President Buhari at 80, Nigeria at 62 and that Bequeathal of the Poverty Capital of the World to Nigeria’s Youths
1. Today, 17th December 2022, is the 80th birthday of Nigeria’s incumbent president, Muhammadu Buhari. By some sort of providence or coincidence, in the past few days, following the daily unfolding of events leading up to the 2023 general elections, I have been thinking about the regime and political career of President Buhari; particularly, about the bequest he would leave behind as he obligatorily and finally exits presidential office in the next five months, on the 29th of May 2023. Going by the current trajectory of events, there seems to be a new season of life for Nigeria on the horizon; seeing the upsurging political awareness, building up to the 2023 general elections; which, fortunately, and thankfully, cuts across all age brackets. This thought — of what legacy, the ‘old stock’ of politicians, represented by President Buhari, would be leaving behind for young Nigerians, who now seem to be taking the destiny of their country in their hands — has persistently stuck in my mind for quite a time. Relishing the novelty of unprecedented interest that young people have taken in the politics and governance of their country, one cannot but ask: what has Nigeria’s political leadership put in stock for these young people in the past 62 years of self-governance? What legacy is 80-year-old President Buhari leaving behind after 60 years of a political career?
2. The foregoing is the articulation of my weeklong cerebrations on President Buhari — his career and his legacy — as he marks his 80th birthday and his 60th year around the corridors of military and political power in Nigeria. The context of the reflection is Nigeria and the prospects of new times, seemingly beckoning for Nigeria; as the 2023 elections offer a new occasion of change and redirection for the country. The two central factors of consideration are the immaterial or systemic legacy of Mr. Buhari after a lifetime of political and military career; that is, what sustainable socio-economic structures and nation-building fundamentals he has achieved for the millions of young Nigerians, whom we now see, in the various political movements, awakening to somewhat a crusade of patriotism and nationalism, aimed at retaking Nigeria. Apparently disappointed by the political class, these young people are demanding a new deal and direction for their country; and they are doing so with such vehemence and vexation that cannot be ignored and cannot be maligned. This challenge of the status quo is surely a good omen!
3. One of the many sore points of the Buhari presidency, which also, is the chief provocation for this 80th birthday essay, is that bequeathal of the poverty capital of the world, which Nigeria received in 2016, during the ongoing regime of Muhammadu Buhari. Whereas there are remote underpinnings, its proximate cause is certainly his failure to realize the emancipation magic which he had promised Nigerians, earlier in 2015. By 2016, one year into his first administration, the World Bank reported that 89 million Nigerians were living in extreme poverty and another 25 million were on the verge of falling below the poverty line. By 2018, three years, with him as helmsman, Nigeria had formally become the world’s poverty capital, having overtaken India as the country with the highest number of people living in abject poverty. For 2022, the World Bank projected that more Nigerians, about 95 million, would fall into extreme poverty if nothing changes. However, today, 17th December 2022, the official cumulative percentage of people living in extreme poverty in Nigeria, now stands at 60% of the population; about 133 million people. Appallingly, since 2016, under the watch of President Buhari, Nigeria has been ’rivalling’ India, over the infamous title of world poverty capital.
4. Nevertheless, this piece is not intended to disparage the person of President Buhari; it is rather intended to state the verdict of the status quo. It is not an attack on him; it is an assessment of him. It is a concerned citizen’s statement of the present reality of his country by interpreting available data. Of course, it behoves followers to watchdog their leaders. It is incumbent on citizens to hold their leaders accountable. Effective followership is the second foot of effective leadership. Responsible followership is the gadfly of responsible leadership. It is the responsibility of followers to hold leaders accountable. This essay is my beat in helping posterity to hold President Buhari accountable for his role in the leadership of the country that is now described as nearly a failed State; adding to that inglorious designation as the headquarters of poverty. It is not also to say that President Buhari did not make any positive impact on Nigeria. It is more to say that in 2022, in his cumulative 9th year as leader of Africa’s most emblematic nation and most iconic black country, Nigeria is ranked among the most terrorized countries in the world, among the most dangerous places to live in the world and among those with extreme poverty. Under his watch, Nigeria ranks high among countries with worst records of out of school children and internally displaced persons. Under his watch, the World Bank reports that Nigerians live in ‘disunity’ and all forms of sectarian animosity. Nigeria has never been so divided as they are today. Under him, Nigeria still has eight months ASUU strike. Under General Buhari, Nigeria harbours the fourth deadliest terrorist group. On his 80th birthday, we bring these issues to his attention and to the attention of Nigerians and the world. It is no more time to play to the gallery.
