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Stages of Buhari’s failed government

President Muhammadu Buhari

One of the best books ever published is Ray Dalio’s Principles. In the book, he asked us “to think of every decision as a bet with a probability and a reward for being right and a probability and a penalty for being wrong”. Without boring you with the analysis, Ray Dalio was simply showing us how to make repeated decisions with realistic probabilities rather than idealistic possibilities.

Understanding this principle has become imperative for the outcome of 2019 elections. Following the campaigns by Kingsley Moghalu, whom everyone admits is running an excellent campaign, the efforts of other presidential candidates such as Oby Ezekwesili, Donald Duke, Tope Fasua, Sina Fagbenro, Fela Durotoye etc, some have argued that those that are not satisfied with the candidacy of President Muhammadu Buhari should rather vote for these ones.

Underlying this argument is the recognition by most Nigerians that President Muhammadu Buhari has failed to inspire in governance as he did in the campaign 2014 – 2015. In that campaign, he inspired a new generation of voters to commit time, energy and resources, but since 2015, he has failed to meet expectations, the minimum of which was to provide a greater level of security of lives and properties compared to the period leading to his election in 2015.

The reality and perception shared by majority of Nigerians is that President Muhammadu Buhari has failed. Even his strongest supporters, when this is pointed out, agree that he has performed below expectations, but rather than blame him directly, lay blame at the collapse in oil prices between 2014 and 2017.

But those that judge the President a failure concentrate on three areas. First is that he has been clannish and raised the bar on Nigeria’s already dangerous level of nepotism.

They argue that it is not appropriate to govern a diverse and multi ethnic country in such a manner and provide evidence that he naturally sees something wrong in those that do not have the same background as he or do not share the same religion.

The second is the way he has managed the economy that has seen the number of those unemployed rise to levels not seen before since the emergence of data and Nigeria becoming the capital of global poverty, overtaking India as the country with the largest number of people living in extreme poverty.

The third is the scale of the herdsmen and ethnic clashes under his leadership. While that has subsided, many are not in a hurry to forget the indifference in the attitude of the President.

Given these, the support for the President is therefore based on the notion that the President has more to offer. The support is also based on the notion that the President will change.

When they fail to make this argument, they latch onto the fear of return to the era of corruption, waste, and kleptocracy. But I never thought for one second that the era left us. But more importantly, the President cannot offer more, because the pattern and manner in which he has managed governance show that the President cannot raise the bar, become more empathetic, or suddenly become broad minded.

In the area of his clannishness, there is no chance of the President suddenly seeing all Nigerians as equals. He will continue to revisit what he has always known and believed.

On the economy, there is no chance of the President presiding over reforms in the economy, including the oil and gas sectors. He has convinced us beyond reasonable doubt that he sees the start and end of all Nigeria’s problems as corruption.

But most of his critics see corruption, not as the start and end of Nigeria’s problems but as a symptom of the manner in which we have governed Nigeria that continues to squeeze the political and economic spaces in the country.

We will therefore always argue for reforms that limit the possibility for corruption, provide the enabling environment for growing the economy, reform education and health care, which together will mean less dependence on government and expansion of economic spaces outside of government.

That sorted; at least to the extent that we do not think it is wise to reward failure with another four years. We cannot possibly think it wise to reward the failure to reform education, health care, and any other part of the economy with another four years.

The President has exhausted his ideas, and there is no new one on the table for the coming four years. Indeed, there is no pretension that the only idea they have is campaign on the fear of returning to corruption, giving the erroneous impression that we ever left that circle in the first place.

As Nigerians took risk four years ago, we must be bold and take another risk. Rewarding failure is entrenching failure.

In conclusion, though dissatisfied with the President, many are not convinced of the Atiku Abubakar option, some will argue, why not give any of the new faces a chance.

As much as we have ideals and may want to pursue fantasy, we do not think for a second, nor do those campaigning outside of the APC and PDP think they have any chance of becoming President.

And that brings us back to the probability theory expounded by Ray Dalio.

For the purpose of this, it means that, while the possibility of these young and intelligent candidates becoming President does exist, even they will equally acknowledge that the probability is very low.

Given this, we not willing to stake a claim or waste a vote, especially given that the likely resultant effect will be another four years of President Buhari.
Stages of Buhari’s failed government Reviewed by Unknown on November 09, 2018 Rating: 5

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