May Buhari Never Happen to Us Again

Last Monday, May 29, General Muhammadu Buhari (Rtd), ceased to be called the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, after he handed over to Alhaji Ahmed Bola Tinubu, who was declared the winner of the February 25 Presidential Election by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, despite horrendous flaws.

Immediately after the handover, Buhari was flown to his beloved Village, Daura, in Katsina State, in a Nigeria Air Force jet.

Usually, the exit of one who has served their country elicits some elements of nostalgia and even sadness, but it is not certain that Buhari’s exit will elicit such feelings from many Nigerians and it is for good reason. Buhari’s eight years in power have been easily the worst, not because he had failed like many others before him, but because he was in a position to stop certain things from happening but chose to either feign ignorance or remain aloof.

What no one would contest was Buhari’s failure to combat terrorism and banditry. Under his watch, the blood of hundreds of innocent Nigerians was spilled by Fulani herdsmen, without there being a single conviction. This had emboldened the herdsmen to continue to ravage communities, murdering people and ransacking farms, leading to high cost of food stuffs.

Buhari also failed to end insurgency, contrary to his campaign promise of doing so. Till the moment he left, Boko Haram terrorists were still occupying some communities in the North West, while many gallant troops lost their lives in the fight, often in circumstances that raised suspicions of sabotage.

The lots of Nigerian masses failed to improve under Buhari but worsened. Unemployment levels increased and criminality blossomed. It will be safe to say that Buhari failed almost woefully in most of his promises. His was a government that kept doing the same things the same way, while expecting changes to happen. That did not happen.

But by far, the worst blow that Buhari gave Nigerians was the conduct of one of the worst Presidential Elections in the country’sHistory. Nigerians must have watched in disbelief as Buhari went through the motions of handing over to a government that he and his successor knew they did not win.

Buhari had urged candidates aggrieved by the outcome of the Presidential Election to go to court. That has been done. But that suggests that Buhari believed in the rule of law. That, again, has proved not to be the case either. If he believed in the rule of law, what stopped him from obeying the judgement of a court by releasing pro-Biafra agitator, Nnamdi Kanu? When a man who could not obey a court judgement asks you to go to court, it is more than likely that he will not be believed. That is why more Nigerians are now beginning to fear for the fates of those in court against Tinubu’s declaration as the winner of the last Presidential Poll by INEC.

But Buhari has come and gone and what looks like a new government is in place. As Nigerians continue to hope, even if forlornly, for a miracle from the courts, many of them will not want to remember the Buhari Years. They are years that a vast majority of Nigerians will not wish to experience again, including the man who was in the thick of it all.

The Chairman of the Anambra State Internal Revenue Service (AiRS), Mr. Richard Madiebo, says the revenue windows hitherto operated by individuals in the state remain shut, announcing that Governor Chukwuma Soludo has not lifted the ban he placed on it.

Mr Madiebo who stated this in his office in Awka during a joint Press Conference said that the government was working round the clock to ensure there would be no more touts in Anambra State roads and parks.

‘The people claiming that government has leased some revenue windows to them are liars. There’s no such thing. They are blatant lies because Governor Charles Chukwuma Soludo has suspended all revenue windows in the interim because of noticeable significant abuses of such windows as people became law onto themselves,’ Madiebo stated.

He maintained that a lot of groups had turned themselves into enforcement teams, enforcing orders that were not from government.

He said the enforcement architecture of government had been put in place and that the enforcement teams sanctioned by government to collect revenues were Ocha Brigade, ANJET, ARTMA and VIOs for motor vehicles.

The AiRS boss noted that IGR must be remitted into government coffers and not private accounts.

Madiebo in the company of other top government functionaries during the media briefing, reiterated that government had long proscribed all forms of touting in the state but expressed deep concern that there was a resurgence of revenue touts again across the state.

He therefore emphasized that government had not empowered local governments, communities and private individuals to form enforcement teams to start taking money from people, adding that government agents were working assiduously to fish them out.

Contributing to the discussion, the State Commissioner for Transport, Mrs. Patricia Igwebuike, stressed that every commercial bus operator should have been enumerated to enable them to know the exact amount to pay to government every month and that all payments were made digitally without physical cash transaction.

Igwebuike disclosed that the state revenue courts would soon be operational and that government would engage traditional rulers and presidents-general, noting that community leaders had what he termed some sort of baptism they gave to illegal revenue collections across Anambra state.

The Transport Commissioner however maintained that Igwes and PGs must understand that it was the revenue generated that government deployed in building roads and providing other social amenities in their respective communities.

For his part, the Special Adviser on Security, AVM Chiobi, assured that the enforcement team would always be on the ground to enforce compliance, warning that any of the team members who undermined their activity would be severely dealt with.

He appealed to newsmen to always verify their report before publishing.