Showing posts with label Muhammadu Buhari. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Muhammadu Buhari. Show all posts

Wednesday

Band of thieves and purveyors of ineptitude.....

"BARBARIANS AT THE GATE"
CC™ Viewpoint 
By Boyejo A. Coker - Editor-in-Chief

It actually does not matter what aisle of the 'political' spectrum you belong to, this rudderless leadership has failed Nigerians, more-so even worse, since the inception of the 4th Republic in May, 1999.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) held sway for fifteen mostly inglorious years (1999-2015) under the stewardship of the following:

a) Rtd. General Olusegun Obasanjo (1999-2007)

b) The late Umaru Musa Yar'Adua (2007-2010)

c) Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (2010-2015).

For at least 12 of those first 15 years of the 4th Republic, corruption, by and large, became the norm while the climate created by avaricious greed, further engendered a general state of lawlessness.

Kidnappings and killing orgies became commonplace and have continued unabated, till today.

While some may say that there was a certain degree of accountability, with the accompanying restoration of some semblance of sanity during Yar'Adua's brief reign, the truth remains that his vision of a better Nigeria was never going to see the light of day, given the scavengers and marauders he was surrounded by.

For this piece, we will absolve Umaru Yar'Adua of some of the PDP misrule when one considers that he was never in charge, as the cabal (whose stranglehold on the proverbial throat of Nigeria has never been in doubt) led by the one Olusegun Aremu Obasanjo et al essentially pulled his strings. When he (Yar'Adua) then dared to think for himself, he was murdered by the demonic powers behind the Nigerian throne of oppression.

Then came Olusegun Aremu Obasanjo again, as in his quest to maintain his inordinate hold and that of his fellow 'barbarians at the gate' on the destiny of Nigeria, he ensured that the next Nigerian leader would come from his "political family tree' (unfortunately, nothing good has ever come from any Obasanjo tree including his biological family tree). Thus, the dysfunctional reign of Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, an absolute and utter misfit for any public office, was visited upon Nigerians.

It remains telling that only Goodluck Ebele Jonathan could have made an ethnic and religious bigot attractive to the same Nigerians that had rejected him (Muhammadu Buhari) a resounding three times (2003, 2007 and 2011) prior to his resounding victory in the 2015 general elections.

In case some have forgotten how we got here, this was the "scorecard" of the PDP misrule, particularly under Jonathan:

a) Coffers-to-personal account accountability (or lack-there-of) where public funds were used for personal gain including the extravagant wedding of GEJ's daughter http://www.myjoyonline.com/…/goodluck-jonathans-daughter-re….

b) An aviation industry (once led by Femi Fani-Kayode and then later by the certificate forging Stella Oduah) that was nothing short of a death trap. I should know as I lost a close relative, Deji Falae (Ondo State Commisioner for Culture and Tourism at the time) to one of those unfortunate but far-too-common air crashes under the PDP misrule.

c) Fabricated economic numbers embellished masterfully by sycophants in the Finance and Economic Ministries to obfuscate the fact that the average Nigerian could not afford the most basic amenities under the Jonathan misrule.

d) Religious over-reach where Jonathan consistently employed openly the advise and services of so-called Christian Pastors and even embarrassed the country by taking his whole cabinet to Israel to "pray". Can you imagine the outcry from the same hypocritical CAN (Christian Association of Nigeria) and their egunje leadership if PMB had gone to Saudi Arabia with his whole cabinet to pray?

e) Under Jonathan, the bigotry and balkanization of Nigeria was effectively set in motion as Jonathan was essentially committed to the disintegration of Nigeria; and this was made even more apparent with the systematic decimation of the Nigerian Armed Forces. Jonathan, in an act of subterfuge against the Nigerian state, then employed foreign mercenaries (former South African soldiers under the apartheid racist regime) to fight Boko Haram at the end of his unfortunate misrule. 

f) Do Nigerians also forget that Jonathan attempted to scuttle the democratic process during this period of shame and disgrace to the Nigerian nation by postponing the elections?

g) The use of the DSS to terrorize, intimidate and kill (thousands of people disappeared without trace) Nigerians in the North, the SE and the SW (in particular) with Femi Fani-Kayode, Ayo Fayose and Musiliu Obanikoro leading the assault on political opponents in the SW with the firm support of the DSS, much like the days of Nazi Germany. Unfortunately, that weaponization of a State Security apparatus against the citizenry has continued under the autocratic administration of Muhammadu Buhari.

h) Nigeria became a pariah state under Jonathan and effectively lost its voice both on the African continent and globally. Anyone who underestimates the forces that are against this current administration with its stated desire to sanitize the nation must be truly misinformed. The forces are both spiritual and physical and I will caution Nigerians that those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it.  

