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YES OR NO: 133m ‘multidimensionally’ poor: Buhari’s ‘gift’ to Nigeria in 2022

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has a casualty mindset. He bears absolutely no liability for any mishaps that occur under his supervision. He, on the other hand, views justifiable criticisms of his leadership flaws as harassment.

It is more likely that he will view this article as a form of harassment due to the shocking levels of multidimensional poverty in Nigeria that are fostered by his government. Shakespeare in imitation: I think he does protest too much! President Buhari was questioned last week in a documentary that was shown at a private event to celebrate his 80th birthday, whether he would miss anything about the presidency.

He responded, ” I’m not sure how much I’ll miss. I think I’m being bullied. He went on to say: I think I’m doing my best, but there are people around me who think they can intimidate me to get what they want. Even if I do my best, it’s not enough.

Although Buhari may be pleased with himself for “trying” his “best,” his “best” is insufficient! True democracies evaluate leaders based on their ability to keep the promises they were elected with. Liz Truss recently resigned as prime minister in the United Kingdom, stating, ” I am unable to carry out the mandate for which I was elected.

However, President Buhari has utterly failed to keep the promises he made when he was elected in 2015, including: to improve the economy, eliminate poverty, and combat corruption. During his campaign for reelection in 2019, Buhari reiterated those pledges under the acronym SEA, which stands for “security, economy, anti-corruption.” He was re-elected despite not keeping his promises during his first term. When President Buhari began his second term in May 2019, he told the Arewa Consultative Forum’s visiting leaders: This is my final run.

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I’ll try to put in more effort. In fact, during his second term, Buhari accelerated some policies, particularly those related to infrastructure and legislation. However, he has done nothing to advance the economy, national security, or fight against corruption, the three areas on which he was twice elected. Buhari will invariably leave Nigeria significantly weaker and more fragile than when he took office in 2015, with just five months left in his term.

so we don’t forget. Additionally, Buhari ran on a platform of transformation and change, including the decentralization of power to achieve “true” federalism. However, despite his seven and a half years in office, he has not implemented any significant structural, institutional, or administrative reforms. Buhari is a unique leader who uses his narrow perspective and personal preferences to define government.

In the Abuja echo chamber, he spends his time with mockers and praise singers. He denies that government serves a universal purpose. He blames those encouraging him to extend his viewpoint of badgering and terrorizing, saying they’re “smart considerably”. However, Buhari’s arrogance and stubbornness are precisely the reasons he failed as a leader. He lacks the vision to drive radical change and does not engage intellectually and philosophically with the role of government.

Aristotle, who stated that politics is “primarily concerned with the development and actualisation of human flourishing,” and Thomas Jefferson, who stated: “We must always remind politicians of the role of government.” The only legitimate goal of good government is to protect human life and happiness.

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The concept of the “social contract,” developed by Thomas Hobbes and John Locke and based on the common security and protection of lives (Hobbes) and property (Locke), was advanced by both of them. This brings us to the National Bureau of Statistics’ (NBS) November publication of Nigeria’s 2022 Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) survey.

The outrageous MPI results are, without a doubt, the most damning evidence of people’s ignorance of politics’ fundamental purpose and legitimate goal—the social contract. With north of 80 million individuals living beneath $2:15 per day (global destitution line), Nigeria has the biggest number of outrageous poor in Africa and second biggest on the planet.

However, the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) considers more than just poverty; Instead, it takes into account poverty across a number of potential deprivations, including access to healthcare, food security, and living standards. Furthermore, the finding is awful: 63% of Nigerians, or 133 million people, are multidimensionally poor!

But why is Nigeria in such a terrible situation? The World Bank’s Poverty and Shared Prosperity Index 2022 shows that 8.4% of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty in 2019, down from close to 60% in 1950. So, why is poverty reduction in Nigeria lagging behind the rest of the world?

Indeed, there’s an all out disappointment of administration in Nigeria, a total disappointment of initiative. It’s difficult to envision that the Central Government’s reaction to the disgraceful MPI results is looking for someone else to take the blame. It is beyond belief that President Buhari could attribute the spread of poverty in Nigeria to state governors when his government controls the majority of the tools necessary to combat it!

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Economic expansion is the main remedy. The well-known economist Simon Kuznets put it this way: Development is a rising tide that lifts all boats.” However, central control is exercised over the instruments of fiscal and monetary growth. National security is also important because without it, foreign investors won’t want to invest in Nigeria, and local businesses, like farming, won’t grow.

What about social security systems? The multibillion-naira Social Intervention Programmes (SIPs) run by the Federal Government have not reduced poverty. The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, or SERAP, filed a lawsuit last week and asked President Buhari to look into claims that the SIPs were rife with massive corruption and mismanagement!

Therefore, we have a federal government that is unable to manage social safety nets, provide security, or stimulate economic growth. However, it blames states for failing to address poverty. Subnational organizations can, of course, combat poverty. Poverty and unemployment were never federal concerns during the First Republic, when the regions had autonomy and controlled their own resources.

However, in today’s world, states are merely adjuncts to the federal government, and the majority are technically insolvent. Nigeria requires regional superpowers; It requires radical reorganization and power devolution. Unfortunately, Buhari despises those words! However, Nigeria’s severe multidimensional poverty is Buhari’s fault. It is the result of the multifaceted failure of his government!

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