Award-winning novelist, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, has blasted the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government as well as the All Progressives Congress (APC) for their failed promises.
In a recent article in New York Times, titled ‘Nigeria’s Failed Promises’, the author said Buhari has wasted an opportunity to reform Nigeria.
She wrote: “Nigeria is difficult to govern, but President Buhari wasted an opportunity through his actions – from his appointments to his economic decisions.
“He had an opportunity to make real reforms early on, to boldly reshape Nigeria’s path. He wasted it.
“His intentions, good as they well might be, are rooted in an outdated economic model and an infantile view of Nigerians.
“Since Mr. Buhari came to power, villages in the middle-belt and southern regions have been raided, the inhabitants killed, their farmlands sacked. Those attacked believe the Fulani herdsmen want to forcibly take over their lands for cattle grazing.
“It would be unfair to blame Mr. Buhari for these killings, which are in part a result of complex interactions between climate change and land use. But leadership is as much about perception as it is about action, and Mr. Buhari has appeared disengaged.
“It took him months and much criticism from civil society, to finally issue a statement “condemning” the killings. His aloofness feels, at worst, like a tacit enabling of murder and, at best, an absence of sensitive leadership.
“Most important, his behavior suggests he is tone-deaf to the widely held belief among southern Nigerians that he promotes a northern Sunni Muslim agenda.
“He was no less opaque when the Nigerian Army murdered hundreds of members of a Shiite Muslim group in December, burying them in hastily dug graves, or when soldiers killed members of the small secessionist pro-Biafran movement who were protesting the arrest of their leader, Nnamdi Kanu, a little-known figure whose continued incarceration has elevated him to a minor martyr.”
“Mr Buhari ascended to the presidency with a rare advantage — not only did he have the good will of a majority of Nigerians, he elicited a peculiar mix of fear and respect.
“For him, it seems, patriotism is not a voluntary and flexible thing, with room for dissent, but a martial enterprise: to obey without questioning.
“For the first weeks of his presidency, it was said that civil servants who were often absent from work suddenly appeared every day, on time, and that police officers and customs officials stopped demanding bribes.
“I experienced political fear for the first time, aged seven, under Buhari’s military regime in 1984, I welcomed his election 30 years later in 2015 because he represented some form of hope.
“Because for the first time, Nigerians had voted out an incumbent in an election that was largely free and fair.
“Because Mr Buhari had sold himself as a near-ascetic reformer, as a man so personally above board that he would wipe out Nigeria’s decades-long corruption.
“Perhaps the first clue was the unusually long time it took him to appoint his ministers. After an ostensible search for the very best, he presented many recycled figures with whom Nigerians were disenchanted.
“But the real test of his presidency came with the continued fall in oil prices, which had begun the year before his inauguration.”