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ASO ROCK WATCH: Buhari’s advisory note on 2023 polls. Two other talking points



Last week, President Muhammadu Buhari cautioned Nigerians to resist politicians who would want to use them to disrupt the 2023 general elections.

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

1. Buhari’s alarm

On January 1, President Buhari urged Nigerians to avoid being used by politicians to create unrest in any form to disrupt the elections, while promising that his administration would deal with anyone found in such activities.

“We as Nigerians must also take responsibility to ensuring that the 2023 elections are free and fair by not engaging in anti-state activities and other nefarious acts that may affect the run of the polls,” the President added in his valedictory 2023 New Year message to Nigerians.

Buhari’s advisory note serves to remind citizens that the progress of any nation rests on both leadership and followership.

It is a clarion call on followers to continue to hold the leadership accountable, especially in resisting invitations to engage in or orchestrate electoral violence which politicians, desperate to win election, lure people into.

Incidentally, this is an area where the government has failed to impact meaningfully, leaving the country near rudderless in terms of value re-orientation.

Two other talking points

2. That presidential shot at Bishop Kukah

The presidency, on December 29, again, berated the Bishop of the Sokoto Catholic Diocese, Mathew Kukah, for downplaying the performance of President Buhari-led administration.

A statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, stated, among others: “The Bishop forgets or is too filled with amnesia to remember. If Nigeria was vulnerable to death, destruction, and destabilisation, it was the situation before Buhari came, more than now. To a great deal, he has stabilised the land, crushed vermin, and is cleaning the polity. The job is not fully done but is being done. Daily.”

Read also:ASO ROCK WATCH: Buhari on ‘Jibril of Sudan’ saga. Two other talking points

The Presidency’s response accentuates its culture of zero tolerance to criticism. It tells that it is still neck-deep in blaming past administration(s) for its perceived underperformance. While it is good to appreciate the efforts of the Buhari administration in tackling national challenges dragging the country backwards, it is not out-of-place to paint the true picture of issues on national affairs.

3. The demand on the military, other security agencies


On December 29, President Buhari, again, charged the Nigerian military and other security agencies to exhibit professionalism and remain politically neutral in next month’s general elections.

Buhari, who gave the charge at the inauguration of a new estate by the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) in Abuja, noted that security agencies must refrain from any behaviour that could bring disrepute to their organisations and the country in order to avoid compromising the democratic process.

The President’s advice is, for sure, critical to the smooth conduct of the elections. From a closer examination, it shows his determination to stop the militarisation of the elections, as allegedly witnessed in some states during the 2019 elections.

Having to issue the same advice within a space of one month, probably, hints at his resolve to ensure that the elections bear the markings of a true democratic process.

Time will tell how his various exhortations impact the polls.

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