The relish that Aso Rock Villa should ordinarily provide may be turning nightmarish in the face of the Buhari presidency many promises yet unkept since 2015.
Top among these are the heightened Boko Haram insurgency, and activities of bandits, which have made life intolerable in most parts of the country, forcing President Muhammadu Buhari to vow that 2021 would mark the end of terrorism in world’s most populous black nation.
Nightmarish or not, Aso Rock, the past week, remained a beehive of activities with many other talking points.
Deal or be damned!
On January 8, President Buhari declared that the war against Boko Haram terrorists and bandits will end this year, 2021. He picked the gauntlet while speaking at the Juma’at Prayer for this year’s Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration at the National Mosque in Abuja.
Represented by the Minister of Defence, Major-General Bashir Magashi (RTD), the President had said: “What is happening in this country will soon be over. This year, we will finish what we are doing, pray for us that we succeed.”
Quite high on ambition, Buhari’s dream of quashing terrorism and banditry could be founded on some new strings which the President intends to pull and which, perhaps, is unknown to many Nigerians.
If this is not the case, then President Buhari would be sounding like a broken record, though this time he may have unwittingly helmed himself in by promising to bring insurgency to an end in 2021.
Whether this latest pronouncement will leave many Nigerians excited is, therefore, a matter of conjecture. Indeed, some would rather have preferred that the President kept mum on his ambition in the counter-insurgency war, and focus on letting his results do the talking for him, this time.
What is incontrovertible at the moment is that claims to Boko Haram being ‘technically defeated,’ or ‘degraded’ lie in the realm of propaganda which, perhaps, only serves as a morale booster for his overstretched military, and not the growing community of traumatized Nigerians.
Having committed himself to ending terrorism and its likes in 2021, President Buhari must brace for the avalanche of knocks that will come his way if he flounders on his promise.
It is either he deals with Boko Haram now or be damned!
Two other talking points
President Buhari, on January 5, asserted that sustainable development was impossible when a country is plagued by severe infrastructural deficits.
Speaking while receiving in audience the State Councillor and Foreign Minister, People’s Republic of China, Mr Wang Yi, at the Aso Rock, Femi Adesina, Buhari’s Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, quoted the President as saying:
“We thank China for its support to us in various ways; in building of rail, road, power, defence, and many others. You are helping us to reduce our severe infrastructural deficits, and we are glad. There cannot be sustainable development without infrastructural development.”
No doubt, the infrastructural decay across the federation is too evident and explains why daily living for the average Nigerian comes with so much anguish.
Buhari’s sobering responses would, however, suggest that the Chinese government has been more than altruistic in its relationship with Nigeria. Nothing can be further than the truth. If anything, the country appears to be be mortgaging much of its future by committing to huge Chinese loans with proportionate interests in tow.
It must be admitted, therefore, that the measured responses by President Buhari do not at all suggest that the Chinese have suddenly become Santa Claus. The huge debts will have to be paid at some point, and it would be up to the future generation to bear the burden,
Lifting 100m Nigerians
On January 7, President Buhari charged the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD), to play its roles adequately in the realization of the government objective of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty.
Speaking when he received members of the newly established body at the Aso Rock, Buhari said: “I am enjoining you as a team of the commission, to realise that your work forms a critical aspect in achieving the objective of our administration to removing 100 million Nigerians out of poverty. I am therefore looking forward to commissioning projects and programmes of high impact to the disabled community in line with this vision.”
As widely acknowledged, persons with disabilities are more likely to experience extreme poverty than those without disabilities. In this regard, Mr President gets commendation for encouraging equal access to opportunities by citizens. This makes the work of the commission critical to Buhari’s resolve.
The challenge for the presidency, however, lies in ensuring that the activities of the commission are closely tracked, especially in the area of transparency and accountability. At least, how financial corruption messed up different commissions should serve as a lesson to him, and his team at the Villa.
By John Chukwu…
Join the conversation
Join the conversation
INVESTIGATION… How herdsmen crisis compounds woes of already deprived Ogun communities
Earlier in January, the Nigerian media space was awash with reports of violence between herders and farmers across the country....
Investigation… Inside Enugu markets where traders are choked by multiple taxes
In recent times, the world economy has developed tremendously and this is partly linked with activities of petty traders who...
SPECIAL REPORT: How flood-ravaged farmlands in Anambra threaten food production
Increased rainfall, as a result of climate change, has impacted negatively on many parts of the world. In Anambra State,...
INVESTIGATION… How NDDC spent N2bn on abandoned, non-existent road projects in Edo communities
In 2014, the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) awarded 10 road projects worth over N2 billion in various communities in...
INVESTIGATION… Inside NDDC’s abandoned, poorly executed road projects dotting Abia communities (concluded)
In this concluding part, ARINZE CHIJIOKE discovers that apart from the Obohia-Ohuru-Aba Road, there are similar projects initiated by the NDDC in Abia State which...
Musa eyes NPFL title to mark Kano Pillars return
Super Eagles captain, Ahmed Musa is looking to win the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) title with Kano Pillars. The...
OLYMPICS: Team Nigeria to no longer camp in Edo as Ministry picks Lagos, P’Harcourt
The Minister of Youth and Sports development, Sunday Dare has revealed where the Nigerian contingent to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics...
Arsenal stroll to Europa League semi-final
English Premier League side, Arsenal FC on Thursday night defeated Czech giant, Slavia Prague 4-0 to qualify for the semi-final...
Why I’m returning to NFL, Kano Pillars —Musa
Ahmed Musa, the captain of the Super Eagles on Wednesday, revealed the reason behind his shock return to the Nigerian...
Delta to host 2022 National Sports Festival
Delta State will host the 2022 edition of the National Sports Festival. The state won the 20th edition of the...
Latest Tech News
Nigerian innovation hubs make list of new AfriLabs members. 2 other things and a trivia
This line-up of stories will help you discover the latest happenings around the tech world, today. 1. Nigerian innovation hubs...
Nigeria’s ShortLet adapts AI to improve business model. 2 other things and a trivia
This line-up of stories will help you discover the latest happenings around the tech world, today. 1. Nigeria’s ShortLet adapts...
Nigeria’s ScholarX partners Airtel on new product. 2 other things and a trivia
This line-up of stories will help you discover the latest happenings around the tech world, today. 1. Nigeria’s ScholarX partners...
Twitter to open first African office in Ghana
Twitter has picked Ghana as location for its office in Africa. The company disclosed this in a brief statement on...
Kenyan fintech, Tanda, closes funding to expand portfolio. 2 other things and a trivia
This line-up of stories will help you discover the latest happenings around the tech world, today. 1. Kenyan fintech Tanda...
P+ rolls out media intelligence solution for PR measurement
P+ Measurement Services, a Nigerian Independent Public Relations (PR) measurement and evaluation agency, has introduced “Get-Reports” a product that allows...