5. Yes, President Buhari can be held accountable and culpable for the multiple afflictions bedevilling Nigeria today! If President Buhari — whose lieutenants made so much noise about his integrity and his messianic mission for Nigeria — did not win the 2015 and 2019 elections, he would have been canonized by his supporters as the messiah Nigeria refused to receive and as the best president Nigeria never had. But he did! He won elections as president of Nigeria for two terms. He willingly threw his hat into the ring! He got the opportunity to be the messiah of Nigeria, as he and his supporters, like Bola Armed Tinubu, promised in 2015. Again, regarding the legacy of massive extreme poverty, Buhari cannot exonerate himself, because he has had a fairly long beat in leading Nigeria, both as a soldier and as a civilian. With ten cumulative years as Nigeria’s chief executive, he had ample opportunities to rectify Nigeria, more than many other leaders. Therefore, he could be held accountable and responsible for whatever Nigeria is today. Having been president, history has the obligation to reckon with his achievements. We have the right to interrogate the legacies of his flaunted political messianism for Nigeria. This, we shall briefly do, on this his 80th birthday and 60th year of presence around the corridors of military and political power in Nigeria.
6. Those who have the most critical stake in whatever happens to Nigeria, are the youths. Those most affected by the ignoble reputation of Nigeria on the world scene, are the youths of the country. Those most concerned about the latest descent of Africa’s most populous nation, into extreme poverty are also the youths. Those most affected by infrastructural deficits, social support shortfalls, lack of opportunities, and unemployment, are the young people. For 2022, the National Bureau of Statistics states that 33% of Nigeria’s workforce is unemployed; that is about 72.6 million people. 60% of Nigeria’s population is below the age of 50, and that is about 132 million people. It has thus, become imperative to ask if their octogenarian leader is thinking about them and what he is doing to bequeath a sustainable country and a prosperous posterity to them. President Buhari himself, right from the age of 19, when he joined the Nigerian army, has been working for and living off Nigeria. From opportunities to livelihood, from State-sponsored military training to employment in State services, the country Nigeria offered Buhari barely everything; such that it is even hard to think of any other venture that Muhammadu Buhari has been involved in, other than serving in various governments and depending on government for livelihood and sustenance. As the leader of about 100 million youths, what are President Buhari’s sentiments towards Nigeria’s youths? What has he in stock for them and for posterity?
7. On the 18th of April 2018, at a Commonwealth Business Forum in London, in a rather appalling manner, President Buhari hinted at the sad reality of the systemic impoverishment of Nigeria’s youth, insinuating that they are lazy. It was surprising that President Buhari was not abashed to affirm to an international audience that the over 100 million youths, whose leader he is, are the laziest of human beings. But, as in many cases, President Buhari was wrong! Often out of touch with reality and of basic leadership manners, President Buhari betrayed his own leadership failure in that attempt to discredit the young people of his own country; since, it is only in a subverted system, in an undermined polity like Nigeria, and under uninspiring leaders, like Muhammadu Buhari himself, that nature throws up young people who are impotent of ingenious ideas or bereft of zeal and industry. President Buhari’s several reproachful remonstrations on Nigeria’s youths are a verdict on his leadership incompetence as well as on the clumsiness characteristic of Nigeria’s governance; of which the youths are mostly the victims.
8. However, for proper contextualization, let us take a brief look at President Muhammadu Buhari’s military and political career, and its legacy in Nigeria. Muhammadu Buhari was born on 17th December 1942, at Daura, in Katsina State. He joined the Nigerian army at 19, in 1962. At 20, in 1963, he was commissioned a second lieutenant and was appointed Platoon Commander, and was stationed at Abeokuta. At this point, his public service and quick rise in military ranks began. By the time of the 1966 coup, he was a brigade major and commander of Second Infantry Battalion and was yet at Abeokuta. Perhaps, being barely three years in military service, he was not involved in the planning and execution of the first coup; which ousted Abubakar Tafawa Balewa; but he was already well-positioned in the military hierarchy, and from the following year, had a significant stake in barely all other subsequent military activities. Thus, he participated in the counter-coup of 1967, which ousted Major Johnson General Aguiyi-Ironsi and installed Yakubu Gowon; which also snowballed into the Biafra-Nigeria civil war; during which, as a brigade major, he served as a battalion commander on many battle fronts.
