It was, therefore, a welcome relief to Nigerians when Muhammadu Buhari was declared winner of the 2015 election and sworn in on May 29 the same year. One year down the line, has this administration justified its existence? What type of change has the Buhari government brought to Nigerians – is it a positive or a negative one?
On the positive front, the Buhari government realised early enough that the state governments were pauperised and could not pay salaries and discharge other sundry responsibilities. As a sensitive, pro-people government, it quickly embarked on a bailout policy to the state governments. There is no doubt that that singular step helped immensely in rescuing the states from bankruptcy.
On security, it is obvious that this t administration has degraded, nay decapitated Boko Haram. In fact, the government has taken the battle to the enclave of the insurgents – the much – dreaded, Sambisa Forest. The numerous internally displaced persons (IDPs) have been taken better care of even as it is not yet Uhuru.
The main victims of Boko Haram are Northerners living in the North Eastern part of our country. Government’s attention in terms of reform and rehabilitation, expectedly, has been focused on people from these areas. Thus far, those non-Northerners who died and suffered severe losses from Boko Haram attacks, that is, those from the Eastern and Western parts of Nigeria as well as South-South, have remained unattended to. The Government should do well to support the next-of-kin of dead fellows and wounded ones. Similarly, the soldiers who have been waging these wars against the insurgents do not seem to have been properly taken care of. The plight of the wounded is no better. Ideally, insurance covers should have been provided to these soldiers.
On the issue of corruption, President Muhammadu Buhari through the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has dragged numerous high profile persons to courts to either prove their innocence or face the wrath of the law. This move has somehow shown the citizens that the era of unbridled corruption and impunity is over. The list of such people is long, including the former National Security Adviser (NSA) Rtd. Col. Sambo Dasuki; the former Aviation Minister, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode; the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olisa Metuh, etc. Against the accusation of prosecuting only non-APC members, the President has shown non-partisanship in his fight against corruption by not interfering in the trial of the Senate President and APC chieftain, Chief Bukola Saraki.
In the area of foreign relations, the administration has scored high marks. The friendly manner in which his counterparts in the countries visited received Mr. President, the discussions held and agreements signed showed that the image/perception of our country improved at the international scene.
This administration is working to modify our tax regulations with a view to preventing tax evasion and improving the generation of revenue.
In spite of the foregoing strides, however, President Buhari and indeed all Nigerians have an arduous task to perform to ensure the stability of our country and secure the happiness of the greatest number of Nigerians.
Sadly, this state of stability, of order and of happiness which Hobbes and Kant sought several decades ago, still eludes Nigerians today. With Boko Haram and Shiite Muslims in the North; Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in the East, Niger Delta Avengers, the Red Egbesu, Water Lions and Isoko Liberation Movement in the South-South, Odua Peoples Congress (OPC) in the South-West, the unity of Nigeria is only but a mere mental phenomenon.
Having demonstrated legendary patriotism through his three unsuccessful attempts (2003, 2007 and 2011) at becoming President (after being one through a Military Coup in 1983), Mr. President must now show leadership by diplomatically dousing the rising tension in the land.
The President must critically sieve the advice proffered to him by his official and unofficial aides some of whom, are driven by selfish, ethnic, religious and or other considerations rather than patriotism.
He should tackle the issue of cost of living because central to every facet of life of an individual or a group is the economy.
This is why in all civilized countries the economy drives politics.
President Buhari must as a matter of urgency fashion out a blue print and begin the implementation with a view to cushioning the poverty in the land. This is what statesmanship is all about.
Whatever the case may be, may I congratulate Mr. President on his first year in office. I know that no one who truly wants to serve, will envy him.
Udah, a Media consultant, wrote from Lagos