And the circus has continued under the rudderless and despotic rulership (note I didn’t use the term leadership) of Muhammadu Buhari, who has proven himself to be just as incompetent a leader as he was as a soldier. Sadly, the teeming masses of hardworking and highly industrious Nigerians remain saddled with an unbecoming band of brigands and marauders as so-called leaders.

Nigerians need to realize that they are merely pawns in the game of high stakes chess being played by a corrupt and morally bankrupt political class. The truth is they (the political class) even intermarry and are not bothered by ethnic or religious so-called differences, while at the same time fanning the embers of ethnic and religious warfare among the desperately poor who just would like to have a fair shake in life, for once. 

As the late Sunny Okosun said in his famous song from almost three decades ago, "Which way Nigeria. Which way to go?" The answer lies squarely in the hands of the Nigerian people and the sooner they realize how much power they have to make a change, the sooner that change will come.  

Heaven, as they say, helps those who help themselves. 

Flashback: The Smoking Cellphone: A Fulani jihadist killer's phone has numbers of Nigerian police and Army arms dealers

This cell phone had the numbers of Nigeria Police/Army contacts 

CC™ Breaking News 

Witnesses said more than 100 attackers rampaged through the village, shouting “Allahu akbar” as they shot people and burned homes.

The phone was left behind after more than 100 jihadists terrorized a predominantly Christian village in Angwan Magaji, located in the center of Nigeria’s badlands.

“My house was one of the first to be reached by the Fulani terrorists Sunday around 6 p.m. when about 160 of them charged from all sides of the village firing their rifles,” said Ezekiel Isa, a 27-year old farmer, who leads a group of young men loosely called vigilantes. “They came to my community mainly to kill us and burn our houses.”

“The attackers were all Muslims. They were shouting ‘Allahu Akbar,’” Isa said.  “They were speaking Fulani language, which we don’t know, but we could understand their words in our Hausa language, and they were saying ‘kill 150, kill 150, they are infidels, kill them!’ This is not the first time we faced attacks by the Fulani terrorists. They had killed many of our village last year.”

The Fulani, who practice Islam, although one of Nigeria’s minority ethnic groups, have become very powerful and influential over the decades by virtue of their clout in business, politics and government, the military in particular. While many are nomads, a number of prominent Nigerians—including President Muhammadu Buhari—are Fulani.

Isa said he rushed through the village telling women and children to run into the bush as fast as they could. He then retrieved his hidden shotgun and rallied the vigilante youth to return fire.

The Fulani attackers used rifles and machetes while the handful of vigilantes fired mostly primitive shotguns. “Our youth hid behind houses and stayed close to the ground to avoid being hit,” Isa said.

Although calls were made to the Nigerian army, no soldiers arrived to help, according to the villagers.

“The district police officer of Kamaru came on Monday around 5 p.m. together with the Honorable Shuaibu Goma, chairman of the local government, to consult with us over the killings,” Isa said. “The chairman said to us that he will bring relief materials for us but due to the challenges of COVID-19 pandemic, it may take some time before he will come back again.”

The Fulani terrorists went from house to house, setting each on fire, until they had torched more than 50 houses in the hamlet holding approximately 600 residents. Vigilantes and terrorists exchanged shots for approximately 2 hours.

“Last year my father was killed, now they killed my mother” said Talatu Joseph, 35 as she broke into tears in front of her torched house. “My mother was telling me to go and hide, so I didn’t see their faces, I just ran save my life, and as I did my mother was killed.”

“The Fulani terrorists killed four people from my community,” Isa said. “Three were killed as a result of gun shots while one elderly man died of shock. Three older women were killed running to escape. They were the first to fall, but my vigilante group with vigilantes from neighboring communities killed one of the Fulani and injured some with shot.”

Jerry Adi, a 15-year-old vigilante, said he is the youngest on the defense team. “I am the youngest vigilante in my village, I am not afraid of Fulani herdsmen, I am ready to fight them, I have never killed any Fulani terrorists, but I will defend my community when there is no police support from the government.”

The cell phone found after the Fulani raid was not unique. A cell phone was recovered at an Irigwe village massacre in Plateau State in 2018 and was turned over to police. No arrests or prosecution followed, according to barrister Yakubu Bawa.