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9. After the war, Buhari became a lieutenant colonel. Again, he participated in the 1975 coup that ousted Yakubu Gowon and installed Murtala Mohammed. From August 1975 to March 1976, under the short benign reign of Murtala Mohammed, Buhari served as Military Governor of North Eastern State and Bornu State. After the 1976 coup that saw the death of Murtala Mohammed and the emergence of the Olusegun Obasanjo regime, Buhari was appointed Federal Commissioner for Petroleum and Natural Resources (1976–1977) as well as the first chairman of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC, 1977–1978). From 1978 to 1979, he was the Military Secretary of Nigeria’s Army Headquarters and a member of the ruling Supreme Military Council. Onward from the second coup — the 1967 counter-coup — Buhari was among the kingmakers in the army. He participated in the coups and in governance.
10. Nigeria’s Second Republic began on the 1st of October 1979, when Shehu Shagari was sworn in as President and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. In August 1983, Shehu Shagari and his National Party of Nigeria (NPN) were re-elected and were again sworn into office on the 1st of October 1983. However, the second regime of the second republic was short-lived, because, on the 31st of December 1983, Muhammadu Buhari and other military officers, staged a coup, during which Shehu Shagari was ousted, and this time, Buhari himself was installed as military head of State. To justify this coup, Buhari cited corruption and economic decline. However, shortly afterward, in August 1985, Ibrahim Babangida — a member of Buhari’s Military Ruling Council — in turn, overthrew the Buhari regime, citing abuse of power, violation of human rights, and worsening economic downturn. Buhari stayed a while under house arrest and was later released to civilian life.
11. Perhaps wanting to remain in the lucrative corridors of public political office, from 1994 to 1999, Buhari returned to serve in the Sani Abacha regime as the first chairman of the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF); where he managed the Fund of excess revenue from petroleum. By the time of the nation’s return to democracy in 1999, Buhari was not yet ready to give up on the quest for political power. He entered active civilian politics with the 2003 elections; becoming a member of the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP), on whose platform, he contested for the presidency and lost. In 2007, again under ANPP, he contested for the presidency and lost. In 2010, he left ANPP and formed his own party, the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC); on whose platform he contested for the presidency in 2011; which again he lost. In 2013, his CPC, joined four other opposition political groups from ANPP, ACN, PDP, and APGA to form the All Progressive Congress (APC); on whose platform he contested the 2015 presidential election; and finally, he won — having deluded Nigerians who were anxious for change that he was the long-expected political messiah, the incorruptible anti-corruption champion and invincible ex-General who would end insecurity and ineptitude in Nigeria.
12. Clearly, Muhammadu Buhari has been present and active in the corridors of military and political power in Nigeria, since 1963, when he was 20 years of age; and he has remained there to date. From 1963 to 2023 — when he will finish his tenure as two-term president — sums up to 60 years of public political career for Mr. Buhari. After such a long patrol at the echelon of the corridors of power, we have the right to ask: what has he to show for it? What is the legacy President Buhari is leaving behind after a privileged beat at power? Did he turn out to be, indeed, the political messiah he insinuated in his long years of contesting to be president of Nigeria, after having served as Military Head of State? As a war veteran and retired General, did Buhari really solve Nigeria’s security predicaments, or did it rather fester under his military booths? Did his touted ‘integrity’ extirpate corruption in the polity? Did he keep his 2015 mouth-watering campaign promises? Did he live up to the commitment he pledged to Nigerians, at the Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, in London, on Thursday, February 26, 2015? Did the naira gain value under his watch? Did he end the inefficiency and corruption in the oil sector? Did the young people fare better under him? What is Muhammadu Buhari bequeathing to the young people and posterity of Nigeria after a lifetime of leadership? We have the right to ask these questions!
