“The principal thrust of this new Administration is to consolidate on the achievements of the last four years, correct the lapses inevitable in all human endeavors and tackle the new challenges the country is faced with and chart a bold plan for transforming Nigeria.”-President Buhari
Every time elections are over in democracies all over the world, victorious politicians reel out lofty ideals that are sometimes implemented to some degree or thwarted by exigencies of the time. And, faced with the realities before the 2015 elections, Nigerians reacted by changing the previous government by virtue of the campaign mantra of the current All Progressives Congress to stamp out corruption, fight insecurity especially the cancerous Boko Haram insurgency and rebuild the economy.
In retrospect, there is general agreement that the government measured up significantly in routing the fanatical renegades out of Nigerian territory particularly from the 17 local government councils of Borno state occupied but not without counterattacks on soft targets using brainwashed suicide bombers.
So far, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has thumped its chest on the prosecution of over 400 corruption cases even though with few convictions always blamed on loopholes in the law or rather inadequacies of the criminal justice system.
Ditto the economy obstructed by overdependence on crude oil or other structural distortions like low production capacity, unfavourable balance of trade that left the country in near absolute consumerism.
By implication, the ingenuity of our productive population plummeted to a dismal low amidst late passage of the nation’s budget by the eighth National Assembly hinged on sour relationship between it and the executive.
On infrastructure development, it will be safe to say that there are less abandoned projects compared to the past with news of on-going rail and road projects, power plants and the like.
However, it is our utmost concern, in view of the current economic, security and political reality, to point out some of the areas that require priority this second term. Having assembled men and women in the ninth legislature presumably inclined to assisting the executive in reaching her goals, we expect early passage of the budgets, and renewed approach to the octopus of Boko Haram, banditry, farmers/herders clash, kidnappings and rapes that have gripped citizens with fear. Having taken an international dimension, the nation’s neighbours – Niger, Chad and Cameroun especially, must be complemented by the United Nations system to contain the criminals. Regrettable that the fall of Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi has cheapened light arms for marauders, this must be a lesson to our African leaders who are quick to fall to superpower tricks.
This administration must sincerely pursue the anti-corruption war unanimously believed to have gingered the electorate to give it a second chance without leaving the impression of a targeted campaign against opponents of the government.
In this regard, we must realize collectively as a people, that the quantum leap we desire in our socio-economic and political lives cannot be achieved without ridding ourselves of all forms of corruption in the colour of dishonesty, nepotism and the like.
President Muhammadu may be right by his assertion that the bulk of our real wealth lies in Agriculture, Livestock, Forestry and Mining as we “possess all the ingredients of a major economic power on the world stage”, we need an educated manpower and a visionary leadership which are bigger resources than the ones found under the soil, as proved by Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea.
These countries strengthened their educational systems, remolded attitudes and set the citizens on the path of enduring patriotism. We anxiously need this to move to the next level.