The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and some prominent Nigerians have examined the mid-term report card of the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, saying, this is not the change they voted for.
Former President-General of Aka Ikenga, Chief Goddy Uwazurike, said: “Much as Buhari’s government was seen as messianic at the beginning, it has turned out to be a great let down, a huge disappointment in all ramifications – economically, employment, security and all.”
He said when assessed from the planks of human right, obedience to court order, standard of living, fairness in appointment, the Buhari’s government has failed and worse still, it conducts itself more like a military regime.
The Chairman of the Office of International Relations, Partnerships and Prospects at the University of Lagos and a member of the Governing Council of the Nigeria Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Prof. Akin Oyebode, and Spokesperson of Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG), Yinka Odumakin, said the last two years of Buhari administration have been largely a disappointment, because of a big gulf between promises and delivery, expectations and happenings in the country.
Oyebode said: “We have a lethargic administration. To start with, it took him two months to put his cabinet together. Then he said that those people who thought they would become ministers were noise makers. For me, that statement was not too encouraging and the fact that he did not come out with a blueprint with regards to Nigeria’s political economy until two months ago, shows maybe his government was not prepared for the administration of the country.
“And for a long time, Buhari appeared to have merely been in office, but not in power. The change mantra, on whose crest he rode to power, if you shouted ‘change, change’ and you got the power, and two years after, it is just business as usual. Where is the change?” While elder statesman, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai, declined comment on the President’s performance, Odumakin said the government has not lived-up to expectations and all developmental indices have been poor since 2015 when President Buhari took over, regretting that, such was not the change Nigerians voted for.
“If you look at many conflicts going on in the country today, you will observe that in the past two years, a lot of people have lost their lives in such conflicts, either in Southern Kaduna, Nasarawa, Benue and several other parts of the country. If you look at the figure, you will discover that many people have been killed in the past two years than from 1999 to the take-off of Buhari’s administration.
“The herdsmen have become more brazen than before; before now, they carried sticks but today, they brandish AK-47 rifles, kill, rape, and drive farmers away from their farmlands. Nobody is checking them. The development is having terrible effects on food security.
“Worse still, the nation is now badly divided than we were in 1914. At the end of the 2015 elections, Max Romeo wrote that Nigeria needed a constructive surgeon as against a bulldozer to put the country together again. But unfortunately, we have been having a bulldozer instead of a constructive surgeon.
Clearly, there has been a big gap between promises and delivery in the past two years.” In the area of economy, he said: “Forget about the economy, as this has been in a complete shambles. Go to the National Bureau of Statistics and you will get the number of people who have lost their jobs in the past two years.
Now, we are servicing debt with 65 per cent of our resources. We are borrowing money day in and out. The economy, according to the Monetary Policy Committee, is shrinking, even as Foreign Direct Investment is going down. Industries are shutting down, poverty level is increasing, while suicide has been on an all time increase in the country.
The Third Mainland Bridge incidents are quick testimonies.” Odumakin, added that, in the area of anti-corruption: “We can say President Buhari made some inroads, but we are still dealing with the symptoms of corruption.
There has been no single bill sent to the National Assembly to address corruption in the past two years. They are only talking about whistle blowing and the rest. Today they say they have found money here and there, and no arrest has been made to get to the root cause of corruption.
Yet, huge corruption is going on than they have recovered.” However, while Pastor Ituah Igodalo is thankful to God that the government seemed to be making some progress, especially since the middle of last year into 2017, he said Buhari’s administration took off too late.
“Some of the monies have been trapped in people’s private accounts, which they couldn’t spend. In the 2015 and 2016, there was no expenditure anywhere, either by government or by the people, coupled with the all-time lull in oil activities.
Those who have the money cannot show up due to anticorruption regime,” he said. “So, we have about five attacks on the economy at the same time. It was amazing that the Nigerian economy stood firm and still moving forward.
At a point, state couldn’t move forward due to loss in revenue, but we thank God that we are beginning to see government’s direction and things are being done. “At the federal level, we are beginning to see rail working.
When the Abuja Airport was shut down, people moved between Abuja and Kaduna peacefully. It has not happened in Nigeria in a long time. So, we are hoping that things are getting better. The Lagos/ Ibadan Expressway is getting better and I must confess that Jonathan’s administration started it,” he added.
But Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, Spokesman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in an interview in Abuja said: “There is every reason to celebrate the past two years of the Buhari’s administration. He said in line with Buhari’s campaign promises, namely, the fight against corruption, fight against insecurity, especially as it relates to Boko Haram, and thirdly, to create employment opportunity for the young people, President Buhari has achieved a lot. “Let us take the issue of Boko Haram.
I have said it repeatedly that we tend to forget one fundamental fact, that, at the time we were preparing for election in 2015, more than 50,000 square kilometres of Nigerian territory were physically occupied by Boko Haram, where they declared a caliphate and planted their flag.”