Last week, President Muhammadu Buhari claimed that his administration had recorded remarkable improvements in security, economy, and corruption.
We tracked two other stories from the presidency for your reading delight.
1, What manner of scorecard?
On June 16, President Buhari declared that Nigeria had become prosperous, and peaceful as his administration had recorded palpable improvements in tackling insecurity, corruption, and bad economy amidst several challenges.
The President said this during the passing out parade of the Regular Course 4/2016 Cadets of the Nigeria Police Academy, Wudil, Kano State.
“As you are all aware, this administration came to office determined to make impacts in three main areas: security, building a sustainable economy, and fight against corruption. We can say that recent positive developments in these areas have shown that despite the challenges on ground, we can see general improvement in all three areas,” he argued.
Buhari’s claim is at variance with current realities staring Nigerians in the face. More critical is the obvious fact that insecurity has been, arguably, the most troubling challenge of his administration.
This is manifest in the activities of the so-called bandits, terrorists, and armed herders, including kidnappers, and militants, who are still on the prowl destabilizing innocent Nigerians in different geo-political zones of the country.
The President, perhaps, is oblivious that the country’s political, social and economic lives are still weighed down by corruption. Disappointingly, the anomaly has worsened with the delay, and rigmarole seen in prosecuting public officers caught red-handed in criminal acts.
Perhaps, the President is equally unaware of the current harsh economic realities which have plunged millions of Nigerians into untold suffering, and hardship as prices of almost every item in the market has tripled, and unemployment rate not plummeting.
Though the President has the right to rate himself, he cannot set an exam, and score himself. And, it is doubtful he would perform any miracles in the eleven months he has to vacate the presidency.
Two other talking points
2, Acquitting Buhari as a democrat
President Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, on June 14, in a statement, asserted that the President’s role in the just concluded presidential primary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) serves to uplift the country’s democracy.
“People make assumptions that if you are a leader, you dominate everything and even determine electoral outcomes. Luckily for Nigeria, President Buhari does not suffer such constraints. He refuses to act as the elected autocrat,” Shehu stated.
Not many analysts will, however, swallow hook, line and sinker the arguments advanced by Shehu in favour of his principal. While the outward manifestation of the primaries would suggest non-interference, it was clear to keen watchers that the President had actually attempted but failed to pull the strings through the actions of the party chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, who obviously was acting a script to prop Ahmad Lawan, the Senate President, as the APC standard bearer.
It may well be argued then that the President’s hands, and those of the party leadership, were forced to allow the level playing ground which eventually saw the emergence of Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the APC flag bearer in the 2023 presidential poll.
Needless to add that Buhari’s democratic credentials will further be tested in the forthcoming general elections.
3, Embracing democracy
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, on June 12, urged Nigerians to embrace democracy with a view to strengthening national unity and building social cohesion.
The Vice President who was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, in Abuja, declared that “democracy works because the values of justice, equality, fairness, and inclusion, which underpin democratic governance, are also at the heart of our Christian faith.”
Osinbajo’s submission is one that the political class should work to actualize, especially as the 2023 elections beckon. And, Nigeria as the model of democracy on the African continent cannot afford to lower its democratic standard, but work in uplifting it for the common good.
Without an office to run for in 2023, the onus lies on Osinbajo to go beyond the rhetoric, and work in strengthening the values that make democracy thrive. This is most needed as Nigeria’s fault lines continue to fester, with politicians resorting to primordial sentiments in pursuit of their aspirations.
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