Last week, President Muhammadu Buhari, inadvertently called attention, once again, to the effect that his governance efforts may not be impacting well when he begged Nigerians to be fair in assessing the performance of his administration.
His appeal is not unconnected with the plethora of criticisms that have trailed his government since he ascended the Presidency in 2015.
We tracked two other stories from the Aso Rock Villa for your delight.
1, Buhari’s struggles to impress
On December 23, during his visit to Maiduguri, Borno State capital, Buhari said: “Nigerians should be fair to the administration in terms of reflecting on where we were before we came in 2015 and where we are now.”
Buhari’s resort to begging Nigerians to be fair to his administration underpins the fact that the President is feeling the backlash of rising criticisms from individuals, and groups who insist on holding him accountable for perceived poor performance as a leader.
While the President has the right to defend himself from attacks, it is quite clear that the itchy issues of poor governance would continue to haunt him, as citizens face the harsh realities of a dwindling economy and worsening insecurity.
What worsens the case, though, is Buhari’s penchant to blame the immediate past administration after having been in office for six years. The President may be well advised to keep his focus on improving the lots of Nigerians as the indices on basic measurements for development do not win him any sympathies.
Two other talking points
2, Buhari’s usual assurances
President Buhari, on December 24, again, assured Nigerians that terrorism, and banditry afflicting some parts of the country would soon be history.
In his Christmas message to Nigerians, the President said he was confident “that with the renewed commitment and empowerment of our committed security personnel, all these issues which inflict pain and trauma on us will soon be history.”
Many would argue that Buhari’s assurances now sound like a broken record to Nigerians. Perhaps so, given the seeming lack of commitment that has attained the fight against terrorism, and banditry. The heightened threats to security and wanton destruction of lives and property attests to this line of argument.
Therefore, while Nigerians deserve to have their hopes raised through Presidential assurances, Buhari must strive to walk the talk or have the waning reputation of his administration continuously battered.
3, Fishing out criminals
On December 22, the Presidency said that Buhari was ready to deal with the criminals who had massacred 45 farmers in a renewed hostility between farmers and herders in Lafia, Nasarawa State.
A statement issued by his media aide, Garba Shehu, read in part: “I assure the people with all seriousness and sensitivity that this administration is doing its best to safeguard the security of people and will leave no stone unturned in fishing out the perpetrators of this senseless and barbaric incident, and bring them to justice.”
The assurances on the Lafia massacre are not any different from those that had been given several times over. The glaring truth is that the administration has not only failed woefully to contain terrorism and banditry but also the growing menace of farmer-herder crisis .
The lukewarm responses, sadly, have painted the government as one lacking the political will to deal with the security breaches because of primordial influences.
This reputation challenge is one that the President must not allow to fester. While issue of the farmers-herders conflict has been a touchy national issue, it is his responsibility to find a lasting solution to it.
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