13. The answer is simple! It is not anything to write home about! To avoid their usual sling of calumny, let us list a few examples for proof: it was under the Buhari regime, precisely on the 10th of May 2016, that Nigeria was mocked internationally as a ‘fantastically corrupt’ country and placed at par with Afghanistan, as the most corrupt systems in the world; by non-other than a fellow political leader, David Cameron. Under his watch, as we see every day, Nigeria is witnessing even worst forms of official and political corruption; especially among anti-graft and accounting officers, as well as the subversion of judicial autonomy and neutrality. Under the same anti-corruption general, we are witnessing new and strange strings of Nigeria’s history of political and administrative rip-off; these new strings are the phenomenon of blaming misappropriations on animals: we have been told that a monkey swallowed ₦70 million; that a snake swallowed ₦36 million; we have also been told, how, in the past, termites swallowed or ate-up financial records of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF). We have seen all these! What we have not seen is the severity of measures, of the anti-corruption general in dealing with such vexatious fraud tales, as he touted at campaigns.
14. Under the watch of the emeritus general as commander-in-chief of armed forces, insecurity has not only been diversified in forms and names, it has become diffused into every region and State of the country. It has expanded from Boko Haram terrorism — which was the contention in 2015 — to savage banditry; it has worsened from merely communal farmer-herder farm-based clatters to foreign mercenaries massacring and sacking villages; thereby displacing and pushing millions of citizens into Internally Displaced Person’s camps. Likewise, as it is today, the ‘business’ of kidnapping for ransom, has become the quickest means of ‘making it big’, making big money, next only to being a politician in power or being appointed into a political office. Under the watch of President Buhari, kidnapping for ransom, as deathly as it is, has become a lucrative venture that is commonly ‘enterprised’ across all parts of Nigeria; and because it has been made into money-spinning merchandise, traded or aided by persons in political high places, unsurprisingly, also, the security apparatus of government has been rendered incapable of tracking and tackling its masterminds, its merchandists, and of apprehending and prosecuting and punishing their marksmen and footsoldiers.
15. In the 62 years of political and military leadership, of which Muhammadu Buhari is a fitting representative, Nigeria, as a nation, owns nothing; that is, Nigeria produces nothing; Nigeria cannot pride itself on anything it offers to the world, or at least, to her citizens. Just as Japan is known for Japanese cars and hosts automotive companies like Toyota, Lexus, Honda, Acura, Daihatsu, Nissan, Infiniti, Suzuki, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Isuzu, Hino, Kawasaki, Yamaha, and Mitsuoka, Nigeria has no productive brand attached to its name; not even petroleum products. The country Nigeria is known for nothing of value, but the stigma of fraud and corruption. With the exception of a few music stars and the Nigerian name or origin of a few individuals, who are excelling internationally, standing on the shoulders of the structures offered to them by foreign nations, Nigeria has no domestic commodity or service it offers to the world in its national name. There is no ‘made in Nigeria’ brand that proudly sells in the global market or on the world stage.
16. Worst still is that not only does Nigeria not have a reputable name abroad, but Nigerians at home, do not also have a national identity. It has been aptly said by several persons, that there is a country called Nigeria, but there are yet no Nigerians. After 62 years of being, Nigeria has not succeeded in its citizens into one people nor in giving them a national identity. As is often the case, when politicians insist on the matter of ‘One-Nigeria’, as sacrosanct and non-negotiable, it is itself an inadvertent admittance of the lack of organic cohesion and national identity of Nigeria’s citizens. After 62 years, Nigerians yet live as tribal nations, alienated from one another and from the country itself; they are yet estranged in their fatherland; and, in many ways, oppressed by the fraudulent systems of the country that claims them as her citizens; a country from whom they have gotten nothing much and to whom, consequently, they feel no obligation of love or patriotism.
17. But even beyond earning itself international relevance and reputation and becoming a respected nation, which usually would rob-off on the dignity of its citizens abroad; Nigeria has not also offered its citizens, the very basic amenities of a decent life in modern society. Under the prevalent political leadership, epitomized by General Muhammadu Buhari, who has been in the palaces of power since 1963, Nigeria has offered the least minimum of social substructure to her citizens. For the facts: today, December 2022, Nigeria suffers a deficit of barely all the essentials of a functional society; and we can cite several examples of this deficiency. The giant of Africa lacks vital 21st-century energy/power infrastructure, and cannot provide itself nationwide electricity even for half a dozen hours a day. Nigeria does not have a production and reticulation system for portable water. 200 million Nigerians have no efficient drainage, sewage or flooding system. In spite of her vast sea of arable land, Nigeria is yet far from mechanized agriculture, has no place in the million-dollar agricultural value chain, and has no food policy to feed her multitudes. Nigeria’s health sector is still in the gutters. This is attested to by the unabating flight of health experts and the elite medical tourism, championed by politicians, ably led by President Buhari himself.
