President Buhari’s Administration Thus Far: An Incompetent and Corrupt Government

BusinessDay Editorial (October 17, 2017)

If there is any assumption Nigerians made in the run up to the 2015 general elections, it is that given his experience and the long years spent seeking for the office, General Buhari is uniquely placed to run, perhaps, the most competent, organized and corrupt-free administration in Nigeria’s history.

However, since ascending to the presidency, President Buhari has proved Nigerians wrong by running perhaps the most lethargic, chaotic, incompetent – and as it is now increasingly becoming obvious, a corrupt administration wrought with infighting, confusing, contest for power and authority and a shocking lack of grasp of the fundamentals of governance and administration. Indeed, for the administration, it is now a case of one week one scandal and it is now becoming obvious even to Buhari’s staunchest supporters that this administration is clearly not up to the task of governing a diverse and complex society like Nigeria’s.

Thankfully, evidence of these malfeasance have not come from criticisms of the opposition, who have been labeled corrupt by the administration, but from within the administration itself. It started with the shameful saga between the Department of State Security (DSS) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) where the DSS caused the Senate, through a damning security report, to reject the nomination of Mr. Magu as EFCC chairman despite the DSS boss being a kinsman of the President who nominated Magu twice for the position.

Then came the damning verdict from the wife of the president that the presidency has been captured by a rapacious cabal who “do not know our party manifesto, they don’t know what we campaigned for, they don’t have a mission, they don’t have a vision of our APC”. She conceded that “things are not going the way they should,” and that “nobody thought it’s going to be like this”.

This is not to forget the weighty corruption allegations against the President’s Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, the Interior Minister, Abdulrahman Danbazau, the Chief of Army Staff, General Tukur Buratai and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal, of which the president expeditiously and without investigation absolved all of them of the allegations. It was a thoroughly embarrassed president that eventually ordered the suspension of the Secretary to the Government of the federation for the same allegations for which he was previously absolved by the president.

Then in the last weeks, the Minister of State for petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, sounded the alarm over the illegal award of over $25 billion dollars contracts by the NNPC who hid under the name of a president who was convalescing in the United Kingdom.

To make matters worse, the President’s wife and her daughter recently alerted us to the mismanagement of the budgetary allocation (over N4 billion according to some sources) at the Aso Rock Clinic. Mrs. Buhari’s daughter first raised the alarm that despite the huge allocation to the clinic, the clinic couldn’t even boast of common syringe or paracetamol.

For Mrs. Buhari, even though the clinic was supposed to cater for the immediate health needs of the first family, ministers and presidential aides, her aides advised her not to use the facility because it wasn’t functional and they advised her to seek medical treatment abroad. Mrs. Buhari was to later express her frustration to the wives of the 36 state governors and wondered that if this kind of graft is taking place right at the seat of power, then what could be happening at the state levels outside the radar of the EFCC could be worse.

The entire picture being presented exposes the presidency in disarray and despite his famed integrity and body language that abhors corruption, his aides and close associates are not afraid to perpetrate fraud under his very nose.

Sadly, he has shown to be a provincial president incapable of calling his aides and close associates to order.

This cannot be allowed to continue. The country needs and deserves a president who is capable and in charge at all times.