With less than 15 months to the end of his tenure, the Muhammadu Buhari administration has little or no choice in leaving lasting impressions in the hearts of Nigerians.
Can he? Will he? These are the questions only he and his cabinet members, as well as key strategists in his administration, can provide answers to.
What are the issues? Security, economy, and anti-corruption. How far has he fared in these three key indices for which the administration asked to be assessed?
No one needs to search far to reach a logical and reasonable conclusion that the administration has not sufficiently matched words with action in the No. 1 area he asked to be voted in.
Insecurity, seven years after, is still very much with us. Mass killings, the siege on communities, banditry, and terrorism have not abated despite the sophistry of trying to downplay the criminal menace.
Nigerians still largely live in fear and panic, especially in the northeast and northwest parts of the country.
The criminal elements in our land seem to have grown more audacious in their attacks on security and soft targets.
We cannot forget in a hurry the brazen attack on our premier institution, the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna, and the subsequent abduction of top officers. That was one joke taken too far by the insurgents.
There have also been attacks in the President’s home state of Katsina despite courageous efforts by Governor Aminu Bello Masari to meander out of the dangerous miasma.
In Borno state, Governor Babagana Zulum is often in the thick of the battle to wrest authority from the outlaws.
What this goes to show is that President Buhari still has a lot of work to do in the area of tackling insecurity. To be fair to the administration, it showed a fierce commitment to crushing the insurgents when it first came to power in 2015.
However, the momentum could not be sustained and the war thawed, and words like insurgents being” technically degraded” found their way into our political lexicon.
In 2022, Nigerians want the bloody insurgents completely wiped out. We must encourage the president to do just that before he signs off on May 29, 2023.
2022 should offer a fresh impetus in the renewed onslaught against the men from hell making life terrible for peaceful, law-abiding citizens.
On the economy and anti-corruption war, it is debatable what the scorecard reads. What is not in dispute is that we are not out of the woods, economically speaking. A lot of work also still has to be done in cleaning the Aegean stable
However, the recent pledge by President Buhari to renew the pace of governance and accelerate the delivery of key strategic priorities is a welcome way to usher in the New Year.
In 2021, President Buhari told the nation: “2020 indeed came with a lot of challenges ranging from security and economic issues across the regions to understandable protests that were mainly led by our youths and served notice to the demand for police reforms and accountability. This government heard, this government listened, and this government is committed to fulfilling the five demands of our youths, fully understanding that we all wish well for Nigeria.”
He promised that the challenges would be faced head-on with renewed determination and all the appropriateness and urgency required, through his three-point Security, Economy, and Anti-corruption (SEA) agenda.
He also pledged to continue to direct attention and strength to the key priority areas. In a nutshell, Buhari promised to make 2021 a year where his administration will work to reinforce the hopes of Nigerians in the vision of a united and progressive nation.
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These promises were nice words that indicated an awareness that, for many Nigerians, the progress the nation has registered is not as fast or as sufficient as they would wish.
The hope is that 2022 will be markedly different from 2020 and 2021 in terms of matching words with concrete action. If there is a will, there will surely be a way!