By Larry Onwuta
THE survival instinct of a nation revolves within the capacity and charismatic leadership of the person who pilot its affairs. Nigeria will collapse if the electorate fails to make the right choice in the 2019 presidential election because the present leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari from all indications has proved that it lacks the political will to discharge functionalities of a government.
From what are on his score-card, the incumbent President has no moral justification to ask for votes or convince Nigerians that he should be returned for a second term in office. He has also demonstrated to the people of this country that judging from the events of these past three and a half years, who says he would not disappoint Nigerians again, as he has done.
Under the Buhari-led All Progressive Congress, APC, administration, man’s inhumanity to man, barbarism and all kinds of killings became the trade-marks of certain sections of the country; making Nigeria one of the most dangerous places to survive.
The APC has failed in its campaign promises and giving the party a second chance will amount to sending the people to their untimely deaths.
For instance, before he got nomination to the exalted position of presidential candidate in 2015, Buhari said: “I, Muhammadu Buhari, believe that our politics is broken. Our nation urgently needs fundamental political reform and improvement in governance more transparency and accountable … If you nominate me in December, 2014 and elect me in February 2015, my administration will: 1. Initiate action to amend the Nigerian Constitution with a view to devolving powers, duties, and responsibilities to states in order to entrench true Federalism and the Federal spirit; 2. Strengthen INEC to reduce, if possible, eliminate electoral malpractices in Nigerian’s political life; 3. Prevent the abuse and misuse of Executive, Legislative and Public offices, through greater accountability, transparency, strict, and implementable anti-corruption laws, through strengthening and sanitising the EFCC and ICPC as truly independent entities;
- Amend the Constitution to remove immunity from prosecution for elected officers in criminal cases; handover and Defence: I will urgently secure the territorial integrity of the nation. I will never leave the defence of the nation in the hands of Hunters, Children, and Civilian JTF through the following: Urgently address capacity building mechanisms of law enforcement agents in terms of quantity and quality as this is critical in safeguarding the sanctity of lives and property. Establish a well-trained, adequately-equipped and goals-driven Serious Crimes Squad to combat insurgencies, kidnapping, armed robbery, ethno-religious and communal clashes, nationwide.
Consult and amend the Constitution to enable the State and Local Governments create City, LG and State Policing systems, based on the resources available at each level, to address the peculiar needs of each community. I will, therefore, work with the National Assembly to set and revise, when necessary, boundaries of operations for Federal, State, and Local Government policing units, through Criminal Justice legislation to replace the Criminal Code, the Penal Code and the Police Act, etc.”.
Sadly, on the contrary, the Buhari-led APC government has failed in its promises due to flagrant disobedience of court orders, and inability of the administration to defeat the Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East. In addition, the murder of innocent citizens of this country have continued unabated.
Cataloguing clashes between farmers and semi-nomadic herders in Nigeria, Amnesty International, AI, reported that more than 3,600 people have been killed since 2016. Most the fatalities occurred in 2018. The report is a serious indictment of President Buhari’s administration; no matter what the administration or its military says against AI and their other efforts to distract Nigerians.
AI noted that “The Nigerian authorities’ failure to investigate communal clashes and bring perpetrators to justice has fuelled a bloody escalation in the conflict between farmers and herders across the country, resulting in at least 3,641 deaths in the past three years and the displacement of thousands more”. These indices, especially the total rejection and jettisoning of the devolution of powers to component States as promised by the present government during its campaign in 2014, the failure to provide adequate security and combating terrorism in the north-east and some parts of the north central zones of the country also explain why Nigerians must vote out the APC government in 2019 presidential election. That way, we would avoid the economic and political collapse of the nation.
Buhari’s war against corruption has not recorded huge successes because less than 3% of those accused of corrupt practices have been convicted, while perceived enemies of the government are being harassed, humiliated, intimidated and incarcerated. In the meantime, the All Progressive Congress, APC, remains a safe haven for corrupt serving and former public office holder – as the party openly welcomes those indicted for corrupt practices.
The need to vote out the APC from government is also matched with the importance to vote in a competent and committed replacement. This is where Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Mr. Peter Obi come into play. These are men of proven integrity; men with the political and economic experience to pilot the affairs of the nation to greater heights. That is beyond doubt, and the earlier the Nigerian electorate focuses in that direction, the better for all Nigerians and the future of the country.