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ASO ROCK WATCH: Buhari’s best good enough? Two other talking points




Last week, President Muhammadu Buhari asserted that he had done his best for Nigeria.

We tracked two other stories from the seat of power, Aso Rock Villa, for your reading pleasure.

1. Buhari’s best good enough?

President Buhari, on December 13, declared that he had done his best, in the last seven-and-half-years of his administration, amidst Nigeria’s rising population, and challenges.

According to a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President made the declaration when he received the Secretary-General of the Abu Dhabi Forum, Sheikh Al-Mahfoudh Bin Bayyah and his deputy, Pastor Bob Roberts of the United States who came on a visit to him, in Washington, US.

Buhari was quoted as saying: “…we will continue to solve our problems, especially as they relate to the youth. We are big in size and population, facing many challenges, but in many areas, we are trying. In seven-and-a-half-years, I have done my best.”

Buhari’s self-appraisal creates a large room for debate. Weighed against increasing unemployment, rising insecurity, endemic corruption remains rooted, declining educational standard, worsening ethnic, and religious divides, it would be difficult to agree that the President’s best has been good enough for Nigeria.

It is, indeed, disappointing that the President has resigned to fate, and one must admit that his administration has left many gaps uncovered.

Two other talking points

2. Buhari’s claim on electoral system

On December 17, President Buhari averred that Nigeria’s electoral system had continued to improve since 2015.

Read also:ASO ROCK WATCH: Still on Buhari’s commitment to credible polls. Two other talking points

As contained in a statement issued by his media aide, Shehu, the President said this while speaking at an interactive session entitled: ‘A Conversation with President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria’, at the US-Africa Leaders’ Summit, in Washington DC, US.

“Since 2015, the conduct of our elections continues to steadily improve. From the 2019 general elections, the by-elections and the off-season elections in Edo, Ekiti, Anambra and Osun States were conducted in largely improved contexts to the satisfaction of contestants and voters,” he noted.

Nigeria’s electoral system has seen some improvements over the years, no doubt. However, it is arguable that the contestants, and voters had been totally satisfied with the conduct of elections as Buhari claimed. This is seen in the litany of court cases that various electoral tribunals have had to contend with.

As it stands, electoral violence is still a main feature of elections in the country. The new normal: vote-buying has gradually become a bane to the system with politicians at the forefront of it.

It behoves Buhari to match words with actions, and see that his promise of having a credible poll, devoid of familiar electoral challenges, comes to fruition next year.

3. Buhari’s warning to African leaders

On December 15, President Buhari warned African leaders that the proposed goals set for the African continent by 2063 may be thwarted by climate change, coups, and terrorism.

Buhari gave the warning while speaking on the topic: “Partnering on Agenda 2063: A Peaceful and Secure Africa,” on the side-lines of the US-Africa Leaders’ Summit, in Washington DC, US.

He said: “As leaders, we must recommit ourselves to shared values, vision, unity, and solidarity…we must also embrace a multidimensional approach in order to achieve peace, security and sustainable development, in line with our aspirations contained in Agenda 2063.”

Buhari’s statement hits at the major challenges facing most African countries, and hampering their developmental strides.

Making those challenges pronounced serves as a call to action for African leaders to work together in fighting the identified common enemies. What becomes an issue is the readiness of the leaders to work together.

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