Buhari’s government has dragged Nigeria backward, says Junaid Mohammed
• ‘Administration is most corrupt ever’
A frontline northern politician, Dr. Junaid Mohammed, has described President Muhammadu Buhari administration as the most corrupt in the history of the country.
According to Junaid, corruption under the current administration is more sinister because it has taken the whole country backward and culminated into an insult on all Nigerians.
Mohammed, a legislator in the Second Republic, made the comments in an interview on the state of the nation.
“They (government functionaries under Buhari) are as corrupt as any government in the history of this country. They are more corrupt than other governments.
“Their own corruption is more sinister because they believe that they can take the whole country for a ride and that is an insult for a nation of 180 million people.”
He said Buhari and his government compounded the problem of corruption in Nigeria through bad governance, poor economic policies and inclusive illiteracy by pretending that “they can lie their way out of incompetence, out of corruption and out of nepotism.”
On allegation of deepening division in the country under Buhari regime, Mohammed said: “The country is more divided under Buhari than it has ever been. I have been around even before the civil war and I am now 68 years. What you just said is a valid observation. As for the reasons, I can only give you my personal opinion and I am prepared to stand by it.
“There are a number of issues, the first is with the Buhari government, his presidency, and the cast of characters he attracted, or he deliberately brought into government.
“Buhari and his government are thoroughly incompetent. There have been other incompetent leaders. I don’t believe that Jonathan was better. But, at least in the case of Jonathan and some other leaders, we knew those who were in charge. In the case of the current administration, we don’t know who is in charge. They have a style of governance which cherishes secrecy and pretence. This is a government that not only talks about corruption, but lies about it.”
Mohammed accused the Buhari administration of nepotism. “That you bring in your own relatives, friends and in-laws into government is nepotism, and they believe that they have the divine right to be nepotistic.
“This is a very dangerous undertaking and no government with this mindset, no government with this level of incompetence, high corruption, has ever survived on whatever they said they were going to do. We are holding them accountable by what they said they were going to do.
“By the promises made by the APC government and the lousy cast of characters brought into government, they have failed miserably. First, they promised to fefeat Boko Haram. Everybody you talk to will tell you that Boko Haram is alive. It has not been defeated in spite of the lies emanating from the presidency and some of the military chiefs.
“They promised to fight corruption. Not only have they engendered and encouraged it, it is now at the highest level at the presidency. This is why we are not making any appreciable dent in the fight against corruption.
“I agree that they met a damaged economy, but it has been made worse by their attitude, their lies. They thought they could handle the economic issues, especially with the characters of people they appointed into the ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs). We have someone in charge of the finance ministry who is not a trained economist, but an accountant; a lawyer handling the budget and planning ministry and quite a number of others.
“These persons are not accountable to anybody. Even the president has a zero economic knowledge. This is the situation we have found ourselves.”
Mohammed also flayed Buhari’s handling of the killings by herdsmen.
“Look at the issue of security; that of the herdsmen. Instead of handling this matter, which is like brigands roaming around with their cattle and killing people everywhere, instead of the government calling it what it is, we are now giving it a tribal, religious and ethnic tone.
“This is an area the media have not done any good. Instead of looking at these issues intelligently, everybody is looking at it like, ‘Oh! they are agents of our enemies and as such we cannot resolve the problem.
“We understand that there are pressures on the land and that these people have nowhere to graze. We have to understand and look at it intelligently. But everybody is assuming some kind of reckless attitude. It will make sense if we know some of the social impulses that are bringing these problems. But, some want to handle it their way,” he said.