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ASO ROCK WATCH: As Buhari journeys into self-praise. Two other talking points

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That self-praise

President Muhammadu Buhari, while delivering his October 1 Independence Day speech, journeyed into self-adulation. He bragged that no previous administration had done what they were doing with limited resources at their disposal.

Buhari had said: “No government in the past did what we are doing with such scarce resources. We have managed to keep things going in spite of the disproportionate spending on security. Those in the previous governments from 1999-2015 who presided over the near destruction of the country have now the impudence to attempt to criticise our efforts.”

In trumpeting his achievements, Buhari’s speech failed to highlight any future initiatives, which many had looked forward to. The expectations had been high due largely to the many intractable challenges bedeviling the nation.

Indeed, the theme on togetherness provided little plan on how that grand objective could be achieved.

Even as the President blows his trumpet, he must lean over to note that the unemployment rate indicates that about 21.7 million Nigerians are unemployed and that Nigeria remains the world poverty capital, with 87 million Nigerians living in extreme poverty.

Worse still, the future looks to be severely mortgaged with unparalleled borrowing while
wanton killings and destruction of property by Boko Haram terrorists and bandits threaten the sovereignty of the country.

Besides, corruption remains endemic with institutions of state and government disgracefully enmeshed in massive looting of the nation’s resources.

In the midst of these sorry developments are the appalling stats that have combined to rank Nigeria poor in almost every facet of the Human Development Index (HDI).

As the President glories in what his administration had been able to do in the face of dwindling resources, he must, therefore, be sober enough to acknowledge that the Nigerian project is painfully looking rickety.

Two other talking points

Osinbajo’s concerns

On September 28, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo noted that Nigeria was in need of focus and persistent prayers to avoid breaking up from the current cracks in the nation’s walls.

Represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, at a church service held to commemorate Nigeria’s 60th Independence anniversary in Abuja, Osinbajo said: “Fortunately for us, our walls are not yet broken but there are obvious cracks that could lead to a break if not properly addressed.”

Osinbajo’s admissions, a rare show of courage, mirrors the discontent and disunity in the land. It amplifies the frustrations of many on what has become the state of the nation.

Having bared his mind, some questions beg for answers:

Read also: ASO ROCK WATCH: As Buhari dumps ‘shakara’ for reality. Two other talking points

Is the Presidency going to address this concern with the needed urgency and eagerness it deserves? Or, would it just end up as one of those statements meant to please the ears of the citizenry?

As Nigeria gropes for cohesion, Osinbajo, working with his principal, Buhari, may do well to review the recommendations of the various constitutional conferences with a view to negotiating perceived injustices and the future of the country.

Fighting corruption

Money in TSA doesn’t attract interest, Magu reacts to allegation he did not account for interest on recovered N550bn

On September 28, President Muhammadu Buhari restated his resolve to rid Nigeria of corruption. He noted that the country can achieve transformation when the public sector is corruption-free.

The President stated this at the second national summit of the Independent Corruption Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) in Abuja.

He said: “I recognised in 1984 as I do even more now that corruption poses a clear danger to Nigeria, so, we cannot relent in efforts to eradicate it from our society. As I have often reminded Nigerians, if we do not kill corruption, corruption will kill Nigeria.”

“Together as a nation, as a people, the three arms and three tiers of government working together, we can attack corruption and realise the vast potentials of our country,” he added.

Buhari simply emphasised the obvious. It is no brainer to assert that corruption is one disease that has stood against the development of different sectors in Nigeria.

As one who rose on the wings of an anti-corruption war, it only makes sense that the president should pursue the battle to a logical conclusion.

In the past few months, the country has been regaled with stories of financial misappropriation, including the earth-shaking allegations levied against the anti-corruption Tsar, Ibrahim Magu, now suspended as Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

However, the seeming foot-drag and attempt at cover up in the on-going Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) investigations, and lack of transparency in the Magu probe, have raised some concerns.

Will President Buhari tighten the loose ends and restore integrity in the war against corruption? Would he commit to independence of the legislature and judicial arms of government to strengthen the fight? Time, perhaps, bears the right answers.

By John Chukwu…

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