Influential United Kingdom-based magazine, The Economist, says the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), is more competent than President Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party.
The highly respected magazine in its editorial published in its current edition and titled, ‘Former dictator is a better choice than a failed president,’ said Nigeria was unfortunate to have both Buhari and Jonathan vying for the Presidency. It, however, said that out of the two, Buhari was a better candidate.
This, the magazine argued, was because Jonathan was a huge failure and his party had mismanaged the economy of the country since it took over in 1999.
It said Nigeria was Africa’s largest economy not because it had good leadership but due to the will of the people.
It said Jonathan was highly incompetent as he had failed to address the insecurity ravaging the country.
The magazine recalled that when over 1,000 people were killed during an attack, rather than condole with his people, Jonathan preferred to condole with the people of France over the Charlie Hedbo attack during which terrorists killed 12 journalists last month.
It said, “Start with Mr. Jonathan, whose party has run the country since 1999 and who stumbled into the Presidency on the death of his predecessor in 2010, the PDP’s reign has been a sorry one. Mr. Jonathan has shown little willingness to tackle endemic corruption. When the governor of the central bank reported that $20bn had been stolen, his reward was to be sacked.
“He has shown little enthusiasm for tackling insecurity, and even less competence. Quick to offer condolences to France after the attack on Charlie Hedbo, Mr. Jonathan waited almost two weeks before speaking up about a Boko Haram attack that killed hundreds, perhaps thousands, of his compatriots.
“The single bright spot of his rule has been Nigeria’s economy, one of the world’s fastest-growing. Yet that is largely despite the government rather than because of it, and falling oil prices will temper the boom. The prosperity has not been broadly shared: under Mr. Jonathan poverty has increased. Nigerians typically die eight years younger than their poorer neighbours in nearby Ghana.”
The magazine described Buhari as an incorruptible and honest leader but maintained that the former military head of state had “blood on his hands.”
It recalled that Buhari was guilty of human rights abuse and did not manage the economy properly when he ruled Nigeria between December 1983 and August 1985.
It, however, said the fact that Buhari had been participating in elections since 2003 was evidence that he had now embraced democracy.
It said Buhari would be able to revive the demoralised military and address insecurity.
It added, “Buhari is a sandal-wearing ascetic with a record of fighting corruption. Few nowadays question his commitment to democracy or expect him to turn autocratic: he has repeatedly stood for election and accepted the outcome when he lost. He would probably do a better job of running the country, and in particular of tackling Boko Haram. As a northerner and Muslim, he will have greater legitimacy among villagers whose help he will need to isolate the insurgents. As a military man, he is more likely to win the respect of a demoralised army.
“We are relieved not to have a vote in this election. But were we offered one we would-with a heavy heart-choose Buhari. Jonathan risks presiding over Nigeria’s bloody fragmentation. If Buhari can save Nigeria, history might even be kind to him.”