President Muhammadu Buhari, last week, could not hide his fears of being tagged a failure when he leaves office in May 2023.
This fear feeling is arguably tied to the challenges of insecurity, poor economy, and collapsing health care system that have, among others, combined to drag the country backwards.
Conversations around this development have remained on the front burner. We examine this and two other stories of interest that made the seat of power, Aso Rock, tick in the past week.
On August 19, President Buhari said he was not ready to exit the presidency a failure.
This was disclosed by the National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno, who was quoted as saying:
“And he ( President Buhari) also made it very clear that he’s not ready to exit government as a failure; he is not going to tolerate that. He’s made changes and he’s ready to make further changes if he is not satisfied.”
Indeed, President Buhari and the ruling party should be sufficiently worried about what legacies their administration will bequeath the Nigerian people.
From rising insurgency to herdsmen menace, banditry, kidnapping, agitations for secession and worsening poverty, the stats do not look promising at all. Failure does stare President Buhari in the face!
With less than 2 years to leave office, does he have enough time to tackle the challenges that limit the wins in his administration? Nigerians can only hope against hope as the time appears too short to crystallize any radical changes.
Two other talking points
Buhari and the PIA
President Buhari, on August 18, revealed that Nigeria lost an estimated $50 billion worth of investments in 10 years following the uncertainty of non-passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), and lack of progress in the petroleum sector.
He said, among others, “We are all aware that past administrations have identified the need to further align the industry for global competitiveness, but there was lack of political will to actualise the needed transformation. This lack of progress has stagnated the growth of the industry and the prosperity of our economy.”
Buhari may have done well to assent to the bill as it represents a significant leap in the quest to properly manage Nigeria’s oil industry within the framework of established laws.
However, it would be damning for his administration to ignore the brewing anger over perceived injustice as laid out in the three percent profit apportioned to oil-bearing communities.
How government quickly deals with this challenge will go a long way to calm frayed nerves or prepare grounds for the Niger Delta to boil over.
Osinbajo’s 2023 concerns
On August 16, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, called on members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to work hard for the party to emerge victorious in the 2023 general elections.
“We have a very popular President (Muhammadu Buhari) who can control significant votes…Whereas, in the coming years, when we do not have such a political leader who is as popular as the President, you are going to need to do the hard work. We can’t assume that the votes will come in.”
No doubt, 2023 represents a watershed as Buhari quits the political scene with the massive votes he supposedly attracts to the ruling party.
Osinbajo’s concerns, therefore, highlights inherent flaws in the membership recruitment processes of most political parties in the country. Most, it would seem, are built around powerful individuals rather than shared ideology which is more capable of winning new converts while uniting its members.
On the whole, the Vice President may have unwittingly queried the claims of the ruling party that it now had more than 40 million members, arising from a recent re-registration exercise.
The question is, if they have this number of party faithful, why worry over the impending departure of just one individual? In all, Nigerians await with baited breath to see what 2023 holds for the APC after Buhari’s exit.
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