Discordant tunes trail Buhari’s second year performance
• He’s On Course, Says ACF Scribe, Sani
• APC Has No Programme For Nigeria – Adebanjo
A potpourri of reactions have greeted President Muhammadu Buhari’s second anniversary in the saddle, with some elder statesmen maintaining the retired general was still on course, while others expressed pessimism.
For the protagonists, it is taking the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led government this long to make impact because of the rot they met on ground, while the antagonists are of the view that their offering so far confirms that the ruling party had nothing to offer the people ab initio.
Secretary General of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Anthony Sani said: “In assessing the regime, Nigerians must do so against the campaign promises reflected in the manifesto of the ruling party, which included taming insecurity posed by Boko Haram; to bring corruption under control in order to clear the way for the economy to pick up and flourish, and to diversify the economy. So far, the fight against insecurity has been effective in the sense that attacks by the sect have been reduced substantially to a level of occasional suicide bombing of vulnerable targets in mostly Borno State. As a result, normal life is returning gradually. The regime has also been able to free about 102 of the abducted Chibok girls. These have gladdened the hearts of not only Nigerians, but also the international Community. Today, the fear that the nation could be a failed state by 2015 and sense of hopelessness have been replaced by confidence and hope for glorious day ahead. But I see the challenge of settling people displaced by Boko Haram a very daunting one due to paucity of resources.
Former Information Minister, Prince Tony Momoh, who in 2016 said his party should be chased out of power with stones if it fails to deliver in two years appears to be on the same page with Sani.
According to him, “There could be no exaggeration in the saying that the monumental rot we found when we assumed office was responsible for the initial challenges of the administration. But my word then was that Nigerians should stone us if within two years, the current government fails to reverse the situation.
I was bold to say that because of the assurance that the Buhari government was laying the foundation for a new and better country.
“If I may take you back a little, last year, Nigerians were complaining of bad roads and I asked, what happened to the several billions of naira voted for road construction and rehabilitation under the President Goodluck Jonathan government? There were also complaints about security challenges. What also happened to the billions of dollars voted to fight insurgency, which some people mismanaged, the same with power and other necessary infrastructure?
“The fall of oil price globally also impinged greatly on the efforts of Buhari’s government to make significant changes. Under Jonathan, almost all ministries incurred serious debts, but today, I am bold to say that this government is entitled to praises and commendations for what it has been able to put in place in the last two years despite what we met on ground. There are strong evidence of what the government has achieved so far.
Even though some Nigerians are uncomfortable with the pervasive poverty in the land, Momoh stressed: “The APC and President Buhari have succeeded in accordance with our manifesto to change so many things and also hit the ground running in several areas, including security, fighting corruption and the economy. Some of the issues we were vilified for last year are now receiving attention. Mind you, we did not foresee the economic recession happening otherwise things would have been much better than they are now,” said Momoh.
For chieftain of Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Ayo Adenbanjo, Buhari and his party are yet to disappoint him since he was not expecting much from them.
According to him, “I am not a fan of President Buhari or APC and my judgment of him and his party is not based on prejudice. All that have happened socially, politically and economically in the last two years, under the watch of Mr. President and events within his party, even in states that the party controls across the country, are a vindication of my criticisms of him and the party.
“I said it and I am repeating it, that APC has no programme for Nigeria. The ultimate aims and objectives of the actors behind the formation of the party were to oust erstwhile President Goodluck Jonathan from power in 2015, which they achieved. Their basic goal and desire was Jonathan must go and thereafter nothing.
“To start with, how far has the APC implemented its manifesto since May 29, 2015? The restructuring, which they used to campaign and which even attracted the South West geo political zone to support the party, has been jettisoned.”
“Secondly, I accused Buhari of being a feudalist and a conservative and now I want you to tell me if his actions have proved me wrong. I agree that he is a perfect gentleman, honest and caring, but you can’t separate him from his Fulani agenda, which made him a feudalist. And judging him from his military background, which also made him a conservative and someone that does not believe in the rule of law; has he proved otherwise since he attained power?
He added: “We said Buhari was going to be a dictator because of his military training but nobody took us serious. Has he done otherwise since May 29 2015?
During the campaign in 2014/2015, I said I wished Buhari would disappoint me, but lately I said I am disappointed that he has not disappointed me on my expectations of him.”
Former Federal Commissioner for Works and Housing, Femi Okunnu, is of the opinion that Buhari has done well within the period under review.
According to him, Buhari promised to tackle insecurity, corruption and the economy. “These were the three principal issues, he said he would tackle… One could not believe that senior army officers would be standing trial for stealing billions of naira. But I cannot comment on this because their cases are still ongoing.”
He added that salvaging a distress economy cannot be done in two years, just as he added that the country was still suffering from the fallout of sabotage and insurgency in the South South region.