Buhari’s policies rooted in outdated economic model, infantile view of Nigerians – Chimamanda

Chimamanda-Ngozi-Adichie_0

Award winning Nigerian author, Chimamanda Adichie, has reacted to the state of Nigeria’s economy under President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

Ms. Adichie described Mr. Buhari’s economic policies as ‘outdated’ and his view of Nigerians as ‘infantile’.

“His intentions, good as they well might be, are rooted in an outdated economic model and an infantile view of Nigerians. For him, it seems, patriotism is not a voluntary and flexible thing, with room for dissent, but a martial enterprise: to obey without questioning. Nationalism is not negotiated, but enforced”, she wrote in an opinion for the New York Times, published on Tuesday.

According to the ‘Purple Hibiscus’ writer, although Mr. Buhari has good intentions by believing rightly that Nigeria needs to produce more of what it consumes and he wanted to improve local production, this could not be willed into existence if the supporting infrastructure was absent.

“Banning goods has historically led not to local production but to a thriving shadow market. Governmental controls had mangled the economy. Many imported goods were banned, scarcity was rife, black markets thrived, businesses were failing and soldiers stalked markets to enforce government-determined prices,” she added.

Ms. Adichie also touched on violent clashes in the country which had become even more intense in recent times. She blamed this on Buhari’s ‘aloofness’ and ‘absence of sensitive leadership’.

“Since Mr. Buhari came to power, villages in the middle-belt and southern regions have been raided, the inhabitants killed, their farmlands sacked. Those attacked believe the Fulani herdsmen want to forcibly take over their lands for cattle grazing.

“It would be unfair to blame Mr. Buhari for these killings, which are in part a result of complex interactions between climate change and land use. But leadership is as much about perception as it is about action, and Mr. Buhari has appeared disengaged. It took him months, and much criticism from civil society, to finally issue a statement “condemning” the killings. His aloofness feels, at worst, like a tacit enabling of murder and, at best, an absence of sensitive leadership.

“Most important, his behaviour suggests he is tone-deaf to the widely-held belief among southern Nigerians that he promotes a northern Sunni Muslim agenda. He was no less opaque when the Nigerian Army murdered hundreds of members of a Shiite Muslim group in December, burying them in hastily dug graves. Or when soldiers killed members of the small secessionist pro-Biafran movement who were protesting the arrest of their leader, Nnamdi Kanu, a little-known figure whose continued incarceration has elevated him to a minor martyr.”

President Buhari’s administration faced yet another backlash when the president was responding on Friday to his wife, Aisha’s claims that his administration had been hijacked by a cabal. Responding to the claims, Mr. Buhari had  said, “I don’t know which party my wife belongs to, but she belongs to my kitchen and my living room and the other room.”

His comment immediately went viral on the internet.

The comment made big headline in almost all the major newspapers in the country, and Nigerians were quick to push to the back burner, the release of the 21 Chibok girls, as people got talking about the impropriety or otherwise of the comment.

Mr. Buhari’s comment was made in faraway Berlin, Germany, while standing next to his host, the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel who, as one foreign newspaper noted, “seemed to glare at him”.

Reacting to the war on corruption, Mrs. Adichie said, “Nigerians who expected a fair and sweeping cleanup of corruption have been disappointed. Arrests have tended to be selective, targeting mostly those opposed to Mr Buhari’s government.

“The anti-corruption agencies are perceived not only as partisan but as brazenly flouting the rule of law.”

In her recommendations, she urged the government to prioritize infrastructure, create a business-friendly environment and communicate to a populace mired in disappointment as there are no easy answers to Nigeria’s malaise.


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  • Dejandon

    This lady seems to be talking more than her mind can conceive. She is suddenly acting like a celebrity who thinks her words are weighty.

    Please we recognize your literary performance, develop that into literary prowess. Gone are the days when criticism of government leads to additional fame. Nigerians are now well knowledgable to know that many so called human-righters, lawyers and critics are only after self promotion.

    • enyibinakata

      🙂

  • pheliciti

    Award winning writer….. What award again?? Wait till you win an award in Economics before we take your views on the subject….

    • W. Smile

      I weak bro!

