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The debt Buhari owes himself

By Bayo Ogunmupe
10 December 2021   |   3:45 am
In two previous presidential endeavours by President Muhammadu Buhari, he encountered failure. Then he had banked on his cult-like following in Northern Nigeria.

President Muhammadu Buhari (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / AFP)

In two previous presidential endeavours by President Muhammadu Buhari, he encountered failure. Then he had banked on his cult-like following in Northern Nigeria. Then, Buhari was an epitome of the fundamentalist Muslim, spartan and pious. His failure in those presidential election adventures showed Nigerians that no part of the country can go it alone. Even, in spite of the lopsided unitary constitutional electoral provision, the sectarian permutations failed candidate Buhari. Like what is playing out at the moment, the Buhari mafia realised that their political brinkmanship as conceived was unrealistic and unattainable. They then wisely reached out to the right people, agreed to terms, made concessions, ultimately leading to Nigeria’s historical merger which defeated a sitting president for the first time in Nigerian history. Although the gentleman agreement which won over the southwest political establishment was not made public, it is safe to say that the Buhari’s cabal had conceded reasonable positions to his political partners.

As the Buhari administration comes to its last 18 months, all expectations are now fixed on whether the president will honour the last leg of the agreement which is to support the presidency of a member of the Bola Tinubu group as his successor. Much to the satisfaction of the Tinubu group today, the ouster of Tinubu as vice presidential candidate in 2015, now makes him eligible today owing to the lacklustre Buhari performance in the last six years.

Unlike in 2015 when we saw him as the messiah, the present economic depression we are in makes every member of the Buhari regime unelectable in 2023. All the more so because of the ongoing banditry, kidnapping and Boko Haram insurgency in parts of Northern Nigeria. More so, this administration has alienated sections of the Nigerian people through its impunity, failure to observe federal character in his appointments and the trial of Nnamdi Kanu, Sunday Igboho and Omoyele Sowore for treason.

But the presidency is a Hobson’s choice for Nigeria in 2023. For those who may have forgotten, kindly joggle your memories with the following. The main opposition party the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is a gathering of rogues. Read the revelations during the trial of President Goodluck Jonathan’s National Security Adviser Colonel Sambo Dasuki. 1: I acted based on Jonathan’s instruction—Dasuki. 2: I didn’t give order—Jonathan. 3: I collected N350 million from Dasuki for consultation—Iyorchia Ayu. 4: I only collected $30,000 from Dasuki not N100 million—Bode George. 5: I got N4.6 billion from Dasuki for spiritual purposes—Bafarawa. 6: I got N650 million from Dasuki for my Abuja burnt Thisday Office—Obaigbena. 7: I got N2.1 billion from Dasuki for publicity—Dokpesi. 8: I got another N100 million from Yuguda—Bafarawa. 9: I gave N100 million each to Odili, Jim Nwobodo, Bode George and others—Yuguda.

Others include 10: Jonathan asked me to change N10 billion to foreign exchange for PDP delegates—Dasuki. 11: My boss asked me to get $11 million from the Central Bank of Nigeria, Dasuki’s account officer. 12: I got order from above to pay Tompolo N13 billion for Maritime University land—NIMASA Director General. 13: N950 million was shared in my house—Shekarau. With all this looting, some people are still shouting, no sign of change yet. There must be consequences for these crimes otherwise Nigeria will disintegrate. Over 20 billion dollars not remitted to the Federation Account, if nothing is done by 2015 upward, Nigeria will know what economic crisis is—Emir Mohammed Sanusi11. “Whoever wins in 2015 will never find it easy to govern. Over N30 trillion is mismanaged, unaccounted for or missing under Jonathan”—Prof. Charles Soludo.

“For seven months NNPC didn’t remit money to Federation Account, as a sitting governor when I called, minister Dieziani Allison Madueke refused to pick my calls”—Godswill Akpabio. “I told them to save but Jonathan had no political will to do so, that was how we squandered our boom”—Okonjo Iweala. “Jonathan was a blessed ATM machine without a secret pin number”—Bala Mohammed. Alex Badeh hid $32 million in a toilet pit. Of missing moneys $15 billion was traced Dieziani Madueke; $15 billion was missing from arms fund; N10 billion given as gift to PDP delegates. Thus, poverty didn’t just happen to Nigeria, the PDP looted Nigeria into recession. With the foregoing, Buhari will do himself a favour by handing over to an experienced group who could deter Nigeria from slipping into anarchy. His challenges owing to insecurity make it mandatory for Buhari to honour his pact with the Tinubu group as unsoiled members of the All Progressives Congress merger party.

It is in the best interest of the country’s stability for The APC to survive Buhari. The South West remains the cornerstone of Nigeria’s unity. Current events in South East, the North East and North central portend dangers with the antics of separatist movements that are daily gaining relevance and boldness. The implication is that if Nigeria’s cohesion is mismanaged, there may not be a governable country called Nigeria in 2023. Worse still, if Buhari is misadvised into removing fuel subsidy in 2022, something he ought to have done in 2015, his successors may not find a country to govern in 2023. With Buhari’s nepotism, there is an urgent need to deepen national unity badly bruised by banditry and Boko Haram. The remaining 18 months are too short for this government to craft any worthwhile legacy for Buhari. Time is running out for the cabal to forge a new alliance.