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Nigerians should blame Buhari for challenges

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By Mercy Kelani

Current crises are due to actions taken during Buhari’s regime. — Afenifere.

Afenifere, the Pan-Yoruba Socio-political organization, urged Nigerians on Friday to hold the responsibility of the current difficulties in the country on the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari. In recent days, there has been a wave of protests sweeping the nation, with people expressing their discontent over the increasing costs of food and living expenses, along with concerns about safety and security. On February 16, 2024, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) announced plans for a two-day nationwide protest at the end of the month.

This is in response to economic challenges and security concerns, threatening to mobilize citizens for action. The group, with signatures from its Publicity Secretary Jare Ajayi and the Organising counterpart Kole Omololu, pointed out that the political and economic crises in the country were a result of the actions taken by the Buhari administration, not the current Tinubu administration. Afenifere highlighted President Bola Tinubu’s decision to put an end to the subsidy program during his inauguration speech on May 29, 2023.

Buhari’s administration was blamed for the economic decline.

Furthermore, this action was taken due to the lack of allocation for oil subsidies in the previous administration’s budget. Buhari’s administration, which was founded on optimism and a flawed federal system, was blamed for the economic decline, with critics arguing that the promises made were left unmet. During Buhari’s term, terrorists and bandits were able to operate without hindrance, causing a breakdown in law and order. Countless innocent civilians, among them the daughter of their leader, have tragically lost their lives or been taken captive.

President Buhari struggled to control his key officials, such as the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, who chose to print money instead of confronting tough choices that were continually delayed until a later time. Hence, it was clear that Nigerians were only delaying the inevitable. The rumours of the books being altered were denied by the CBN Governor, who provided reassurance to the federation that everything was in order. He was eager to challenge the presidential election and President Buhari did not impose any consequences for his violations.

Tinubu was confident in his ability to make tough decisions.

The cycle of inactivity and deception persisted until May 29, 2023, when the leadership changed hands and Bola Ahmed Tinubu assumed the role of President. Upon his inauguration, President Tinubu wasted no time in making changes to his address and announced the end of the subsidy regime. It was evident by the lack of subsidy appropriation from June 2023. He was confident in his ability to make tough decisions, but he may have underestimated how the beneficiaries of the old system could disrupt his administration by causing chaos.

After eight years of Buhari’s leadership, many people who had been indifferent or inactive suddenly became aware of the need for action, even though these steps should have been taken long ago. President Tinubu’s grave mistake, according to Afenifere, was not only running for and winning the presidential election, but also in the decisions he made that may cause short-term pain but ultimately lead the nation to a much-needed reality check in the future. Shortly after, he proceeded to dismantle the regulations on the foreign exchange market, leading to a sharp decline in the value of the Naira.

Related Link: Yoruba Group Pledge Anti-corruption Support

Additionally, Afenifere emerged as a social and cultural group established to represent the Yoruba community in Nigeria, under the leadership of Chief Abraham Adesanya. The organization’s founding members included Pa Onasanya, Chief Reuben Fasoranti, Adegbonmire, Femi Okurounmu, Ganiyu Dawodu, Olaniwun Ajayi, Olu Falae, Adebayo Adefarati, Alhaji Adeyemo, and Ayo Adebanjo. In 1998, the Alliance for Democracy (AD) party was established with a commitment to uphold the principles outlined in the Afenifere agenda.

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