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President Tinubu: A 1-year Irony disguised as an Anniversary



President Tinubu: A 1-year Irony disguised as an Anniversary

The Nigerian leadership hierarchy celebrates President Bola Tinubu for a job well done in his first year on the job as Nigeria’s President. But so called ‘job well done’ narrative spread by the APC-led government is merely a propaganda to disguise the truth; the Tinubu One-year anniversary is only but an irony of the administration.

The President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration has been marked by all the negatives that befell Tinubu’s predecessor as well as a host of controversy following his election and swearing-in on May 29, 2023, as the 16th President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

One of the early controversies involved the allocation of billions for a “presidential yacht” by the Navy, which drew widespread criticism. Despite clarifications that the yacht was not intended for presidential luxury, the incident painted the administration as insensitive to the economic struggles of ordinary Nigerians.

Building a competent team was a cornerstone of President Tinubu’s campaign, with promises reminiscent of his successful cabinet in Lagos. However, the unveiling of his ministerial team received mixed reactions. The last-minute removal of Maryam Shetty and the unexpected addition of Festus Keyamo indicated potential disorganization. Moreover, the contentious screening of former governor Nasir El-Rufai, the failure of four nominees to pass, and issues with NYSC certificates highlighted apparent lack of preparation.

The suspension of Minister of Humanitarian Affairs Betta Edu was a significant test of the administration’s anti-corruption stance. Edu, known for her close ties to President Tinubu, faced scandals involving the approval of over N500 million payments into private accounts.

Although Edu was swiftly suspended and a review of the ministry ordered, the incident raised questions about internal oversight. The Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, was also implicated but distanced himself, stating he had resigned from the involved company in 2019.

A premature announcement by the president’s aides regarding the lifting of a visa ban by UAE leaders resulted in public embarrassment when debunked by international and local media, questioning the reliability of the president’s communication team.

Further controversy arose when Seyi Tinubu used a presidential jet to attend a polo match in Kano, drawing criticism. The frequent presence of the president’s children on state visits also raised concerns about the blurring of lines between personal and official matters.

The administration faced backlash for sending a large delegation to the COP28 summit in Dubai, including non-relevant figures such as actress Toke Makinwa. Despite funding only 422 of the 1,411 delegates, the perception of excess during economic hardship was damaging. Following this, the president announced cuts to his travel entourage.

The N15 trillion Lagos-Calabar coastal road project, aimed as a legacy initiative, faced significant controversy. Alignment changes led to the demolition of properties in Lagos, and subsequent reversals due to marine cables caused further disruptions. Opposition figures criticized the project’s handling, suggesting mismanagement and poor planning.

The implementation of a cybersecurity levy revealed coordination issues within the administration. After public backlash, the House of Representatives passed a resolution halting the levy, which the president later suspended for review. This incident underscored the need for clearer communication and policy coherence.