President Muhammadu Buhari’s Administration has over time been accused of apportioning blames to individuals for unflattering circumstances in the country.
It seems nothing has changed as the President on Tuesday, February 16, 2021 blamed people of ‘Influence and resource’ for being responsible for the current waves of kidnapping, terrorism, banditry, and ethnic crisis plaguing the nation.
He disclosed this through his spokesperson in a meeting held in Abuja with a delegation of Borno/Yobe Elders Forum saying; “I am confident that we will eventually convince the small number of people with resources and influence that are a nuisance to this great country. God willing, we will identify them, and deal with them. I am extremely concerned about your constituency like the rest of the country.”
Also, sometime in 2016, the president reportedly blamed the MTN company for the incessant killings and abductions by Boko Haram insurgents, saying several MTN lines remained unregistered.
He said this in a joint press conference with the President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma.
He claimed MTN’s slow response to disconnect unregistered lines made it difficult to trace the terrorists responsible for killing and kidnapping innocent citizens.
There is practically no one this current administration hasn’t blamed for its failures, including the country’s past leaders.
In years past, the President blamed all Nigeria’s past leaders since the dispensation of the country’s democracy for the “near destruction of the country”.
Although the president did not mention the name of the past leaders, he made reference to persons who ruled over the country from 1999-2015, questioning how such leaders had the ‘impudence’ to criticize his administration.
“Those in the previous Governments from 1999 – 2015 who presided over the near destruction of the country have now the impudence to attempt to criticize our efforts.”
This was sequel to the criticism by Former President Olusegun Obasanjo who lamented over the worsening insecurity and economic situation of the country.
President Muhammadu Buhari had held the People’s Democratic Party 16 year’s reign responsible for the economic recession in the country, saying the party refused to save for the rainy day.
“In the First Republic, more enduring infrastructure was built with meagre resources. But in the past 16 years, we made a lot of money without planning for the rainy day”.
While visiting Daura in Katsina state to revalidate his membership of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the President had accused Nigeria’s elites for harassing his person and Administration despite his performance.
He had said, “Upon all the money from 1999 to 2014, we gave out money from the centre to pay salaries. No, Nigerian elites are not interested in rating the competence but they are interested in harassing us with all efforts we are making.
You, who are in the field in charge of your constituencies, you have to make efforts to convince the elite to please give us the due relevance and respect we deserve that we are working so hard with limited resources.”
Reacting to the statement, Kola Ologbodiyan, the National Secretary of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), said President Buhari had moved from blaming PDP to blaming Nigeria’s elites for the failures of his administration.
“Buhari is no longer blaming the PDP; he is now blaming the elite.The three things he promised to do for Nigerians, he has also failed.He promised to revive the economy, the economy is today comatose. He promised to fight corruption, corruption is today worse than ever”.
During the #Endsars protests in 2020, reacting to Amnesty International’s report that Nigerian soldiers shot some protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate on October 20, 2020, President Buhari had blamed “Hooliganism” during the protest for the loss of over 51 civilian lives.
In a summit organized by the Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) and the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, President Buhari who was represented by Vice-President Yemi Osibanjo, blamed the pandemic for the country’s economic downturn as the country was slipping into another recession in 5 years.
“We can all recall that during the lockdown, farming did not take place, businesses were closed; schools were closed as were hotels and restaurants.Also, airlines stopped flying, while interstate commerce was disrupted.The economy only began to recover when these activities resumed and if we are able to sustain the nearly three percentage point increase from the second quarter decline of minus 6.1 percent, the performance in the fourth quarter could take us into positive territory.”
Over time, Elections in Nigeria have been marred by violence which sometimes led to killings or chaos in the country.
On that, President Muhammadu Buhari blamed ‘power-hungry politicians’ for the problem surrounding the electoral process in the country.
In a meeting of the National Food Security Council presided over by President Buhari, he had frowned at the activities of those he called “corrupt middlemen” whom he said were responsible for the hike in food prices in the country.
“But of all these problems, the most worrisome are the activities of “corrupt” middlemen (with many of them discovered to be foreigners) and other food traders who serve as the link between farmers and consumers found to be systematically creating an artificial scarcity so that they can sell at higher prices.”
As the clashes between herders and farmers got heated a few years back, the President had blamed the increase in the country’s population rapidly approaching 200 million for the disputes over land in the Central part of the Country, also known as the Middlebelt.
The communal clashes had claimed several lives and properties of Nigerians as they clashed over the practice of open-grazing by herders which destroyed the farm produce of hardworking farmers in the region.
“President Buhari holds the view, as do many experts, that these conflicts are more often than not, as a result of major demographic changes in Nigeria,” said an emailed statement issued by the presidency.
While the land size has not changed and will not change, urban sprawl and development have simply reduced land area both for peasant farming and cattle grazing.”
President Muhammadu Buhari had in a statement by his spokesperson, Garba Shehu, on January 22, 2021, blamed banditry and attacks in the North-west and North-central regions of the country for the rise in mining activities in the regions.
It is increasingly looking like all this administration does is look for the next victim to apportion blame to, as it has proven its incompetence to fulfill all campaign promises made time and time again.
This has led to the recent calls by some Nigerians and groups for the President’s resignation.
Amongst the multitude who have called for the resignation of the president are Sen. Abaribe Enyinnaya, the Northern Elders’ Forum (NEF) and Salihu Tanko, Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje’s media aide who was arrested by the DSS and later released.
While citizens wait and hope for things to get better under this administration, people can only ask, who will the President blame next?