In our Politics Roundup this week, we considered the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed’s claim on President Muhammadu Buhari’s achievements on insecurity, economy among others.
We also looked at four other interesting stories during the past week, drawing attention to their significance to Nigeria’s political growth and reasons they call for concerns.
1. Minister Lai Buhari’s achievements claim
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, on Thursday, December 30, 2021 claimed President Muhammadu Buhari recorded at least 100 achievements in the year that just expired in fighting insecurity, boosting the economy and providing infrastructure among others.
Mohammed, who stated this when he addressed newsmen in Lagos, gave a long list of what President Buhari was able to achieve during the expired year.
As the image maker of the Buhari administration, Minister Mohammed only did what was expected of him.
While it is within his right to list even thousands of achievements the government made in 2021, however, facts on the ground, which are glaring for everyone to see, punctured many of the Minister’s claims.
Nigerians know that 2021 ended with insecurity remaining a serious threat, an economy with unprecedented increase in prices of food, and with corruption still rearing its dangerous and ugly head, among others.
2. Buhari’s NDDC stolen funds vow
President Buhari, on December 30, 2021, vowed to recover every stolen Niger Delta Development Commission’s fund and to make sure those found culpable face the law.
Buhari, who made the vow when he commissioned the NDDC Prototype Hostel at the University of Uyo, regretted that the special development fund for the oil region was squandered by a few individuals for more than 20 years.
The President said, “Therefore, going forward, we shall ensure every recoverable kobo, is recovered for use in service of the people of this region, and those found culpable shall face the law.
“The Niger Delta Development Commission needs to demonstrate that it can achieve the objectives it was conceived for and make its impact felt all over the Niger Delta region.”
It is easier to make a vow than its fulfillment. If precedent is anything to consider in the issue of NDDC, one can only conclude that the vow by the President may end up like many others before it.
The manner matters involving the NDDC have been handled under this administration suggests that Buhari lacks the will to deal with the rot in the commission or is playing politics with the probe of the NDDC.
It is important Mr President knew that action and not vows is what people want to see in the issue of rot in the NDDC.
3. Masari’s insistence on self-defence
On December 29, Katsina State Governor Aminu Masari, reiterated a call for residents of the state to purchase weapons and in order to defend themselves against marauding bandits in the state.
Masari told newsmen in the state,
“It’s Islamically allowed for one to defend himself against attack. One must rise to defend himself, his family, and his assets.
“If you die while trying to defend yourself, you’ll be considered a martyr. It’s surprising how a bandit would own a gun while a good man trying to defend himself and his family doesn’t have one.”
This is not the first time Masari is making this call. He is also not alone. The Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom; a retired Army General, Theophilus Danjuma, and the Minister of Defence, Major Gen. Bashir Magashi (Retd), have all made similar calls in the past.
The call by the governor and his likes only go to suggest that the Nigerian government may have failed to deliver its primary constitutional function of protecting lives and properties of citizens.
One can only hope that Nigeria under Buhari’s administration is not heading to a failed state, especially as the government seems to be failing to police the country and ensure order for purposeful governance.
That a governor, and those who ordinarily should know better, continue to ask Nigerians to procure weapons and arms against the stipulations of the constitution of the land, show how dangerous insecurity in the country has become.
4. Adesina’s big dream
On Sunday, December 26, Buhari’s spokesman, Femi Adesina, said he was optimistic that President Muhammadu Buhari can end insurgency in the country before the end of his administration in 2023.
Adesina, who expressed the dream on Channels Television said, “Nothing is impossible.
“I always refer to the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka. That rebellion lasted for 28 years. But one day, the mastermind of that rebellion was taken out and that was the automatic ending of it.
“Those who are behind this insurgency will be taken out. They are being taken out one after the other and it will get to a point that the last of them will be taken out, and then we’ll get to the end of it. It can be done within 17 months that remains for this administration.”
Adesina is right. Nothing is impossible. However, that is only true for those who believe and make calculated and concerted efforts to make impossible things possible.
Considering that insecurity in Nigeria has in about six years of Buhari’s government grew from the insurgency in the North-East to attacks by killer herdsmen across the country, bandits atrocities in the North-West, and unknown gunmen menace in the South-East, among others, it shows that Adesina’s dream of Buhari ending insurgency and other crimes before leaving in 2023, may remain a mere fantasy.
5. Abaribe’s eye on Abia gov seat
On December 27, 2021, Senate Minority Leader Enyinnaya Abaribe, declared his interest to be Abia State next governor in 2023.
At an event in Aba, Abaribe told newsmen, “We respect constituted authority. I believe my future political ambition should be made known to my governor who is the number one citizen in my state.
“So, what I’m telling Ndi Abia is that they should expect Mmagha Ndigbo as their next governor in 2023.”
It is within Abaribe’s right to aspire to succeed the current Abia State Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, who hails from the same senatorial zone with him in 2023.
However, his aspiration which will alter the unwritten zoning arrangement in the state, which allows power rotation from one senatorial zone to the other, shows how desperate Nigerian politicians can be in pursuit of their political ambition.
If desperation is not the reason behind the motive, then, the outspoken senator is possibly using the early declaration of interest to the state’s governorship seat as a strategy to position himself for power negotiations.