Buhari-Meets-Jonathan

The clouds are gathering and I hope that Buhari would be able to withstand the ground-swelling rage of hungry Nigerians when the clouds break into torrential rain.


Former President Goodluck Jonathan, would be remembered in different ways by different people. On a general note, he would be remembered for being the first incumbent Nigerian president to lose an election and concede defeat to an opposition party candidate. Unfortunately, keen observers would also remember him now that it appears President Muhammadu Buhari is repeating the same mistakes that led to Jonathan’s defeat in the 2015 presidential election.

Without regrets, most Nigerians voted against Jonathan basically for two reasons: One, insecurity, precisely with regard to how the Jonathan-led administration mismanaged the Boko Haram menace; and two, corruption. Jonathan’s failure to respond as expected to several scandals exposed in his government was one his major weaknesses. And, these remain valid grounds for assessing the present administration.

So, comparing the leadership of Jonathan and that of Buhari becomes imperative.

To start with, Buhari’s response to the senseless killings perpetrated by herdsmen, is a great disappointment. Without mincing words, the fact that Buhari is just finding his voice to condemn these senseless killings is not different from how Jonathan mismanaged the Boko Haram menace.

Isn’t it absurd that the same Buhari who criticised his predecessor for wasting public funds on the maintenance of an unnecessary presidential fleet is still thinking about what to do with the jets he inherited, 15 months after he assumed office?


And it would not be unfair to Buhari to say that his prolonged silence and reluctance to act on the issue has emboldened those behind the herdsmen attacks, which have led to the deaths of over 2000 people in 2015 alone, according to a report derived from SMB Intelligence, a data mining and research firm that provides analysis of Nigeria’s socio-political and economic situations. In comparison, the same report shows that “Boko Haram insurgency kills 2,500 people annually”. Impliedly, the report reveals that the herdsmen menace has taken a terrible trajectory under this present administration, potentially capable of displacing the gory carnage of Boko Haram.

That said, like President Jonathan reluctantly reacted to or completely turned a deaf ear to several mind-boggling cases of corruption that involved his ministers and allies, Buhari has ignored the different scandals involving his appointees exposed since he assumed office. Precisely, the manner Jonathan tepidly responded to the $20 billion that was alleged to have disappeared from the coffers of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, the kerosene subsidy scam, and Oduahgate scandal, is not different from how President Buhari has disappointed many Nigerians by keeping silent on the three different recruitment scandals exposed under his watch.

To make things worse, Buhari brazenly claimed that his “ministers and officials are tarred with the brush of corruption without evidence” when no probe has been carried out to verify the several media reports that alleged the exposition of a number of corrupt elements in his government. Could it be that Buhari is eating his own words that he “belongs to nobody”?

For Christ’s sake, what is President Buhari still doing with the eleven presidential jets he inherited from his predecessor? Isn’t it absurd that the same Buhari who criticised his predecessor for wasting public funds on the maintenance of an unnecessary presidential fleet is still thinking about what to do with the jets he inherited, 15 months after he assumed office?

…sincere Nigerians would not shy away from bluntly telling him that he is getting a whole lot of things wrong and gradually becoming a reflection of a clueless Jonathan in so many ways.


Come to think of it, isn’t it ridiculous that President Buhari who harped on the need to cut costs and reduce waste in governance could is still subsidising religious pilgrimages out of the public purse, at this time when our economy is in “technical recession”? Or could it be that Buhari inherited cluelessness from his predecessor?

As things are presently, Buhari’s public acceptance is waning. His public perception is getting worse by the day, but he seems to be unaware of this. In the eyes of many Nigerians, Buhari has morphed into a president who failed to tell Nigerians the complete truth about his assets; one who has proven beyond reasonable doubt that he is clannish; a president under whose administration huge hardship has been brought on the masses; one heading a disorganised government lacking in economic strategy and direction; and above all, a president who has continuously denied his campaign promises.

Of course, drawing similarities between the Jonathan and Buhari-led government based on facts available in the public domain would be seen as “mendacious” by some blind loyalist of Buhari. That’s fine. But sincere Nigerians would not shy away from bluntly telling him that he is getting a whole lot of things wrong and gradually becoming a reflection of a clueless Jonathan in so many ways.

The clouds are gathering and I hope that Buhari would be able to withstand the ground-swelling rage of hungry Nigerians when the clouds break into torrential rain.

Ahmed Oluwasanjo writes from Abuja and can be reached through ahmedoluwasanjo@gmail.com, Twitter: @ahmedrazak3