An Ubuntu African proverb says, “A Village without elders is like a well without water.” Just like a garden without a Gardner full of wildflowers. 

The unfortunate scenario for Nigeria, not to have produced a credible leader with its natural and human resources, is like a carcass full of maggots without any healing. 

It is very embarrassing that Nigeria has degenerated to the lowest level of governance under Buhari’s administration, rated as the third-worst governed country in the world, especially the inability to handle corruption properly. Good Government Index ranked Nigeria 102 out of 104 countries, with a score of 0.319 points, ahead of Zimbabwe and Venezuela. Proper handling of corruption has been the strongest indicator of good governance. 

President Muhammadu Buhari was somebody most Nigerians believed would correct some past injustices; not realizing that it was a misplaced choice of leadership as he is part of Nigeria leadership decay. His Military status tricked most Nigerians. It is very disheartening that President Muhammadu Buhari feels very comfortable with Nigeria mediocre ranking by GGI. His management style has been polluted with religion and ethnicity. 

A modest leader would voluntarily resign when he could no longer handle the country’s affairs; particularly, while issues are getting worse under his administration. 

Nigeria is far from any natural national disasters, except with those artificially created by its leaders. Boko Haram, with its grown branches, creating disasters in Nigeria. It has been alleged that Boko Haram is indirectly funded by the Nigerian Government, through negotiations and payment of ransoms. 

Shockingly, Nigeria has been mocked in some quarters as a land of Generals without War, Wars without Enemies; Politicians without Ideology, Leaders without Vision, Integrity without Performance, Appointees without Roles, Change without Progress, Next Level without Foundation, Democracy without Citizens, and Freedom of Speech, Heroes without Sacrifice, Policies without Plans, Elders without Wisdom, Rulers without Sense of Justice, Unity without Love; Land of money without Amenities, Billionaires without Business, Wealth without Prosperity, Hunger without Famine. 

Further desecration, Nigeria as a land of Professors without Discovery, Schools without Learning, Intellectuals without Thought, Artists without Taste, History without Glory, Heroes without Honor. Courts without Justice, Crime without Culprits, Criminals without Fears, Terrorists without Identity, The Oppressed without Resistance nor Worries. 

So also, Religion without Piety and Conscience, Pastors without the Fear of God, Priests without Respect for their Callings, Saints without Humility, Youth without Dreams. 

Buhari felt righteous about such desecration with his four-day official trip to Paris (May 2021) for African Finance Summit. What a disgrace to Nigeria, Africa, and the Black people all over the world. 

In 1988, Pieter Willem Botha, South Africa, made some offensive remarks that “Black People cannot rule themselves because they don’t have the brain and mental capacity to govern a Society. Give them Guns, they would kill themselves. Give them Power, they will steal all the Government money; Give them Independence and Democracy, they will use it to promote Tribalism, Ethnicity, Bigotry, Hatred, Killings and Wars”. 

Nelson Mandela once noted that “The world will never respect Africa until Nigeria earns that respect. The black people of the world are looking up to Nigeria to be a source of pride and confidence. Every Nigerian Citizen should be made to understand this.” 

Regrettably, Buhari’s administration has exposed the idiotic brains of some Nigerian leaders, failing to produce credible leadership, most especially, after Nigeria return to democracy. Except for those who came to amass wealth and exported its resources for the purchase of Private Jets, Exotic Cars, Houses in Dubai, Europe, America, at the expense of the anguishing Nigerians. 

According to Henry Truman, (1884-1972), the 33rd US President, “You can’t get rich in politics unless you’re a crook… Show me a man that gets rich by being a politician, and I’ll show you a crook”.

Whereas the process by which decisions are implemented, or not implemented, has been the basis of Governance. It has been a nightmare establishing Good Governance under the Buhari administration. Eradicating Corruption has been horrendous. Stopping the use of religion and ethnicity as the basis of managing Nigerian affairs have been very cancerous. 

Unfortunately, Buhari is not in Love with Justice and Humanity. 

