By Naijatruth 

The Pan-Yoruba Socio-political group, Afenifere, has slammed the former President Muhammadu Buhari for creating the economic problems that Nigerians are facing today. The group said that Buhari’s administration did not fulfill its promises and ignored the need for fiscal and structural reforms. The group also expressed its support for the current President Bola Tinubu’s reforms, which it said would bring the country back to reality.

According to a statement signed by its Publicity and Organising Secretaries, Jare Ajayi and Kole Omololu, Afenifere said that Buhari’s administration did not allocate funds for oil subsidies in last year’s budget, which forced Tinubu to end them in his inaugural speech. The group said that this was one of the causes of the economic hardship that Nigerians are experiencing.

The statement read: “The economic downturn was caused by Buhari’s administration which was built on a platform of hope and a defective federalism saying promises made were not fulfilled.”

The group also blamed Buhari for the insecurity and lawlessness that prevailed in the country during his tenure. It said that many innocent citizens, including the daughter of its leader, were killed or kidnapped by terrorists and bandits. It said that Buhari was unable to control his key officials, such as the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, who was allegedly printing money instead of taking tough decisions.

The statement read: “Under Buhari’s watch, terrorists and banditry were operating effortlessly. Law and order broke down. Many innocent citizens including the daughter of our leader were killed and or kidnapped.”

The group said that a probe panel revealed that Emefiele and his team printed N22.7 trillion through unconventional means and that the federal government was borrowing to pay salaries and pensions during Buhari’s tenure. It said that some ministers advised Buhari to remove subsidies and implement other economic measures, but he refused until his last year in office, setting a trap for Tinubu’s administration.

“It was, therefore, obvious that we were simply postponing the evil day. The CBN Governor denied leaks flying around that the books were being doctored. He reassured the federation that all was well. He even wanted to contest the presidential election! There were no penalties for his infractions by President Buhari.”

The group said that Buhari’s inaction and deception continued until May 29, 2023, when Tinubu was sworn in as President. It said that Tinubu wasted no time in announcing the end of the subsidy regime, which was not funded from June 2023. It said that Tinubu also deregulated the foreign exchange market, which led to the depreciation of the Naira.

Afenifere said that those who were asleep and snoring during Buhari’s eight years suddenly woke up and forgot that these corrective actions should have been taken long ago. It said that Tinubu’s only sin was winning the presidential election and making these decisions, which would cause pain in the short term but restore reality in the long run.

The group also recommended regular town hall meetings across the country, where ministers would interact with the people in their constituencies. It said that the National Assembly budget should be realigned and that the legislators should take relief materials to their constituents.

The group said that the governors, who were receiving higher allocations due to the removal of subsidies and the adjustment of the exchange rates, should deliver to their people. It said that the allocations of each state should be published monthly.

The group said that the government should implement the policy of growing and eating what we produce. It said that terrorism should be made a capital offence punishable by death. It said that the country should return to true and fiscal federalism, with state police and state ownership of mineral resources. It said that the group commended the President and the Governors for endorsing state police.

The statement read: “This is not the time for some elder statesmen to make inflammatory comments that could threaten our unity.”

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