President Bola Ahmed Tinubu had during his presidential campaign told a mammoth rally in Owerri, Imo state that he would assiduously advance the legacies of Former President Muhammadu Buhari.
But as the country reflects on President Muhammadu Buhari’s legacy, there are indications that Tinubu may lack confidence in the achievements and direction of Buhari’s tenure.
While it is essential to consider the context and individual motivations behind political actions, several signs suggest a potential lack of confidence on Tinubu’s part.
This article will explore five possible indicators that shed light on Tinubu’s sentiments towards Buhari’s legacy, highlighting his actions and statements that seem to signal a divergence of opinion and diminished belief in the president’s accomplishments. Let’s get in.
Fuel subsidy removal
Former President Buhari failed to remove fuel subsidies months after he took office. Under his leadership, the annual subsidy bill moved from N971 billion in 2014 to N45 trillion in 2023. This made Nigeria’s debt profile increase as it had to borrow from all over the world to fund its consumption.
But Tinubu decided not to follow Buhari’s path. He declared that “Subsidy is gone” on the first day he assumed office.
Also, unlike Buhari who once removed petrol subsidies in 2016 and failed to follow up with policies that will alleviate the hardship of Nigerians, Tinubu revealed plans to distribute monthly cash grants of N8,000 to 12 million households.
Although the policy was greeted with public criticisms, Tinubu hinted that the cash programme was not the only item in his relief package for Nigerians. He has directed that the policy be reviewed as a part of his willingness to be a listening leader whose ears will not be dull to the views expressed by the citizenry.
He unified the exchange rate
Under Buhari’s administration, Nigeria operated multiple foreign exchange systems but Tinubu came on board and decided to unify it. Explaining the reason for the unification, Tinubu said he could have chosen to maintain the hitherto multiple foreign exchange systems and benefit from it, but instead opted to unify the official and parallel market rates to save the country from financial haemorrhage.
Departing from Buhari’s financial legacy, Tinubu said, “I could afford to share the benefit by participating in the arbitrage, but God forbid! That’s not why you voted for me, “We need to take steps to stop the bleeding of our finances through speedy action on fuel subsidies. We have no choice.”
Reports say Buhari probably avoided this because of fear of social unrest in a country where poverty is rife.
Tinubu puts Nigeria on the lips of foreign investors
Another sign that Tinubu lacks confidence in Buhari’s legacy will be his series of meetings with foreign investors. He has assured foreign investors that their investment is safe in the country. Tinubu has also encouraged them with the decisions he has made since he came into office.
One such meeting is his meeting with the Founder and Global Chairman of Bharti Airtel, Mr Sunil Bharti Mittal; Africa Group Chief Executive, Mr Segun Ogunsanya, and their team at the State House, Abuja.
Addressing newsmen, a senior banker at a U.K.-based financial institution said, “The excitement about the new president and his reforms is palpable. I was in three cities in the United States last week to see clients and everybody was talking about Nigeria. He has put Nigeria back at the top of the agenda, in a positive way.”
The investigation of the CBN Governor as prescribed by the DSS
Tinubu’s suspension of Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, a few weeks after he became President is a strong sign that he lacks confidence in Buhari’s legacies.
Recall that the Department of State Services (DSS) had intensified investigations in order to arrest and prosecute Emefiele, on allegations of terrorism financing and fraud but President Buhari intervened and ensured that he was not arrested.
However, Emefiele had been arrested and detained by the DSS for investigations under Tinubu.
Tinubu removed military chiefs
Another sign is the removal of all Buhari’s military chiefs, IGP, and Customs bosses. If he was confident in Buhari’s security legacies, he would have worked with his team.
But no, he ordered the immediate retirement of all of them and immediately named their replacements.
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