OPINION: Buhari’s Dilemma, Naira Fall, Nigerians’ Suffering & National Security Question

*Quotes: “Leadership is the
capacity to transform vision into reality”-Warren Bennis
*“The first responsibility
of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the
leader is a servant”-MaxDePree
*“ A leader is one who
knows the way, goes the way and shows the way”-John Maxwell
*“Effective leadership is
not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not
attributes”-Peter Drucker
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OTUMU/CNNiReport Journalist North AMERICA
MEN make history and
not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society
stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the
opportunity to change things for the better”, postulates Harry S. Truman.

Nigerians had high hopes.
Nigerians believe basic amenities of life would be readily available. Nigerians
were sure health institutions in the country would be better off. The people of
Nigeria were certain they would not go to bed in hunger as three square meals
would be made available. Millions of Nigerians had belief that house rents
payment would be easily affordable. Electricity supply, the masses were sure
would have improved and be more constant.
Graduates of Nigerian
tertiary colleges were hopeful that securing jobs after school completion would
be a walk-over. Farmers were bold enough to agree that they would have access
to soft loans to produce food in large capacity to guide against food
insecurity in the county. Market women resolved in their several meetings to
make prices of food affordable to Nigerians.
Nigerians were joyful that
they would be able to sleep with their two eyes closed, not afraid of hoodlums
or armed robbers invading their homes. From the East to West, North and South
of Nigeria, everyone was certain Naira, Nigeria’s currency would appreciate in
the Foreign Exchange Market (Forex) soon as the nation witnessed new
Nigerians had all of these
high expectation since on May 29, 2015 when President Muhammadu Buhari assumed
power as Nigeria’s leader, the people saw in him: a firm leader going by his
antecedent as a military ruler of Nigeria from 1984-1985; an incorruptible
personae, a disciplinarian who would be willing to go extra mile ensuring
sanity in politics and economy, which are the core promises he made to
Nigerians in his manifesto before all of us entrusted our collective destinies
in his hands by overwhelmingly voting out Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and
had All Progressives Congress (APC), an opposition party take over the reigns
of power. During the election, many Nigerians died in the process, as some of
them became victims of gun shots, party-rivalry attacks, stray bullet.
In short, Mr. President
rode to power on the wings of Nigerian lives who sacrificed themselves, faced
all odds, queued long in the sun, kept vigil on ballot boxes so they are not
stolen by hooligans: all in their sorrows, tears and blood. So what did
Nigerians get in return for all these sacrifices? Empty promises,
disappointment, regret, inflation, sufferings; more joblessness, shattered dreams,
unfulfilled aspiration, propaganda and deceit in the most alarming rate ever in
Nigeria’s history. It is akin to dancing on dead Nigerians’ graves. Many of
them are wishing if the earlier young, vibrant, energetic and resourceful
Buhari whom they knew as a military leader in the 80’s could be reincarnated
into this 21st
 Century by his vibrancy. Alas, veils have fallen
off Nigerians’ eyes since it is now realized that Buhari of the 80’s is not the
same as Buhari of this 21st
Century. As at today, Buhari is 73 years old, an old man that has obviously
lost the energy, vigour, strength, ingenuity and profound thinking capacity of
the 80’s.
There comes a time in the
life of every man when that man looks himself straight in the mirror and tells
himself the truth. At Mr. President’s age of 73 years, if he continues in this
path as at present, it is either he his not telling himself the truth by
looking closely in his appraisal-mirror of performance or gullible to the
high-praise of political sycophants whom General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida
(retired) also a former Nigerian military ruler described in his recent tweeter
handle as glutton, hungry politicians with voracious appetite whose main visit
to Aso Rock, seat of power is to consume food. IBB, as fondly called captured
it in these words: “I strongly believe our Politicians are well fed.
 Aso Rock is Not A Place to Feed Nigerian Politicians.” A popular
adage in Nigeria says “A fool at 40 is a fool forever,”, then how do you
describe someone at the age of 73years?
It is becoming more crystal
clear daily that there are some political wolves in the corridor of power whom
Mr. President must have seen as harmless, political sheep that would not
wrongly advise, guide, inform him of the pulse of Nigerians’ expectation;
rather these same politicians are not only misinforming, misguiding but seems
set to rubbish earlier legacies of Buhari’s accomplishment in the 80’s through
his lackluster political performance as being witnessed by all and sundry
Regarding Nigeria’s Naira
fall to over N300, which has for the first time almost brought the nation’s
economy down on its knees due to oil reliant to an all time shame, the words of
Douglas MacArthur, an American great philosopher, a five-star Army General and
a former Chief of Staff of the United States who died April 5, 1964 in
Washington DC readily comes to mind. He said: “A true leader has the confidence
to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions and the compassion to
listen to the need of others. He does not set out to become a leader, but
becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent.”
Yes, Buhari has been a true
leader standing alone. Yes, Mr President has had the confidence to make tough
decisions. No, he has not had the compassion to listen to the need and
