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Uwazurike: Buhari is still having his dictatorial tendencies


Chief Gordy Uwazurike

Chief Gordy Uwazurike

President Muhammadu Buhari is one of the luckiest persons ever to be president of Nigeria. This is so because, for the first time, an incumbent president has no visible and viable opposition. Without any fears of contradiction, anyone can say that the People Democratic Party (PDP) has not been in existence in the last one year. So, all the shortcomings of Buhari, which are supposed to be earmarked by PDP, have gone virtually unnoticed.

This past one year of Buhari has been a huge disappointment to many Nigerians. None of his main promises has come through. The most damaging is this issue of petrol subsidy. Nigerians do not have any reason to cheer up or celebrate in the past one year.

The past one year has been spent pursuing corruption cases. But while you are doing that, take the time to fashion out economic policies for Nigeria. Simply put, the president defines the economic program that he wants, before then moving along and plan. None of that has been done.

The weekly Federal Executive Council meeting where money is injected into the economy has not been held regularly. And because in the last half one year, the contractors have not been paid and they have not paid their workers, they have not been part of the productive economy. And the moment the multiplier effect continues, once they are out of jobs, they cannot pay taxes, the full gamut is that the economy is in retrogression. And once we start suffering the implications, it will take a very long time to lift us from the problem we are now facing. The economy will become a bottomless pit, the more money you pump, the more damage you cause.

The other painful point is the negative ethnic inclination of the administration, where for example Buhari has displayed a shocking abject neglect of Ndigbo in his appointments. Not just the first and general appointments, but since no worthwhile appointment has come the way of Ndigbo. Ndigbo are still not a part of this government.

And then, it is as if the president wants the rest of the nation to work according to his own pace. While the rest of the nation is moving into the digital age, Mr. President is still in the analogue age.

It is certain the president has no respect for the judiciary also. The international community is watching the President. They had described him as former dictator, and now they will want to know whether he is still who he was or he is who he says he is.

In this country, federalism means each arm of government – Executive, Legislature, and Judiciary – has a defined role to the benefit of the people. The president, despite this clarity of role treats the other arms as if he is a general in the army and this is a military government. The first sign of this was when there was obvious interference from the president in the desire of the Legislature to choose a leader. The entire act, where there was no line drawn between party interference and executive interests is not democracy.

The legislature has stood up to reclaim its independence especially as it relates to funding. But not quite so for the Judiciary today The Executive was insistent on pulling the strings through the TSA but hopefully they will assert themselves. Understandably, the president still cannot get over the feeling that these two arms of government should be independent. These two arms are still as appendages in the government.

Our federalism is wobbling and we must watch it. And this is why I call on all fair-minded people, the Human Rights groups, and all those groups that have gone to sleep since Buhari came, to go back to what they have always been, the watchdog.

● Chief Gordy Uwazurike, a Lagos based lawyer and community leader, is the President General of Aka Ikenga. 

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