Economist magazine backs Buhari for president

Muhammadu Buhari

The UK-based Economist magazine has endorsed a former military, Muhammadu Buhari, to emerge Nigeria’s president ahead of incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan.

In a scorching editorial for its February 7 print edition, the paper criticised Mr. Jonathan’s administration as corrupt and utterly inept, and lambasted Mr. Buhari as a former dictator with blood on his hands.

The Economist said Nigerians who will got to the polls February 14 to elect a new president, have two bad options between the two men. The paper however advised that “a former dictator is a better choice than a failed president”.

“…Nigerians must pick between the incumbent, Goodluck Jonathan, who has proved an utter failure, and the opposition leader, Muhammadu Buhari, a former military dictator with blood on his hands,” the magazine said. “The candidates stand as symbols of a broken political system that makes all Nigeria’s problems even more intractable.”

The paper concluded its piece by saying if it were to cast a vote, it would go to Mr. Buhari nonetheless, given the scale of Mr. Jonathan’s failure.

Read full editorial below:

SOMETIMES there are no good options. Nigeria goes to the polls on February 14th to elect the next president, who will face problems so large—from rampant corruption to a jihadist insurgency—that they could break the country apart, with dire consequences for Nigerians and the world.

And yet, as Africa’s biggest economy stages its most important election since the restoration of civilian rule in 1999, and perhaps since the civil war four decades ago, Nigerians must pick between the incumbent, Goodluck Jonathan, who has proved an utter failure, and the opposition leader, Muhammadu Buhari, a former military dictator with blood on his hands. The candidates stand as symbols of a broken political system that makes all Nigeria’s problems even more intractable.

Start with Mr Jonathan, whose People’s Democratic Party (PDP) 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 $20 billion had been stolen, his reward was to be sacked.

Worse, on Mr Jonathan’s watch much of the north of the country has been in flames. About 18,000 people have died in political violence in recent years, thousands of them in January in several brutal attacks by Boko Haram, a jihadist group that claims to have established its “caliphate” in territory as large as Belgium. Another 1.5m people have fled their homes. The insurgency is far from Mr Jonathan’s southern political heartland and afflicts people more likely to vote for the opposition. He has shown little enthusiasm for tackling it, 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.

Goodbye Jonathan

Voters have ample cause to send Mr Jonathan packing. In a country where power has often changed through the barrel of a gun, the opposition All Progressives Congress has a real chance of winning through the ballot box. Yet its candidate, Mr Buhari, is an ex-general who, three decades ago, came to power in a coup. His rule was nasty, brutish and mercifully short. Declaring a “war against indiscipline”, he ordered whip-wielding soldiers to ensure that Nigerians formed orderly queues. His economics, known as Buharism, was destructive. Instead of letting the currency depreciate in the face of a trade deficit, he tried to fix prices and ban “unnecessary” imports. He expelled 700,000 migrants in the delusion that this would create jobs for Nigerians. He banned political meetings and free speech. He detained thousands, used secret tribunals and executed people for crimes that were not capital offences.

Should a former dictator with such a record be offered another chance? Surprisingly, many Nigerians think he should. One reason is that, in a country where ministers routinely wear wristwatches worth many times their annual salary, Mr 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 Mr Buhari. Mr Jonathan risks presiding over Nigeria’s bloody fragmentation. If Mr Buhari can save Nigeria, history might even be kind to him.


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  • Action_Nigeria

    SHAME ………….. ALL PROPAGANDA CONGRESS (APC) IS AT IT AGAIN.

    PDP must completely ignore the heavy doses of false propaganda from the ALL PROPAGANDA CONGRESS (APC).

    Propaganda does not win elections; only votes win elections.

    The facts on ground reveal that PDP will surely win the 2015 Presidential Elections but not with as wide a margin as they have recorded in their previous victories.

    False, loud, alarming and sponsored propaganda News Report as this one are part of APC election psychological warfare
    which Nigerians have completely ignored because they do not represent the POSITIVE reality they are experiencing on ground.

    GEJ Forever

    p/s: The Opinion by the Economist was sponsored and paid by Rotimi Amaechi with Rivers State peoples money at the detriment of the State’s Civil Servants and Contractors who have not been paid salaries for more than a year now.

    • Wähala

      @Premium Times Editor,
      This is the eccentric Deri Redeem with his usual demented views…
      Biko, get somebody to lock the gates before the mad dog spreads rabbis around here…

      • Osinbajo

        I guess you meant Rabies..NOT ‘rabbis’?
        OLODO!

