There are “three keys to credibility,” says Whit Ayres, a Republican political consultant. “One, never defend the indefensible. Two, never deny the undeniable. And no 3 is: Never lie.”
Lying in office didn’t begin with President Muhammadu Buhari. It will not end with him. But the scope of Buhari’s falsehoods as a “man of integrity” raises questions about his trafficking in hyperbole, distortion, and fabrication.
The price of lying for a president is always very high. The President will be known as a deceiver. The people cannot trust the President. When Buhari promised to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in ten years, he’s like the Greek King who fooled the Trojans with a wooden gift horse.
The size of Aso Rock seems correlates with the size of President Muhammadu Buhari’s promises. In his Democracy Day address in Abuja in June 2019, President Buhari promised to move 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years. “This task is by no means unattainable,” says Buhari. “China has done it. India has done it. Indonesia has done it. Nigeria can do it. These are all countries characterized by huge burdens of population,” Buhari argues.
Nigeria’s poverty is unique in two aspects. Nigerians suffer from extreme poverty. Extreme poverty is defined by the UN as “a condition characterized by severe deprivation of basic human needs, including food, safe drinking water, sanitation facilities, health, shelter, education, and information. It depends not only on income but also on access to services.” There’s no rational for our poverty considering human and material resources we are blessed with. Nigerians shouldn’t be poor.
Common root causes of poverty include lack of good jobs, lack of job creation, lack of good education, conflicts, social injustice, lack of food and water, lack of infrastructure, lack of good healthcare services, bad governance, lack of safety and security.
Since his Democracy Day speech almost a year ago, President Buhari is yet to tell us how many Nigerians are trapped in poverty, how he’s going to lift 100 million out poverty in ten years. We still don’t know what programs or policies he’ll put in place, how much money he would need to fight the war on poverty, how he’s going to implement the policy/program. There has been no follow up to his empty Democracy Day rhetoric.
Gullible Nigerians and Buhari’s supporters may argue that it’s too early to say whether his promise is a fake promise. There’s no need to detail all the broken campaign promises by Buhari. The larger betrayal is that Buhari portrayed himself as “incorruptible” and as “a man of integrity.” Buhari is such a hard-core liar. He lies all the time. His record in five years in office is littered with broken promises. Some promises made by Buhari call for attention.
Candidate Buhari promised that N1 would equal $1. He promised to restructure the lopsided federal government. He promised he would abolish medical tourism. He vowed that Boko Haram terrorists would be history in six months. He promised two million jobs every two years and two million housing units every two years. He promised to kill corruption before corruption kills us. The list is endless.
No Nigerian, not even the so called Buharists and Aso Rock propagandists believed Buhari that he would lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in ten years. Why should we believe anything that comes from Buhari’s mouth? As a misleader, his first notable act was renegade on his promise to institute necessary restructure to correct the imbalance of our lopsided federal government. His lies so frequently and shamelessly. Those who still support him and buy into his lies do so because of who is he - a Muslim, a Fulani - not what he stands for.
In five years as president, Buhari has failed to initiate a job creation bill, Buhari failed to create one single job. All Buhari could boast of in terms of job creation are Tradermoni and N-Power. Expecting him to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in ten years is like saying Buhari will transform Nigeria into a country of law and order, justice and peace, progress and prosperity.
Truth be told, Buhari by his incompetence, lack of vision, nepotism, lack of creativity, lack of courage, and lack of initiative, has imprisoned more than 100 million Nigerians in five years in abject poverty.
What’s different and what’s scarier is when Buhari’s lies are pointed out, and there’s evidence that they are lies, and Aso Rock propagandists still defend the indefensible and deny the undeniable. Of course, Nigerians who are “still in love with their oppressors” continues to believe Buhari is on the right course and Buhari is the best for the country. The reality of failure of leadership in the country suggests otherwise.