The Cattle Rearer Chronicles: An Outside-In Look at the Buhari Presidency 2015-2019 by Dapo Oluyomi

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Genre Nonfiction.

Blurb “In 2015 fifteen million Nigerians voted for “Change,” choosing the All Progressives Congress as the vehicle and its flag bearer, retired General Muhammadu Buhari, as the spearhead to bring about a significant turnaround in the country’s affairs. It was quite the left field choice: Buhari had ruled the country as a Military Head of State in the mid-eighties without distinction and had lost his bid for the Nigerian Presidency on three previous occasions. This time however, he swept to power on a wave emotion, based on disappointment in the incumbent Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari promised to deliver on three pillars, to fight corruption, fix the economy and to put an end to insecurity issues in the country, particularly the war with Boko Haram. This book looks at the events of the Buhari presidency leading up to the 2019 general elections as they happened in real time, focusing on actions, inactions and reactions by Buhari and his administration, through the lens of these 3 pillars. The book has been put together based on a series of articles written over the period in question and has been released just ahead of the 2019 Presidential elections to provide a basis for assessment by the people, to enable an informed decision.”

Themes Nigeria, Governance, Corruption and Insecurity.

Editing Mostly well edited, a few errors.

What worked? So far, we have reviewed three other books with political undertones. As Karl Marx stated years ago, “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.” The 2015 election was said to be a referendum on the ruling party in Nigeria, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the incoming party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) was sold as the party to save and reunite the country. It is therefore, imperative that the performance of the APC led administration is noted and reflected upon. This is what Dapo does in this book, serving as a scribe to prevent memory loss. The book is divided into four parts; The Economy, Corruption, (In)Security, and Change? What Change?

The Cattle Rearer Chronicles is anything but unbiased, which is both its strength and weakness as a record of the Buhari years. It is an easy read that presents complex macro and microeconomics policy arguments in easily understandable forms. For instance, the analogy of the family in the discussion of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

It is written in simple to understand English and is an incisive yet concise analysis of the Buhari administration. It is written in a relaxed and humorous style which elicited a chuckle now and then even though, the subject matters are serious.

Mo Dapo highlighted the steps taken by the government and referenced verifiable facts (had to Google a couple myself) while explaining each issue. I appreciate the in-depth work and research put into this project. It doesn’t run-off and isn’t repetitive.

This is a political book and my opinion about the politics doesn’t matter here as this isn’t a political platform. It is a good book for every student of history so that history doesn’t present itself again as a farce.

Lady B For those of us who had to live through the experience, it is an accurate, even if a little one-sided account of the past four years of the Buhari administration. In a country which does not encourage the teaching of history, it is important that we have those who capture these experiences in real time for posterity.

Ultimately, the Cattle Rearer Chronicles is an enjoyable book that will stoke many more debates about the difficult art of governance and the redefinition of the words “integrity,” “corruption,” and “prosperity.” As an accurate chronology of the failure of the Buhari admin, it shines.

What didn’t work?

Mo There is no respite for the current administration, not even a word of goodwill, making the book seem heavily partisan.

Lady B The book aims to provide a basis for assessing the Buhari administration. I think it should have included a fuller picture of the administration by naming its successes, no matter how few.

There is a contradiction in regard to the point about the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) foreign exchange policy. First, Dapo says Buhari tacitly endorsed the CBN policy. Later, he states that Buhari was expressly against devaluation of the Naira.

Finally, as someone who followed the medium series, I would have liked to see more data in this book as the medium series had more data.

Page numbers 239 pages on Okadabooks.

Publisher Winepress Publishing.

Damage N500 on Okadabooks.

Rating 7.5/10.

The Cattle Rearer Chronicles is available on Amazon, Okadabooks and local bookstores.

Have you read The Cattle Rearer Chronicles? Please share your thoughts in the comments section.

Categories: Nonfiction

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