A series of terrorist attacks have been launched against several villages in the rural area in far western Plateau State since 2002, according to Kyle Abts, director of the International Committee on Nigeria, which tracks terrorist incidents.

“This is the fourth straight week of attacks in the area,” said Abts. “It is not a fight between ethnic groups, nor a pastoralist versus herder conflict. It is a coordinated and premeditated onslaught that has implications for government ineptitude, cover-up or involvement.”

Yet none of these attacks, taking hundreds of lives, were followed by prosecutions by Nigerian authorities, Bawa said.

Word of the killings in Kaduna State drew comment from Nigerian clergy of churches with majority expatriate members. “It is hard not to believe that the Nigerian government isn’t colluding with these attacks,” said the Rev. Sunday Bwanhot, a pastor of the Evangelical Church, Winning All. “We are pleading that the U.S. government will step into this situation to bring this colossal human abuse situation to control.”

Human rights observers called the attack evidence of an ongoing genocide. “The size of this attack by an organized, heavily armed Fulani militia numbering over 100 attackers is proof that these attacks are not “isolated incidents,” said Dr. Gregory H. Stanton, founding president of Genocide Watch, a human rights watchdog. “The attacks are not simply due to “traditional” herder-farmer ‘conflict.’  They are one-sided genocidal massacres.”

Tina Ramirez, president of Hardwired, a human rights organization with offices in Jos, agreed. “The recent attack on Christians in Bassa, Plateau State and the newly reported massacre in Ungwan Magaji in Kaduna State expose the grave failure of Nigeria’s government to protect its citizens—and the urgent need for officials to ease gun laws and allow communities to protect themselves and their families,” she said. “The glaring trend of violent attacks on Christian communities in the north cannot be ignored, and the government must be held accountable for failing to protect its citizens and leaving them defenseless against attacks.”

Source: Zenger News

Thursday

Opinion Flashback: Muhammadu Buhari - From tyranny to democracy and back again to tyranny

Nigerian soldiers were buried in secret graves
CC™ Viewpoint - By Editor-in-Chief 

It is becoming increasingly difficult to defend President Muhammadu Buhari.

As news of a general descent into lawlessness permeates the Nigerian and indeed global airwaves, the neutral among those that supported Muhammadu Buhari's aspirations for the highest office in Africa, as well as one of the most influential in the world in 2015, have been left rather disappointed and almost embarrassed at the turn of events in the country.

The recent proscription of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) the Shiite Muslim sect in Northern Nigeria by a Fulani president of the Sunni faith, is further proof that PMB's propensity for tyranny was indeed a valid fear harbored by millions of Nigerians before the 2015 elections. This move could not have come at a worse time and adds to the litany of missteps by a man reputed by his military peers for being impatient and reactionary, two traits not conducive to ensuring good judgement as a leader.

When the same Buhari came into power in 2015, this time through the ballot as opposed to the bullet (as he had done in 1983 in overthrowing the late Shehu Shagari), most Nigerians were hopeful that he had learned his lessons and was a more mature, open-minded and cerebral leader. Unfortunately, the decisions that have been made by this administration, from the Fulani herdsmen terror of the Nigerian people that still rages on, to the recent proscription of a religious sect that was demanding the release of their leader (as has been already ordered by the highest court in the land), have left a lot to be desired and the environment is becoming even more fertile for a potential conflict of civil war proportions, if things continue the way they are going.

President Muhammadu Buhari rode the wave of a popular democratic uprising at the polls like has never been seen before in the history of Nigeria and indeed Africa. For the first time ever, an incumbent democratically elected president was defeated at the polls, and Buhari assumed office without a single shot being fired! 

The previous administration under the abjectly clueless Goodluck Jonathan, was an absolute train-wreck and had in fact ceded some Nigerian real estate to the Boko Haram terror group. PMB promised to deliver on security as he was a retired General who had also fought in the Nigerian civil war.

To date, the president has not delivered on that singular promise and if recent reports by the Wall Street Journal are anything to go by, the war is anything but won as PMB recently declared. Things are actually getting worse in the brutal war being waged by Boko Haram and its affiliates, with Nigerian soldiers reportedly being buried in unmarked secret graves. Thus, family members and indeed Nigerians (and possibly the president himself) are being lied to by the military with regard to the true state of things on the war front.

