Tinubu’s Inaugural Speech: Some Sound Bites That Should Strike Buhari -By Abdulkadir Salaudeen


Buhari is now a former president. Power is sweet, intoxicating, but transitory. One must relinquish it willy-nilly—as a result of death or through change of government. Since 1999, Buhari is the second former president, after Obasanjo, who left office because he is statutory barred to continue. Another commonality between them is that they handed over power to a member of their parties unlike former President Jonathan. One major different between them is, while Obasanjo hand picked the late Yar’adua, campaigned for him and ensured that he made it to the presidency, Buhari pretended not to have any candidate and apparently left Tinubu (now President Tinubu) to his fate—euphemistically, Buhari worked against Tinubu.

Plus, while Obasanjo worked hard to see that his party (PDP) continued as a ruling party even after Yar’adua, Buhari was less concerned if APC hits the rock. His major concern after his useless tenure of eight years is his cattle in Daura. To Buhari, APC is just like a hired vehicle to reach a destination (presidency). And of course, to him, the vehicle is of no use thereafter. It would not have bothered Buhari if another party had won the 2023 presidential election since he did not contest. What bothers him is the fulfilment of the dream to become president to do nothing but globe-trot. His other dream is to go back to Daura which he spent eight years building at the expense of Nigeria. Now in Daura, that dream has also been fulfilled.

No ruler in the history of Nigeria has enriched his town with mouth-watering mega projects at the expense of his state and his country like Buhari. As at March 2022, Katsina Post listed 23 mega projects in Daura. These projects in Daura alone are probably more than the entire federal projects in the North West. No exaggeration. It does not matter if other parts of Katsina are ruled by bandits. What matters is Daura where he hopes to spend the rest of his life. So, when people talk about Buhari’s nepotism, it is the rare one and the worst type. It is not the everyday nepotism we are familiar with. His nepotism is not about the North, the Hausa, or the Fulani; it is about his family and friends in Daura and elsewhere(probably, Niger Republic).

He then handed over a dilapidated Nigeria to his successor. I don’t know how President Tinubu will go about renovating a dilapidated Nigeria. But from his inaugural speech, it is clear he understands the mountainous task ahead. The following sound bites from that speech should strike Buhari if there is a streak of conscience left in him. Tinubu said: “We have endured hardships that would have made other societies crumble”. This is true. What Nigerians endured under Buhari’s APC is unendurable in any society if not Nigeria.

He continued: “Our administrator shall govern on your behalf but never rule over you. We shall consult and dialogue but never dictate. We shall reach out to all but never put down a single person for holding views contrary to our own.” Buhari never governed; he ruled. He did not only rule, he ruled and dictated as if he owned Nigeria and the Nigerians in Nigeria. I have written a lot about this in my previous articles. If Tinubu meant what he read out in his speech, it means the DSS will rather work professionally or become redundant in his government. That is to say, those who hold views contrary to the ASO Villa’s will not be witch-hunted. Our judges’ houses will not be ransacked. Critical writers and activists will not be handcuffed. President’s wife and daughters will not become special breeds—they will not unleash their anger on whoever “offends” them by booting, punching, and striking their “offenders” like stubborn goat.

As your president, hear Tinubu, “I shall serve with prejudice toward none but compassion and amity towards all.” He will be the exact opposite of Buhari if he keeps to his words. Buhari served with prejudice towards all but compassion and amity towards his family. Again, he said; “Nigeria will be impartially governed according to the constitution and the rule of law.” To the contrary, Nigeria was partially governed under Buhari with the rule of law shamelessly trampled upon. Military regimes elsewhere in Africa would need to learn from “democratic Buhari” how to trample upon constitution. 

Tinubu further said “Agricultural hubs will be created throughout the nation to increase production…Farmers shall earn more while the average Nigerian pays less”. What Buhari did was to close the border to ostentatiously encourage local farmers who must pay tax to bandits and terrorists before they could plant and harvest. Nigerians had to pay through their nose to buy what was locally produced. What was the ultimate outcome? We had a rice pyramid which crumbled after some days. What a funny pyramid!

On the naira which was allegedly repainted to catch a BAT and sabotage his presidential bid, President Tinubu asserted that “The currency swap was too harshly applied by the CBN given the number of unbanked Nigerians. The policy shall be reviewed.” What Tinubu did not mention about the harshness of the currency swap is that Godwin Emefiele is harsher than the harsh policy itself and Buhari is the harshest. The unbanked Nigerians that Tinubu sympathizes with are majorly in Buhari’s northern Nigeria. Yet, this did not budge Buhari an inch. This is an exhibition of wickedness to the core.

What is more, what Buhari is very good at doing is to give directives and go away. Whether the directives are obeyed or not is not his problem since he prefers to dodge responsibility. He used the fuel subsidy, which he never believed existed before he became president, as a trap for his successor (PBAT), perhaps, to make things difficult for him. This old man made himself the Petroleum Minister for eight wasted years to personally supervise the refining and fueling of hardships in Nigeria. And he was very successful in that. For the first time in Nigerian history, we have multifaceted and all-encompassing poverty in abundance. This is his most visible legacy. The suicidal hardship Nigerians are to face in coming days is not Tinubu’s design. It is Buhari’s hardship design which his successor must follow before he charts a new course. Nigerians just have to be patient to see where the wind blows.

It is wrong for anyone to I am impressed by Tinubu’s speech. God forbids! Though concise, straight to the point, and promising, I don’t believe in rhetoric. After all, Buhari’s “I belong to everybody and belong to nobody” later turned out to be deceptive. Until Tinubu proves what he says actively and governs patriotically, I remain his critic as I have always been. But honestly, I pity him. Though he claims he is up to the task. “Don’t pity me. I asked for the job. I campaigned for it. No excuses. I will live up to expectation, I promise you,” he assured. I just hope he is not over estimating his ability; forthe debris left behind by Buhari is just too enormous. I urge Nigerians to pity Tinubuand help him with prayers and sincere advice.

My sincere advice to PBAT: don’t surround yourself with sycophants among politicians, activists, and, worst of them, clerics. Don’t listen to praise singers even when you deserve praise. Pay rapt attention to criticisms from political opponents and activists even if not constructive. Take seriously the advice of disinterested and God-fearing clerics even if not solicited. And let the cries of the masses unsettle you when they cry foul. Act justly even if it is against, say, yourself or the Yoruba Nation. Don’t go the way of Buhari who we believe God will reward for all what he did.

I wish you (PBAT—the Jagaban of Borgu Land) success if you choose to succeed. May you succeed. Nigeria shall come out of the slough of poverty and backwardness under your administration.

Abdulkadir Salaudeen



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