Pete Hoekstra, a former member of the US House
of Representatives, has slammed President
Muhammadu Buhari, for what he described as
visionless leadership. Hoekstra’s reaction came
as a rejoinder to an article said to have been
authored by Buhari published in the Wall Street
journal of June 14, 2016.
Mr. Hoekstra was the former chairman of the
U.S. House Intelligence Committee from 2004 to
Nigerian President Muhummadu Buhari writes of
building an economic bridge to Nigeria’s future
(“The Three Changes Nigeria Needs,” op-ed,
June 14). It’s hard to see how his
administration’s inflexibility, lack of vision and
reactive approach will achieve this.
Mr. Buhari notes that building trust is a priority
for Nigeria. But an anticorruption drive that is
selective and focused on senior members of the
opposition party creates deep political divisions.
Meanwhile, members of Mr. Buhari’s own
cabinet, accused of large-scale corruption, walk
free. Seventy percent of the national treasury is
spent on the salaries and benefits of government
officials, who make upwards of $2 million a year.
As for Mr. Buhari’s ideas to rebalance the
economy and regenerate growth, his damaging
and outdated monetary policy has been crippling.
The manufacturing sector, essential to Nigeria’s
diversification, has been hardest hit, exacerbating
an already fast-growing employment crisis.
Foreign investors have started to flee en masse.
Mr. Buhari makes only brief mention of the
country’s deteriorating security situation. But
security and stability are precursors to economic
growth and development. Boko Haram has been
pushed back for now, but little attention is paid
to the structural issues that have spurred its
Instead, the Nigerian government has diverted
much-needed military resources to the Niger
Delta, where rising militancy has reduced
Nigeria’s oil production to less than half the
country’s capacity, and half the amount required
to service the national budget. Much of these
tensions arise from Mr. Buhari’s decision to cut
amnesty payments to militants and an
excessively hard-line approach in a socially and
politically sensitive environment.
Other ethnic tensions are also growing. In the
country’s south, protests have been met by a
bloody response from the Nigerian military,
stoking the fire and galvanizing support for an
independent state of Biafra. Rising tensions
could again pose one of the greatest threats to
Nigeria’s stability and future.
When contacted for a reaction, the Senior Special
Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on
Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, acknowledged
that it was only natural to expect rejoinders to
an article that was in the public domain.