Whether it's the continued detention of the only Christian among the kidnapped Chibok female students - Leah Sharibu (with reports now saying she may have been killed by her captors), while her Muslim peers were all released, the heavy-handed response to IPOB, the selective prosecution of supposed corrupt individuals (while Buhari himself remains surrounded by corrupt benefactors), the equally heavy-handed response to the Shiites in Nigeria (which risks another Boko Haram-like insurgency) while turning a blind eye to the murderous escapades of the Fulani herdsmen, the president has shown a propensity for jaundiced ethno-religious and parochial malfeasance. 

At the last elections in 2019, given the President's vulnerability as a result of his political missteps, if the PDP or any of the opposition parties had fielded a credible candidate, Buhari would have had to resort to massive rigging to stay in office. Some may say he did but Atiku, his main rival lacked the moral fabric or political cache to move the needle across the Nigerian landscape. 

In closing, President Buhari must do better as history will judge him as a man that was given so much but gave back so little, if anything. There needs to be an inquiry by the legislative arm of the government into the report by the Wall Street Journal of Nigerian soldiers being buried in secret graves. There is a good chance that most, if not all of the soldiers being given such a horrendous treatment, are probably from the South or the Middle-Belt (my reliable sources tell me). Nigeria will not survive at this rate and no amount of intimidation by the security forces can stop the impending revolution that will surely follow, if the status quo remains. 

Nigeria as presently constituted, is unsustainable and it is incumbent upon those that truly have the best interest of the nation at heart to stand up and be counted. There is currently a Jihad being waged by the Fulani hegemony in Nigeria (please do not be fooled by the appeals of the Sultan of Sokoto - as he is the third arm of Nigeria's own Third Reich), but it has already failed as these are different times and the people are prepared. If the genocide currently being perpetrated against Christians, Middle-Belters and Southerners continues, not only will Nigeria collapse, but President Buhari and Nasir El-Rufai may end up having a case to answer at the Hague. 

Nigeria must not only survive, but also flourish (as it should) for the good of Africa. 

Wednesday

CC™ Investigative: The Northern "usual suspects" behind Boko Haram as Nigerians search for answers to the violent insurgency

CC™ Investigative
By Tayo Busari

When the late National Security Adviser, Rtd. General Andrew Owoye Azazi  blamed the rise of insurgence by the fundamentalist sect, Boko Haram in the country on the internal wranglings of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and other political parties, he naturally made many in the corridors of power uncomfortable, at the time.

Not surprisingly and rather mysteriously, he was "killed" when his helicopter exploded over the skies of Bayelsa State after having been let-go by then President Goodluck Jonathan.

The late General Azazi was obviously privy to information regarding the real details behind Boko Haram. His position as the National Security Adviser at the time, put him at the head of that information. If anyone were to be in the know regarding the real truth behind the upsurge in the Islamic sect's violent insurgence, it had to be someone like Azazi as the nations top security head.

Former President Goodluck Jonathan had on several occasions admitted that they knew who was behind Boko Haram, and these were top level officials, mostly of Northern extraction.


Gen. Azazi explicitly declared to his audience, who was behind the unrest. He narrowed it down to the result of ‘unconstitutional’ PDP convention regulations, which determined who could run for President vs who could not run.


He went on further:
"The extent of violence did not increase in Nigeria until there was a declaration by the current president that he was going to contest. PDP got it wrong from the beginning, from the on-set by saying Mr A can rule, Mr A cannot rule, Mr B can rule, Mr B cannot rule, according to PDP’s convention, rules and regulation and not according to the constitution {applause} and that created the climate for what has manifest itself, this way. I believe that there is some element of politicization. is it possible that somebody was thinking that only Mr. A could win, and if he did not win, there will be problems in this society. Let’s examine all these issues to see whether the level of violence in the North East just escalated because Boko Haram suddenly became better trained, better equipped and better funded, and in any case how did they get it all done…{warning of Boko Haram becoming snipers – who could potentially target elite}
But, then I must also be quick to point out that today, even if all the leaders that we know in Boko Haram are arrested, I don’t think the problem would end, because there are tentacles. I don’t think that people would be satisfied, because the situations that created the problems are not just about the religion, poverty or the desire to rule Nigeria. I think it’s a combination of everything. Except you address all those things comprehensively, it would not work."
Intelligence sources have informed CC™ that although former President Jonathan knew (and still knows) exactly who the sponsors of Boko Haram are, he lacked the courage and political will to bring them to task as the "usual suspects" were actually aligned with Jonathan on ensuring that he got re-elected in the 2015 elections as long as he (Jonathan) "played ball".

One name did however stand out of the three "usual suspects" CC™ was able to gather credible information about. It was that of then Minister of Defense, Rtd. General Aliyu Mohammed Gusau. 


