As the countdown to the 2019 presidential election draws near, we are beginning to witness a barrage of declarations for the coveted office of the president of Nigeria. Now the lingering question is what are the aspirants bringing to the socio-political table? How do they intend to proffer solutions to the myriad of problems facing the country and do they possess any magic wand to make a difference in the lives of the people?
While these questions appear to be rhetoric, they are the determining factors for the choice Nigerians will make in 2019. It is also to interrogate their credentials and antecedents as far occupying the high office of president is concerned. In doing this we also have to juxtapose the aspirants with the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari, who has within a period of three years navigated the rough terrain and found a way towards addressing the many national challenges.
Firstly, his understanding of the triple problems of insecurity, corruption and economy has enabled the administration to within a short time chart the way forward for the development of Nigeria. This comprehension was the reason he started confronting the corruption that pervaded the Nigerian society prior to his assumption of office frontally. Today there is a consciousness and realisation among Nigerians that there is an urgent need to eradicate corruption in Nigeria and there is no gainsaying the fact that this cankerworm had in many ways stalled the development of Nigeria.
President Muhammadu Buhari also undertook the arduous task of rehabilitating the nation’s infrastructure across the six geo-political zones bearing in mind the critical role of this can play in the overall development of the country. Presently, there are numerous interventions in most parts of the country to restore our roads and railways infrastructure to their enviable positions. Though some of the projects are still ongoing but if President Buhari is supported to continue in office, Nigeria will witness a rebirth in the next four years.These achievements would not have been possible if corruption was allowed to fester on the scale he met it on assumption of office.
In addressing the inherent problems in the economy, President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has enunciated the novel Economic Recovery and Growth Plan which serves as a vehicle for the revitalisation of Nigeria’s economy. Already the economic diversification programme of the administration has started yielding results, that today many Nigerians are bold to venture into the exportation of several products, thereby reducing our total dependence on the oil revenue which itself is subject to various market forces to which Nigeria has no control.
Therefore, since achievements still remain the benchmark for choosing leaders in Nigeria and elsewhere, the scorecard of President Muhammadu Buhari will guarantee his victory at the 2019 presidential poll. It is also instructive to note that while previous administrations focussed on intangible and artificial achievements, the Buhari administration is committed to laying the necessary foundation for the growth of the economy and prosperity of the people, and this is realisable when you weed out the elements of corruption that enable well-placed individuals to rip the country off, siphon the country’s scarce resources and abandon the collective development of the country.
Perhaps the best example of confidence which the international community now has on Nigeria is the visits of President Macron of France, Prime Minister Theresa May of the United Kingdom, and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany. These visits have come with a lot of benefits including support for assets recovery, tackling insurgency and boosting the economy. Basically it is on account of President Muhammadu Buhari’s achievements in various sectors like security, economy and fight against corruption that the world is focussing attention on Nigeria and international investors are showing appreciable interest in Nigeria under his leadership.
Even in the area of infrastructure, it is important to note that our quest for job creation and total revitalisation of the economy revolves around the power, roads and railway infrastructure. For example we are bound to witness the sprouting of many businesses along the railway corridors apart from the seamless movement of people, goods and services across the country.
Therefore, it is needless to dissipate energy on irrelevant issues as we approach 2019, rather there is need to focus on obvious achievements of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration. As a country we cannot trifle with a unique opportunity to continue on the developmental trajectory already started by the Buhari administration by falling prey to the deceitful promises of emerging political gladiators.
Definitely another four years of President Muhammadu Buhari will chart a way for the realisation of Nigeria’s developmental aspirations.
Written by Chukwudi Enekwechi.