OPINION: Eight years of ex-President Buhari, a postmortem

By Saliu Olanrewaju Lah

In 2015, when President Muhammadu Buhari took over the mantle of leadership, he encapsulated his agenda into three broad issues, namely Security, Economy, and Corruption.

Taking a cursory look into the issue of security, before 2015, we are all witnesses to the precarious level of insecurity in the country, especially the dreaded Boko Haram which held sway in about 14 local government areas of Borno State. The activities of the group were also felt in Adamawa and Yobe States respectively. It is worthy of note that some of the Chibok girls are still being held by the group since 2014

In a fair assessment of the Boko Haram insurgency, the Nigerian Military has been able to decimate the dreaded group by repelling some of their attacks and capturing the insurgents. Their activities are no more being felt unlike in the early days of the Muhammadu Buhari administration.

This could be ascribed to the various interventions by the government in terms of procurement of military hardware equipment and recruitment of personnel.

However, there is a switch from the Northeast to the Northwest, and in some parts of Northcentral states where banditry and kidnapping for ransom became the most lucrative business in the zones.

In some cases, especially in Zamfara state, nonstate actors have taken over some markets places, village squares, and residents are made to pay taxes to them before they are allowed to carry out their lawful businesses and activities.

In Benue and Nasarawa States, the clashes between the Fulani herdsmen and the natives have left hundreds of people to their early graves and the government seemed not to have a solution to it.

Just about 3 weeks ago, the killing in Plateau and Nasarawa States left over 200 persons dead.
The Buhari government failed to nip the crises in the bud for reasons some pundits have linked to tribal and religious sentiments.

The victims of these crises are in the best position to rate Buhari’s government in the area of security.
In April 2023, an organization involved in monitoring the security situation in Nigeria reported that over 63,000 people were killed between 2015 to date.

The second leg of his agenda is the economy, if a critical comparison has to be made, in 2015, the exchange rate of the naira to the dollar was less than 200 naira to a dollar. The price of a litre of petrol was between 119 to 145 naira. The price now is between 195 and 240 nairas.
Food inflation has skyrocketed to a record high in the history of Nigeria.
The unemployment rate compared to the previous administration is nothing to write home about despite his promises to lift 100 million people out of poverty.
Nigeria has since been re-christened as the poverty capital of the world.

The Nigeria Bureau of Statistics released a report on the multidimensional poverty index of Nigeria where it stated that about 163 million Nigerians are living below the poverty line.  The report has shown that the Buhari government did little or nothing to improve the living conditions of many Nigerians.

Therefore, it is safe to say that the outgoing government of Buhari failed woefully as far as the economy is concerned.

The promise of adding 50 thousand megawatts of electricity did not see the light of the day despite the huge investment in the power sector.

However, the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari should be applauded in the areas of infrastructure. The construction of roads and bridges across the various states and the building of housing estates for the lower and middle-class categories are some of his legacies.

The third and final item on his agenda is the fight against corruption.
The former Minister of Power is currently being probed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) on the alleged diversion of money to the tune of 22 billion naira.

In July 2022, the Punch Newspaper did a report on the abandonment of corruption cases involving heads of different institutions which ran up to 900 billion naira. The alleged corruption report is from 2015 when Buhari assumed office as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The former Accountant-General of the Federation is also being prosecuted in an alleged corruption case of 109 billion.
Under Buhari’s watch, the fight against corruption did not fare well in spite of his avowed commitment!

In conclusion therefore, the Buhari administration failed to adequately fulfill his campaign promises, especially to improve the quality of lives of Nigerians.
Posterity will judge him.

Saliu Olanrewaju Lah writes from the ancient city of Ilorin.


Ibrahim Sheriff is the Editor of Fresh Insight and former Special Assistant on Media to the Speaker, Kwara state House of Assembly. Although a management science researcher by training, he has over five years experience of practice in Journalism, Public Relations and Communication Strategy. Sheriff holds a Masters Degree in Finance and Bachelors Degree in Banking and Finance from Kwara state University, Malete. He has Certificates in Digital Journalism, Enterprise Creation and Skill Acquisition (ECSA) and Basic Econometrics Data Analysis, as well as Bank of Industry (BoI) Certificate in Business Management. He is also a holder of Diploma in Cooperative Studies from Kwara state Polytechnic, Ilorin.

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