suffering of the masses. Nigerians damned all odds across ethnicity, social barriers,
political affiliations to elect him their leader by seeing through the prism of
his unquestionable integrity, but the equality of his actions buoyed by his
non-compliance to his own electoral promises, willful desecration of his own
Oath, now cast shadows of doubt on his economic prowess to save Nigeria from
the woods.
Godwin Emefiele, a former
Chief Executive officer and Group Managing Director of Zenith Bank Plc has been
Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) since June 3, 2014. He brought in various
economic theories, fad, ideas and policies. On the long run, right under Mr
President eyes, Emefiele has found it so difficult to ‘arrest’ the rising of
Nigeria’s Naira in Foreign Exchange Market to the extent that One United States
Dollar now goes for over N300 in the open market. Under Goodluck Jonathan,
Buhari’s predecessor, the then CBN Governor, now Emir of Kano State, Sansusi
Lamido Sanusi, ensured Naira exchange to a Dollar was stable at N150. Today,
Nigerian politicians due to economic orders handed down to the nation’s
financial institutions by CBN; majority of them have literally been buying-out
dollars everywhere, anywhere they found it the country, which they now keep at
home to avert the slamming hammer of CBN regulations.
These realities have
brought untold hardship to majority of Nigerian homes, with money becoming
further scarce in circulation as Buhari’s anti-corruption drive steep lower
into the standard of living of the masses. Unlike Buhari who had military
background, Emefiele would have imprinted his name in the Hall of Infamy at the
end of his tenure as ‘one of the worst economists with bad policies that
worsened the value of Naira.’ Mr President, it is time you wake up from this
slumber that is obviously blowing weird air on Nigerians. Do the right thing:
give a deadline to the CBN Governor to put into pragmatic use sound economic
policies that would ensure Naira is strong, stable and higher in value compared
to other currencies in the Foreign Exchange Market.
Just like every other
Nigerians, it is needful that I tell you this Mr President. Great that you are
all out fighting Nigeria’s economic saboteurs, corruption, political thieves
that have stolen the nation’s wealth by bringing them to justice, blocking all
loopholes in the Federal Civil Service to avoid financial waste, having
Treasury Single Account (TSA) an initiative which requires that government
revenue collection is put into single account to centralize control on
effective cash management. But have you asked yourself of what effects are your
economic drives on the people you are leading as being guided by the CBN
Emir of Kano recently said
Mr President needs urgent help economically to steer the nation. He also
accused Emefiele not to be in denial of being able to artificially hold up the
currency. His words: “Let’s stop being in denial, we cannot artificially hold
up the currency. President Buhari needs help on the economy. CBN Governor
should devalue the Naira. Our economy, the biggest in Africa is in danger of a
long slump unless the government confronts slowing growth.”
Another former CBN
Governor, Charles Soludo carpets Buhari’s economic direction which he described
as ‘Old Buharinomics.’ While delivering a lecture recently in Lagos under the
title ‘Avoiding the mistakes of the last Buharinomics’, Soludo said: “There
seems to be a perception of the sense of nostalgia, a thing about the command
and control regime battling with what is required in a competitive market
economy worldwide. The element of the old Buharinomics that we need to change
include Fix Exchange Rate, Fix Capital Control, Import Bans and Forex
In his reaction, Emefiele
in a grand-standing way to impress Mr President that his economic policies are
good and rebuff criticisms daily enumerated by other economic experts so as to
keep his job, he recently states during
Annual Bankers’ Dinner hosted by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria
(CBN) in Lagosthat “My economic policies are bitter pills with long term
 While it is too soon to articulate the benefits,
the economy is headed in the right direction. The CBN will always act in good
faith in pursuing price and financial system stability. The CBN had instituted
many polices, including the Treasury Single Account (TSA), restrictions of
foreign exchange (Forex) for the importation of some 41 items, financial
bailout for some states and capital controls. I insist that the Naira will
not be further devalued and we have been implementing fixed exchange rate
regime instead of flexible exchange rate.” Except Buhari takes urgent step to
re-write this wrong economic policies, else his administration economy will
eventually go down in ruins, as Nigerians are now coerced to swallow the bitter
pills of Emefiele’s clueless economic daftness by way of harsh inflationary
On National Security, Mr
President should answer the following posers in truth and honesty: Do you have
an empirical data of how many Nigerians that goes to bed daily on empty
stomach? Do you know the sufferings most businesses in Nigeria are going
through without steady electricity supply? Do you have a track record of how
many graduates that are jobless yet walking the streets daily in search of
non-existing jobs? Have you a collation of how many Nigerians that goes to work
daily without any salary to pay their bills by month end? Do you know how many
underage girls in Nigeria today that have left secondary schools or still in
high schools but have taken to prostitution to help their families eke out a
living so they would not die in starvation? Can you give us details of how many
Nigerians literally ‘sleeping’ outside various foreign embassies in Nigeria in
search of visa to run away from effect of your anti-people economic policies?
The hypothetical questions are limitless. Without doubt, Buhari is presently in


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