On May 29th, 2023, Muhammadu Buhari will hand over his trials and tribulations as Nigeria’s president to a new landlord of Aso Rock Villa.
He’s already delivered his last speech at the United Nations’ General Assembly (UNGA) and his last boring pre-recorded Independence Day speech as he approaches the end of his second term. But before he leaves, it’s important that he ticks certain boxes, from fulfilling promises he made before he became president to random stuff we think needs closure.
These are the seven things we expect Buhari to do over the next seven months before he leaves Aso Rock Villa.
Lift 100 million people out of poverty
Nigeria is home to one of the largest populations of poor people in the world. It’s why many young people are trying to japa to escape sapa. Buhari’s mishandling of the economy is responsible for the mess. In reaction to the worrying population of poor people, he made an ambitious promise in 2019 to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty before he leaves office.
With only seven months left, the president needs to show us the 100 million people he lifted out of poverty, their addresses, genotypes and next of kin.
Actually end Boko Haram
When the Nigerian government postponed the 2015 elections due to the activities of Boko Haram terrorists in the northeast region, Buhari wasn’t a big fan of the decision. This was his reaction.
Since he’s been president, he’s declared many false and premature victories over Boko Haram and has been left with eggs on his face. Boko Haram’s terrorism may have significantly decreased over the past seven years of Buhari’s reign, but the group still has fighting power and exists as the Islamic State West African Province (ISWAP). It’d be a shame if the terrorist group outlasts the president after all the mouth he’s made.
Buhari needs to close that terrorism chapter of Nigeria’s history before he returns to Daura.
Repay his gbese
With Buhari at the wheel, Nigeria’s total public debt shot up from ₦12.1 trillion in 2015 to ₦42.9 trillion in June 2022. The more he borrowed, the more he pushed for debt forgiveness or cancellation at every international meeting with world leaders, including at his last UNGA in September 2022.
And since no one’s interested in cancelling the debt Buhari helped Nigeria rack up, he has to figure out a way to repay in the seven months he has left.
Return foreign exchange rate to where he met it
The Buhari campaign made many eye-catching campaign promises in 2015, and one of the spiciest was the promise to make ₦1 the same value as $1.
But that same naira currently trades at over ₦700 to $1, seven years after he promised to do magic.
At this point, we don’t even want him and Meffy to do magic again; just return the naira’s value to where he met it in 2015.
Do a live interview
For the most part of his presidency, Buhari has avoided live interviews like a plague.
He’s settled for pre-recorded speeches read off teleprompters and a rare couple of interviews with journalists that were cut and joined together inside a studio.
Buhari should indulge Nigerians and do just one live interview before he leaves office. We want to check something.
Be treated by a Nigerian doctor
Improving healthcare in Nigeria was another one of the promises that stood out during Buhari’s campaign in 2015. But Nigerians saw his true colours when he assumed office and left even his own State House clinic to rot while he fled to the United Kingdom to treat headaches and whatever kept him there for three months in 2017.
Buhari has clung stubbornly to the claim that he can’t be treated by anyone but his UK-based doctors. But just before he retires, we’re going to need him to receive medical care — even if it’s paracetamol — from a Nigerian doctor.
Call Abacha a thief
Everyone and their grandchild know who Abacha is — a thief who stole billions of dollars from Nigeria’s treasury and died before he could spend the loot. And despite the fact his government has recovered millions of dollars stolen by Abacha, Buhari has failed to retract his past comments that his old friend never stole Nigeria’s money. We’re going to need him to eat those humble pies on national TV before he drops the mic and retires to Daura.