    • Höly Wähala

      Jealousy… Google is your friend if you want a litany of her awards. Ignorant Yoro moron, always jealous of Ndigbo. Sharaapu!

      • W. Smile

        Bipolar moron! Shouldn’t you be on your way to Malaysia now? Ezi!

        • Höly Wähala

          Tripolar fraudster… Didn’t you claim that you’re a stockbroker in the US ati UK? Ajegunle-based yahoo-yahoo tout. Omo gbana… Middle-Finger! Shwul… Echte Penna!

          • W. Smile

            I can even show you how to make some extra quid on Spread-betting. You’ve got to swallow your pride and ask for help.

          • Höly Wähala

            Shut-up, I’m watching champion’s league football. Get lost with your scams, conman. Again… Middle Finger!

          • W. Smile

            I’m being serious Ifeanyi,If you’re truly in Germany, “IG-INDEX” must be available there,it’s free to register. On October 25th Apple would be releasing their quarterly earning,you can buy one point; I’m projecting that Apple would beat Wall Street estimate by over $500 million U.S dollars,this would result in their share jumping by 7% at the opening bell. That’s €7000 for one point. That’s just a tip of the iceberg. I’m good at what I do mate.

      • pheliciti

        Well, some of us see Nigeria….not just tribes.
        We were brought up to respect diversity and majority of my Ibo friends do. I thus would not tar the illustrous Igbo tribe with the imbecilic standards of e-diots like you.
        For every illustrous people, there would certainly be that individual whose gene pool is an atavistic throwback to the dark ages…. what do we do? If you can cope with yourself, sure we’d manage to cope with you….. its really not solely your fault, its your upbringing.

    • Okokondem

      It is not imperative that you must express an opinion especially when you are not sure of how to contribute to the dialog. It’s okay to read the article, or even comments by others, and still not expose your your ignorance.

  • haba mallam

    Now if i remember well you’re a poet of some sort, since when did poets started giving economic policy advice to governments, I think your views can be best describe as infantile rather than Buhari’s. I knew this is coming, every time an IBO gets the limelight his or her primary objective is to turn against Nigeria and promote Biafra just like Ikonjo Iweala and co, in fact I never consider them Nigerians in the first place so to hell with your jargon.

    • W. Smile

      Ha ha ha!

  • TruthBeSaid

    Those whose economic policies were not outdated got us to where we are today.

    • Felix Udoh

      Another Outdated Zombie.

    • paul irumundomon

      Nigeria went into recession, because of policies employed by buhari, and buhari alone. One of his cabals, just said last week, Nigeria would have seized to exist, had buhari not won the election. The same very idiotic people, once said abacha for life or they will all die, should abacha die. You can see the chameleons, we have as citizens of Nigeria. Foreign businesses, are not sure blof buhari next move, it can come at night, from family members to inlaws. Our country has become a club, you do what pleases you, when you are able to pass the entrance, into the dance floor. Travel today, your atm card is no longer valid, dollars are so high, even states have started to withdraw, their students from foreign schools. Buhari is careless, his kids already finished and was allowed to pay their tuitions, by previous govt.

    • Niyi Akinlabu

      We never heard her say one word about the fight against corruption. She attempted to place the present government in a historical vacuum. Nothing against the last government while that ruthless stealing went on. We must ask her why.

  • Lawrence Efana

    She is free to give her opinion, aware of how complex the problems and challenges in Nigeria are. Nice that she also notes observed excesses as well as the inevitable and the accidental! To urge the government to prioritize infrastructure, create a business-friendly environment, etc., is absolutely not bad!

  • Joe igbokwe

    IF IT HAS COME TO THE POINT WHERE A FICTION WRITER AND A STORY TELLER WILL BEGIN TO TALK ABOUT ECONOMICS AND GOVERNANCE THEN SOMETHING IS WRONG SOMEWHERE. CHIMAMANDA IS FREE TO MAKE A COMMENT IN A FREE WORLD BUT IT IS NOT A MUST THAT YOU MUST TALK ESPECIALLY WHEN WHEN YOU ARE NOT GROUNDED IN THE MATTER UNDER DISCUSSION. PRESIDENT BUHARI HAS EVEN SHOCKED US IN FIGHTING CORRUPTION IN NIGERIA AS IT WERE. HE HAS TAKEN THE WAR TO WHERE WE NEVER EXPECTED. HE IS GETTING IT RIGHT IN EVERY SECTOR AND HE IS DOING WHAT WE VOTED HIM TO DO. THE MAN IS LAYING FOUNDATION FOR TOMORROW AND THOSE WITHOUT THIRD EYES CAN NEVER SEE IT INCLUDING OUR GIRL CHIMAMANDA. RULING NIGERIA IS NOT ABOUT WRITING STORIES. IT IS A SERIOUS BUSINESS.

