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Outrage over Buhari’s donations amid Nigeria’s messy security concerns

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Several Nigerians were alarmed when a journalist, David Hundeyin posted on Twitter that N1.14 billion was recently approved by President Muhammadu Buhari for the supply of 10 Toyota Land Cruiser V8 vehicles to the Republic of Niger. The approval for these funds was actually made by the president on 22 February 2022.

This gesture by the president has generated torrential outrage from shocked and displeased Nigerians, especially after the confirmation on 3 August 2022 by the Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, shortly after a Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting. According to the minister, President Buhari’s government has indeed donated N1.14 billion to the Republic of Niger.

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In March 2022, Nigeria’s federal government made a donation of $1 million donations to Afghanistan’s Taliban government. This donation was confirmed by Hissein Brahim Taha, Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). It would be recalled that Afghanistan was thrown into crisis after The Taliban took control of the government following the sudden withdrawal of American troops in August of 2021.

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Presently, Afghanistan is facing hardship under the cruel regime of The Taliban, a group widely labeled as a terrorist organization. While this donation does not make any economic sense, many are wondering why the Buhari government will have anything to do with the Taliban to the point of donating Nigeria’s tax payers’ funds to them.

What is the rationale behind all these donations, particularly at a time like this when Nigeria is facing serious economic and security challenges? Among several other challenges, public universities in Nigeria have remained closed since February 14, 2022 over the inability of the government to meet up with the demands of ASUU.

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Nigerians are asking questions: is there a disconnect between President Muhammadu Buhari and Nigerians or is it just a case of insensitivity? While there is nothing wrong with Nigeria giving a helping hand to its neighbours, such help should be done at the right time, not when the country is being ravaged by a near collapse of its economy, security breaches and several other challenges.

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