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AMIDST GLOBAL COVID-19 PANDEMIC AND ATTENDANT ECONOMIC CRISIS, PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI LEAVES A LEGACY OF PRESIDENTIAL DIGNITY AND UNPRECEDENTED INFRASTRUCTURAL RENEWAL IN NIGERIA

In the next couple of hours, the curtain will be drawn on President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s eventful stay in office, with the expected attendant critique of his 8 years tenure for historical purposes. In as much as one is conscious that President Buhari place in history is secured based on his achievements and shortfalls in office, we owe it to posterity to situate his records objectively in view of the campaign of blackmail and calumny against his administration since inception in 2015 and which persists even as he gets set to depart Aso Rock Presidential villa for his home town Daura Katsina state for a well-deserved rest after 8 years of selfless and meritorious service to the people of Nigeria.

Eventfully, President Muhammadu Buhari came into the saddle of Nigeria’s leadership in 2015 at a time, his predecessors conduct in office were a time bomb to the corporate existence of Nigeria with unprecedented misgovernance and maladministration. Infact, President Muhammadu Buhari’s predecessors desecrated the office of the President of the federal republic of Nigeria to a dizzying height as never witnessed in history and brought shame and public opprobrium to the dignity of the Nigerian people.

One of President Buhari predecessor established a reputation of anti-democratic conduct of lawlessness and impunity of abuse and violation of the constitution with flagrant disobedience to court rulings, illegal and unconstitutional removals of state governors and the recurring removals of principal officers of the national assembly among other acts of infamy during his tenure. This former President is on record as having spent $16 billion American dollars of tax payers’ money on electricity with darkness as the outcome and has been alledged of acts of desecration of the dignity of the office of the President of Nigeria such as the gifting of oil bloc for sex among several other shameful conducts. Our former President and elder statesman who was in office for the constitutionally approved Presidential two terms of 8 years, is historically remembered for his failed illegal and unconstitutional 3rd term Presidential bid for which he expended billions of naira to bribe the members of the national assembly in Ghana must go bags and for which he was even christened as grandfather of corruption by the legislators because of his hypocritical and fraudulent saintly posturing.

In the midst of the national collation of the 2023 presidential election results at the national collation center Abuja , this former Nigeria’s number 1 helmsman in line with his character as an anti-democratic element and agent of anarchy, wrote a letter to the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari to commit treason of circumventing Nigeria’s democratic process for the simple reason that his preferred candidate had lost the election, that is the character and pedigree of this former leader, who has no regard for rule of law and order. To the glory of God, President Muhammadu Buhari as a democrat per excellence, not only ignored this agent of destabilization but went ahead to educate him on the ethos of democracy, just as millions of Nigerians and groups carpeted him for his characteristic anti-democratic character.

Another of President Buhari’s predecessor established a reputation of desecration of the office of the President of Nigeria by being mentioned with a code name Fortunato in a $1.1 million American dollars Malabu oil deal. Infact during the investigation into Nigeria’s oil subsidy sleaze under his watch, a former senate President who was a senator during his reign, publicly stated that he went to him to secretly ask him to arrest the fraud being perpetrated in the fuel subsidy bazaar, but in his element of stealing is not corruption, then Mr. President told the senator to fix his gaze elsewhere because the oil business is very oily. He is also on record as a leader who undermined Nigeria’s corporate existence by sacrificing the nation’s security funds $2.1 billion dollars (Dasukigate) into a conduit pipe for all kinds of shenanigans and the result was that the country’s security was severely compromised and damaged as terrorists group boko haram was in charge of over 21 local government council areas administrations in Nigeria, Nigeria military were fleeing battle fronts and surrendering to terrorists because they were ill equipped and ill motivated, regular bombings of Nigeria cities including the federal capital territory became easy targets for the insurgents who ran haywire.

The above narration succinctly captures how national unity, integrity and dignity were dangerously compromised by President Muhammadu Buhari’s predecessors at the risk of our collective corporate existence, shame and embarrassment.

When President Buhari assumed the reins of power on May 29th 2015, his administration inherited an economy that was already comatose, in which his predecessor super minister and minister of finance publicly stated that as at September 2014, the federal government was already borrowing to pay salaries and for other overhead costs despite a crude oil production quota of over 2.1 barrels per day and selling at over $120 dollars per barrel for over 4 years, with nothing to show for it other than borrowing and pillaging and plundering of the commonwealth to a level never witnessed in history. Over 12 states as at June 2015, owed backlog of workers’ salaries and pensions among other obligations, such was the parlous state of the Nigerian economy that President Muhammadu Buhari inherited.