Gusau was always an ambitious man and those who know him very well not only say he is very "loyal", but they also pointed to a rather glaring trail in his professional dossier - he (Gusau) had always been in the "thick of the action" in just about every administration in Nigeria, from Babangida (a serial coup plotter himself) to Jonathan.


However, one thing always stood out, more-so in the administration of Nigerian Christian leaders from the South, namely Obasanjo and Jonathan; there was always insecurity of a religious nature that he (Gusau) although placed in charge of managing, had seemingly always found a way to allow spiral out of control. 


Gusau's history with Boko Haram is a rather interesting one. According to  TheNationOnline, 01/01/2012, "hardline allies of Jonathan’s went further, suggesting that northern rivals within the PDP – such as Generals Ibrahim Babangida and Aliyu Mohammed Gusau – have covert ties to Boko Haram." Ironically, Jonathan however continued to have the ear and vice-versa of Ibrahim Babangida and Aliyu Gusau.


Earlier as the NSA under former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Gusau had told Obasanjo that "there was no evidence of such a group as Boko Haram in 2006 although there had been evidence to the contrary as far back as 2005. 


Here is an excerpt:

PMNews, September 14, 2011: Sources, however, indicated that the Azazi’s predecessor as NSA cannot be absolved of blame. It was gathered that the the issue of al-Qaeda affiliated cells in the North-East part of the country was pointed out to former President Olusegun Obasanjo as far back as 2006. It was noted for instance that Boko Haram, termed the “Nigerian Taliban”, had been operating in the clear since 2005 when General Aliyu Gusau (rtd.) was NSA. The former president was said to have in turn asked Gusau to investigate the issue. But Gusau, according to reports, told Obasanjo that no such group existed in the country.It was gathered that the same issue of Taliban presence in Nigeria was raised with the late President Umaru Yar’Adua in July 2007. “Goodluck Jonathan became President of Nigeria upon the death of Umaru Yar’Adua in May 2010. Former NSA Aliyu Mohammed Gusau was once again made National Security Adviser. Gusau could not possibly have missed the threat of Boko Haram. If his security operatives failed to raise the matter in their reports then the public statements released by Boko Haram and printed verbatim in Nigeria’s national newspapers should have raised questions from the NSA, if not alarm,” said Steven Davis, a public commentator. “The handling of the Boko Haram matter while Gusau was NSA resulted in a dramatic escalation in the conflict to the stage that it threatened the nation’s security,” he added.
Many media articles accused Aliyu Mohammed Gusau et al of being the terror mastermind(s) behind Boko Haram. 

An arms cache at the time in Kano with Hezbollah agents was linked to him and according to sources, he was under investigation with the result once again swept under the rug. 


It was under Gusau as NSA that Boko Haram acquired all their weapons and reigned terror. Gusau did nothing to check these terrorists. He even, according to Steven Davis as reported in PM News on Sept. 14, 2011, protected Boko Haram by telling then President Obasanjo that the group did not exist. 


This, despite series of attacks by the group. Gusau did not make any security report on the group, then called “Nigerian Taliban,” the paper alleges and Gusau even ordered the release of captured terrorists on the request of some Northern leaders, namely the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Sa'ad Abubakar III, a former security detail of former dictator, Rtd. General Ibrahim Babangida. 


This is not surprising as Sultan Abubakar is on record as having condemned the crackdown on Boko Haram.


In his capacity as NSA (three times to be precise) in Nigeria’s history, Gusau failed woefully and invariably assisted Boko Haram in becoming the menace they now are, with hundreds of thousands of deaths to their credit to date.
It remains puzzling that Jonathan appointed a man who actually retired as NSA to contest for the Nigerian Presidency against him (Jonathan), as Defense Minister when everything pointed to the fact that Gusau, in addition to being grossly inept (as his record had shown), had a history of being "soft" in his response to Islamic militant insurgencies in the past and was therefore not the logical answer to ensuring the outright defeat of Boko Haram.
Gusau and his Northern mischief makers, who are nothing short of avaricious predators, are now witnessing the proverbial chicken coming home to roost, with the recent trend of events.
The fact remains that Northern feudalism and its staunch protagonists remain the secret hands behind Boko Haram, the Fulani Herdsmen terrorists and all Islamic fundamentalist movements. President Buhari, the Sultan of Sokoto and Nasir El-Rufai, just to name a few, are the incumbent facilitators of these violent and murderous terrorists. That is a fact!
Asking the thief to watch the house is essentially what Nigerians are doing, by expecting this current administration to safeguard the lives and property of Nigerians.
The soft response (born out of parochial mischief) of the Buhari administration to the menace of the Fulani and Islamic terrorists, while at the same time engaging in extra-judicial killings of IPOB members in the South-East of Nigeria, is evidence of a clandestine acquiescence to the activities of the Northern terrorists by the Buhari government. 

