By Victor Abayomi Obatowon
The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari as the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of Federal Republic of Nigeria is no doubt, an eventful one so far in its almost third year. Many of these events earned him more condemnation than commendation from the good people of Nigeria.
On a daily basis, the streets of Nigeria are filled with complaints of Nigerians over the hardship that the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has exposed the country to. This ranges from the skyrocketing price of commodities, scarcity of funds, increasing crime rate and terrorism among the endless list.
No doubt, the present administration led by Muhammadu Buhari has performed exceedingly well in combating the deadly Book Haram. The success of his efforts could be measured through the fact that all the territories initially occupied and dominated by this sect have been recovered and normality has been restored to the North East Nigeria to the extent that Book Haram could no longer launch targeted attacks like before. Kudos to the government on this.
Not only in that aspect has the Buhari led administration performed tremendously, but also in the area of tackling unemployment as promised by him. As we speak, the government has been able to employ over 300,000 Nigerians through the Npower employment scheme. This is bringing daily bread to the tables of these said people, majorly youth. Isn’t that applaudable?
The effort of this present administration in sending corruption to its early grave is also worthy of commendation. Corruption has been a cankerworm that has eaten so deep into the fabric of our dear country. It is a major cause of the retarded growth that the country is experiencing today. The Buhari led government has done so well in bringing to book, corrupt officials and as well mounting a strong surveillance on government and public fund under his control, even though corruption is fighting back.
However, Nigerians are not aware of these laudable achievements of the government. But it is worthy to note that democracy is said to be the government of everybody that must be enjoyed by everybody. It is a form of government in which its dividends need to be shared to all and sundry.
It’s just as if a father exists with many sons and one of them is suffering from epilepsy or a very deadly disease and the father in turn expends almost all his resources and attention on the suffering son to the detriment of other sons. The father fails to cater adequately and evenly for the well being of the other sons. This action of the father will in no small measure, affect the other sons negatively and so will it reflect in the perception and comments of the other sons towards the father.
This can be likened to the case of Nigeria under President Muhammadu Buhari as he has greatly administered laudably in the aforementioned ways but failed to address some other pressing issues as expected. So his inability to perform effective and proficiently in these said areas has left Nigerians with a high degree of disappointment in his government, owing to the fact that the president falls short of the expectations of the good people of Nigeria who voted him into office.
The inability of the government to ‘change’ the economic landscape of the country to make life easier for Nigerians as promised, has left people with negative comments about the administration. The change that is seen is rather a negative one – one which inflicts more economic hardship on Nigerians. This extends to the skyrocketing prices of commodities, scarcity of funds to sort the immediate needs of the good people of Nigeria.
The havoc wrecked by the alarming scarcity and unofficial hike in the price of the Premium Motor Spirit cannot be overemphasized. Though, fuel scarcity over time, has been a constant Christmas and New year gift that government could offer Nigerians free of charge. This time however, the product is not only insufficient and scarce, the few people who have it sell at a very high price even as at this time of the year, except the government and some other few private filling stations that sell petrol at the official price. This menace has also resulted in severe hardship.
The numerous importance of the product is visible to the blind and audible to the deaf, to the extent that items needed for use on a daily basis have experienced hike in price at a double portion. The tomatoes seller in the market increases price andbif you ask why?, ‘are you not aware tha petrol is scarce and expensive now” would be the response. Same goes for transport operatives, barbers, tailors, traders and all categories of the society. This has exposed Nigerians to a great deal of suffering.
As if those were not enough, the Fulani herdsmen that are killing Nigerians on a regular basis in the name of doing business is the most disheartening of all. Countless innocent lives have been lost to these evil messengers whose business has shifted from rearing cattle to tearing throats in battle.
To the disappointment of Nigerians, the Command in Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria has failed to take any crucial and germane step in putting an end to the unending brutality.
We could all recall the swift and proactive response and action of the President against Book Haram that led to degrading the deadly sect, ditho that of the Indigenous People of Biafra which gives birth to ‘Python Dance’ operation of the military.
