BEFORE a person sits down after a hard day’s job around the city to enjoy a sumptuous meal, the hands are usually washed with either cold or warm water, apparently to clean off dirt and other stains that could contaminate the food.
The hard work here could be likened to the first and second-term political campaigns that thrust President Muhammadu Buhari into the democratic space for two terms of four years each, with the second term as he was constitutionally elected by Nigerians with a total vote of 15,191,847 to rule the country Nigeria.
Before the first term, he went round the country and canvassed for votes from the electorate, promising them improved security, economy, rebuilding the refineries and a deadly blow on corruption, adding he would improve health and education in the country.
Probably out of political campaign excitement in Kano, Daura, Zamfara, Kaduna and other states across the country, Buhari promised to revamp the economy and ensure that the refineries are operational.
During his campaign tours, he promised to deal with corruption and improve roads and other infrastructures.
As they say, the taste of the pudding is in the eating. Nigerian elders also have a saying: “A student is not scored by his uniform nor eloquence but by the result in his score card.”
As his tenure winds up, many were stunned as the President, during the opening of the last
Ministerial Performance Review Retreat of his administration at the State House, Abuja, high lighted progress made in the areas of agriculture, economy, infrastructure, security, health and anti-corruption, among others.
On efforts towards strengthening national security, the President said his administration has substantially invested in arms, weapons and other critical military hardware, as well as continuous training for the armed forces.
”The Nigerian Air Force has acquired 38 brand-new aircraft and is expecting another batch of 36 new ones, while the Nigerian Navy has been equipped with new platforms, sophisticated riverine, rigid-hull inflatable, seaward defence, whaler and fast attack boats as well as helicopters and capital ships.
“To boost the number of our police personnel, 20,000 policemen have been recruited, trained, fully integrated and deployed in 2020 and 2021.
This exercise has strengthened our community policing strategy, which is enshrined in the Police Act, 2020.”
He also listed his signing the 2022 Electoral Law that is being applauded by both Nigerians and the international community.
Unfortunately, despite his efforts to wash his hands from the blame of non-performance, Nigerians have bluntly refused to accept Buhari’s latter-day explanations for recorded achievement of his administration. Nigerians are the ones that feel the pinch of the economy because the cost virtually every farm product or manufactured item in the market has increase 100 per cent. In fact, cost of living is affecting every family, not to mention the almost non-availability of petroleum products, added to the worrisome internal security problem. These facts are open before every Nigerian. They vehemently argue that whatever scorecard the President is dangling before them at this late hour does not change their opinion on his non-performance record. Smartly, as a strategic military general, President Buhari started to wash his hands by seizing the unique opportunity presented by an international platform. Interestingly, apart from other definite reform approvals by the President, his farewell disclosure at the 77th
Session of the United Nations General Assembly on September 21, 2022, where he said: “I re-affirm on the global stage that, as President, I have set the goal that one of the enduring legacies I would like to leave is to entrench a process of free, fair, transparent and credible elections through which Nigerians elect leaders of their choice.”
Back in the country, he used the three-day police retreat in Imo State, to further panel beat his score card on security by lauding his administration for approving the increase in remuneration and recruitment of 10,000 police constables annually to address the wide manpower gap in the police force and other police reforms by his administration. The President said. “I approved the adoption of the community policing model as the internal security strategy of the country with requisite
funds released to implement the initiative.”
However, the President did not disclose that a whopping N13 billion had already been approved for such a needless security programme, instead of ensuring the establishment of a state police system. Unknown to those at the retreat, the President carefully washed his hands off any blame during the
2023 elections by passing the buck to the police and other security agencies mandated with election security.
Interestingly, the Inspector-General of Police, Alkali Baba, confirmed all the President’s assertions by commending his administration for helping to improve the police structurally, administratively, operationally and with needed equipment.
While most Nigerians are still suspicious of every move of the President, he is not perturbed as he continues to strategically hold on to ensuring credible, free and fair elections as his final joker card for the country.
So, as a build-up, he ensured that electoral outings in Edo, Anambra, Ekiti and Osun states helped to score the electoral body high.
As their toeing the path of internationally acclaimed credible elections proves that Buhari
has learnt a big lesson from his 2015 presidential election war with President Goodluck Jonathan.
The simple lesson is: “election is not a do-or-die exercise”. No wonder the swift reaction from the Presidency when the Independent National Electoral Commission recently announced that there may be a cancellation of the general election, should insecurity persist.
We can now adduce that credible election is the security joker that would finally assuage the fury of Nigerians.
Words on marble
ALHAJI M.D. Yusufu, Inspector-General of Police, 1975 to 1979, objected to receiving a National Honour at the end of the President Olusegun Obasanjo regime, asking: “Why are we honouring ourselves, should we not leave it to others after to judge whether we deserve to be honoured?”
M.D. Yusufu added, “I do not need to be honoured for serving my country. I didn’t do it for free, I got paid a salary.”
Fela Anikulapo-Kuti on M.D. Yusufu: “That’s M.D. Yusufu. A very humane person, a real man who was not corrupt at all. When he left Government in 1979, he didnt have shitman. He didnt even own a house in Lagos.
He did not like violence at all and stopped the government from committing more atrocities. He was a real revolutionary and a friend of revolutionary governments in Africa. I dug him man.”
– From Fela’s biography, “This bitch of a life,”
1982, by Carlos Moore