was baffling how he rediscovered that, after all, fuel subsidy was an economic nuisance and hiked the price of petrol without an apology. Surprisingly, he could not trace the missing link between his complaint of N50 as costly and the skyrocketing price of N240 while departing the scene.
In a mega pledge he made, Buhari assured us that the first four years of his administration would celebrate the revival of our moribund refineries to ease our energy crisis. What happened to that covenant when he completed his eight years rule? Was he not found guilty for breach of promise? Was the day of his political reckoning mute on this perpetuated sin?
In all fairness, Buhari did not complete his ‘messianic’ task without dropping a political bomb that for every unsuccessful president, there is an unsuccessful government. It was a trial of the president who left behind a government that was at the beginning a living phenomenon, chaotic at the middle and tragic at the end. Nobody had expected that Buhari’s government would be for the selfish cabals who formed a parallel and even superior government. That day marked the end of the cabals and Buhari would atone for their sins against the nation.
Buhari did not like failure but he acted towards blatant failure until when he finally departed from the corridors of power. The very day he left the Villa heralded the end of his brinkmanship in terms of what he thought was good for Nigeria and what we felt as pains of betrayal. Indeed, our collective yearnings and aspirations were not motivated for higher achievements but we were left to struggle for self governance as the centre could not hold and things broke into bits. On that day, it was recorded that Buhari could only wear a false smile to assert his misconceived heroism.
If Buhari was not fair to himself, the rest of us had successfully been just to him by cautioning him of abstaining from doing the needless. We always supported and encouraged him to do the needful to improve our lots. Our constructive and corrective pens were the effective tools that we deployed to make him readjust his dilapidated ideas and actions so that prosperity would count him amongst the favoured leaders of our time. But his indefatigable and infallible media team insisted on notorious communication scandals that left him committing more political suicide. On that day, his media warlords could not save him from the image crisis and the crisis of failing he left behind.
To our greatest disappointment, Buhari erred tremendously. His unprecedented trial of incapacity was finally concluded on May 29, 2023 and was fairly judged by the verdict of history. Eventually, the chant of ‘sai baba Buhari’ could no longer rent the air and was laid to rest forever.
Abdullahi writes from Ringim, Jigawa state via [email protected],