Sunday

Buhari apologises for inflicting pain, suffering on Nigerians


CC™ Politico News

Outgoing Nigeria President, Muhammadu Buhari has apologized to Nigerians who found themselves on the receiving end of some of the policies his government implemented in the last eight years.

The President tendered the apology in his farewell broadcast to Nigerians as the Commander-in-Chief, aired on the morning of Sunday, May 28, 2023.

Buhari is gearing up to hand over power to the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, in less than 24 hours and took out time to reflect on his eight years in office.

While thanking Nigerians for supporting his government, the President claimed he's leaving the country better than he met it when he came into office in 2015.

He claimed that most of the economic policies pursued by his government have yielded the desired results even though he admitted that such policies caused Nigerians a great deal of pain and suffering and apologised accordingly.

Buhari said, "In the course of revamping the economy, we made some difficult choices most of which yielded the desired results. Some of the measures led to temporary pain and suffering for which I sincerely apologise to my fellow countrymen but the measures were taken for the overall good of the country."

The President also claimed that his government provided millions of job opportunities for Nigerians, while the nation achieved self-sustainability in food production among others all thanks to his policy interventions.

He said he's leaving the office as a fulfilled person due to some of the strides his government made to reposition Nigeria for future development and urged the people to rally behind the incoming administration so that the country can capitalise on the foundation his government has put in place.


PULSE.NG

Saturday

Tinubu inherits negative growth, non-performing sectors


CC™ Africa News

As President Muhammadu Buhari hands over the reins of the economy to Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the scorecard seems overwhelmingly negative.

Key macroeconomic indicators are all in the red, with most of them far weaker than what was handed over to the outgoing regime in 2015.

From inflation figures to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and exchange rates; from the money market performance through the entire financial markets and the real sector, the story is gory.

Headline inflation rose to 22.2 per cent in April 2023, the highest in 18 years. Buhari inherited a single digit inflation rate at 9.0 percent in June 2015, and he is set to hand over to Tinubu a second tier double digit inflation which is still trending up as at the time of this report.

This reflects the steady rise in prices of goods and services under Buhari occasioned by a number of wrong-headed or badly implemented policies including foreign exchange restriction on 43 items, border closure, farmers/herders clash, post-COVID supply chain bottlenecks as well as the most recent Naira redesign debacle, among others.

Consequently, the average headline inflation in the eight years of Buhari tenure rose to 14.77 per cent, up by 447 basis points from 10.3 per cent in the previous eight years, 2007 to 2014.

Of course this escalated the misery index across larger section of the citizens.

The GDP numbers through the previous eight years before Buhari took over in the second quarter of 2015 had averaged 4.8 percent.

As of the time the Buhari administration took off in the second quarter of 2015, Q2’15, the economy growth rate had slowed down to around 3.57 percent due to the oil price crises that had started a year earlier.

However, the high expectations that the economy is going to be revived quickly vanished when the new administration slumbered in setting up the cabinet and the subsequent economic management team that was expected to steer the ship away from the troubled waters.

Consequently, this lethargy littered the entire spectrum of the subsequent years, bringing the GDP numbers to one of the worst in history recording two recessions and an average of 1.2 percent growth.

Tinubu is inheriting a sluggish economy.

Mirroring the steady rise in inflation under Buhari, the benchmark interest rate, the Monetary Policy Rate, MPR, rose by 500 basis points, bpts, to 18 per cent in March 2023, as the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, moved to curb inflation.

Consequently, the maximum interest rate rose by 137 bpts to 28.08 per cent at the end of March 2023, from 26.71 per cent at the end of 2015. The Prime Lending rate, however, dropped by 295 bpts to 13.9 per cent from 16.85 per cent.

Tinubu is inheriting a high cost economic environment.

In the eight years of Buhari, the naira depreciated by 245 per cent and 135 per cent in the parallel market and in the official market respectively.

While the official exchange rate rose to N465.13 per dollar on May 17, 2023, from N198 per dollar on May 31, 2015, the parallel market exchange rate rose to N748 per dollar on May 17, 2023 from N217 per dollar on May 31, 2015.