        • Ishaq

          What GEJ cannot see from top of the American twin tower, GMB can see while sitting down. We prefer economic prosperity under a disciplined 72 year old to economic poverty under a clue-less and puerile leader with PHD that is not worth more than tissue paper. Nigerians shine your eyes. The present government is wicked and full of liars. They can never be trusted. Think of it, the capital budget keeps on dwindling and the young man by PDP standard), keeps promising to turn Nigeria into an Eldorado. What happened to all the previous appropriations. Nigeria has not performed up to 30% in capital budgeting. Yet some Nigerians who are bereft of ideas keep on talking about certificate. By the way, what is the qualification of the industry captains in the world? The Bill Gates, Dangotes, etc. We do not need fake PhD. Period.

          • Osinbajo

            Wow! Excellent submission! So ‘we’ need a FAKE WASC!
            Besides, what has this long windy epistle of yurs have to do with ‘rabies’???
            Are you a member of the Olodo club??

          • zacchaeus Akinleye

            The last days of a crumbling Jonathan/PDP travesty are here. It’s time to put your house in order before …

          • Phil

            There is nothing like long windy epistle. Long-winded epistle perhaps… Why focus on trivia anyway?

        • Phil

          Stop nitpicking over a typo. Read and move on.

  • Forward_Nigeria

    THIS ARTICLE REMINDS ME OF BUHARI’S FORGED WASC DOCUMENTS

    This article is so poorly done that you begin to wonder if the writers are not even worse than those who Buhari hired to help him forge his WASC with the co-operation of a school in Katsina.

    How do choose between a dictator with known track record of human rights abuses versus a man without a single track record of human right abuses ……. and this ….. despite the fact that he is vigorously fighting corruption via constitutional institutions, fighting today’s monstrous Islamic Jihadist insurgency which USA and others have not been able to contain but GEJ has succeeded in restraining the insurgency to the North East and have not allowed it to spread while efforts are being made to defeat the insurgency comprehensively.

    How do you choose between a man with an amazing inability to manage the economy versus a man who has developed Nigeria to Africa’s largest economy with more to come …… tell me …. how ?

    • Dan Arewa

      We are still waiting for shoe/Fatiha less Dumbo-Sambo’s dissertation. Can we get it within the time frame?

    • Abdullahi Abba Bukar

      A WASC failure is better than a claimed PhD holder who cannot defend his country. By the way does GEJ hold a PhD? I was going through his CV published in various media and I discovered GEJ had his GCE in 1976 same year he had his first degree. The question I want to ask is, how many months GEJ spent to have his BSc? That apart, does he even complete his PhD?

      • onu

        People like u really shouldn’t be allowed near social media. where exactly did u go to source ur information from? If people like u are allowed to make decisions for this country then we are all doomed. A WASC holder to run the country? A man that has failed to produce a blueprint of how he intends to drive the country forward? A man that even in his old age has refused to come out publicly to apologize for his gross human rights abuses? A man that refuses bluntly to respect the people he seeks to govern by boycotting the most important part of the election process, the Presidential Debate? If ur type is what is left to decide for this country then I’m afraid there might be no country to look forward to after all. Pls open ur eyes and see the truth for what it is. Vote for Goodluck Jonathan come 14th February. He is on man that has the best interests of this country at heart.

  • Usman

    View from the intellectuals, I know Reno boys will soon start abusing them

  • With the famous London Economist supporting Buhari, then GEJ is long gone.Expect State Governors and other politicians to start decamping any moment from now.Even the Governor from the President’s own State, has started showing much disdain for the First Lady.
    According from the grapevine, if Nigerians decide to elect Buhari as President, four reputable professionals from the Niger Delta, North Central, South West and South East will be drafted into the Presidency. Expect to hear NIGERIA IN ACTION soon instead of Lagos in Action, if you catch my drift.This Lagos miracle worker will one day rule this Nation, If you agree say a resounding – Amen.

  • Ken

    GEJ will win. The Economist is just a junk! It cant influence our decision. GEJ will win.

  • BlackieUmukoro

    With a heavy heart, history can never be kind to Buhari. The evil that men like him do, live with them and after them

  • kamal Kamoru

    This ‘UK group’ will rather have a man with BLOOD ON HIS HANDS????
    WOW!
    The APC vampires can keep him!
    THANKS BUT NO THANKS!

    • onu

      Thanks for saying that. They can keep him.

  • Frank Bassey

    London Economist has spoken from London. Nigerians will speak in Nigeria. Happily, the publication that is being economical with the truth has no PVC. Nigeria will NEVER disintegrate because the North is not in power.

    • kamal Kamoru

      Well said!
      Only demonic people with no regard for human lives will rather have a ‘man with BLOOD on his hands’!
      Violent people abound in Angry-Peoples-Club.

