Last week, President Muhammadu Buhari promised to guarantee a conducive atmosphere devoid of intimidation of voters during next year’s General Elections.
We selected two other stories, out of the presidency, that made the front burner of within the week in review.
1. Buhari’s shot at credible polls
President Buhari, on August 30, said that he will protect the rights of the electorates, and entertain zero intimidation of voters during elections in 2023.
According to a statement issued by Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, he stated this when members of the Progressives Governors’ Forum (PGF), led by its Chairman, Kebbi State Governor Atiku Bagudu, visited him at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja.
“I want Nigerians to know that we respect them, and for us to show that we will allow them to vote who they want,” the President said.
“We will not allow anyone to use personal resources or their influence to intimidate other Nigerians. We will not allow intimidation materially, morally or physically.”
Buhari’s promise serves as a breath of fresh air to registered voters. With thuggery, vote buying, and outright intimidation being major signposts of Nigeria’s electoral system, the President may stand on the good side of posterity if he matches his promise with action.
A key hurdle to his lofty resolve will be the ravaging insecurity in the country. He must work to deal with this challenge timely or be caught on the wrong side of history.
2. As presidency hits Ortom
On August 30, the Presidency denied Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom’s claim that Buhari had ordered security forces not to move against killer herdsmen who have been accused of perpetrating violence in different States, including Benue.
In a statement issued by the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the Presidency said: “These ridiculous claims are patently untrue. If he is as brave as he claims to be, let him name names. Let him name the military personnel who told him this story or forever shut up.”
While the President’s men cannot be denied the right to defend or bolster his image before different publics, it must be acknowledged that Governor Ortom has been a major thorn in the flesh of the administration.
No doubt, the attacks on some Benue communities by killer herdsmen have, sometimes, been over dramatized by Ortom.
However, the resort to sensationalism and government’s pretenses on the seriousness of the security challenges show lack of tact and patriotism.
Whether Ortom is right, or wrong, the Presidency must step up its game, security-wise.
3. Osinbajo’s call on the economy, ASUU
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on August 30, called for urgent action to address dwindling economy and protracted strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
Osinbajo made the call in Abuja when some APC governors came to felicitate with him.
He said: “We all need to work together on these critical issues. We need to think through things, and we need to do it fast.”
The Vice President’s call speaks to some of the most dominant issues confronting the country at the moment. While this is commendable, Osinbajo must be reminded that the buck stops at the table of the presidency.
Constitutionally, his office manages the economy, and resolving the over 6-month ASUU strike is within the jurisdiction of the Federal Government.
The Osinbajo preachments are music to the ear but nothing will excite Nigerians more than seeing their country return to the path of political stability and economic regeneration.
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