(This page may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)
President Muhammadu Buhari and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) came to power on the mantra of change. However, Buhari’s inability to meet up with his campaign promises has seen him repeat the same mistakes his predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan made. Below are five Jonathan’s mistakes Buhari repeated in his one year in office.
1. Promises and more promises
When former president, Goodluck Jonathan won the 2011 presidential election, he promised to grow the economy, create jobs, and generate enduring happiness for Nigerians under his much publicised transformation agenda.
Jonathan said he had the confidence in the ability of Nigerians to transform this country, adding that his administration will provide a suitable environment, for productive activities to flourish in the country. However lofty as those promises were, the Jonathan administration failed to execute half of its promises. At the end, Jonathan lost the 2015 presidential election to Muhammadu Buhari because there were too many promises he had failed to keep.
Now, President Muhammadu Buhari has begun to repeat the same mistakes of the Jonathan administration, making empty promises without efforts to keep them. This has made Nigerians tag the All Progressives Congress party (APC) as All Promises Cancelled. It is certain that Nigerians have taken note of the fact that the current administration is a serial promise breaker and this might lead to the downfall of the Buhari administration just as it did the previous.
2. Coping with incompetent ministers
After President Muhammadu Buhari was sworn in, it took the president about six months to name his ministers, when some Nigerians complained, the APC urged Nigerians to be patient saying the president wanted to get his selection of ministers right. After the months spent shopping for the ‘right‘ ministers, Nigerians were shell shocked to find out that none of those on the ministerial list stood out. They were all chips of the old block.
Months after the ministers resumed duties in their respective portfolios, Nigerians are yet to feel the impact of their reign, till date, no minister in Buhari’ cabinet has stood out, at best the minister of state, petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu and the minister of power, works and housing, Babatunde Fashola have stood out for all the wrong reasons.
This is reminiscent of the Jonathan era where the president was accused of dealing with incompetent ministers who were seen as clueless in the face of challenges the country was experiencing.
Like a deja vu, it appears President Buhari has also fallen into this trap of surrounding himself with incompetent men which could spell doom for his administration.
3. Gallivanting when the country needs their president
During the previous administration, the APC accused Goodluck Jonathan displaying insensitivity to the plight of Nigerians for embarking on a campaign a day after almost 50 students were killed and about 80 injured in a suicide bombing in Potiskum, Yobe state. The party accused the president of dancing on the graves of the students as well as of all the victims of the Boko Haram insurgency.
On another accession, Nigerians reacted with outrage over Goodluck Jonathan’s visit to Kano to welcome former governor of the state, Ibrahim Shekarau, to the PDP a day after a car bomb killed dozens of Nigerians and injured several others in a suburb of Abuja.
Jonathan’s actions were described as insensitive, irresponsible, terrible, and wicked.
However, it seems the Buhari administration is beginning to repeat the same mistakes of the previous administration by embarking on frivolous foreign trips when there is so much work to do in the country occasioned by the continuous attacks by Boko Haram insurgents, Fulani herdsmen and blackouts which demand immediate and focused attention.
Since his inauguration in May last year, 2015 President Buhari has visited 22 countries, some of them even for several times. When criticised for the trips, the presidency justified the trips, saying they were necessary to bring the country back on the track of development and growth.
But the average Nigerian sees the president’s foreign trips as a display of insensitivity to the plight of those who are still waiting for the elusive change.
4. Failing to protect Nigerians from rampaging herdsmen
The Boko Haram insurgency was one the death blows to the previous administration because many Nigerians lost faith in the ability of the federal government to defend its citizens from rampaging terrorists.
Muhammadu Buhari promised to tackle the Boko Haram insurgency head-on and the administration has succeeded in curbing the ability of the insurgents to launch spectacular attacks. However, the administration’s response to the attacks by rampaging Fulani herdsmen across communities in Nigeria has been described as indifferent.
Jonathan was accused of lacking the will to contain the Boko Haram insurgents because he felt the insurgency was a northern agenda to ruin his administration, likewise, Buhari has been accused by some Nigerians of lacking the political will to tackle the attacks by Fulani herdsmen because they are his kinsmen. If Buhari does not correct this perception in time, he might lose the confidence Nigerian have in him to keep them save.
5. Failure to diversify the economy
President Muhammadu Buhari promised that his administration would include fresh policies and measures to encourage the rapid diversification of the Nigerian economy away from its current over-dependence on the oil and gas sector.
But currently, the Nigerian economy is under tremendous stress as a result of the steep fall in the price of crude oil which has been the mainstay of the economy.
Just like Jonathan failed to do, Buhari is yet to implement a road map for the diversification of the Nigerian economy away from oil.
Even though Buhari said his administration would enact new policies to diversify Nigeria’s economy from oil to other sectors such as agriculture, mining and manufacturing among others, it appears these promises may have fallen into the endless catalogue of Buhari’s unmet promises.