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Dissecting Buhari’s Govt Ahead Of 100 Days In Office


Swearing-in-pix-29-8-15-CopyNext week Friday will mark President Muhammadu Buhari’s first 100 days in office. During Buhari’s inaugural speech, he laid so much emphasis on several issues which include good and progressive governance, fight against corruption, rule of law, separation of powers, fight against Boko Haram insurgency, unemployment, and others. Barely 100 days in office, opinions are divided on how far Buhari’s government has fared in several sectors of the socio-political economy of the country.

While some believe President Buhari has not done much in any sector, apart from deploying his body language, and different approach to governance, others, especially members of his political party, All Progressives Congress (APC) are of the opinion that Buhari has redefined governance through his mature approach to it. They are quick to tell anybody who cares to listen that Buhari’s action and inaction speaks louder than his voice, since he assumed office. Concerning the fight against corruption and recovery of loot, the Buhari government has been under severe criticisms by mostly members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). They have described the government’s loot probe as vindictive, a witch-hunt, and selective. They have also called on Buhari’s government to make the probe holistic, instead of limiting it to the immediate past government of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan. But surprising to Nigerians, the anti-graft agencies such as EFCC, ICPC and others that appeared redundant and handicapped before now, have suddenly found their rhythm since Buhari came into office.

Meanwhile, some have expressed doubt how far Buhari government can go with the loot probe it has embarked on. That may be the reason why some see it as huge distraction. Even at that many Nigerians and groups have declared unflinching support for the government’s effort, considering the severe damages corruption has done to governance in the country since independence.

Becoming a sort of serious concern to Nigerians in Buhari’s anti-corruption war and loot recovery is the ongoing media hype about it, which many are worried of derailing it, if not properly managed.

On the area of Boko Haram insurgency, while the Buhari’s administration has intensified efforts towards tackling the menace, the insurgents have continued almost on daily basis to unleash mayhem on innocent Nigerians. The recurring situation is raising serious doubt on the ability of Buhari’s government, just like his predecessors to tame the ugly monster. Recently, President Buhari ordered the service chiefs to quell the Boko Haram insurgents in the next three months. A tall order many Nigerians are skeptical about its possibility within the time frame, while waiting and praying to see it achieved.

Incessant power failure has been a recurring decimal in the country over the years. Several factors such as pipeline vandalism, gas shortage, sabotage and others have been attributed to it. But since Buhari government assumed office, Nigerians hardly heard about these militating factors again. A situation, which many believe was responsible for the improved power supply in several states across the country. This is even when Buhari government has not made any policy statement on power or invested in the sector.

On the economic front, there is no clear policy yet, apart from the order for immediate compliance to the Treasury Single Account (TSA) by all MDAs. Another financial policy of the government that has generated much reaction is the momentary limit deposit and withdrawal from domiciliary accounts by Nigerians.

Buhari’s non-appointment of ministers almost three months after assuming office has left tongues wagging on what his intention is. Buhari has during his visit to US assured that he will appoint his minister by September.

“When cabinet ministers are appointed in September, it will be some months after I took the oath of office,” President Buhari said.

“It is worth noting that Obama himself did not have his full cabinet in place for several months after first taking office; the United States did not cease to function in the interim.

“In Nigeria’s case, it would neither be prudent nor serve the interests of sound government to have made these appointments immediately on my elevation to the presidency; instead, Nigeria must first put new rules of conduct and good governance in place.

But despite the assurance, many Nigerians believe that it is quite unfair and strange for Buhari to continue to govern the country without ministers. Eminent constitutional lawyer, Prof. Ben Nwabueze has described Buhari’s style of governance without ministers as self-rule. A strangle style in a democratic setting like ours, where the constitution recognises the office of the minister. Apart from the ministers, Buhari has only appointed a few aides since he assumed office. He has not appointed the 15 special advisers the Senate approved for him in June.

As the month of September draws nearer, Nigerians are eagerly waiting to see the credible Nigerians that will make Buhari’s ministerial list as he promised. Some have even argued that the 1999 constitution did not specify when the president should appoint his ministers, but others are of the view that there is need for Buhari to keep to his words by appointing his ministers in September for he cannot work or lead the country alone for so long as president.

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