Sadly however, the new administration also suffered from the lack of a handover note as the outgoing government couldn’t prepare one because of misgovernance and so they had a running battle putting together a transition committee to interface with the incoming government. Therefore, when President Buhari assumed power, he was taking briefs from the heads of government ministries, department and parastatals on the state of affairs on a daily basis and this contributed in no small measure to the delay in appointing ministers and special advisers to kick start government business fully.

The new administration of President Buhari unfortunately suffered the misfortune of a drop in the global price of crude oil to about $28 dollars per barrel and the sabotage of bombing and vandalisation of oil pipelines and terminals by criminal elements Niger Delta Avengers who vowed to destroy Nigeria’s economy and carried it out because their brother was rejected as President by the Nigeria people at the polls and the net effect was that oil production dropped to between 500, 000 – 700, 000 barrels per day. Such was the economic sabotage that the Buhari administration had to contend with, on assuming office.

Recognizing the enormity of the task ahead which had to be surmounted if Nigeria was not to go under because of the landmines planted by his predecessors, President Buhari had to take some drastic steps to stop the hemorrhaging of the Nigeria economy and some of these steps included the immediate introduction and implementation of BVN which his predecessors had mouthed for decades but couldn’t summon the political will to implement till they exited office because of corruption. The implementation of BVN saved the country the sum of N8 billion naira monthly as it eliminated 40, 000 ghost workers under the administration of President Buhari. The new administration also introduced the Treasury Single Account (TSA) for all government establishments unlike what obtained in the past when government ministries, departments and agencies had multiple accounts and festered corruption, but under the new system, all government establishment were to operate one single account for accountability and this went a long way to combat the monster of corruption in the MDA’s.

Because of the drop in public finance as a result the drop in the global prices of crude oil, the President Muhammadu Buhari administration then announced a ban on a list of 41 imported items to reduce the stress on Nigeria’s forex as well as access insolvent states financial loans to be able to meet up with their financial obligations to workers, pensioners, etc. As a prudent manager of resources, the administration also made it known that it will not be embarking on any new projects, but ensures that it completes all ongoing and abandoned projects from previous administrations.

That President Muhammadu Buhari administration will go down in history as an administration that restored the debased dignity of the presidency and embarked on infrastructural renewal to a scale never witnessed in our political history is verifiably indisputable.

Even as the world grappled with the devastating effect of global economic crisis occasioned by the global pandemic Covid-19 since 2019 which locked down the whole world in 2020, the Buhari administration despite the campaign of blackmail and calumny against it, remained on course delivering landmark projects that touched the lives of Nigerians across the 36 states and the federal capital territory Abuja to the glory of God and the benefit of humanity.

From legislative reforms, executive orders to massive investments in digital technology, security, agriculture through the Anchors Borrowers scheme that has changed the lives of rice farmers for good and other laudable agricultural interventions policies which include amongst others, the resuscitation of fertilizer blending plants to make fertilizers easily affordable and accessible, to the first of its kind social intervention investment scheme for vulnerable Nigerians, to construction of roads, bridges, railway tracks, airports and redesign, purchase of navigational equipment’s and brand new locomotives, power plants for electricity generation and distribution, construction of new federal housing estates and federal secretariats, to the motivation and uplifting of the morale of our armed forces with trainings and acquisition of modern arms, ammunition and equipment’s of world class standard, etc. are all verifiable projects undertaken by the President Buhari administration in the last 8 years.

As a government that suffered from a backlash of media propaganda of lies, falsehood and misinformation from inception till date, some of us are still out there, searching for communities, local governments or states that were Islamized or Fulanized by the Buhari administration in the last 8 years as satanically alledged by anti-democratic elements who pursued a political and ethnic divisive agenda against this uncommon leader and transformer, but failed.

However, as we celebrate the imminent departure of President Buhari who has done excellently well in the last 8 years in all areas of governance, it is important to point out one major drawback of his administration which is its poorly implemented naira redesign policy that caused so much pains and agony to the Nigeria people and economy and was a great disservice to his indelible accomplishments in office.

As President Muhammadu Buhari gets set to depart Aso rock villa in a few hours’ time, no matter what his critics have to say negatively about him and his administration, posterity has recorded his stay in the saddle of Nigeria’s leadership as a leader who came with dignity and is departing dignified after 8 years as an uncommon leader who left a legacy of Presidential dignity and unprecedented infrastructural renewal as never witnessed in our political history and for this, we give God the glory.

President Muhammadu Buhari, as you depart Nigeria’s presidency with fond memories of meritorious service to fatherland, it is our prayers that the Almighty Allah will keep you safe, healthy, happy and strengthen you to continue in His service and to man.

God bless President Muhammadu Buhari,

God bless the federal republic of Nigeria.

Thank you.

Nelson Ekujumi.


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