Mr. President, I beg to disagree By Valentine Amanze

President Muhammadu Buhari on December 28, 2018, assured Nigerians that his administration under the All Progressives Congress (APC) would reinforce the progress made in its three-point agenda of improved economy, enhanced security and the anti-corruption crusade if re-elected in 2019.
The president stated this at the South-South presidential rally held at Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, in front of supporters drawn from South-South states.
Buhari said his administration had made significant impact on the fight against Boko Haram, noting that the terrorist group that once controlled 17 local government areas in Borno and Yobe states no longer had any area under its control.
The President said: “What we see now are youths who are indoctrinated on the acts of suicide bombing to go to churches, motor parks, mosques and other public places to blow up themselves but we are determined to route them out too.”
He stated that his administration was making progress in food security through the encouragement of farmers to grow food for self-sufficiency, stating that he had ensured the sustainability of democracy by ensuring the rule of law in all his dealings, especially in the fight against corruption.
The president also maintained that his administration’s effective implementation of the Single Treasury Account had ensured sanity and accountability in the management of funds accruing to government purse.
He also said: “Our population is over 60 per cent of young people who are below 30 years of age and we are determined to create jobs through agriculture to ensure food security. Already, we are encouraging the farmers with grants and other incentives and have stopped the importation of rice.
“No Nigerian will regret voting us into office because we will ensure that our promises of better security, enhanced economy and fighting corruption continue after our re-election.”
Though, many may agree on paper with the president on efforts to boost the economy, yet empirically, it is on autopilot. For instance, less than two years in government, Buhari crashed the nation’s economy, forcing it into recession, which it is yet to fully recover.
In October 8, 2018, the International Monetory Fund (IMF) cut the growth projections made for Nigeria to 1.9 percent from 2.1 percent, saying the country’s economy is doing poorly.
Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, the deputy director at IMF’s Research Department disclosed this, while addressing journalists at the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group in Bali, Indonesia.
He said that the aggregate growth rate of Africa was being held down by Nigeria and two other big economies (South Africa and Angola).
It would be recalled that the World Bank recently cut its growth projections for Nigeria by 0.2% citing reduction in oil production levels, and contraction in the agricultural sector, following the herder-farmer crisis.
In fact, how would the nation’s economy grow when the administration’s first Finance Minister, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, was involved in NYSC certificate irregularity, which forced her out of office. Only God knows the kind of economic and monetory advice she was giving the president.
Besides, I am yet to be convinced on how one would be doing something the same way and expect a different result. Our President, Muhammadu Buhari, has refused to change his cabinet even when most of them are not performing. How then shall we anticipate improved economy when he gets the second tenure in office?
On fighting insecurity, which he scored his administration very high; it is on record that the situation is getting worse by day.
On the day the president was kick-starting his re-election bid in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, the Boko Haram, which he claimed had been flushed out of the North East Nigeria, struck, and killed many soldiers and civilians.
While, the president was making security a campaign issue, a faction of Boko Haram, Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA), which split from the insurgency in 2016, claimed responsibility for an attack on a military base in Baga, a town in eastern Borno State.
The fight to control Baga - a strategic town as it borders Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon – has forced hundreds to seek safety in Maiduguri, some 200km (124 miles) to the south, yet the president wants me to believe him.
A resident of Baga, Abdul Kami, after the attack by Boko Haram in December, told journalists: "In Baga, we are in Boko Haram hands because yesterday they were going around with their machine [guns] and motor [vehicles]."
The military and insurgents also clashed in Monguno, a town in the adjacent local government authority to Baga.
But Islamic State, in a statement issued through its news agency, Amaq, said its fighters "killed and injured dozens, took four apostates as captives, burned many barracks, and seized weapons and ammunition".
Also, the attack on an army base in Metele, Borno State in which about 100 soldiers were killed, was another pointer that the security situation is not getting better as Buhari would want the world to beleive.
While, the crisis in the North East Nigeria rages, the Zamfara State government is appealing to President Muhammadu Buhari to takeover the state because of the armed bandits, who have virtually taken over the rural areas.
The insecurity in the state recently forced the Emir of Maradun, Alhaji Garba Tambari Maradun, to condemn the attitude of security operators in the state, which, according to him, has led to the prolonged killings of innocent citizens by the bandits.
The emir made the pronouncement during the mass burial of 20 people of Magami village of Maradun council, who were attacked and killed by the bandits along with the All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain in the area, Alhaji Aliyu Abbas, recently.
The Emir of Maradun told the Deputy Governor Alhaji Sanusi Garbage Rikiji and the security chiefs, who attended the burial of the deceased persons that the performance of security agents in fighting bandits was questionable.
On the war against corruption; it has become a political tool against the opposition. One wonders why Babachir Lawal, the former secretary to the Federal Government; the former Finance Minister, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun; and other indicted members of the ruling parties were not prosecuted. The president says he respects the rule of law yet the Shiite leader in Nigeria and his wife are still being detained by him despite court orders to the contrary.
It is now left for Nigerians to make a right choice of leadership devoid of sentiment, while the nation’s roads are in bad state; no electricity to drive the economy, as exchange rate is on the rise.
The acclaimed growth in agriculture is still a hoax; as prices of commodities hit the rooftop during the Christmas and the New Year.

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