Of course things are hard in Nigeria. But there is also another side of the coin, in relation to having a nostalgia for Buhari. For instance, in the first twelve months of Buhari’s military regime:
– over one million workers were dismissed from their jobs;
– prices of staple foods and essential commodities went up by over 500 per cent;
– there was a widespread scarcity of cooking oil, soap, milk, rice, sugar, salt and meat;
– tuition fees in higher institutions, which were abolished in 1972, were reintroduced;
– the immensely popular Universal Primary Education scheme embarked upon 10 years earlier was abandoned, forcing thousands of poor urban and rural families to withdraw their children from schools;
– Dr Tai Solarin, in very poor health, was detained in March 1984 for writing an article in the The Tribune, asking that ex-President Shagari should not be excluded from standing trial for corruption;
– thirteen of the nineteen members of the ruling Supreme Military Council (SMC) were northern Muslims, most of whose families are closely related to powerful local emirs;
– apart from the head of the navy, all service chiefs and commanders of the principal military divisions came from the north;
– the 1972 Nigerian Enterprises Promotion Decree was amended to enable non-Nigerians to own up to 80 per cent of large farm projects;
– leading members of the Kaduna ‘Mafia’ (such as Shehu Yar’Adua, Mamman Daura, Adamu Chiroma, Mahmud Tukur) were part of the influential group of the so-called ‘gentlemen farmers’ who owned and operated large-scale farm projects in the country with World Bank funding;
– a noisy media campaign under the emotive slogan, War Against Indiscipline (WAI) was launched to mask the ideology of the regime’s objective which was based on ludicrously simplistic prognosis of the fundamental reason for Nigeria’s post-independence problems: and,
– NIGERIA’S ECONOMIC POLICIES WERE PURSUED WITHIN THE BROAD FRAMEWORK OF CONTINUING NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE IMF AS BEGUN UNDER SHEHU SHAGARI CIVILIAN GOVERNMENT.From the above, in what sense must we continue to clamour for a strong, autocratic or detached leader instead of arguing for the entrenchment of a strong institution? Old habits die hard, I am happy to be convinced that, his being at the helm, an old Buhari in khaki cloth will be totally different from a new Buhari, in three piece outfits like the agbada or babaringa.
Thanks for this, Doctor.Now, don’t all Nigerian leaders with the exception of perhaps Murtala Muhammed, seem to always come with baggage?
To the point at hand, this essay’s central point is the UNNECESSARY beatings – from the little of economic theory and practice that I know – that each successive government has allowed the Naira to take. As for the reference to Buhari refusing to take an IMF loan in the 2003 essay, it IS the truth and no amount of revisionism nor Buhari’s negatives could ever erase that fact.
Finally, Doctor, I think the comments here seem not to be directed at my 2003 essay or to the short update I’ve added to it. I’ve provided info that I believe younger readers – 20s, 30s, 40s and even 50s – would enjoy, strengthened by scanned pages from one of my old passports.
Regards, as always.
Hindsight apology is in order here, Dear Doctor, because you’ve been proved right. History, as the saying goes, has a way of repeating itself … this time, it is in the form of a terrible tragedy.
Tola. August 8, 2016.
The essay referenced here, The Disappearing Naira, will be re-blogged here Monday, August 15.