    Now This!

    Premium Times needs to explain to me why they no longer publish my opinion. It looks as if there is someone in the room that does not like my guts.

    • Tony

      GOING BY YOUR STATEMENT….YOU ARE ALSO DISQUALIFIED IN WRITING ON ISSUES YOU NO NOTHING ABOUT!THANKS

      • Truth sets U free.

        “There you go again “. You don’t need to be shouting. We can hear you.

    • Höly Wähala

      Yoro ass-wiper…
      I didn’t read you complain about Wole Soyinka’s multiple articles about the state of Nigeria’s economy. You nko? Are you not a failed engineer, how many critical articles about Dr. Jona Dumbo did you write in the past? Hypocrite… dare criticize Soyinka before I take you seriously. ASCHLOCH!

      • W. Smile

        Anumanu! It’s ok for non-Economists to comment on the State of the economy,but they can’t put forward a macroeconomic policy,which the junior Achebe is trying to do.

      • udemeobong

        Mach mal langsam man! Aufklärung ist immer die Antwort für alle und Meinungsfreiheit auch.

    • Chiddy

      They no longer publish your opinion because they are trash. You should know that no one is interested on your house boy mess you call opinion. You have no right to criticize Chimamanda because you are also guilty of voicing your perverted opions in issues you know nothing about.

    • Truth sets U free.

      Mr. Igbokwe, why are you shouting?

    • anthony okonkwo

      You think you have guts?, I pity your sycophancy.

    • igboham

      I thought you were somehow smarter than you appear – does being a fiction writer mean that you have no idea about economics. How about doctors or boot ?

  • Abdulkadir

    It is almost impossible to get an Igbo, no matter how learned he or she may be, to objectively assess the present President. In all their reactions, one can perceive where they are coming from. To them, performance is only associated with a tribe, and once on the other side of the Nigerian divide, you are to be condemned. It is really appalling how low they can go.

    This writer, one of the brightest and widely travelled Igbo (just like her mentor Chinua Achebe), appear not to see anything wrong with the previous regime. One cannot talk objectively about Nigeria today without emphasizing the contributions of previous regimes, because if the previous regimes had done well and the current is doing bad, people would always make comparisons. She remained mute over the successes of this administration. She even said violence have even become more prevalent and killings in the country have increased. What an irony. This is despite statistics showing a drastic reduction in deaths per violence since this regime came into power. Igbo will always be recalcitrants, and education appear only to add to their naivety.

    • Tony

      She is talking about PMB’s government not GEJ…and please free your mind from tribal bigotry!

    • Chukwuka Okoroafor

      But those same Igbos will say the same about you, that you see little or nothing wrong with Buhari’s government but everything wrong with Jonathan’s. I am not on either side of the divide but this is just to note that we are in a state where each president appears to represent a region of the country.

  • Olori Magege

    Certainly this woman does not belong to the kitchen PMB

    • Reasonable

      @Olori let her get married and see whether she won’t be working in her husband kitchen. Abi you are one of those who belongs to their wives kitchen.

  • FNIC

    We all go to Same market for all of our shopping Nigeria, so whatever affects the economy effects all….. So everyone has absolute right to express his/her opinion concerning the economy situation on ground….. I am actually talking to all those tribalised individuals, condemning her for talking….. Chimamanda doesn’t belong to the kitchen and other rooms, like ur first lady ok

  • Mamapikin

    Hehehehe, small economist. What do you know of economics?

