FEMI ADEOTI COLUMN,
By this day next week, this regime is forever rested. Gone with the
whirlwind. Just like its likes. Enthusiastically confined to the
stinking dustbin of our ugly history.
This government will soonest be off our lives. It must be run aground
on May 29, 2023. That’s our expectation. The stark reality. Whatever
the day of the week, we don’t care!
It is certain. The runners of this junta must give way. They must be
erased for new things to happen to us. No hard feelings. They have
expired. A bitter fact.
The evils of the past eight years can’t be exhausted. Theirs is a
sordid chronicle. It can’t be explained. It can’t be comprehended.
Thank heavens. It ends the awkward manner it began.
What goes around comes around. Our fervent prayer. And we pray this
everyday. May a Muhammadu Buhari never happen to us again. May his
remote resemblance never cross our path. Now and forevermore!
We are impatient. We’re eager to sing a new song. Yes, this brand new
season. It is expected. We are in a “fast” hurry. You can’t reasonably
blame us for our appetite.
You would want to agree. We’ve endured too long for this day. Our eyes
have been on this day for eight years. Now, the waiting is over. We
are the better for it.
This time around, the narratives must change for the best. And for our
collective good. It’s the right moment for real change. The actual
positive change mantra we direly desire.
Things must not remain the same as old. Medieval ways of doing things
must be discarded. That is what President-elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu must
It is the Herculean task before him now. And perhaps a major vehicle
to his success. Anything short will be a monumental disaster. A
serious hold back.
He must not take us back to Egypt with Buhari. He needs a clear break
from our recent past. We dread a recede into our years of yore. He
must make up his mind how he wants history to remember him.
We have wailed profusely long enough. We did that for eight years. And
with all the life in us. We want to genuinely hail. No deceit. No
lies; no liars. We detest falsehood; falsity. No hate; no hatred.
Sincerity of purpose should be the rule of the game. We are very much
aware. We know Tinubu is in the know of this. He understands the game
far beyond the ordinary. In fact, he has become the game itself.
It could be so tough and challenging. But there could still be space
for roses. Let your policies carry a human face. Implemented with
human feelings. Don’t be defiant and arrogant.
Sure! We are no strangers to making sacrifices. The last eight years
stood out as our profound testifiers. We gave up so much to survive
the onslaught. The assault drained us dry. It wasn’t pleasant.
All the same, we endured. The reason we are alive to witness today.
And we’re prepared to bear even more. Only if the government is honest
All hands must be on deck. There must be very strong synergy. The
leaders and the led must strike a balance. A convenient, common
Together, the governors and the governed, our sacrifice is inevitable.
We can’t escape it. We can’t ignore it. To hell with skewed
sacrifices. They were our greatest undoing in times past.
Do not let us pretend to feign ignorance. Solution to our predicament
lies in restructuring. In it are devolution of powers, true federalism
and more. With restructuring, we are good to go. We’re ready to move
on and forthwith.
We had pretended this far. See where it landed us. We have useful
lessons to learn from the First Republic. It is the place to draw
Everything we need to excel as a nation is fully embedded in that
republic. We have no business looking outside. All we need, God has
We do not require a Lai type of propaganda. He does not need to embark
on a goose chase to foreign lands. Our solution is not alien. It is
It’s within us. At our beck and call. If only we search diligently. We
just must be bold, strong-willed and do the needful. And things will
start falling into pleasant places. It’s that simple.
First Republic is the tonic. It possessed all the vital ingredients
for our survival. Except we still don’t want to be serious as a
nation. And we will continue to stumble, fumble, tremble and saunter.
See the vibrancy in all the regions of the First Republic. It was
beautiful to behold. Consider the high level of commitment and
sincerity. This started far back in 1952. Long before independence on
October 1, 1960.
We should be proud to fall back on our rich past. It was our golden
era. It was full of enduring legacies. Let’s explore and exploit them.
And we will be glad we did.
The reason this latter-day, poorly branded Buhari legacy is odd.
Buhari’s legacy? What legacy? What portion do we have in the son of
Buhari? What stake do we have in Muhammadu? Certainly, no deal!
That Asaba, Delta State, businesswoman, Ifeyinwa Ifediegwu, captured
it succinctly. She was profound. You can’t fault her.
She despised Buhari’s legacy with utter disgust. She poured out her
heart to Business Day, that Sunday, May 21, 2023:
“The eight years of Buhari’s reign has taught me a harrowing
experience. I thank God it’s going to be over on May 29 (2023).” Who
would not thank God for this day?
“It’s ‘happy survival’ for my family and I. And to all Nigerians who
are alive to see the end of the Buhari administration.”
Ifediegwu’s prayer is the same as ours: “May we never experience an
administration such as this again in the history of our nation!” A
Her good reasons: “Buhari made things extremely difficult for
Nigerians. His ill-thought-out policies birthed many Yahoo-Yahoo and
Yahoo-plus boys. Some are already dead, some imprisoned and some are
Not only that: “The closure of borders made things worse for our
people. As a result, they took to crime. It bleeds the heart, what
transpired these past years.”
The sledgehammer: “Indeed, we deserve certificates of survival for
making it through Buhari’s harrowing eight years in office.”
We make bold to say we deserve more than certificates of survival. We
actually merit awards for surviving Buhari. And his excruciating eight
She offered Tinubu a candid counsel. And for free: “I advise the
incoming President to review all the policies that do not have a human
face, which Buhari imposed on Nigerians.”
Ifediegwu properly situated the essence of Buhari’s so-called legacy.