18. In addition to these systemic woes, Nigeria has no planned and coordinated transportation system, to aid commerce and integration. As of today, Nigeria has no national airline. Nigeria has no nationwide rail line. Nigeria has no asphalted interconnected and secured road network for traversing her 36 States or 250 ethnic peoples. As though, leaders like President Buhari, want the country to remain in the woods of underdevelopment, Nigeria has no deliberate, metered and monitored industrialization plan, espoused and pursued by both leaders and peoples. Nigeria has no highly specialized or highly ranked universities. Also, Nigeria’s public primary and intermediate schools are not good for good education. We know this because Nigeria’s public officials, who ultimately oversee the schools, usually send their own children to schools in foreign countries; and these same leaders, unashamed and unperturbed, are wont to taunt other citizens by posing and posting on social media, pictures of their wards and themselves as they graduate abroad, even when schools in Nigeria, where they govern, are on six-months-long industrial strike. Similarly, the most populous black nation has no effective policing system. Apart from politicians who are body-guarded by national security operatives, everyone else in Nigeria provides his own security; and if one has the misfortune of falling into the hands of criminals — who are many and everywhere — such one is on his own, because it may just be a delusion to hope that the security agencies would come to your aid.
19. In the same vein, as a political entity, Nigeria has no strong institutions or stable systems, functional and self-sustaining enough to substructure the State and checkmate State functionaries. This explains why Nigeria has been vacillating for too long; seemingly incapable of stabilizing itself, even after 60 years of age. Unfortunately, Nigeria’s civil service is grossly debilitated, the armed forces are corrupted, the judiciary is relatively compromised, the legislature is blatantly self-serving, and the majority of citizens are depraved; therefore, the executive — the managerial unit of government — operates with brazen notoriety. As if not yet bad enough, or perhaps, for deliberate reasons of ulterior entrenchment and aggrandizement, Nigerian leaders have not yet given their people a peoples-sovereignty-constitution; that is, a constitution authored by the assent of Nigeria’s peoples, informed by their discretion, legitimized by their sovereign endorsement and in which their will and welfare are codified. At this material moment, Nigeria is still being governed by a military fiat, known as the 1999 Constitution; which, unsurprisingly, has been faulted and denounced, both at home and abroad, for its incongruity.
20. After 62 years of nationhood, no one, especially those of the post-First Republic, (except politicians) has succeeded because of being Nigerian; rather Nigerians suffer on account of the name Nigeria; this is particularly so for younger Nigerians — at home, they suffer oppression, abroad, they suffer stigmatization. For this reason, some Nigerians abroad, even prefer to hide their Nigerian identity. It is also for similar reasons that barely every young Nigerian prays to have the opportunity to leave and live outside Nigeria. This is partly because, apart from fraudulent politicking, nothing worthwhile thrives in Nigeria; and partly because, the greater number of Nigerians who become successful in any impactful venture in life, do so outside Nigeria. Among the very fortunate Nigerians, who brave the harsh conditions and become successful in Nigeria, one of their first goals is usually to create a ‘plan B’ for themselves outside Nigeria and to have the means to leave the country, at any point of need; such as for reasons of health or education.
21. How is it that, as yet, Nigeria imports barely everything; including, of course, even the things its own citizens manage to produce? How is it that Nigerians, particularly, elite Nigerians and Nigerian bourgeoisie politicians, have no confidence in the things ‘made in Nigeria’. How is it that, again, particularly, Nigerians of the political class, detest products from the country they govern, and prefer to patronize whatever is foreign? How is it that, as yet, the goal of economic emancipation and the war against corruption — which began very shortly after independence, and which were given as motives for both the first and further coup d’états — has not yet been won, after over half of a century? It is, above all, because Nigeria’s elite political and leadership class, figured here by President Muhammadu Buhari, over the years, have failed in the exercise of leadership, which is requisite for nation-building. President Buhari, for instance, has been involved, in the crusade against indiscipline and corruption, particularly in the well-known WAI Brigade of his 1983–1985 military junta. However, how is it that 36 years later, while the same Muhammadu Buhari is again president, and has been Nigeria’s leader, both as a military and civilian politician, for a cumulative of nine years, corruption is still thriving in Nigeria? Seven years have been spent already, under the civilian regime of the WAI social crusader, and Buhari is still at the level of ‘pledging to wipe out’ corruption. Somebody is certainly conjuring Nigerians!
