Debate on Pres. Buhari Re-election bid

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It’s no news of the debate going round about the re-election bid of president Muhammadu Buhari. While some are of the opinion that he should continue, someone like me beg to differ. The reasons I will marshal out paragraph by paragraph below.

Prior to the 2015 general election, there were campaign promises attributed to Buhari and the APC. Albeit some were evidently impossible to attain. A lot of Nigerians just believed with hopes. How can you blame a man for keeping faith? So was the messianic adornment of Buhari as the corruption czar. During the last political dispensation a lot of Nigerians were made to believe corruption was the only problem. With that in mind, electing anybody with just that credential is more than enough to salvage the country from what it was turning into.

Fast forward to 2018 and everything seem too bleak. If anything, the gains of yester-morrow had been revised. I make bold to this claims. The corruption fight started off with the whistle-blowing policy and Nigerians were agog with joy. Though some of us had reservations but we kept faith, seeing that of a true if a policy of that sort is sustained with honesty, it will bring a lot of corrupt public officers to book. But a year after and it seems either all the whistles in the market are gone or maybe no corrupt politician is in government anymore. The one thing we are sure of is, none of this is true. So it only means one thing; ‘the persons who this policy were made to capture were already captured at this time.’ Like every of Buhari’s administration’s fight against corruption, it has always been one-sided. Need I remind Nigerians that till date no court of competent jurisdiction has brought anybody to book for offence committed. Topic for another day.

Secondly, I can state categorically that this country has never been so divided ethnically, religiously and politically like it is in this present dispensation. We are already a country of over 230 languages. This in itself is enough room for mistrust, yet the Buhari government has worked hard to buffer this differences even more. Where there is no peace, no developmental effort can thrive. His lopsided appointment first caused a stir in the muddle political waters six months after assuming office. As if that was not enough, then came the Fulani herdsmen rampage in the whole of the middle belt and some parts of the West. As a commander in chief of the armed forces, he has been rather oblivious of this menace only telling Nigerians to pray about it. However, last month came the Ekiti governorship election. In this election we had 2 military aircraft and over thirty thousand force providing security throughout with armored tanks and riffles (madam Zintin sef for jealous). Buhari has shown that he is of the opinion that we fight terrorist with prayers while we secure election with security forces. Of course, we all know why Ekiti was fully guarded like a prison yard during this election period. The result of which the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) still has not collated and send to the state even after calling results same day. What an irony.

They say a man of integrity will stand by his words. This we have not found with President Muhammadu Buhari. One of the campaign promise that constantly seduces me to Buhari and the APC was the call for decentralization. Because deep down we know that will bring a lot of development to states and consequently all regions. The issue of herdsmen rampage for example could be curbed easily if the state governors are in charge of security in their domain. They so dangled it in our faces and the citizens could not help but to salivate like a German shepherd sensing the can content of a Deboned chicken and brown rice. Alas! We were all deceived. Three solid years after, there is no single talk of decentralisation, the reverse is even the case. More powers have been devoted to the centre much more than we have ever seen before. The centre is so powerful to the extent that you can’t even give the name “Buhari” to your pet dog. EFCC, ICPC and all the corruption fighting agencies will be at your doorstep in no time. This in turn has ridiculed our nascent democracy.

Government is a continuum, as such every good project or policy by a previous government should be continued. In this area the Buhari led administration has failed completely. No single standing project of the former administration had been continued by him. For instance, is the Independent power project(IPP) which would have helped a lot in terms of power generation and distribution. The East West road still being left unattended to. He has tried with every attempt to either rubbish a project by the last administration or neglect it totally without a word. The Buhari administration recently ordered contractors to go to site and work on the second Niger bridge which was awarded by the previous administration, I perceive they’ll use as a campaign tool.

Lastly, in every organisation the strength and character of managers are always on their ability to delegate jobs. As a President of a nation, more than 80% of jobs would be assigned to others to carry out. Where a president surrounds himself with incompetent hands, your guess is as good as mine. From the information minister Lai Mohammed who can turn white to black like Squealer of the fairy story animal farm to a minister of finance who can’t really account for the remittance from the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). Where quality hands were deployed, then the deployment are always in error. For instance is Fashola a lawyer as the minister of Power, Works and Housing. One need to understand the rudiments of current distribution to understand the best ways electricity can be generated and distributed. Though some would argue that as a minister, you can always employ technocrats to help in this regard. But my question is, why not appoint a technocrat in the first place? The beauty of this is that the basic knowledge and principles are already known by him/her. Its difficult for someone else to cajole a technocrat into making wrong decisions on his field. At least in the last administration, we saw some technocrats taking different portfolio. Like the then minister of finance, Ngonzi Okonjo Iweala. Charles Chukwuma. Dora Akunyili etc. These names and more helped to shape and propose some very nice policies that would have shown more progress in due time if they were continued.

The human poverty index (HPI) which is an indicator of the standard of living in any country has Nigeria in third place in 2014. Just last month, Nigeria has surpassed India to claim first position. This is no place a country should come first. But when you factor in the high rate of unemployment since 2015 released by Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in January 2018 showing a drastic 100% increase in the rate of unemployment from 17% to 33%. This we can easily relate to, from the millions of jobs lost during this time frame. According to World Poverty Clock an estimated 87 million people in Nigeria are living in extreme poverty. Obviously this is the cause of cyber fraudsters being ubiquitous in the Nigeria State. Illegitimate business and Internet fraud is now the order of the day. Youths have took to this job as a means of livelihood, since even their most qualified brothers and sisters are being sacked daily. Companies are shutting down and leaving businesses. If anybody think this is just a fluke, then I would want them to google the ” average life expectancy of a new business in Nigeria”. While 65% of new business dies within three(3) years in 2014, right now it stands at 85%. All these indices are clear indication that Mr Muhammed Buhari has failed in terms of job and wealth creation.

To recapitulate, all these points above are the reasons I think Buhari should not re-contest the 2019 election. This is all obvious with the amount of defection going round in the country. Previously when we hear of defection, it’s always about a governor, senator or representative members. But lately we see a whole state defecting from the APC. Sokoto, Kwara and of course Benue where the citizens of the state had to block the governor’s office to force him to decamp from the ruling party.
I know some Nigerians still want to support President Buhari, to me this support its more like in the “Animal Farm”. After the rebellion, the animals believe all the commandments which can be liken to Buhari electoral promises. And consistently Napoleon always tried to remind them that it was much worse when Mr Jones was in charge of the farm. With the sound of that, every unjust decree by Napoleon was largely overlooked. And like Boxer in that tale, the average Northerner just believe whatever Buhari is doing, he is always right. However, since Nigeria is not a fairy story like the animal farm, we should know better to either tell Mr Muhammed Buhari to step aside or go en masse to vote him out come 2019 if he decides to run.

Oghenefego Akpoyibo

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