Buhari’s Weirdest Decisions We Thought Were April Fool’s Day Jokes But Weren’t

April 1, 2022

Leadership is hard. Being the president of a multi-ethnic and multi-religious country of over 200 million people like Nigeria must be even harder. So, maybe we have some sympathy for whoever dares to occupy that seat.

But there are certain actions that presidents take that make us scratch our heads, wondering if they’re being serious or messing with us like it’s April Fool’s Day. 

President Buhari is no stranger to making some of these baffling decisions and leaving Nigerians caught in a confused state of crying and laughing. 

For April Fool’s Day, we compiled some of President Bubu’s decisions that should have stayed in the drafts.

Twitter ban

All Twitter did was delete an offensive tweet that Lord Commander Buhari tweeted on his account, and he went into 48 Laws of Power mode to suspend the social media service in June 2021. 

Buhari and April Fool's Day jokes

Law 15: Crush Your Enemy Totally

Buhari lifted the suspension in January 2022 but has refused to tweet on his personal account. All that aggression for what?

Cutting down trees to fight dollars

One of Buhari’s most defining battles as president in the past seven years has been to defend the dignity of the naira against the dollar. He’s not doing a great job because $1 was ₦197 when he assumed office in May 2015, but $1 is now ₦416 in 2022. However, his failure to arrest the decline of the naira doesn’t mean he hasn’t put up a spirited fight because he once cut down trees to make the naira valuable. 

Buhari and April Fool's Day jokes

What did these trees in Abuja do to harm the naira? Well, they provided shed for money changers who were selling dollars at black market rates considered to be harmful to the value of the naira.

Closure of land borders

Supreme Leader Bubu woke up one morning in August 2019 and ordered that Nigeria’s land borders be shut down, because of rice. The man took “There’s rice at home” too literally and crippled international trade with neighbouring countries because he wanted to stop the smuggling of foreign rice into Nigeria. 

Buhari and April Fool's Day jokes

Immediately the borders were shut, the inflation rate increased consistently for the next 19 months. Buhari approved the reopening of the land borders in December 2020 and has said that the policy failed, but that it also succeeded. There’s a set-up for a good joke here, but we’re not great at the comedy thing like the president.

ALSO READ: Why’s Everyone Fighting Over Section 84 of the Electoral Act?

Amnesty for Boko Haram terrorists

Buhari and April Fool's Day jokes

There’s a Nigerian tailor making a killing every time Boko Haram members graduate as “repentant” terrorists

Boko Haram terrorists are directly responsible for the death of around 35,000 people and the displacement of more than two million people since 2009. A 2021 report by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) noted that the terrorists’ activities have indirectly led to 314,000 additional deaths.

Yet, Buhari in his wisdom started a rehabilitation programme called Operation Safe Corridor for terrorists to surrender in exchange for amnesty. More than 1,000 former “repentant” terrorists have graduated from this programme and have been reintegrated back into society, and more than 35,000 are waiting in line

Buhari and April Fool's Day jokes

ALSO READ: How Buhari Has Freed 1,629 “Repentant” Boko Haram Members

Despite the international support that the rehabilitation programme has, local support has been impossible to get. The still terrorised communities that have to embrace these supposedly-repentant terrorists have especially not been very welcoming. Some of these communities have asked Buhari to host the “repentant” terrorists at Aso Rock instead. That’s not an unreasonable demand.

Souvenir killjoy

“Buhari bans souvenirs at government events” is not a headline that made the rounds enough, but that’s something the president did in 2016. Buhari banned Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) from buying and distributing bags, t-shirts and other souvenirs at events such as conferences and seminars. He did this to cut down on government spending. 

Seeing as Nigerians love to party, we assume the MDAs received Buhari’s memo, laughed it off as an April Fool’s Day joke and ordered more rechargeable mini hand fans to distribute at the next government owambe.

ALSO READ: The Motion: Should First-Class Graduates Get Automatic Government Jobs?

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