by Usman Alabi
Garba Shehu the senior special assistant, media and publicity to the President in a statement released on the 10 years of the Boko Haram insurgency stated that this administration has made Nigeria safer than it met it. This government had also earlier alluded that Boko Haram has been technically defeated. One wonders if this government live in an alternate reality
One thing seems to be clear in Nigeria, government overtime has not really been able to solve problems. So we keep having politicians campaigning on these issues to seek for vote and they end up not solving it even after been elected.
Security and economic failure were the major issues that the current administration campaigned on, and even now, they have not done better, and like the previous administration, the various anti-state group that has broken the monopoly the state has on violence are gradually closing in on us. From Banditry in the Northwest, Terrorism in the Northeast, Cattle herders/farmers crisis in the middlebelt, kidnapping and flashes of herders crisis in the south, every part of Nigeria seems to be under siege.
There is only much that the Nigerian army can do in the face of all these, even though corruption has also eaten deep into the hierarchy of the army
And again, government has failed Nigerians like in the past, the previous administration did not do better in anyway, the situation was always going to escalate given the nature of the country’s politics and security architecture.
Nigeria’s border did not just become porous in the last four years, the army has always not been adequately equipped, the police were not at any time better, the problems were always there, and the spark that led to this conflagration could have erupted at any time.
Last year Nigeria overtook India as the most improvised Nation on earth, more people live in poverty in Nigeria than in any nation in the world. The Nigeria Security Tracker, a project of the council on Foreign Relations reported that no fewer than 25,794 Nigerians may have died in violent crises in the first four years of President Muhammadu Buhari. The Inspector General of Police also revealed that a total of 685 people were kidnapped across the country in the first quarter of 2019, 79.8% of the national total kidnappings were recorded in the three northern geopolitical zones.
It is almost impossible to sustain any government policy targeted at stimulating the economy in the current atmosphere of chronic insecurity, and like before, politicians and policy makers have paid lip service to solving the problem. From the North down to south, government has failed to uphold core value of quality citizenship in terms of providing the basics needed for the citizens to thrive, there is no doubt that every sector of Nigeria’s crippling economy is in desperate need of reform.
Though the current administration is working on diversification especially through Agriculture, but the changes are not significant enough to cause a tectonic shift in the excessive reliance on oil revenues, and any shift in the global oil prices will continue to have direct effect on the Nigerian economy.
The President recently stated that his administration has lifted about five million people out of poverty, that is a laughable achievement because the streets says otherwise, he has not even scratched the surface, and there are indications that government is inundated with the enormity of the challenges bedevilling Nigeria.
There is a critical need for a head on approach to tackle this problem, the government has obviously been deceptive in her fight against corruption, but we have also realize that no serious government expend so much time on fighting corruption by running after offenders, the best way to curb corruption is to put systems that makes it difficult for people to steal from government in place, perhaps a systematic way of infusing accountability and transparency in public institutions.
There is a desperate need for people to see that this government is actually working and serious at solving these issues, this is particularly important if we are to avert the spark that could lead to a national outrage.