Nigeria under President Muhammadu Buhari has become a crime scene of destructive magnitude on the African continent, The Economist said in its latest issue.
The London publication said terrorists and armed bandits are running wild because Mr Buhari is corrupt and lazy, failing to do anything but render lip service following every deadly attack.
“When violence erupts, the government does nothing or cracks heads almost indiscriminately,” the paper said. It also lamented how Mr Buhari worsened the country’s economy, plunging millions into poverty.
“Economic troubles are compounded by a government that is inept and heavy-handed,” the paper said in its October 23 issue that has already been published online today.
“Mr Buhari, who was elected in 2015, turned an oil shock into a recession by propping up the naira and barring many imports in the hope this would spur domestic production. Instead he sent annual food inflation soaring above 20%.
“He has failed to curb corruption, which breeds resentment. Many Nigerians are furious that they see so little benefit from the country’s billions of petrodollars, much of which their rulers have squandered or stolen,” the paper said.
The paper said Nigeria’s insecurity could be curbed if Mr Buhari could focus on the nation’s unemployment crisis by cutting government waste, amidst other practical economic measures.
The Economist endorsed Mr Buhari for election in 2015, arguing that the former military ruler will do better than Goodluck Jonathan, whom the paper described at the time as an ineffectual buffoon.
The paper has since become critical of the Nigerian leader, after his administration became enveloped by frequent economic and security crises.
A spokesman for the president did not return a request seeking comments. But Mr Buhari has vigorously defended his economic policies as the best for the country at the moment, saying the country could have been in a much worse situation if not for his measures.
The president also said he has been having sleepless nights about insecurity, saying he has ordered the military to be ruthless against armed bandits and terrorists operating across the northern parts of the country.