Buhari’s leadership: We are all casualties

Everything that has a beginning must have an end. So is the same natural trend with President Muhammadu Buhari, whose regime’s hitherto soaring popularity tragically descended to its lowest ebb. But this negative reversal of the swaying of an estwhile political hurricane is politically fatalistic. It is also conclusive that with just a few days remaining, we will bid farewell to the diminishing era of Buharism.

A man believed to be of impeccable character and viewed as a new citizen in his own right, immuned of the deadly virus of corruption, the president won the hearts of millions of Nigerians without hypnotising them. Buhari himself saw that conspicuous virtue as his political strength, but we knew less that he would degenerate from a legendary hero to a bashing figure. Unfortunately, Buharism was like a revolution for the rebirth of the nation but lacked a visionary foundation. Just as Buhari is eager to relinquish office on May 29 this year, so are Nigerians anxious to see the end of his political disappointment.

Before winning the historic election of 2015 and its razzmatazz aftermath, the political climate was aggravated by the fear of losing Buhari as a potential president to clear the Augean stables and the fear of the continuity of the Goodluck Jonathan’s presidency to co-exist with the then prevalent insurgency in the North-east. It was mainly the escalating and ravaging insurgency that defeated Jonathan and the other factor of not returning power to the North as agreed with northern political stakeholders.

Buhari’s ascension to power came with two glad tidings. We were psychologically intimidated that the country would collapse and be thrown into doom in 2015. But this campaign of scripted anarchy was abruptly reversed after Buhari’s victory. Also, the gigantic merger project came with a formidable force as the new bride of Nigeria’s unity because the three parties that signed the political marriage were representing the larger part of political Nigeria. However, the unity was squandered by his ineptitude through total withdrawals of the forces and elements of unification.

Unknown to us, Buhari’s emergence would be both a personal and national tragedy. We saw how his lackadaisical attitude towards national cohesion had driven the country to the verge of disintegration with the sudden eruptions of ethnic nationalists and gorillas. Not only that, he deployed some inimically economic policies that cemented the roots of poverty, inflation, unemployment in an unprecedented dimension.

Frightening insecurities started to become a national character with a particular reference to banditry, kidnapping and other waves of crimes. Amazingly, the man whom we entrusted to be aggressive against corrupt persons was later found to be sympathetic to them by condoning their nefarious acts and granting state amnesty to convicted corrupt Nigerians.

Buharism has produced many casualties including Buhari himself. He is a victim of his own failure, a product of self démystification. He is also a casualty of his own unlimited self glorification who sees himself as sacrosanct. There is also the larger victim, the country of Nigeria. He will leave it worse than he met it. The government itself is a victim of a degenerated leadership. In a wider scope, democracy has suffered as a casualty for two main reasons. One is the legislative enslavement in which the negative influence of Buhari on the National Assembly has resulted in the accumulation of a humongous debt. The judiciary sector has been rendered a casualty by Buhari’s refusal to comply with various courts injunctions on critical issues. The general populace will have an everlasting and disgusting impression about Buhari for mortgaging their collective hopes and dreams.

The APC is also a big political victim of Buhari’s poor performance. Many Nigerians feel that Buhari’s failure is the party’s making. If not for the emergence of Peter Obi and Rabiu Kwankwaso as presidential aspirants, the APC would have been a loser in the last election. Even the Villa cabals are casualties. This is owing to the fact that Buhari had given them much power which they literally abused, culminating in their failure to impose on the nation their preferred presidential candidate. They are really victims because Buhari aided them to laugh severally but will end up not having the last laughter.

For long, the ASUU will continue to be a giant victim of Buharism. The prolonged strike did not only victimise lecturers, but also students, their parents and the university system. The immediate future will also be a waiting casualty as the prevailing socio-economic upheavals will have a long lasting effect. Even those who have held different positions and have acquired ill-gotten wealth and perhaps may go unpunished have entered the class of casualties. This is because their perpetrated felony will not go down in vain in the hereafter and must account for their misdeeds. In a nutshell, therefore, we are all casualties of Baba Buhari’s failed leadership!

What is fundamentally wrong with Buhari’s leadership? Many lapses can be recorded and scrutinised, but the major ones will be mentioned here. Buhari lacks the political will to administer both politics and administration effectively. This gives rise to the display of self indulgences by people entrusted with responsibilities. With immunity, they have played the destructive game of putting themselves first before the nation and its people.

Though Buhari’s incorruptibility is still unquestionable, yet he is dispossessed of vital qualities of leadership such as competence and vision. On competence, it is imperative to quote the Islamic philosopher Ibn Taymiyya that he would prefer a candidate with competence without integrity to a candidate with integrity but lacks competence. His basic argument is that integrity affects the individual only but incompetence will have a devastating effects on the society.

Buhari’s philosophy of leadership is also inclined to misrepresented perception. For instance, the political chemistry between him and his followers is not well articulated to justify the essence of his leadership and the trust the masses have reposed on him, but he wants his followers to justify their followership even though the means to achieving that through quality leadership has been wasted.

How long will it take the nation to heal from the deep wounds of these eight years? Has Buhari agreed that his poor leadership is responsible for all these casualties and that is why he is begging to be forgiven?

Abdullahi writes from Ringim, Jigawa state via [email protected]