Most Nigerians who are conversant with our po¬litical history know that our country’s problem is fail¬ure of leadership. Nigeria’s stalled economic and technological growth is traceable to poor leadership, as well as military inter-vention in politics.
Military intervention in politics contributed in no small way to our national woes. Soldiers who deemed their regimes corrective plundered our economy and ruled us with an iron-fist. General Ibrahim Babangida em¬barked on rigmarole of transition to civilian rule. Since 1999, Nigeria has been enjoying democratic gov-ernance, but none of our national leaders has lived up to expec¬tations. Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, who believes that he is in¬fallible, squandered our collective goodwill and the opportunity given to him to lift Nigerians out of eco¬nomic quagmire. He sunk millions of naira into the power sector with¬out recording any success, rather a blanket of darkness was thrown over the country.
Dr Goodluck Jonathan got into the most exalted political office in Nigeria by providential interven¬tion and luck. His tardiness and vi¬sionlessness marred his administration. It is obvious that he was ill-suited and ill-prepared for the leadership of Nigeria. But he will be remem¬bered for his uncommon act of pat-riotism: he accepted defeat at the presidential poll. Jonathan’s vanquisher at the polls and succes¬sor in office, Muhammadu Buhari, rode to victory on the coat tail of his famed zero tolerance for cor¬ruption and Spartan lifestyle. He is with messianic complex, forth¬rightness and hyperbolic moral uprightness. But is Buhari’s leadership ability not hyped?
It should be noted that one’s eagerness and hunger for political power cannot confer leadership qualities on him/her. Is Bu¬hari’s personality and leadership capabilities not unraveling and un¬folding? Soon, he will mark his first anniversary in office. It took him a long period of time to assemble his executive cabinet. Yet their pedi¬gree do not compensate for the long period he took to form it. His members are recycled politicians, who had held political offices in the past. Babatunde Fashola, who is saddled with the responsibilities of three ministries, has not banished darkness from our country.
Since he assumed of¬fice, President Buhari seems to be afflicted with wanderlust. He has travelled to several countries for diverse conferences and summits when common sense dictates that he should have sent his ministers to represent him at some of those global meetings. His penchant of traveling to other countries for sundry reasons has reinforced the belief and perception that he is running away from his presidential duties. But is he overwhelmed by Nigeria’s seemingly intractable multifarious problems?
There is no gainsaying the fact that our president is obsessed with the fight against corruption. We are not unaware that corruption is the leukaemia debilitating Nigeria. Now some key members of the opposition party are standing trial for allegedly committing financial crimes, but we would like their prosecution to follow judicial processes and procedure. Other¬wise, their trials will amount to witch-hunt which is aimed at deci¬mating the ranks of the opposition.
More so, his ability to rein in the centrifugal forces trying to tear the country apart will endear him to Nigerians.
He has man¬aged to stop Boko Haram’s ter¬ritorial expansionist moves. The frequency of the group’s bomb at¬tacks has reduced drastically ow¬ing to our military’s re-invigorated offensive against them. But a wave of ethnic-nationalist senti¬ments which manifests in protests and violence is sweeping the South-East and South-South geo-political zones. Members of the Indigenous People Of Biafra, IPOB, whose leader, Nnamdi Kanu, is standing trial, want a sov¬ereign state of Biafra and there is a resurgence of militancy in the marshy creeks of the oil-rich Niger-Delta. Their violent activity has disrupted oil production in the region with its dire economic consequences.
But President Buhari’s resolve and utterances that he would crush the resurgent militants while turning a blind eye to the murderous activities of Fulani herdsmen portrays him in a bad light. From Benue to Taraba, from Kogi to Enugu, Fulani herds¬men have run amok and gone ber¬serk, killing people in their host communities with impunity. Has the Nigeria police successfully ar¬rested any herdsman and arraigned him in court for mur¬der? The fact is they have encircled a proprietary hand around the presidential seat as their kinsman is occupying the most exalted political office in Ni¬geria.
His economic policy re¬garding the fixing of price for petro¬leum has irked most Nigerians. During Jonathan’s administration, some members of the APC vehemently kicked against the removal of fuel subsidy, but now they have bought into it.
It has now dawned on us that Buhari is not our politi¬cal messiah. He possesses neither the mojo nor leadership qualities that can be deployed to revolu-tionise Nigeria.
Okoye is a public affairs analyst