Thinking of President Buhari’s legacy in Nigeria

Muhammadu Buhari

If I were close to President Mohammadu Buhari, I would have asked him how he would love to be remembered after he had ruled Nigeria for 8 years. President Buhari came to power in 2015 with the promise of resolving our security and corruption challenges. But alas, these have assumed hydra-headed dimensions and the president is at a loss for solutions. Under Buhari’s watch, Nigeria has drifted backwards 40years. His main pre-occupation has been to empower his ethnic Fulani by giving them the whole of Nigeria. Another preoccupation has been to deal with Igbos and ensure they occupy the servant’s position in Nigeria’s scheme of things. These two mindsets are the reason Nigeria is where it is today. It is the poverty capital of the world, the third terrorism most-impacted nation in the world. All over the world, Nigerians are hated and being chased away as viruses, disgraced and treated with no respect. It was not like this before Buhari assumed office in 2015. Cost of living is now at an all-time high. Crimes and criminality have risen to unmanageable proportions. Unemployment and idleness which naturally feed the pools of criminals have never been this high in the history of this country. The reason is that the president is focused on shadows.
What would be Buhari’s legacy to Nigerians? Even today, can anyone say that Nigeria is better than how he met it in 2015? I don’t think so. Just a few weeks ago, Buhari’s Chief of Army Staff, Major General Tukur Buratai threatened to impose a state of emergency in the whole South-East, alleging insecurity in the region. Why not impose a state of emergency in the entire 3 zones of the North that have been under siege of herdsmen and other terrorists? Why in the South East that has no problem whatsoever? All Nigeria’s problems point to insistence on an old script that Buhari’s administration is insisting on playing out. He has failed to realize that this has been overtaken by events. Talk of so-called grazing routes! How can one be talking of such a thing in the 21st century? It is unfortunate that President Buhari and people in his administration travel all over the world but fail to appreciate the fact that cattle are not seen on the roads and in the cities. In America, Europe and other developed climes, there is an abundance of beef for people to eat, yet cows are not seen roaming the cities and towns. Why can’t they ask questions of those countries on how it is done? Why is Buhari insisting on perpetuating an outdated Fulani culture of nomadic living? Why can’t he modernize? In developed climes, cattle are ranched. This is what this administration has refused to hear or consider!
And now Water Resources Bill! In all ramifications, this is RIGA in disguise. Why would the Federal government want to take over water sources and adjoining lands of states across the country and give them to whomsoever they will. Of course, just like Nigeria’s oil wells are majorly owned and allocated to Northerners, so also would water resources be allocated to Miyetti Allah and their kits and kin. There is something sinister about this bill that had been earlier rejected by Nigerians. The Buhari administration cares little about the welfare of Nigerians. There is no creativity there. All energies are channelled towards the single agenda of giving the Fulani’s the whole of Nigeria. It is not possible in today’s Nigeria. As far as southerners are concerned there is nothing called grazing routes in their regions. The only solution for Buhari’s administration to stop herders/farmers conflicts is to follow the example of Governor Abdulkadir Ganduje of Kano who has embarked on massive construction of RUGA for herdsmen in Kano State. Ganduje recently disclosed that his administration has just sent 75 Fulani people to Turkey to be trained in modern cow-milking business and other related aspects of the cattle business. According to the governor, this would end herders/farmers conflict in Kano State. Why can’t Buhari follow this method? Why must he insist on open cattle grazing that has proved to be the major issue in herders/farmers conflicts across Nigeria?
However, our President seems not to be bothered about what posterity would think of him. He seems only to be bothered of what his ethnic Fulani tribes’ men would think of him. He sympathizes with them and presented their case before Donald Trump where he argued that the grazing routes of Fulani herdsmen across Nigeria had been taken over by farmers. This is happening in the 21st century! President Trump must have been amused.
For Nigeria to move forward, a real change of mindset must take place among the leadership. The leaders of this country must ask themselves heart-searching questions like what their legacy would be when people remember them 10 years after leaving public office. How would you want them to describe your administration or your contribution towards ration-building? Even in a smaller world like your community or organization, how would you like to be remembered. In the case of President Buhari, how would he like to be remembered? President Buhari needs to start the change process. He needs to change his thinking about Igbos. He needs to change his thinking about Nigeria. He needs to change his thinking about the place of Fulani’s in Nigeria. He needs to change his thinking about how cattle business is done. The president needs to modernize, see the whole Nigeria as his constituency, see himself as the father of all Nigeria’s and put an end to all forms of discrimination against any tribe or people of any religion. The President and his handlers have to consider that any form of discrimination against any region-for whatever reason-is bound to breed resentment from that region. Placing a glass ceiling against Igbos in the country cannot help matters. Nigeria has to thrive on the principles of meritocracy. Deliberate discrimination against a region is sad indeed. We must remember that a chain is as strong as its weakest link.
Deliberate suppression of talents out of an unfounded fear of domination is the reason Nigeria is where it is today. Let’s stop chasing shadows. Let there be real reconciliation among all tribes in Nigeria and let all marginalization be buried. Only this can give birth to a new nation.


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