Ebenezer Babatunde Obadare, a Nigerian-American academic and Senior Fellow for Africa Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in Washington DC, has accused President Muhammadu Buhari of not meeting the expectations of Nigerians.
Obadare stated this in an article he authored on the CFR’s website as Buhari prepares to exit office.
He said no other leader in Nigerian history has had a deeper fund of goodwill to tap into at inception than Buhari did when he took the reins in 2015.
“He was widely perceived as above board, a rarity for a former Nigerian public office holder.
“Furthermore, his military pedigree was deemed essential given the unchecked rampages of the Islamist Boko Haram insurgency,” he stated.
He, however, argued that Buhari managed to turn such wild enthusiasm about his candidacy in 2015 into grave disappointment.
“It was clear within the first few months – the initial struggle to put together a cabinet being particularly telling – that Buhari, for all his desperation to take power, had yet to do his homework and was ill-prepared for the demands of the office.”
He added that the Nigerian economy is in a far worse shape than Buhari met it when he took office eight years ago.
“His fiscal indiscipline, highlighted by an appetite for borrowing unmatched in Nigeria’s annals, has put the country in an improbable seventy-seven trillion Naira hole.
“Similarly, the security situation took a turn for the worse on Buhari’s watch, an irony, given justifiable popular confidence at his inception, that this was one sector where the president’s military background gave him an edge over his predecessor.
“Corruption, too, has worsened. State pardon of top public officials convicted of corruption has tarnished Buhari’s image as a beacon of transparency and stiffened the common perception that his commitment to transparency is merely rhetorical,” he lamented.
Obadare, who was, until 2021, a professor of Sociology at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, United States, concluded by saying Buhari also failed because he could not establish an emotional connection with the Nigerian public.