Consequently, the premium between the two exchange rates widened to N279.87 on May 16, 2023, from N19 on May 31, 2015, the widest in the history of the country’s foreign exchange market.

Notwithstanding the decline in net foreign exchange, the nation’s external reserves rose to $35.19 billion at the end of May 16, 2023 from $28.28 billion at the end of 2015, translating to an increase of 24 per cent during the eight years period.

However, discounted for the $30.97 billion increase in external debt during this period, the external reserves will decline to $4.22 billion, hence a decline of 85 per cent in the eight years of Buhari.

How Buhari’s deficit budgeting hands fiscal albatross to Tinubu

The deficit budgeting strategy of the administration of the out-going President has created a fiscal albatross for the incoming administration.

The Federal Government deficit in 2016 was slightly above N2 trillion, but this has risen to over N12 trillion in the current fiscal year.

This follows a consistent pattern of weak revenue generation at the backdrop of propensity to spend more than earnings.

With poor revenue records and expansionary budget outlays, Buhari has consistently borrowed to fund the government budgets since assumption of office.

The National Assembly has also encouraged the borrowing to fund budget deficit from both domestic and external sources.

By 2015, out of the $65.428 billion public debt of the nation, the Federal Government debt was $44.857 billion or N8. 836 trillion

It consisted of $10.718 billion external debt while domestic debt was N8.836 trillion.

But as of December 2022, the total public debt stock of the nation had risen to $103.110 billion or N46.250 trillion.

Analysis of the detailed debt stock as of last year end shows that the external debt stood at $41.694 billion or N16.703 trillion while states and the Federal Capital Territory external debt stood at $4.456 billion.

At $61.415 billion or N 27.548 trillion, domestic debt accounted for 59.56 percent of the total debt stock. Out of that figure the Federal Government owed $ 49.515 billion or N22.210 trillion while states and the FCT owed $11.900 billion or N5.337 trillion.

Tinubu inherits tottering capital market

Resilience

Elsewhere across the entire financial sector, the story is almost the same, except for some resilience in the capital market.

In the negative principally is the exit of foreign investors in the capital market responding to the adverse macroeconomic and policy environment.

Foreign investors’ participation which hitherto accounted for more than 60 per cent of transactions in the Nigerian stock market went south between May 2015 and 2023.

But the secondary market for equities defied these realities and surged by 52.8 per cent.

The NGX under Buhari administration, is, therefore, marked by significant periods of highs and lows.

When the President took over office in 2015, the market capitalization of the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX), formerly the Nigerian Stock Exchange, was N16.88 trillion (equities 69.1% or N11.66trn, bonds and others 30.9%).

By May 16, 2023, the market capitalization had risen to N60.05 trillion comprising equities (N28.523trn), bonds (N22.390trn) and Exchange Traded Fund, ETF (N9.137bn).

Notwithstanding this increase, the ratio of equities market capitalization to GDP remains paltry at about 15 percent, an indication that the capital market is not really integrated with the economy.

Also, the main performance indicator of the NGX, the All Share Index (ASI), advanced to 52,419.33 points from 34,310.37 points, representing a 52.8 percent increase.

However, the positive scores in the capital market in the past eight years include few new listings in the exchange.

2019, particularly, saw the listing of blue chip companies. As one of the settlement terms with the Federal Government for infraction, MTN was compelled to list on NGX. The listing encouraged Airtel Africa, another telecoms giant, to also list, thereby shooting up the market capitalization of equities to over N19 trillion. Prior to the listing of the two telecom giants, Notore Chemicals had listed in 2018. Since then, other major companies, including Skyway Aviation Handling Company Plc (SAHCO), BUA Cement, BUA Foods and Geregu Power, the first energy company to access the stock market, were listed.

Under the Buhari administration, several elite products were introduced in an effort to deepen the market.

More so, the Collective Investment Schemes (CIS) segment of the capital market was revived and the products are now traded on the stock exchange. More Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) and recently launched Exchange Traded Derivatives have emerged in the Nigerian capital market. With the rollout of Exchange Traded Derivatives, a critical financial market infrastructure, called Central Counterparty (CCP) for clearing, settlement and delivery, was set up by NGX and the FMDQ Securities Exchange.

In 2015, three new indices were launched, including the Premium Board Index, Pension Index and the Main Board Index.

During the eight years of Buhari, foreign investors’ confidence in the market took a nosedive. When he took office in 2015, foreign investors’ participation at NGX was 54%. But by the end of 2022, their participation, fuelled by foreign exchange (forex) scarcity and capital controls by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), had fallen to 17 percent. This has kept many foreign investments trapped in Nigeria.

