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Aso Rock Watch

ASO ROCK WATCH: Will Nigerians forgive Buhari? Two other talking points




Last week, President Muhammadu Buhari begged Nigerians to forgive his excesses in office.

Two other stories from the seat of power, Aso Rock Villa, were also tracked within the week under review.

1. Will Nigerians forgive Buhari?

On April 22, Buhari asked Nigerians who feel hurt by his administration’s policies, and programmes, since he assumed office almost eight years ago, to forgive him.

Speaking at the final Sallah homage which took place at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja, he said: “There is no doubt I hurt some people and I wish you will pardon me. And those that think that I have hurt them so much, please pardon me.”

Buhari’s plea for forgiveness suggests he may not be unaware that he had disappointed millions of Nigerians in the quality of leadership rendered by his administration.

The subject of whether the out-going president is genuinely remorseful has, of course, become a matter of debate.

While Buhari’s plea for forgiveness cannot be termed out-of-place, he cannot simply wish away the monumental socio-economic, and political damage he plunged Nigeria, and Nigerians into in the last eight years.

Two other talking points

2. As Ortom comes under fire

The Presidency, on April 19, heaped blame on the Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, for allegedly contributing to the insecurity in his state which had seen to the loss of hundreds of lives, and displacement of others.

A statement issued by the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, read in part: “…Ortom stubbornly refused to engage with the detailed, holistic approach clearly spelt out by the Federal Government. He arrogantly chose his own, destructive path. He blamed the Fulani for every problem that arose. He ignored numerous intelligence reports passed to him for action. He rejected police findings in investigations that didn’t meet his egotistical worldview. He politicised every life lost on his watch.”

Read also:ASO ROCK WATCH: Is Buhari leaving Nigeria better than he met it? One other talking point

The shots fired by the Presidency are only a clap back to Ortom’s continuous accusations on Buhari’s failure to flush out the criminal elements killing people, and destroying communities in the state.

Examined critically, the accusations, and counter-accusations between the Presidency, and Ortom only frustrate security efforts aimed at restoring peace in troubled Benue communities.

Sadly, it depicts the inability of the Presidency to rise above Ortom’s criticisms, and focus on the task of restoring order to Benue and other troubled communities.

All said, it is hoped that the incoming government would rise above criticisms, and focus on the task of fighting insecurity.

3. Osinbajo’s advice to Nigeria’s political elites

On April 17, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo advised Nigeria’s political elites to conduct themselves with a high sense of responsibility in their contest for power.

“These elections witnessed the exploitation by political actors of the fears and anxieties of people about so-called outsiders. Any attempts to deny people the right to vote in any locality on the basis that they do not belong in that place is condemnable in the strongest possible terms,” Osinbajo said, while speaking at the maiden policy making and good governance lecture series of the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, Plateau State.

Osinbajo’s remarks will seem to serve as a condemnation of the show of shame that played out in Lagos State, especially, in the last general elections.

Many will, however, see his pontifications as belated, and the reason may not be far-fetched. Critics will argue that he stood idly by while the charade lasted, perhaps, because the ruling party was at the centre of the despicable acts.

If he saw nothing wrong at the material time, speaking up at this time may well be considered as dishonest and unpatriotic.

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