We’re glad to be unrepentant naysayers to Buhari’s eerie legacy. It’s
a satanic legion.
It is evil in all departments. We detest his legacy with everything in
us. This is not a legacy we bargained for. It’s no deal! His legacy is
a can of worms. Pandora’s box is it.
Exemplars: Endless killings. More than 63,111 persons (only)
slaughtered. Just in Buhari’s eight years. Many remained unreported,
others not captured. It is scary and scaring. And we are not in a war
The killings are not in any means abating. Death tolls are daily
climbing to the rooftops. On going massacres in Benue, Kaduna and
Plateau states lent credible credence to this.
The three states have something pathetic in common. In recent times,
they jointly lost 472 lives. Courtesy: Killer Fulani herdsmen,
terrorists, bandits, kidnappers, et al.
They stand out as the epicentres of the endless killings. Niger,
Zamfara and Katsina states trail behind them. It is in no particular
order. Great pity.
These evil species of leaders! They would not stop tormenting us the
more. If you can’t believe them, you can’t believe anything. And if
you believe them, you believe anything. Strange? Even stranger!
To all these recent killings in Benue, Kaduna and Plateau states,
neither Buhari nor any of his aides uttered a word of comfort to the
affected or their families. Sad legacy!
Instead, they put on weird guts. They beat their flesh chests and
vomited uncontrollably: “We’ve decimated Boko Haram.” They named
terrorists and bandits as its cousins and uncles.
They did it several times over. They were undaunted and shameless.
They flaunted their legacy. And the murders continue unchecked,
unchallenged. Legacy indeed!
They would stop at nothing. We must be convinced of Buhari’s legacy,
they insisted. So, as Buhari’s junta inches to a damning close, it
grows its debt profile.
Sheer wickedness. The debt legacy now towers at a frightening N77
trillion. That portfolio has no near rival. It is uncanny and unique.
You don’t find such in sane climes.
And the debt is still mounting. They have no known capacity to halt
the trend. They supervise the reckless rise in debt portfolio. They
have lost the grip. And it surges on. Even under the very watch of
We couldn’t have been carelessly incurring debts. We have to live with
its dire consequences. We must dine and wine with inflation. There’s
no escape route. It’s given.
Buhari ensured he “improved” our inflation rate. He upped it to almost
a point of no return. The last count, he stood it at 22 per cent. That
has become our nightmare.
This rapidly fading government is deficient on all fronts. It
collected a “meagre” $460 million from China. The money was meant for
Abuja closed-circuit television (CCTV) project.
That never happened. And government never bothered. It believed all is
well that ends well. They took the money and looked the other way.
Nobody dared talk.
The judiciary, surprisingly, came to our rescue. It bared its fangs.
What we feared, it confronted. It called out his government.
It must “account for the spending of $460 million Chinese loan to fund
the failed Abuja CCTV project.”
Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court, Abuja, literally
rubbished Buhari’s much-taunted integrity. He questioned his ambiguous
legacy. He ordered his government to:
“Publish the total amount of money paid to Chinese and local companies
and contractors and specific details of the names of the companies and
contractors and status of the implementation of the project.”
Buhari’s legacy list is inexhaustible. It has no end. And every item
on the list is damnable and condemnable.
How do we explain this weird legacy? Minister of Finance, Budget and
National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, brought this to our notice.
She ostentatiously displayed one more legacy to our wrath. We were
angrily dumbfounded. She did so with uncanny arrogance. That
government secured a World Bank facility worth $800 million. To ward
off effects of fuel subsidy removal:
“It is the first tranche of palliatives to be disbursed through cash
transfers to about 50 million Nigerians, who belong to the most
vulnerable category in the society.”
Say that to the marines. Ahmed said this casually on April 5, 2023.
That was less than two months to their departure. And our expectation
about their imminent exit knows no bounds.
This type of legacy Tinubu must flee from it. Buhari’s legacy is more
than a plague. It’s a pandemic. The reason Tinubu must not inherit it.
It is not worthwhile.
He shouldn’t go near it. Not even with a long spoon. He should be
mindful of the land mine. It’s all over. Buhari’s legacy is wrapped up
neatly in deceit. And signed, sealed and delivered.
The legacy is unique to Buhari alone. You can’t find its like
anywhere. He alone understands why he did what he did to us. We are
Come let’s reason together. Let us wonder aloud. You claimed to be one
of us. And you treated us this way for eight full years. Come on! We
have our genuine doubts.
This time we have tall dreams. Taller and bigger than Buhari’s legacy.
We are resolute and determined. We will go the extra mile to actualise
We want to sing new songs. We will do what biblical Jacob did: “And
there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day…He
prevailed not against him…I will not let thee go, except thou bless
me…And he blessed him there.” (Abridged Genesis 32: 22-32. KJV).
We will do like Jacob of old. We will wrestle with “a Man.” We “will
not let Thee go, except Thou bless” us. And surely, He will bless us.
That’s what we will set at doing. For that is the best way to go.
Let’s shout it to high heavens. In Buhari’ legacy, we see blood,
misery, affliction, agony, pains, deceit, wickedness, lies,
buck-passing, blame game, policy summersault, self-denial, corruption,
insincerity, bootlicking and their kinds, just to mention a few!
All these are crafted in nepotism. And where you have nepotism,
impunity rules the waves. What is not in Buhari’s legacy does not
Buhari’s legacy? No deal! We will walk away. And start singing like
canaries. The time starts right now. May our mouths be full of
So help us God!