My take on Buhari’s declaration by Tunde Arini
Yesterday April 9, 2018, the sitting president of Nigeria His Excellency President Muhammad Buhari declared his intention to contest for a re election come 2019. This is not new. In fact no sitting president in the country has ever failed to contest for a re election, hence Buhari is not an exception.
I have tried to follow reactions folowing the declaration and try to juxtapose this against his declaration in 2015. In 2015, Buhari was overwhemly accepted against the incumbent then. Then it was anything except Jonah. The fear of Buhari necessitated the postponement of the election. A mesiah has come. The Mahdi of Nigeria politics has arrived. Despite spending overwhelming billions of our national resources on Jonah’s campaign, he still lost the election to Buhari.
The stage was therefore set for Sai Baba to perform the magic and deliver the change mantra. Not farther than he resumed office, Nigeria plumed into recession. Life became tougher than it was, Sai Baba then changed to Kai Baba.
Economic analysts believe the slow nature of the president and his inability to constitute his cabinets and kick the ball rolling was one of the factors that culminated into the recession. Another point was his inability to steer the vehicle of the party. He could not coordinate the legislative arm and work with them in the interest of the country. Rather, he displayed an I don’t care attitude towards party politics. He further approved the emergence of a docile party chairman who is his contemporary in the slow motion operational system. Over and above that, it appears his major interest was focused on fighting corruption alone without also focusing on economic matter. Buhari was also not lucky with the oil price nose diving in the global market. These and other things amounted to untold hardship on the people and before you know it, the goodwill was depreciating especially among economic literates who could analyse based on economic indices.
Having said that, at a point, with the help of the vice president, especially when the president was unavoidably absent, a solid economic rebranding agenda was set in motion and the country was on a part to economic recovery. This was further consolidated when the president came back to town. The country came out of recovery and was in a path to getting effective. Thanks to some of the amiable ministers like Fashola, Adeosun, Ogbeh and some other few ones. Roads are being constructed, salaries and pension arrears paid, external reserves shooting up.
It is my strong believe that if the tempo continues in the next couple of years, and with a desired collaboration between the executive and the legislature, the country may be heading to the desired economic level with fixes of some basic things.
While the opposition is yet to declare his candidate and given the crisis currently bedevilling the opposition, It may be a tall fight for the opposition to wrestle power from the incumbent coupled with the latest testimony by the opposition party chairman that they failed the country in their sixteen years of rulling the country. Also with the confession by the former deputy Senate president that he assisted the party in election rigging in the past.
With an amber traffic light sign towards Buhari’s possibility of winning, it may be a tough one. One thing the president should be concerned with now is how to win back his goodwill that is seriously marred by his inactions, docility and lack of communication with the governed plus the serious security challenges in the country. If I were the president, I will be worried about the significant drop in my popularity since I emerged as the president.
Election is not only about winning, it’s about your goodwill. The reason why 2/3 victory may be preferred to ordinary majority winning.
Kai baba should be reversed back to Sai Baba.
Tunde Arini is an astute Bank Chief, humanitarian and an analyst of the Forum for Good Governance (FGG).