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ASO ROCK WATCH: As Buhari tasks academics on credible polls. Two other talking points




As part of efforts to fulfil his promise of conducting a free and fair general elections, President Muhammadu Buhari, last week, charged academics involved in the forthcoming 2023 elections to exhibit a great deal of professionalism in the performance of their electoral duties.

We tracked two other stories from the seat of power, Aso Rock Villa, within the week under review.

1. Tasking academics on credible polls

On February 11, President Buhari tasked university administrators to perform roles assigned to them in the elections with dignity and transparency.

Buhari made the call at the combined convocation ceremony of Bayero University, Kano.

“I urge those who will be involved in the elections to play their roles with the usual dignity and transparency for which our academics are very well known. There is no doubt that the participation of academics and other staff of universities in our country’s general elections over the years have lent more credibility and respectability to Nigeria’s democratic processes,” the President, who was represented at the event by the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, said.

Buhari’s charge to the academics – especially Vice-Chancellors of universities who will perform the role of returning officers – underlines the need for probity, as a few among them had gone rogue in the past to manipulate election results.

His admonition, therefore, serves to remind the academics of the need to stay neutral, transparent and accountable to Nigerians.

Beyond his charge, the President needs to ensure that the academics are well-protected against criminal elements working for politicians, who may want to threaten, and intimidate them towards engaging in electoral malpractices.

2.That brutal murder of 16 Nigerians

President Buhari, on February 6, expressly condemned the killing of 16 Nigerian Muslim pilgrims by soldiers in Burkina Faso, and assured that efforts are being made to find, and prosecute the culprits.

READ ALSO:ASO ROCK WATCH: On Buhari’s Naira redesign project. Two other talking points

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through the Nigerian Embassy in Burkina Faso, is engaging with the Burkinabe authorities and awaits the outcome of their investigation of the unfortunate incident, and if necessary, to ensure that all culprits are appropriately sanctioned,” Buhari asserted, according to a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.

The gruesome killing of the 16 Nigerian pilgrims underscores the present high insecurity within West African countries, and their borders. It, thus, reawakens the need for countries in the region, especially Burkina Faso, to take responsibility and ensure that international laws are respected.

This deadly act is also a wake up call on Buhari to show leadership, by ensuring that the Burkina Faso government is held to account and that justice prevails at the end.

3. Did Buhari fulfil his campaign promises?

On February 11, President Buhari, once again, declared that he has fulfilled the campaign promises he made to Nigerians in 2015.

Buhari stated this during the 7th convocation ceremony of the Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, Ekiti State.

“Let me remind us all that my campaign to become President in 2015 was built on the promise to improve security, strengthen the economy, and combat corruption. It is with immense gratitude to Almighty Allah that I make bold to say that we have delivered on the three promises,” he said.

Buhari’s continuous claim of having delivered on the economy, improved security and checked corruption has met with growing resentments. And, the reasons are not far fetched.

Indeed, the realities on ground do not support his claim. Still evident are worsening insecurity, endemic corruption, high cost of living, rising inflation, grinding poverty, and unemployment; all made more challenging by the scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), and Naira notes.

These realities have, no doubt, made a mockery of any claims to superior achievements by the Buhari administration.

With barely four months before he hands over power, there are certainly no silver linings in the sky.

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