The 16 million lazy Nigerian youths will decide whether they want a government that will create jobs or a one that will continue to destroy existing jobs.
In Nigeria today, there is this deep division when it comes to the concept of one Nigeria, a division between those who are fearful of the government, a system which has destroyed the hope of the people and faith. Against inclusivity which will herald harmony and unity, we are faced with a system of exclusivity that has breaded all manner of conflicts.
The people that are disillusioned rightly or wrongly feel the country is irredeemable, they want out of Nigeria, and on the other hand are those who in spite of the woes still believes Nigeria can be reformed and that a restructured Nigeria is better than a fragmented one.
Between these two groups, I do not know where the majority lies but what I do know is that I belong to the group that will want to give Nigeria another chance at restructuring with the hope that we will eventually build a country fair to all. I believe in a reformed Nigeria where the government will be fearful of the people and not the people fearful of the government.
Nigeria was founded by our forefathers and built on their sweat hence we must continue to work with other believers to achieve the Nigeria of our fathers’ dreams and of our dream. There is no way things will continue this way, we must talk and continue to speak to the conscience of the people in power and those that aspire to power, to make them understand that the Nigeria of our dream is possible.
2019, it is Nigerians that will determine what happens. We are human beings who can think and can reason. We must think and we must determine to enthrone decency, integrity and good governance in our politics. We shall raise the issues that affects us and must get answers. We can refuse to see the facts as they are before us or cling on to the usual sentiments of religion and tribe by voting wrongly and complain later. The choice is ours!
2015, President Buhari was sold to Nigerians as a messiah. He made several promises upon which he was elected. Promise is a debt and the only cure to debt is to pay. Buhari as an incumbent must step forward with his scorecard and show us what he has done with the mandate given. We do not need new promises. Whether four is better than eight is immaterial.
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We will judge him based on his own cardinal projects and we will be the one to score him high or fail him. We will determine if the selective fight against corruption has curbed waste in government procurement. For instance, we will determine if those that drained states like Akwa Ibom for 16 years are now the saints to save the state because they switched over to the ruling party. Issues like this are what made Nigeria to be ranked the 148th most corrupt nation in the world, up from 136th in 2015.
When the previous government was fighting insurgency, the then opposition now ruling party said it was a fight against the north, that it was a war against Islam and a way to depopulate the Northern Muslim population so as to pave way for Christian domination. They took over the BBC Hausa service and seized the mosques to incite the north against the military. Borno elders canvassed that only a vote for one of their own will end insurgency. They had their way and the rest is history. Boko Haram is still shedding bloods. Over two million lives have been lost to insurgency. We will determine if we are safer now or not.
The 16 million lazy Nigerian youths will decide whether they want a government that will create jobs or a government that will continue to destroy existing jobs. They will decide if the current unemployment rate which stood at 33.1% is acceptable or not.
The North contributes over 70% of the out of school children in Nigeria. To bridge the gap, the previous government led by Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian southerner built and equipped Almajiri schools across the North. Today the schools are camping soldiers rather than school children. Consequently, 13.5 million children are currently out of school.
In the past 3 years, Nigeria’s debt to GDP grew from 12.4 to 21.3%. Within the same period, Nigeria’s manufacturing production fell from 7.5% to 3% while the NSE growth reduced to 1% from 29.7%. Industrial production fell from 13% to -3%. Food inflation rose from 10% to 21% and average economic growth reduced from 6.6% to 0.61%.
Under President Obasanjo we got a huge debt relief which stimulated economic growth. We were debt free until 2015 when this government came to power and started borrowing thus escalating our external debt by over $11.47bn, and another $2bn lost from fleeing foreign investors.
Before they came to power, this government told us that subsidy is a lie and that there is nothing like subsidy price. Today they claim to be paying $3.85bn in subsidy price, the highest by any government, and this is even after fuel pump price was increased from N87 to N145. Nigerians will decide.
We can go on and on. 2019 is going to be about the issues that affect the people and not about propaganda, lies and blackmails. 2019 will not be about tribe, religion or ethnicity. Thankfully, both President Buhari and former Vice President Atiku are both Muslims from the North, and in their 70s, so the issue of religion and ethnicity could be strongly diminished in our politics for the first time.
I am opposed to President Buhari’s re-election not because of his age, religion or ethnic background. If such primordial sentiments mean anything to me I will not be excited about the possibility of an Atiku ticket. Atiku like Buhari is a Muslim and a northerner.
My opposition to Buhari stems from the facts that the past three years has not been properly managed and I am genuinely fearful of the next four years. He lacks the capacity to lead. Even if we decide to give him an extra 30 years he may still not make a difference other than worsen an already bad situation. Take for instance his Executive Order 6. Forget the fact that I am opposed to the very idea of Executive Order 6 which usurps the powers of the courts, but how did names of dead people find their way into the list? How do we reconcile the fact that some of the names being banned from travelling are persons who are already in government custody? Does it mean that he signs whatever that is presented to him without scrutiny? This same incompetence reflects on all aspects of governance thereby adversely affecting the average life of citizens. Indeed, we are in a big mess and only we – the people – can determine what happens next. The choice is ours!