While there have been a number of new listings, the spate of delisting outweighed the former. While there were a total of seven new companies got listed, not less than 40 companies exited the market either through regulatory or voluntary delisting.

Since the 2008/2009 capital market crash, the primary market for equities has been dormant. Eight years of the Buhari administration failed to revive the primary market for equities. Other than the PO by MTN, there was practically no other equities public offering throughout the eight years of the President’s tenure.

Weak insurance sector

At the inception of the Buhari administration in 2015, the National Insurance Commission, NAICOM, the regulatory body for insurance practice in the country, in collaboration with insurance operators, had set out to achieve some targets in the course of the administration.

The set targets include the insurance sector hitting a trillion naira mark in Gross Premium Written, GPW; enforcement of compulsory insurance; eradication of fake insurance; recapitalisation of underwriting firms; passage of the Consolidated Insurance Bill; regular payment of group life premium for civil servants; increase of third party motor insurance premium, etc.

However, the combined effects of adverse macroeconomic environment and rising poverty diminished the results of the efforts by both the sector regulators and operators.

In 2015, total industry Gross Premium Written, GPW, was N289 billion and, according to NAICOM, the GPW is highly inadequate to underwrite huge ticket risks such as oil & gas and aviation. The Commission, therefore, set out modalities to achieve one trillion GPW in the course of the administration.

However, by December 2022, industry GPW stood at N532.7 billion, a far cry from the N1 trillion projection.

NAICOM, in collaboration with industry operators, had put the machinery in place to enforce the compulsory insurances.

Insurance operators worry that insurance penetration will continue to be low if they remain within comfort zones without expanding the business to the nooks and crannies of the country.

Unfortunately, as this administration winds down, enforcement of the compulsory insurance policies is still a far cry from expectation.

According to experts, the insurance sector loses over N60 billion to fake insurance racketeers annually.

Although NAICOM has taken some steps to curb the spread of fake insurance policies, the menace persists albeit on a declining scale.

Before the administration came, the Consolidated Insurance Bill had been awaiting passage in the National Assembly.

In the course of the administration, the Bill continued to gather dust even as the sector made series of efforts to fast-track its passage.

The Bill is aimed to make insurance practice conform to the ideals of contemporary insurance practice as well as align the insurance sector with the powers of other financial regulators in the country.

Unfortunately, the Buhari administration did not do justice to the Bill.

On the positive note, the administration inherited non-payment of premium for compulsory group life for Federal Government workers from the previous administration.

The implication was that many government workers died in active service with no compensation from the group life insurance scheme, except where government decides to pay compensation from its treasury.

The development elicited outcry from insurance stakeholders as they called on government to give more attention to group life insurance scheme, stressing that the scheme remains one of the ways the government can cater for workers’ risk liabilities.

However, the administration resumed payment of group life premium for civil servants.

Accordingly, the administration on annual basis pays premium of N5.4 billion for the group life cover.


VANGUARD

Sunday

Buhari’s legacy of terror and bloodshed as Fulani Herdsmen terrorize communities in Plateau State


CC™ ViewPoint

Global News Desk

Intercommunal conflict has killed hundreds of people in recent years in Nigeria’s ethnically and religiously diverse Middle Belt region.

The death toll from fighting between farmers and herders in Nigeria’s north-central state of Plateau has risen above 100 with locals searching in the bush for more bodies, residents and local authorities say.

Gunmen stormed villages and burned several houses in the Mangu area on Tuesday with at least 20 people initially estimated to have died, mostly women and children.

The violence was in reprisal for farmers killing a herder and his cattle who had encroached on their land last month, local herder Bello Yahaya said on Friday.

Mangu local government chairman Minista Daniel Daput said a mass burial had been conducted for about 50 people. Residents said another 50 were to be buried on Friday and they were looking for more missing people in the surrounding bush.

Plateau is one of several ethnically and religiously diverse hinterland states known as Nigeria’s Middle Belt, where intercommunal conflict has killed hundreds of people in recent years.

The violence is often painted as an ethno-religious conflict between nomadic Muslim herders – mostly ethnic Fulani – and mainly Christian Indigenous farmers. However, experts say climate change and expanding agriculture have also exacerbated the conflict.

Makut Simon Macham, a spokesperson for Plateau’s governor, said authorities were assessing the situation and would prosecute suspects, but he could not give casualty numbers.

REUTERS