These have left the able Nigerians with the sudden conclusion that “The President deliberately turned deaf ears to the issues because the culprits are him kinsmen, so he is trying to stand with them”, and that ” The president even values cattle more than lives of Nigerians “.
These loopholes of this present administration, and some others have led to assertion of the masses that the president is not fit, capable and equal to the task to rule Nigeria. Some even say that the current situation of the country is no more understandable to the president. Some say the government is clueless on how to tackle the various challenges ofbthe country. Some of these views became evident in the letter of the former President Olusegun Obasanjo to the President, urging him to rest his ambition of contesting in 2019.
These conclusions have hereby prompted the masses to seek a better alternative that will replace Buhari come 2019 general elections.
The question now is, Who could be that better alternative that would salvage the country from her current challenges and be a perfect replacement for President Buhari come 2019?
The answer to the above question would however be a product of a vivid knowledge of the political and other factors that are required to enthrone a Nigerian President. Some of those factors include the personality of the candidate, political parry factor, past records of the candidate, charisma, popularity of the candidate, his/her running mate and controversially, how best the candidate can make use of the tool ‘propaganda’, though the list is endless.
As stated earlier, the role political party has to play is great. Therefore to unsit a ruling party, the force of the opposition trying such would have to be as strong as the Aso rock itself, one which strength is unbeatable numerically, its past records, set straight and its tentacle, well spread all around the country. Now tell me, Do we have one? Is the People’s Democratic Party even as strong as that? Considering the leadership tussle in the party which pretended to have settled, coupled with the freshness of the damages that the party exposed Nigeria to in their 16 years in power in the minds of Nigerians, PDP could not be said to be healthy enough to unsit the ruling All Progessives’ Congress.
On a brighter side for the APC, the incumbency factor cannot be overruled. There is a sizeable number of Nigerian household and entities that would never and ever follow an opposition party, this group we call ‘All Government in Power'(AGIP). They do this mostly to meet one particular need of theirs or the other. They are of the opinion that the opposition will mostly be likely to lose out and no one wants to be associated with failure. That asides, the ruling party also has all the institutions of government to its favour; the media, security and so on.
Despite the various weaknesses of the ruling APC, the party has never seized being popular and relevant. This could be judged by the recent exodus of decampees into the party ranging from Also Akala, Teslim Folarin and their camps in Oyo state, former governor Usman Dakingari of Kebbi state and over 267 of his supporters, Prince Madueke in IMO and over 1,000 others, to mention just a few.
In the opposition PDP, having resolved to zone the presidency ticket to the north, the ambition of the fearless Ekiti state Governor Ayodele Fayose may be crippled, and as such might be left with an option to accept to run as Vice Presidential candidate with the former Vice President Atiku Abubakar who Has indicated a keen interest in becoming the next Commander in Chief of The Armed Forces of Nigeria after three failed attempts.
How viable do you think this combination would be, considering the moral standing and political antecedent of the duo?
The political promiscuity of Atiku and his inability to drive major landmark and quality national developmental movement cum his weak goodwill and popularity to majority of Nigerian citizens might not help his financial capability and political connection to achieve his presidential aim. The former Vice President may be said not to be vibrant enough to move Nigeria to the expected height.
Though in the ruling APC, there are equally other candidates who have been eyeing the presidential seat. Some of them include Nadir El Rufai, Rabiu Kwankwaso and others. From all indications, the duo have been a close ally to President Buhari and as such might sit back and forfeit the ticket to him to showcase their utmost loyalty to him, if not for the fear of incumbent power.
It is also needed to understand the fact that Nigerians are so cautious and deep as far as political party is concerned. This has come to play in previous elections such that father with two wives and eight children or even more can easily influence his family to vote for his political party. This induces blind followership.
Considering these, it won’t be wrong to conclude that the weakness of the opposition, lack of enough vibrant potential opposing candidate and of course, the incumbency factor are capable of overriding the weaknesses of the Buhari administration and win him another four years stay in the Aso Rock Villa beyond 2019.
Victor Abayomi Obatowon writes from Ilorin and can reached through this email firstname.lastname@example.org