22. Just as he was minister of petroleum and chairman of NNPC from 1976–2978, as well as PTF chairman from 1994–1999, since 2015, when he became Executive President and Commander-in-Chief of Nigeria, he has also been the minister of petroleum. Under his watch, both as President and petroleum minister, Nigeria’s oil is still being stolen by individuals and institutions — the same people whose duty it is to manage it and account for the accruing revenue. Under his watch, oil revenue is still depleting and the little that is remitted to NNPC remains largely unaccounted for. So, on the one hand, oil is being stolen by the miners and bunkers, on the other hand, oil revenue is being stolen by administrative and remittance agencies. Under his watch as president and petroleum minister, poverty-stricken Nigeria lost about 3 billion dollars to oil theft in 2019; in 2022, in six months alone, January to July, the loss rose to 10 billion dollars. (See Premium Times report by Kabir Yusuf, Sept 8, 2022) On account of such magnitude of theft and fraud, Nigeria does not yet meet its OPEC export quota; does not yet refine its own oil; still imports fuel products, and still experiences fuel scarcity and high cost of petroleum products. Buhari knows that Nigeria has earned hundreds of trillions of naira from 65 years of crude oil exploration. But he also knows that most of the oil revenue has been mismanaged by public officials and politicians like him, and has not been used for the good of the masses. A confirmation of this, closer to Buhari, is the fact that his Katsina home State is still ridden with widespread poverty and primitive banditry. Despite 65 years of trillions of oil revenue, Nigeria’s leaders, like Buhari, have not definitively provided for one single amenity or infrastructural need of her 200 million citizens. Certainly, President Buhari is one of those who would give account to posterity and history, of what happened to Nigeria’s trillions of naira in petroleum revenue, which they received since 1956.
23. Today, President Buhari, who is yet the executive leader of Nigeria, marks 80 years of age; and, to date, he has been an active participant in Nigeria’s chequered history of military and political power struggle, for about 60 years. After these 60 years of military and political career, Muhammadu Buhari — whom, I repeat, is a retired military general and war veteran — is bequeathing to Nigeria’s future generations, a nation that is the third most deadly place to live in the world and the fourth most terrorized country in the world. As though it is not yet bad enough, he is also the leader of the country that, at least, since 2018, is the poverty capital of the world. (See, www.ThisDay.com, Peter Uzoho, “Nigeria Still Poverty Capital of the World”, 2021/09/06) Today, four in every ten Nigerians, live in extreme poverty. According to World Bank figures, from 2016 to date, under the incorruptible general who pledged to rescue the nation, Nigeria has persisted as the headquarters of extreme poverty; and consequently also, of poverty-induced banditry, such as kidnapping for ransom. Under his watch, in 2017, the US News and World Report placed Nigeria as the least transparent nation, out of 80 countries that were studied. In the seventh year of his eight years civilian regime, Nigeria still has, on official record, twenty million out of school children and over three million internally displaced persons. Above all, how is it that all other countries that used to be behind Nigeria or at par with her, have all overtaken her? This is the legacy that the Buhari-type Nigerian leaders are bequeathing to posterity and younger Nigerians, after 62 years of independence, after 60 years of military-political career, as well as after 65 years of multi-post oil exploration across Nigeria. President Buhari is part of the leadership albatross that has encumbered and maimed Nigeria on all fronts, for way too long. But the youths of Nigeria can no longer sit silent and watch such manner of ‘ravagery’ of their country!
24. From the highlands of the north to the coastlands of the west, down to the Lower Niger river basin areas, and to the eastern flank of the country, on the Gulf of Guinea, leadership failure has reduced Nigeria’s ordinary citizens to poverty and precariousness. But this cannot continue! As the 2023 election year offers another opportunity of redirecting Nigeria, through the election of right and responsive leaders, all Nigerians — young and old, Christin and Muslim, north or south — must rise to the duty of responsible citizenship; which is to enthrone only patriotic leaders, who truly care about the country and her citizens. Nigeria’s protracted failure is the reason for all forms of agitation in varied methods and nomenclatures. This essay is also a form of agitation against unfruitful leadership! As President Buhari exits office in 2023, everyone is morally obliged to join the agitation to wrestle Nigeria from the hands of such leaders, whose words are empty of value.
Michael Richmond Duru
17th December 2022,
President Buhari’s 80th Birthday