Another cycle and season of empty promises have started in the Nigerian political scene. This is normally the norm, typical of any desperate Politician who wants to cling on to power during the election year.
2023 Presidential Hopeful, Bola Tinubu, of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has today, 19th January, 2022, promised to pay the WAEC fee of every Nigerian child, if he becomes President of the country, the same way the person he brought to power in 2015, President Muhammmadu Buhari, promised to make one naira equal in value to one dollar, during his 2015 election campaign.
Before the 2015 Presidential election, which was the first that saw the then incumbent President, Goodluck Jonathan, losing to an opponent, the APC Leaders at the time, capitalised on many of the failures of the Peoples Democratic Party-led, PDP, government of President Goodluck Jonathan.
In their campaign promises, the APC declared that insecurity, poor economy, corruption, weak naira, among other of Nigeria’s difficulties at the time, would be successfully tackled, if they won.
However, it is 7 years that President Buhari has been at the helms of national affairs, but the headaches he assured his administration would cure, have worsened under his watch.
Unarguably, Nigeria’s major problem at the moment is insecurity. During Jonathan’s reign, boko haram terrorists were the main problem. They launched attacks against churches and public places, which they executed through suicide bombings, planting of explosive devices, and shootings. The height of it was the abduction of about 276 female Students in Chibok, Borno State, on April 14, 2014.
Buhari campaigned vigorously that his APC-led administration would crush the terrorists in the country, when he assumed Office. However, boko haram insurgents have remained audacious in their assaults. They never lack the effrontery to attack Governor’s convoys and Military bases, times on many occasions.
Apart from boko haram, other criminals have been terrorising the peace of the country. For instance, under President Buhari’s watch, killer Fulani herdsmen and bandits cannot be tamed by the Security Agencies.
They even now negotiate with the government, as abductions and other atrocities they engage in threaten the sovereignty of the country.
The country has experienced horrible incidents, like the abduction of 110 Dapchi Schoolgirls, in Yobe State, on February 19, 2018; 344 Kankara Schoolboys, in Katsina State, on December 11, 2020; 27 Kagara Schoolboys, in Niger State; and 300 Jangebe Schoolgirls, in Zamfara State, on February 17 and 26, 2021, respectively.
Gunmen attacked the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka, in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State, kidnapping 39 Students.
Digging deep into the security lapses under President Buhari would reveal the killing of Farmers by Fulani herders, at Yewa Local Government, Ogun State, in which lives were lost, farmlands destroyed, women raped, and people displaced.
The massacre of 76 rice Farmers by boko haram, in Zabarmari, Borno State, on November 28, 2020, was among other callous attacks of criminals against the masses, that the government could not handle. Kidnapping has now become rampant across the country, and many Federal and State roads are unsafe..
Under Jonathan, the nation’s economy was the largest and fastest-growing in Africa, but President Buhari pledged to establish a market-based economy. He said that such an economy would be run with a clear definite regulatory framework and effective enforcement mechanism. He further assured that this would help the Nigerian people to participate and engage in productive economic activities, to renovate the economy.
Now, according to a prominent non-partisan private sector organisation, the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, NESG, the President Buhari administration has plunged the nation’s economy into rising inflation, contrasting GDP, unsustainable borrowing, the dwindling value of the naira, falling industrial capacity utilisation, and frightening unemployment figures. In the last 7 years, Nigeria’s economy has been left with a prostrate and deficient economic condition.
In his campaign promises, Buhari had said that he would create 3 million jobs yearly. At that time, during Jonathan’s administration, precisely in the 4th quarter of 2014, the report put the total number of unemployed citizens at 4,672, 449, but since Buhari took over the affairs of the nation, the unemployment indication has increased; unemployment in Nigeria surged to the second-highest on a global list of countries, monitored by Bloomberg.
At a Presidential rally of the APC, at Dan Anyima Stadium, Owerri, Imo State a few weeks to the 2015 general elections, President Buhari promised that he would ensure that the naira was equal to the dollar in value, if voted into Office.
He had said: “It is sad that the value of the naira has dropped to more than N230 to one dollar; this does not speak well for the nation’s economy.”
Now, the nation’s currency has deteriorated in value under his watch. 1 dollar is exchanged for over N500, which has wreaked havoc on the nation’s economy.
President Buhari had also frowned at the Jonathan era of seeking medical trips abroad; he promised to place a ban on such medical tourism, and also build a world-class health care system when in Office. He said that the country had been wasteful with such trips, thus vowed to put an end to it.
Nonetheless, on getting into Office, President Buhari himself embarked on such trips for long periods. In June 2016, President Buhari flew to London, United Kingdom, to be treated for an ear infection. Since then, he had made frequent medical trips abroad.
For Tinubu however, Nigerians are watching and taking note of his campaign promises. I rest my case.