Buhari’s Apology, A Mockery

Nigeria’s outgoing President, Muhammadu Buhari, was recently in the news when he sought the forgiveness of his compatriots on areas he had not done well or had hurt them. As Nigerians were trying to make up their minds whether his plea was genuine or not, Buhari helped them make up their minds by adding that one of his best legacies to the country was the 2023 General Elections which he considered free and fair. Well, this last bit well and truly rubbished his plea for forgiveness.

Indeed, to tell Nigerians that the 2023 General Elections were one of the best things he would be leaving behind is truly an insult to the sensibilities of Nigerians who know that the last elections were anything but good. Virtually all election observer groups condemned the elections, with many heads of government across the world, hesitating to congratulate the man declared the winner of the presidential election by the country’s electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

Thus, as Nigerians await the outcome of the court cases instituted by the People’s Democratic Party, PDP; and the Labour Party, LP, Buhari’s proclamation on the elections was anything but an insult.

But then, this has been typical of Buhari all through his eight-year tenure as president of the country. Within this period, he had feigned ignorance of many atrocious acts happening under his watch in such a manner that suggested that Nigerians were fools. It was under his watch that the country witnessed the most bloodshed outside wartime. It was a period when insurgency went several notches higher and killer herdsmen rode roughshod over hapless communities across the country.

While the fight against the insurgents had gone on poorly, the killer herdsmen had virtually had a field day, killing, maiming, raping and sacking communities, without being arrested or tried in a court of law.

Worse still, Buhari had hardly deemed it fit to commiserate with victims and their families. Of particular mention was the day over 70 people killed by the herdsmen were buried in one day in Benue State, with Buhari neither releasing a statement to commiserate with the victims’ families nor visiting the state as heads of government in saner climes are wont to do. Indeed, it seemed as if the Buhari Administration condoned these killings, for how could anyone fathom why no single killer herdsman was prosecuted and made to pay for his crime for the eight years of the Buhari presidency.

It was also under Buhari that the country witnessed the worst kind of nepotism and religious bigotry in terms of appointments. It did not matter to him that in a country sharply divided along religious and ethnic lines which he, himself, created, one religion or ethnic group should dominate others.

He allowed all this to happen despite the sustained condemnations by many Nigerians. While people and groups complained, Buhari would simply feign ignorance. Yet, as he now gets set to leave office, he has told a lie about bequeathing the best elections to Nigerians who know the truth.

As Buhari counts down to his retirement from active politics, we join other well-meaning Nigerians in expressing our dissatisfaction and unhappiness at what happened under his watch, as well as his last lie to the nation. What he said has only succeeded in making a mockery of  his apology. May we never pass this road again.