If there is one major administrative challenge that has given President Muhammadu Buhari sleepless nights, since he became the number one occupant of Aso Rock Villa in May 2015, it is the Boko Haram insurgency.
The war, sadly, has seen to the death of hundreds and displacement of no fewer than 2.3 million Nigerians.
And, till today, winning the war remains one of Buhari’s yet-to-be fulfilled electoral campaign promises.
In a bid to end the seemingly never-ending insurgency, he, last week, placed a tough task on the table for the newly appointed Service Chiefs.
This and other interesting stories made up events at Aso Rock in the past week.
That tough task
On February 10, President Buhari ordered the new Service Chiefs to be decisive in dealing with Boko Haram terrorists and ending the insurgency in North-East Nigeria.
Speaking during a visit to the Air Task Force of Operation Lafiya Dole in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Oladayo Amao, had said: “Mr. President had given the Chief of Defence Staff, along with the Service Chiefs, the onerous task of bringing the war against insurgency to a decisive end in order to restore normalcy to all troubled parts of the country.”
Buhari’s tough task for the new Service Chiefs is reflective of the prime reason he brought them on board.
The loud outcries over the near woeful performance of the former military heads mean that expectations from the new helmsmen are quite high.
Indeed, what had been more worrisome to Nigerians was why the President needed to be nudged severally before succumbing to the intrigues of granting the tired military chiefs soft landing through resignations.
Expectedly, Air Vice Marshal Amao and his colleagues have their jobs cut out for them. And, this is as they are believed to have assumed their offices with fresh ideas, strategies and skills to face the dreaded Boko Haram sect operating majorly in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States.
What becomes a thing of great concern is whether President Buhari will lead from the front or relapse into his well known hands-at-akimbo disposition.
In all, he must realize that the buck stops on his table. Pretending otherwise is to further drag the country into mis-governance where transparency and accountability are in short supply.
Two other talking points
Honouring 110 ex-corpers
President Buhari, on February 11, offered automatic employment to 110 ex-corps members in the Federal Civil Service and scholarships for their post-graduate studies up to doctoral level in any university in Nigeria.
Speaking at the virtual 2018/2019 President’s National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) honours award ceremony held at Aso Rock Conference Centre, Abuja, Buhari said, among others: “On behalf of the government and the good people of Nigeria, I heartily congratulate those honoured for standing out from their peers in order to merit the honour being bestowed upon them. You have proved yourselves worthy ambassadors of your families and the NYSC. I am proud of you and confident that the award shall spur you to greater service to the nation and humanity.”
Buhari’s commendable gesture has the potential to inspire prospective and serving NYSC members to serve the country to the best of their abilities.
Read also: ASO ROCK WATCH: Deal or be damned!
It is common knowledge that as thousands of youths graduate from the programme each year, the already high number of unemployed youths blossoms. Buhari’s offer, however, serves as a gateway towards providing a little relief to the growing statistics.
Nevertheless, beyond this offer lies the need for Mr. President to perfect government plans aimed at creating an enabling environment for sustainable entrepreneurial ventures.
An apprehension over what becomes of the recipients of the scholarship grants in the coming years should, however, stir Mr President into ensuring that these beneficiaries are not left in the lurch after his exit.
On February 9, the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, asserted that bandits, including kidnappers, arrested must be prosecuted to show justice delivery in the country.
“We must ensure the prosecution of all those who have been arrested for kidnapping, banditry. There must be evidence that justice is being done,” he said while speaking in Ikenne, Ogun State, where he participated in the All Progressive Congress (APC), membership and revalidation exercise.
Osinbajo’s submission has naturally stoked some controversy, with critics accusing the presidency of self-indictment. The arguments are not far-fetched, and the key poser raised is why the Buhari-led administration is pointing at what needs to be done instead of acting decisively.
The last time anyone checked, it is immutable that the institution of state responsible for prosecution of deviants is the police which is managed by the presidency.
The irreconcilable facts, therefore, border on why the government is pursuing a policy of rehabilitating or negotiating with terrorists and bandits and at the same time seeking their prosecution before the courts.
It would be interesting to see how Osinbajo’s submission would be treated.
By John Chukwu…
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