  • Pause

    LOL…perhaps, only in Nigeria that Economist magazine is still taken seriously…….as a British magazine, Economist support for their northern SLAVES is like KKK predicting that a house slave will rule over other slaves……hmmmm

    by the way, is this not the same Economist magazine which wrote a decade ago that Africa was a doomed continent……..by its support for Buhari, I guess the Economist now wants to spread poverty in Africa through Nigeria by supporting a BUHARI whose children & youths are blowing themselves up because people like Buhari cannot create jobs & life purpose for them….

    • Titi

      it is in places like Nigeria that people do not respect the view of intellectuals but in the real world what eve they say matters; if their insinuation about Africa is true though you do not provide any reference, what is wrong about that view? Is Africa not doomed? at least to the foreseeable future. If we still have Africans who can think a president should sconder trillions, kill thousands and rule forever, then doom is an understatement

  • tyson

    Did they the Economist–do a littlé research into how he passed his Cambridge school cert exams? They are better placed to tell us the truth about Buhari’s certificate saga–Nigeria cannot elect a man who yearns to stand for elections with questionable credentials–an Oluwole certificate for that matter———–no way—If that act by Buhari is not corruption then tell me what it is—–would the UK elect such as their prime minister? This is an insult on Nigerians sponsored by APC————–TO HOOD WINK GULLIBLE NIGERIANS–into voting for boko haram–as represented by Buhari–there is no way the West will support a jihadist—like Buhari

    • Yusuf

      the magazine’s editorial board consist of intellectuals who would not go so low to such trivialities, that is left for the myopic part of Nigeria

    • zacchaeus Akinleye

      You are a Jihadist of some sorts because you blindly canvass positions that are largely false, misleading and outlandish. How more ridiculous can you get?

  • T Boy

    Anybody writes in the economists. Apparently APC members can write in the economist too. It doesn’t mean that is the view of the publisher

    • Yusuf

      you read headlines and post anything that come to your mouth, or is you do not know the meaning of ‘editorial’

    • zacchaeus Akinleye

      It wasn’t anybody writing in the Economist. It was the paper’s endorsement of a candidate, reflecting who they believe is a better choice.

  • Abdullahi Adamu

    The Economist? Really? candidates they endorsed in Brazil and India all lost. They endorsed the muslim brotherhood in Egypt,they rest they said is history.

    • larry

      My people are useless
      My people are senseless
      My people are indisciplined
      Na Buhari government ooo
      Na dem talk am ooooooo

      My people are useless
      My People are senseless
      My people are indisciplined
      I neva hear dis kain talk oooooo
      Na BUhari government oooo
      Na dem talk am ooo

  • Ekwekwe

    Economist magazine endorsed Mitt Romney with fanfare (a special cover edition), he lost to Barack Obama by 5 (f-i-v-e) million votes in the last US election. The Economist as a business is a gold digger, and as a magazine, read by gold diggers – so called business execs mostly interested in anti-people governments.

    • Tayo Ayodele

      No wonder many hide their true identity on social media. Otherwise if you say the Economist is ‘useless’ magazine, it says much about your intellect than it says about the Economist!

      • Etim Udo

        Mr Intellect, do you have a problem with comprehension? I have not spotted the word ‘useless’ or such inference in the comment by Ekwekwe. The Economist is a brutally conservative, capitalist magazine. Are you disputing that?

        • Tayo Ayodele

          You can abuse as you wish. Once you are sure it will promote your principal’s electoral fortune. Have a nice day!

      • Ebubedike

        Recently, The Economist has had a reputation of backing losers in national elections. If you claim that makes the magazine a ‘useless’ one, so be it.

    • Tayo Ayodele

      People are doing more damage to the President’s cause than they realize. Nigerians are more intelligent than you people think and they read more than they are credited for. Too many lies. The Economist did not endorse Mitt Romney. In fact the caption was ‘ America could do better than Barrack Obama; sadly Mitt Romney does not fit the bill’. On Mordi in India the caption was ‘he will probably become India’s next Prime Minister, that does not mean he should be’. Intelligent people are also reading our posts!

  • Yusuf

    Ngo Baby, what’s your view on this; may be this magazine is being sponsored by Soludo

  • Mohammed

    This is a blatant lie and a complete fabrication!! I have read the REAL article on the ECONOMIST a website and it does not in any way formally endorse BUHARI! The entire article PREMIUM TIMES posted is a FABRICATION!! OLE BURUKU!!

    • Tayo Ayodele

      You did not read the article. I have it on my tablet here, it has been reproduced exactly as it is. Let’s say the truth. It doesn’t mean Nigerians will agree with the magazine!

  • Tufiakwa

    The Economist: one of the developed world’s worst written magazines, definitely the worst designed magazine, written by dinosaurs for dinosaurs. No wonder it has endorsed a dinosaur of a fraudster, a serial conman, Bokohari, who is yet to be confirmed as a candidate in the presidential election. What are the chances of 90% of Nigerians meeting someone who has ever read The Economist? ZERO.

