Muhammadu Buhari’s years of the Locust, a reality check

by Bob MajiriOghene Etemiku
locust years

In less than 60 days, what has become one of the greatest mistakes that Nigerians made in the election of Muhammadu Buhari as president will come to an end – hopefully. To say that Nigerians have endured the most mortifying and exhausting a time as the epoch of this lean-framed individual is to say the least. When I remember and cast my mind back to 2014 when the debate as to whether or not to elect this individual, two things come to mind. One is the insults and name-calling that his supporters, especially one individual known as Dayo Ogun and his ilk heaped on me after I warned them that Buhari was coming with suffering, leanness and scarcity. As a child, I had seen first-hand what Muhammadu Buhari brought to the table as head of state – austerity measures, forced discipline and international braggadocio. Our parents were queuing for rice, salt and sugar; and most of the queues we are seeing today – at the banks, filling stations – originated from his primitive, antediluvian and draconian methods of whipping Nigerians in line, together with the ill-fated plan to change currencies at that time.  The other thing which quickly comes to mind is the story of the lean years in Egypt which Joseph had predicted. In Joseph’s dream, the time of famine he predicted for Egypt, seven years, is no different from the seven years of the Muhammadu Buhari nightmare for Nigerians.

But before we go ahead to say something about these seven years of drought that Muhammadu Buhari inflicted Nigerians with, it will be of benefit to know where we were before he took over. It is true that there were issues of security during the presidency of Goodluck Jonathan. Money was flying about like no man’s business, something which made Nigerians a bit lazy and inclined to being spendthrifts. It was also one of the best years of our lives – as we have seen lately. Cast your mind back to 2014 and before it – you could buy a bag of rice for N8,000, pure water was N50 per bag, and the biggest loaf of bread for many Nigerian commoners was just N350. Petrol pump price had not hit the roof as it has today. Nigeria became Africa’s largest economy from a rebasing which was carried out in 2014 or thereabouts. At no time did we hear that our president was travelling abroad to treat senescent ailments like ears and nostrils. If you insulted the president, he would smile at and wave at you. That was where we were before this harbinger of drought showed up. We will not be doing an item-by-item analysis of what has become the recurring decimals of this sordid administration. Doing that will amount to writing a horror story.

As we speak, a gang of liars within the Buhari administration, who have taken the lie mantle from Lai Mohammed, have been unleashed on us to twist the sordid narrative of the awful failure of the past seven and half years. The other day, Garba Shehu said that after he leaves office, Nigerians will yearn for President Buhari the way Nigerians began to yearn for Goodluck Jonathan after he left power as president. Together with a group of pseudo-intellectuals that swarm over the carcass of the Buhari administration, and especially that Bayelsa man who forces an American accent, have begun to twist the story of our sordid experience of the Buhari years of drought pain and hunger. But we say God forbid bad thing, that anyone would be yearning for locusts to swarm on and eat us up inch by inch the way this fellow in Aso Rock, Muhammadu Buhari, did.

But we must put it on record that it was during these years of the locusts in Muhammadu Buhari that Nigeria became the poverty capital of the world. It was during this semi-decade of the locust that young Nigerians were shot at and mowed down mercilessly just because they expressed their mistake of electing Buhari. It was during this year of the locusts that staple foods like bread and fish and rice became foods for the rich. People were jumping in the rivers in Lagos and committing suicide. We suddenly found ourselves under an epoch where the universities were shut nearly indefinitely, and where the incidence of brain drain from Nigeria assumed its highest propensity since World War I. We have a president who, in spite of being the petroleum minister, was unable to revamp the refineries in Nigeria. At the end of seven years, Nigeria still grapples with epileptic power supply in a Nigeria known to have been the largest economy in Africa.  We have had such a dim fellow who did not realize, that all through the trips that he undertook to treat his ears and nostrils in the UK, that he was actually a security threat to Nigeria. By going on those medical trips, little did he realize that he served notice of his cluelessness and inability to develop his own health care systems. He even recently presided over one of the worst elections ever conducted in Nigeria’s nascent history. Seven years under the Buhari administration was a monumental failure, misadventure and underdevelopment of Nigeria. It was as if he took us back 23 years.

And now with this nunc dimitis of the Buhari fiasco, we serve notice to anyone – Tinubu, Atiku or Obi – coming in to serve to serve to giddy up, tie his loins and serve. We make this command, and demand service, otherwise we would come for you with everything we have. We will come for you, and that’s because as Nigerians, in seven years and under this underdeveloped fellow, Nigerians have passed through one of the most harrowing of experiences a people can ever be made to pass through.

You may also like

Leave a Comment