    • Dawood

      Even if she’s clueless, she has a right to critique the administration. Unfortunately, I struggle to separate Ikonji-Iweala’s face from hers after I read this. Did she have lunch with our compromised ex-Finance minister and caught her disease, or is she thinking of getting into politics? Chimamanda, ikonji-iweala (with strict instructions from her masters in the West), tried that policy, and guess what we got? All I can say is read the papers. If Chimamanda had come out to salute Buhari on the gagantuan ( and I dare say suicidal) task of fighting corruption, I might take her a little bit more seriously. For now, I see her inflicted with Biafrauditis, a condition that makes you see everything through the tribal lens.

      • Niyi Akinlabu

        Dawood, I agree with every other thing, except the ‘Biafrauditis’. I know this disease exists and there people infected, but Chimamanda isn’t one. It’s obvious from her words, she was towing a fine line between being Nigerian and being Igbo. But, it’s a line we all tow each day. If it make her guilty, we are all co-condemned.
        The fact that she wrote a critique of Buhari’s government is an attempt to ‘own’ Nigeria as hers, even if she doesn’t agree with what the government does.
        We must be clear though, that we never heard her say one word about the fight against corruption. She attempted to place the present government in a historical vacuum. Nothing against the last government while that ruthless stealing went on. We must ask her why.

        • Femi Pedro

          Yes, let’s ask her a million times

    • Femi Pedro

      Please ask again. This ain’t literature my sis

  • Bastino

    But I think she is right about Buhari’s type of leadership.Most Nigerians wish him success in this herculean task but he can be successful without engaging Nigerians in his vision of building a vibrant nation

    • Niyi Akinlabu

      I agree, absolutely!

  • Lanre

    Thank you Chimamanda for brilliantly analyzing the Buhari Administration. Your analysis is the most succinct I have read anywhere on the current government in Nigeria.

  • Niyi Akinlabu

    Yes, Chimamanda has the right to critic her home government. But that right extends to me too, to critic Chimamanda’s critique.
    We would never have needed Buhari if Chimamanda’s model government (Furtunato’s PDP) did the right things for Nigeria. If all the money spent politicking and literally dumped into private pockets were spent on infrastructure and the well-being of Nigeria. If thieves were known as thieves, and went to prison, like they should, then we would never have been here, needing an old man to remind us of what a state should be.
    Chimamanda baby, since that failed, discredited model is your ‘futuristic’ view of what Nigeria’s economy should be, allow us test the ‘archaic’, where people go to prison for stealing. And, if at the end this fails, at least we would know our traducers are behind bars.

    • Richard

      You have not said anything. You have wisely spoken like a sycophant. Even the president’s wife understands what is happening than you.

  • Niyi Akinlabu

    Yes, Chimamanda has the right to critic her hom government. But that right extends to me too, to critic Chimamanda’s critique.
    We would never have needed Buhari if Chimamanda’s model government (Furtunato’s PDP) did the right things for Nigeria. If all the money spent politicking and literally dumped into private pockets were spent on infrastructure and the well-being of Nigeria. If thieves were known as thieves, and went to prison, like they should, then we would never have been here, needing an old man to remind us of what a state should be.
    Chimamanda baby, since that failed, discredited model is your ‘futuristic’ view of what Nigeria’s economy should be, allow us test the ‘archaic’, where people go to prison for stealing. And, if at the end this fails, at least we would know our traducers are behind bars.

  • Dr Pat Kolawole Awosan

    Ms.Chimanda Adichie,sounds very naive and arrogant by calling president Muhammadu Buhari,s economic policy outdated as the current recession state, of Nigeria, economy was as a result of the imprudent spending style,waste and massive looting,stealing and embezzlement of our public treasuries and assets under former president GEJ and his finance minister/coordinator of economy,Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, who supervised fuel-subsidy scam,import duty scam,NSA-col.Sambo Dazuki,s led NSA that distributed our national security huge budget to top PDP chiefs and allies.
    Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala,s led economic-team,mis-handled along with almost depletion of the S68b dollars external reserves that former president Olusegun Obasanjo,s government left in our foreign reserve which late president Umaru Musa Yar,dua government maintained as Okonjo Iweala-led-team, was already borrowing foreign loans to pay Federal civil servants salaries before the expiration of that regime,s tenure.