The process by which decisions are implemented, or not implemented, has been the basis of Governance. Nevertheless, good leadership produces good governance. It is a way of measuring how public institutions conduct public affairs and manage public resources in a preferred way. In short, the term “good governance” has become a catchy shorthand way to describe a variety of political and economic institutions and outcomes. 

The former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan noted that “good governance is perhaps the single most important factor in eradicating poverty and promoting development”. It is a colossal task to minimize poverty in Nigeria which the Buhari administration has failed to accomplish. 

Some myopic mind in Nigeria would assess the Buhari Administration on the numbers of Schools, Medical Facilities built, without being equipped. A well-equipped Medical facility across Nigeria could have saved Nigeria Millions of Naira on the President overseas Medical visits. More so, Nigeria has some uncompleted and abandoned projects, clothed like treating a diabetic wound that never heals. 

Leadership backbone, like that of Buhari, might have been broken by Lord Macaulay speech to the British Parliament on February 2, 1835: “I have travelled across the length and breadth of Africa and I have not seen one person who is a beggar, who is a thief. Such wealth I have seen in this country {Nigeria}, such high moral values, people of such calibre, that I do think we would ever conquer this country, unless we break the very backbone of this nation, which is her spiritual and cultural heritage and therefore, I propose that we replace her old and ancient education system, her culture, for if that Africans think that all that is foreign and English is good and greater than their own, they will lose their self-esteem, their native culture and they will become what we want them, a truly dominated nation”.

Ironically, Buhari’s years of maladministration of Nigeria affairs without Transparency and Accountability have exposed him as part of the Military that promoted deceitfulness and viciousness. He is one of those who broke Nigeria strong cultural backbone, using Religion and Ethnicity in managing Nigeria affairs, without establishing a clear vision for the Country. 

Regrettably, Buhari endorsed the description of a society by Ayn Rand, a Russian American Writer and Philosopher, 1957, that “When you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing – When you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favours – When you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them but protect them against you. When you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice – You may know that your society is doomed.” 

Buhari finally exposed Nigeria leadership style in Governance; so often with the non-participation of the majority of men and women, except during elections. He refused to apply the Rule of Law for fair legal frameworks that are enforced impartially, disregarding human rights and minorities. Transparency has been nonexistent in his administration, not following the established rules, and regulations. Unfortunately, he has failed to understand the historical, cultural, and social contexts of Nigeria. 

He has declined to make most Nigerians feel they have some involvement in every issue that affect them; and the most vulnerable the opportunities to improve or maintain their wellbeing, through inclusiveness. Whereas the issue of sustainable use of natural resources and the protection of the environment is not well-thought-out by his administration. Ironically, the issue of Accountability, as the key to the requirement in good governance has been placed under the masquerade in Buhari’s administration. 

Essentially, Accountability cannot be enforced without Transparency and the Rule of Law. 

It might not be too late for Buhari to start working on Good Governance incorporating Participation, Rule of Law, Transparency, Responsiveness, Consensus, Equity and Inclusiveness, Effectiveness and Efficiency, and Accountability. 

Nigeria needs credible leaders who are, “… not in love with MONEY, but in love WITH JUSTICE. Not in love with publicity but in LOVE WITH HUMANITY”, according to Martin Luther Jr. 

What the Buhari administration did for Nigerians during COVID-19 Pandemic, to store perishable food items in warehouses across Nigeria, while Nigerians are going hungry, is poor leadership policy. There have been no checks to boost the economy or individuals to ease the sufferings of the people during the pandemic. 

The management of COVID-19 within four months (January to May 2021) in the United States, is a case in point for good leadership. 

Nevertheless, to ensure sustainable human development, Nigeria needs energetic leaders with fresh ideas to move the country forward, not some frail individuals, on artificial substance life support. 

Nigeria needs good leaders in Governance, avoiding ‘clueless idiot’ and ‘decorated fool’ leaders. Hence producing Modest leadership for the coming generation. Nigeria would be respected with its talented Human Resources. 

Concluding with Peterburns Munyasya, “We are stuck where we are now because we live in a materialistic world where all attention is only given to men with deep pockets while we ignore men with deep thoughts.” 

God bless Nigeria!!!

By  Prof. Femi Ajayi

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