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ASO ROCK WATCH: Buhari’s late mission at NDDC. Two other talking points

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Our achievements are there for all to see, more to come —Buhari

Last week, President Muhammadu Buhari indicated strong interest in recovering every stolen fund at the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

His moves are currently engendering interesting conversations. Two other events around the presidency also stood out for mention. Enjoy as we present them for review.

1. Buhari’s mission at NDDC

On December 30, 2021, Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, quoted him as saying: “…Going forward, we shall ensure every recoverable kobo, is recovered for use in service of the people of this region, and those found culpable shall face the law.”

“The lives of the people of the Niger Delta could be so much better, if the funding received by this Commission since its inception, in billions of Naira over the last 20 years, had been judiciously deployed in service of the people,” he added.

Buhari’s declared mission at NDDC is a rehash of the many others he had expressed on the interventionist agency, laid prostrate by public looting of its funds.

Of major concern is why the President, given his legendary disposition to issues of corruption, has remained quiet amid the dramatic probe of the corruption-ridden agency by the National Assembly in 2020.

The outburst this time, therefore, leaves a few impressed with a conclusion that he may have allowed party interests to becloud his sense of judgment, as top party stalwarts appeared headed for public embarrassment.

With just about seventeen months to go, it would be interesting to see how Buhari’s mission goes.

Two other talking points

2. The 17-month agenda

Buhari

The Presidency, on December 26, 2021, asserted that 17 months was enough time for President Buhari to end the insecurity in different parts of the country.

“Those who are behind this insurgency will be taken out, they are being taken out one after the other and it will get to a point that the last of them will be taken out, and then we’ll get to the end of it, it can be done within 17 months that remains for this administration,” Buhari’s media aide, Femi Adesina, said on national television.

Presidency’s submission baffles most Nigerians, and the argument is, if the Buhari administration has failed woefully to arrest worsening insecurity in over six years, what kind of magic wand would it pull in the remaining 17 months?

For most critics, therefore, the Presidency is simply playing to the gallery, as not much hope is to be placed on a promise that holds no substance.

Whatever be the case, the Presidency should understand that the pulse of the nation is beating so fast. Nothing more would please Nigerians than to see peace restored in the troubled areas ravaged by the enemies of the State.

3. Buhari’s empathies

On December 31, 2021, President Buhari commiserated with Nigerians who have lost loved ones to insecurity, and expressed commitment to the security of lives and property.

In his New Year message, Buhari said, among : “We equally remember and commiserate with Nigerians who have lost loved ones as a result of insecurity in different parts of the country. Every life matters and every single death caused by any form of insecurity is a matter of personal concern to me both as a citizen and as the President of this great country.”

Buhari’s show of empathy is welcome but cannot be considered as sufficient given repeated failures to live up to the responsibility of protecting Nigerians.

If all lives do matter to the President, he should rise to the challenge, and find productive strategies to deal with the challenge of insecurity which has become one of the most outstanding headaches of his administration.

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