2019: Why Buhari May Not Get International Support
There is no doubt President Muhammadu Buhari enjoyed tremendous international support in the build up to the 2015 presidential elections.
Former President, Goodluck Jonathan’s alleged tolerance for corruption made the administration of ex-United States’ President, Barrack Obama support Buhari's "change" agenda.
The immediate past president made the world to believe that there was no corrupt practice in his government despite claims by former Central Bank, CBN, Governor, Sanusi Lamido.
A Minister’s recruitment ‘racket’ leading to the death of hapless jobseekers, pension administrator disappearing with billions of naira, an ex-convict’s presidential pardon – the list seemed endless under Jonathan’s administration.
In a Presidential Media Chat soon after Sanusi’s ouster, Jonathan denied that any money was missing and declared, quite memorably, that: ‘If anyone steals $50 billion or $20 billion anywhere, America will know'.
On this basis alone, Nigerians, and whoever else was interested, had more than enough basis to conclude that even if Jonathan himself was not personally corrupt, he had demonstrated ample tolerance for corruption and its agents.
The option of Muhammadu Buhari, who supposedly had a track record of integrity seemed Sweet To The West.
He enjoyed massive support from the US, Britain, France and Germany.
In fact after the election, former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair gave him an assurance that the international community will help address challenges facing Nigeria.
'Change The Change'
Three years after the administration of President Buhari came into power, the economy of the country went from bad to worse with massive job losses, Naira depreciation and unending pulling out of foreign investors.
The anti-graft war that formed the bedrock of his campaign has started losing its shine as more government officials were enmeshed in the corruption. Especially those within Aso Rock.
Top on the list was former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal who was sacked after his involvement in the misappropriation of funds allocated to Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) in the North East totaling N200m.
Obviously, President Muhammadu Buhari must have rolled over and over on his bed many nights, deciphering between two hard choices of either keeping him and continue to face public bashing or dismissing him and stomach the backlash from the alleged cabal.
For months, calls for his sack had continued unabated but the President remained unperturbed.
Even when the calls reached a crescendo, he remained unmoved. But just when no one had an inkling of it, the President's hands were about to get burnt in #Mainagate.
If Maina was to go immediately, then why not Babachir - the opportunity came to dismiss his right hand and the president did.
Another scandal that got people talking was the alleged Nigerian National Petroleum Cooperation (NNPC) $25 billion contracts levelled against the Group Managing Director, Maikanti Badu by the Minister of State For Petroleum Dr Ibe Kachikwu.
All these scandals have done more harm than good to whatever is left of President Buhari's integrity.
The 2019 Map
Former United States of America intelligence community expert on Nigeria, Matthew Page, while reacting said President Muhammadu Buhari’s integrity is at stake.
Page said this in reaction to alleged $25 billion contracts rocking the Nigerian National Petroleum Cooperation (NNPC).
He stated that Buhari came with the promise to fight corruption and appoint incorruptible people in his government; however, the anti-graft war “has been significant, but selective.”
Page said the honeymoon period between Buhari and the international community has ended.
The America Factor
Americans have always been known to, in order to protect their various hegemonic interests around the world, do everything to influence elections in other countries.
In most cases, they have no difficulty having their way. Until Putin decided to offer the same medicine in 2016.
The promise by Trump during his first year in office, that he would be moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem in full recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel was met by stern opposition by international community including Nigeria.
That is why if it is true that President Trump recently expressed anger at our country — and particularly our President — for our voting against Jerusalem being Israeli capital, no doubt, his threats could include undermining him at the polls come 2019 presidential election.
We all know that if America decides not to allow President Buhari to be reelected, it would be extremely difficult for him to retain his office.
So, who exactly would Trump’s America and the West support in 2019?