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ASO ROCK WATCH: Praising Nigeria’s brand of democracy. Two other talking points



Last week, President Muhammadu Buhari praised Nigerian democracy following the outcome of the 2023 general elections.

Two other stories from the Aso Rock Villa were also analysed within the week under review.

1. Nigeria’s brand of democracy

On April 6, President Buhari averred that the past general elections demonstrated the power of the Nigerian electorates.

According to a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, he stated this when he received the newly-installed Emir of Dutse, Muhammad Hamim Nuhu Sunusi, at the Aso Rock Villa.

In his speech, he declared that the elections have shown that democracy was maturing in Nigeria, as voters were becoming more sophisticated in their choice of leaders.

Buhari’s speech, though self-effacing, calls to question the parameters used to measure the maturity of Nigeria’s democratic journey.

Has this been most evident in improved voter turnout, or the surprising losses recorded by some incumbents in their supposed strongholds?

On the flip side, can the President deny embarrassing facts around reported violence, thuggery, play on ethnic and religious sentiments, and failure of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to keep to its enacted rule of online transmission of results, especially during the February 25 presidential election, which put a stain on democratic culture?

While Buhari gives a vote of confidence on the Nigerian brand of democracy, he must admit that the afore-stated issues, put a huge dent on the country’s democratic growth.

Two other talking points

2. Osinbajo’s take on Nigeria’s HCD

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, on April 4, stated that Nigeria must give attention to Human Capital Development (HCD) to drive the desired economic growth.

Osinbajo said this at the Peer Review Meeting of the HCD State Focal Persons held in Abuja.

READ ALSO:ASO ROCK WATCH: Buhari’s vow to hand over to Tinubu. Two other talking points

The Vice President, who was represented by his Deputy Chief of Staff, Ade Ipaye, at the event affirmed that HCD plays an important role in addressing poverty and ensuring participatory and sustainable economic growth.

Osinbajo’s advice serves as a wake-up call for government at all levels to put more effort in empowering young Nigerians with requisite skills, and education that would make them thrive.

More importantly, it strengthens the argument for a review of how productive the different HCD programmes of the Buhari-led administration had fared in almost eight years.

Ultimately, Osinbajo, by his own indirect admission, has tasked Nigerians to hold him accountable, especially as his office presides over the National Economic Council.

3. Buhari’s charge on Benue killers

On April 8, President Buhari condemned the extreme violence and killings of scores of people in Benue State within one week, and urged security agencies to deal with the perpetrators immediately.

In a statement by presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, the President was quoted as saying: “The entire nation stands united in the fight against the forces of terror, and evil.”

Buhari’s characteristic condemnations appear to hold no succour for long-suffering victims, and concerned Nigerians.

The sustained attacks in Benue and many other parts of Nigeria are a sad reminder that the Buhari-led administration has failed in its primary constitutional duty of protecting lives, and may be best remembered for bequeathing a legacy of worsening insecurity to the country.

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