President Buhari went into Aso Rock Villa in 2015 with a promise to change everything bad about the country. Nigerians, at this point, were tired of the rising level of insecurity, corruption and the dwindling state of the economy. Also, the combination of an ex-military general with a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) seemed like the perfect answer to tackle all our problems.
However, it’s been seven and a half years, and the headaches we suffered before have become migraines under the current administration.
With only six months left for Buhari to leave Aso Rock Villa, many Nigerians are starting to wonder if they got what they ordered.
Unemployment was one of Nigeria’s biggest problems in 2015, and Buhari promised to tackle it by creating three million jobs every year. When he became president, the unemployment rate was 8.19%, but has now climbed to a record 33% under him. No wonder insecurity is getting worse and the people who can afford to japa are running out of the country.
This is one of the significant issues that hit the nail in the coffin of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) government. With the deadly attacks on public places becoming more frequent, Nigerians wanted nothing more than to kiss Jonathan goodbye. Buhari capitalised on this and promised to crush the preparators completely. But it’s been seven and a half years and the situation isn’t any better.
In Jonathan’s era, one dollar was equivalent to ₦196, and many of us, including Buhari, cried about the country’s economic state. Buhari promised to return the naira to its glory days, and Nigerians believed him. Unfortunately, the naira has been going in the opposite direction of its glory days and lost even more value under Buhari.
The president’s administration has also left millions of Nigerians poorer. According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), over 133 million Nigerians currently live in poverty which is a sharp contrast to seven years ago when Nigeria was described as the largest and fastest growing economy in Africa. We were sold dreams of a revitalised economy, but the only thing we’ve gotten is debt and high inflation rates.
President Buhari is the kind of man whose reputation precedes him, and for those of us who weren’t born in the military era, we heard many tales of his fight against corruption. But have you seen the level of corruption by public officials under his administration?
One would expect these officials would at least face severe penalties when caught but, more often than not, their crimes are swept under the rug and forgotten. So maybe Buhari’s hate for corruption was nothing but an old wives’ tale?
Before he won, Buhari promised to upgrade the health sector to stop Nigerian leaders from taking wasteful medical trips abroad. However, since he came into power, he’s become a tourist, flying overseas to treat cases such as ear infections despite having over 200 Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) specialists in Nigeria.
Clearly, despite his promises, President Buhari found it challenging to fulfil many campaign promises. Perhaps, he got there and realised the job was harder than he thought it would be, or maybe he just wasn’t the guy for the job.