Almost every day in the last one week, President Muhammadu Buhari has never stopped to inundate Nigerians, nay the world, of how poor the Nigerian state is; how lean the country’s purse is and that corruption resonates all over the place that it is almost irredeemably deep-seated in every facet of our national life.
The President, by so doing, intends to spread the message of the need for change in attitude and disposition to work by Nigerians; he has done very well.
Buhari’s current crusade reminds every adult Nigerian of the peculiar War Against Indiscipline, WAI that his then military junta foisted on fellow Nigerians between December 31, 1983 and August 27, 1984. The military dispatch with which the policy was implemented and the measure of compliance by the public blew the mind of the archetypical fellow countryman. The same went for the anti-corruption crusade his military regime prosecuted, including the largely questionable jail terms handed down to the guilty by some military tribunal that saw some jailed for over 200 years.
On this note too, Nigerians are not in a hurry to forget the popular quote from a General Muhammadu Buhari as Head of State then, when he declared: “this country belongs to all of us; we must all remain here and salvage it together.”
Even as we hold that history will remember that junta for good or otherwise, we are worried that the President’s current preachments on anti-corruption and branding almost every other Nigerian as an embodiment of corruption is uncalled for. No matter how people would see it, Buhari’s unending tedious or overbearing advice on morals, smacks of a possible dearth of idea as to what to do to move Nigeria forward.
This is why we urge him to go back to the drawing board and work out a fresh strategic plan for the economic, political and related development of the country because as it stands today, the President appears not to have any fresh idea to run the affairs of Nigeria.
From the first steps he has taken in the past three weeks, coupled with his combatant-like utterances and body language, we are compelled to recall that the same ad-hoc manner his military regime operated years back is still being applied under the current democratic regime.
What Nigerians least expect from Buhari is throwing up the very familiar refrain of blaming past leaders rather than get down to work, given the enormity of challenges confronting him.
For instance, it is on record that virtually all former military Heads of State and elected Presidents have had to bemoan the poor state of the country’s economy occasioned by empty treasuries handed over to them by their predecessors. From Ibrahim Babangida through late Sani Abacha, Abdulsalami Abubakar, Olusegun Obasanjo, late Umaru Yar’Adua to immediate past President, Goodluck Jonathan, there were instances the leaders had to underpin whatever political point they wanted to make by alleging that the administration before theirs stole the country blind. This has become a common refrain even amongst the elected state governors. Who then do we believe?
Therefore, that Buhari said same thing this week, did not come to well-reasoned Nigerians as a surprise. After all, as an analyst said yesterday, Buhari had to say something to justify his apparently lopsided leadership style which has seen him spend almost one month in office gesticulating. Nigerians would have wished he did make that statement.
The reason is simple. If the President indeed met an empty treasury, how has all his foreign trips been financed? What about the running of the state? Days back, Buhari allocated $21million to assist the multinational Joint Task Force in its fight against Boko Haram. Also, a couple of hours ago, the Federation Account Allocation Committee, FAAC shared N409.354billion among the three tiers of government while the National Assembly paid N9billion allowances to her members. Where did all these monies come from?
If we may ask, if the President indeed met an empty treasury, where did FAAC get money that was shared among the governments of the country this Wednesday?
No doubt, Abubakar Sulaiman, the immediate past Minister of National Planning must have been miffed when he did not mince words in faulting Buhari’s claim, saying that former President Jonathan not only left over $30billion in country’s coffers, but that there is also some $3billion in the Excess Crude Account.
We are not unaware that the rush to impress may have led to such misleading or rather confusing state of affairs we currently find ourselves. The recent preachment on the state of the country’s treasury by the President is uncalled for. If anything at all, it serves as unnecessary distraction at a time Nigerians need a focused leader.


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