The tension in the country is still high as there is a transition from the Buhari administration to the Tinubu administration. On May 29, 2023, Bola Tinubu was sworn in as the president, creating a new tenure of government. In his farewell speech to Nigerians, President Buhari has reminisced on his tenure with a sense of fulfillment and of progress for the country under his watch. He admitted challenges to his administration and showed concern for children in captivity and the loss of lives to insecurity.
However, his summary was clear. “I am confident that I am leaving office with Nigeria better in 2023 than in 2015,” he said. Buhari expressed his happiness with his performance in Nigeria’s electoral process. With this, he called for improvement and sustained gains in the electoral process on an incremental basis for Nigeria to take its rightful place among other leading countries. He said that he is leaving behind an electoral process which guarantees that votes count, results are credible, elections are fair and transparent and the influence of money in politics reduced to the barest minimum. This is to ensure that our democracy remains resilient and our elected representatives remain accountable to the people.
Critics have accused Buhari of failing on promises.
At the peak of his campaign, President Buhari and his campaign team made a lot of promises. He had promised to eradicate insecurity in the country, especially the northern region. During this time, Goodluck Jonathan’s administration was experiencing turmoil and setbacks in tackling the security situation. It was also the time that hundreds of secondary school children were abducted from Chibok by the dreaded Boko Haram terrorists. This had even prompted notable figures such as Michell Obama to support the #BringBackOurGirls campaign.
So, the Nigerian people had found him worthy of trust and competent to deal with it. Now, his critics are saying that he has failed on many of his promises, one of which is on the area of security. While the dreaded Boko Haram group were repressed in several campaigns and territories were recovered from them, other non-state-actor groups have sprung up. In the North West and North East, the Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP) have taken over from Boko Haram, Fulani herdsmen are clashing with farmers in the North Central region, and Eastern Security Network (ESN) with Unknown Gunmen wreaking havoc in the South East.
Bias corruption fight and much worse economy.
Another of Buhari’s promises is the fight against corruption. His critics have said that while he put up a show to reflect that he is fighting corruption, his corruption fight campaign is biased and selective. The reason for this is that many of his cabinet members have been accused of corrupt practices, but he turned deaf ears to the allegations or looked the other way. In terms of the economy, critics have pointed out the numbers. Nigeria has worsened inflation and unemployment rate as well as a significantly weaker Naira and concerning debt levels among other things.
They see this as evidence of the former president’s failure in office. But he has come out to defend his different position on the economy. “The Nigerian economy has become more resilient due to the various strategies put in place to ensure that our economy remained afloat during cases of global economic downturns,” he said in his broadcast. He recalled the supply-chain disruptions and economic downturn that the world witnessed between 2020 and 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And that his administration’s deftness of response remains a global best practice.
His administration’s economic policies and support for Nigerians.
Still on the economy, President Buhari explained that his administration supported rural and poor Nigerians by helping them to earn a better living. He said that his government did so by backing young Nigerians up in terms of skill acquisition and strengthening the private sector. He also mentioned his administration’s performance in terms of infrastructural development. He said that his administration completed age-long projects and processes, notably amongst which are the Petroleum Industry Act, completion of some power projects, completion of the second Niger bridge and various important roads linking cities and states.
World Bank: Website