NG Election

2019: Buhari’s re-election could be lost on back of indiscretions

by Zebulon Agomuo

November 2, 2018 | 3:19 pm
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2019 Buhari’s re-election could be lost on back of indiscretions

Last Wednesday night, commuters in a commercial bus in Lagos took turns to relive their sad experiences, which they claimed were all they had to show for the over three-and-half years of occupation of power stool by the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The discussion was set off after the driver of the bus announced that the fare was two hundred naira (N200) against the usual one hundred naira (N100). Although the fare was eventually brought down to one hundred and fifty naira (N150), it still evoked a lot of adrenaline rise in many of the commuters who decided to board.

A journey that was supposed to last for 15 minutes, maximum, lasted for close to one hour. Reason was the bottleneck to get out of Apapa from the Leventis end of the road.

The commuters were particularly incensed that the road, shortly after Total Gas complex, leading to Funsho William Avenue through the Breweries bridge had been blocked for  close to six months now, all in the name of proposed repairs, causing terrible traffic snarls on the route towards Ijora Olopa.

The commuters reminded one another of some of the words that are today on the marble, spoken by Babatunde Fashola, current minister of Power, Works and Housing, in his days as governor of Lagos. Fashola was quoted as saying that fixing of roads and electricity was not rocket science.

The commuters also deplored the pitiable condition of roads in and out of Apapa, from every route- whether from Oshodi or Ijora. The menace of tankers and trailers on the two axes has continued to lower the lifespans of those who have something to do in Apapa on a daily basis.

The commuters spoke in tandem that re-election could be lost as a result of the neglect of Lagos roads by a Federal Government that is of same political party with the government in the state, particularly when the person in charge of roads at the Federal Ministry was a former governor of Lagos State. They wondered if the ruling party knew election was coming.

A male passenger in his late 50’s who appeared the most incensed of all in the bus, who never shut his mouth until he alighted at his bus stop, said: “I get annoyed and irritated whenever I hear some people say that Buhari has performed.

Performed what? All that we keep on hearing is fight against corruption and people are dying. If you look at what is going on in the country, you will agree with me, for those who have eyes and who tell themselves the truth, that the country is shutting down. Do you know the level of poverty in the land? The driver told us some minutes ago that the fare was two hundred naira and most of us were screaming and shouting until he reduce it; if I may ask, what is fifty naira that we cannot forgo if things were okay in the country. The problem is that we vent our spleen on one another and easily transfer aggression because of the pain we are going through.

“Except there is another method they hope to explore to return to power, if it is only by ballot; we are going to vote them out. What annoys me most is the propaganda. If you are finding things difficult, simply tell those who elected you into power but don’t continue to blame past governments and administrations for your own failure, because if we found them perfect, we wouldn’t have voted you into power in 2015. They promised change but we are in hell now. Away with such a change,” the aggrieved man said.

A publicist, who craved anonymity, told BDSUNDAY that he had been disappointed by the current administration as he expected to see a lot of positive changes as soon as they came in.

“For me, before the 2015 election, I had lost interest in Goodluck Jonathan and I must tell you, I didn’t vote for him at the election. I voted for Buhari. I had thought that there would indeed be something to cheer. When he constituted his cabinet, and I saw some names there, I was sure things were going to move in the proper direction. But, you know what? I have given up hope. Nothing is happening and nothing will ever happen with this government,” the publicist said.

According to him, “In the area of corruption, yes, I am not sure the level of corruption now is higher than what we saw in the last administration; but when you talk about the economy, nothing is happening. Things have moved from bad to worse in the last three-and-half years. What I see is different kinds of people in this administration who are enjoying their positions and want him to come back for them to continue to enjoy. There are those in the present administration who lie always and pull a wool over the eyes of others. They have different rules- one applies to them; one applies to others. In many other climes, such a government cannot expect to return to power.”

In a recent exclusive interview granted to BusinessDay by Ayo Opadokun, former secretary of National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) and the convener of the Coalition of Democrats for Electoral Reforms (CODER), he said that some of the steps being taken by the current administration were at variance with the expectation of some of their staunch supporters who voted the party into power in 2015.

“Come to think of it, I never imagined that it will come in my life time that the Nigerian security and intelligence will fail abysmally and will pretentiously not to be able to deter herdsmen from killing and exterminating communities from their land and taking over their land and the Nigerian state has failed to be able to stop it and stamp it out completely in spite of the loud promises made by President Buhari,” Opadokun said.

“I even wonder why the Nigerian presidency has led itself to be so distrusted when his own minister of defence, his own interior (internal affairs) and the Inspector-General of Police claimed that the events in Taraba, Benue, Nasarawa and Adamawa were communal clashes. Ordinarily, if there is sense of justice, equity and fairness; in this age, if there was nothing behind it; if there was nothing more to it; if there were no personal interests residing in the Nigerian security and intelligence and the presidency, all those ones ought to have been retired immediately to assure Nigerians that we are still together,” he further said.

Analysts, who spoke with BusinessDay listed some failures of the current administration that could cost the party a re-election.

According to them, re-election could be lost as a result of the failure of government to face squarely the issue of governance without cheap propaganda; re-election could be lost on the over-concentration on graft war in total neglect of the economy; re-election could be lost as a result of excruciating poverty in the land and the worsening state of general infrastructure- road, electricity, housing, among others.

It is also their view that President Buhari could lose his re-election bid because of the party’s disregard for rule of law; lack of respect for the sanctity of life and the president’s unapologetic disregard for other ethnic groups in his manner of appointments.

However, Dauda Birma, a former Education minister and presidential aspirant on the platform of the defunct All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP), in an exclusive interview with BusinessDay said he was not reading the situation the way critics were reading it.

“You know that Nigeria is a large, wide and diverse country. We have diversity based on geo-political zone; we have diversity of culture and we have diversity based on religion and all that. What you think of somebody may not be what somebody else thinks about that person. Where I come from, North East, which is ravaged by insurgency which before this time made the place very insecure; which made us incapable of visiting our home; and made life generally, very difficult for the people, has now become peaceful. I can visit my home in Yola around 12 midnight and still drive to my village which is two-hour drive – without any fear of insurgency or anything like that. Therefore, my perception of Buhari’s performance may not be the same perception of somebody in Benue, Delta or somebody in any other place. Therefore, we learn to always concede other people the right to either agree or disagree (with you),” Birma said.

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by Zebulon Agomuo

November 2, 2018 | 3:19 pm
  |     |     |   Start Conversation

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