Prof. Wole Soyinka said he was not surprised that Pres. Buhari has lost popularity, just 18 months into office, given the high expectations that weighed on his government. Since his election, the economy has officially gone into recession and global energy prices have plummeted. A relentless rebel campaign to sabotage the production of oil, the country’s main export, has added to the woes.
“There’s nothing surprising to me about his losing popularity, it should be expected,” said Soyinka, who was a fierce critic of Buhari’s earlier term as head of state after taking power in a coup in 1983. “People wanted change, that word was not just a slogan, it was a promise,” Soyinka told AFP in Johannesburg.
But when he took over power, “Nigeria was sinking”. “Fulfilling political promises when you take over the reins of power and you have to clean up a lot of mess, it’s not easy,” said the Nobel prize-winning author.