    • zacchaeus Akinleye

      Your reasoning is antiquated, perpetually linked to a failed disposition and corrupted values. You’re on your own as the GMB Victory Train is approaching the station.

  • Mr. Abdin

    Change is coming even from abroad that is why we need a competent president not a clueless one that cannot govern our country well. Buhari carry on no polls shift. God save Nigeria.

  • Change for the Worse

    The problem with this article is that The Economist did not endorse Mr Muhammad(u) Bokohari. This is about Propaganda Times doing what it knows best.

    • zacchaeus Akinleye

      If you didn’t see endorsement in this article, your education is probably Jonathanesque, devoid of vision, quality, depth and value. Failed bigot.

  • metson

    Destroying the economy is as good as killing, what is life worth, when you don’t have even ordinary food to eat, well I subscribed to your analysis because only those that were culpable went in for it

  • ubong ekanem

    welcome MR GOODLUCK JONATHAN

  • fresh15

    This is the latest joke in town.They cannot tell us who to vote for,we know the best candidate and he is Jonathan.He has done so well and I can attest to that fact.

  • kemi

    APC are not tired at all with their lies

  • Nelson David

    “Endorsing” is different from voting. “Economist” indeed endorsing an illiterate sorry for you. #TeamGEJ2015/19

  • uzo

    under d rain under d sun we go follow Jonathan

  • Charles Amos

    This is nonsense, they talk about his corruption without looking at the significant improvement of Nigerians economy despite the insurgency in Nigeria,the president has being tackling corruption in different sectors just like the Fertilizer scam, salaries scam etc, so we should be careful not to vote in a dictator as they said who don’t understand democracy and rule of law please vote wisely for Goodluck for continuity.

  • emmanuel

    Buhari time has come n gone

  • uko bassey

    If the economist endorses Buhari then they should employ him in their firm. WE DONT NEED BUHARI!!!! this is the 4th time we are rejecting this man. BUHARI LEAVE NIGERIA ALONE!

  • nafisat

    Rubbish in its absoluteness, whatever this is it makes no sense to Nigerians. all we know is that we are voting GEJ.thats all.

  • felicia jones

    Under the watch of President Goodluck
    Jonathan administration, Nigeria won
    the African Cup of Nations for
    the first time in 19 years in South Africa in February, 2013….that is a leader we can trust

  • kingsley obi

    Women in politics have been given more prominent roles in the current President
    Goodluck Jonathan administration. A large number of the federal appointees
    of the Goodluck Jonathan administration are women. They include, but are not
    limited to, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; Miriam Aloma Mukhtar, Nigeria’s first female
    Chief Justice; Diezani Alison-Madueke; ex-aviation minister Stella
    Oduah, Joy Ogwu, Nigeria’s representatives at the United Nations; Sarah
    Jibril; and Viola Onwuliri….that is the leader we know

  • Dr Sam Nwiyordee

    i can see this economist magazine has been tipped to make such an ill comment………once a looser is always a looser

    • August January

      The Economist tipped? I’m not surprised, because that’s what you’re used to, and it’s exactly for the same reason that you’re ready to die for Jonathan the corruption per excellence himself! No hiding place in Nigeria for corrupt elements like you again! Corrupt pig!

  • Mrs benita akpan

    buhari doesnt deserve a day in ASO ROCK for the scars of the injuries he left on this nation are still clear to every nigerian

    • Ngozi nkele

      The only Nigerian who will want Jonathan to continue in office beyond may 29 2015 is the one who connived with Jonathan to bring us where we are today -The country is in a real mess and the way we are going unless we bring in a strong and God fearing man like Buhari we will have nothing left to use to run the country.The so-called injuries you say he left is in the imaginations of those who stole this country blind and the people who support them

  • paul preston

    The Toilet Magazine endorse Buhari news Breaking…The all illiterate Magazine endorse Buhari,More Breaking The Baboon and monkey Magazine wants Buhari as ,,,News Breaking now..,The Certificate Forgers Magazine endorse Buhari. You will have to quote more magazine for a man who cannot present a common Waec result

    • Funso

      Yet you claim your candidate Mr. Goodluck Jonathan has a “Phd”? With all you have just said, what Goodluck Jonathan has must be a sabirigate and NOT a certificate. You are so illiterate.

      • paul preston

        are you one of the inconsequentials who go about endorsing and unqualified candidate? sorry he will be disqualified,I mean the quota general

  • Dunamis

    Worse n biased analysis so far. GEJ till 2019

  • Colonel Mee(rtd)

    We do not meddle with their own election so they should not meddle with ours.
    Nigerians do not read their toilet paper of a magazine. Who cares!!

  • Its a free world. Everyone has the right to contest. The people know who they want.