Memo To Buhari On His Campaign Promises To Nigerians
By Abba Dukawa
Please accept my warmest greetings and prayers for more sound health, peace, and tranquility. I am one of the millions of Nigerians that voted you for fifth times two as elected President for first and final term in office and thrice as unsuccessful presidential candidate of ANPP, ANPP AND CPC 2003_ 2011.I am actually intended to remind you the promises you made to Nigerians before and after 2015 elections which ushered your administration.
You may recall ahead of the March presidential poll in 2015 elections there are key APC promises to Nigerians if elected that your administration would improves Nation’s Economy where Naira would be equal to the dollar in value, if voted into office, It is sad that the value of the naira has dropped to more than N360 to one dollar; this does not speak well for the nation’s economy.
You promised Nigerians to end Boko Haram insurgency in 3 months and there is still no end in sight to the terror attacks from Boko Haram. In the early stage of Buhari’s administration, Boko Haram suffered one loss after another until the authority boldly declared on national television that the militants had been “Technically Defeated”. That “Technical Victory”, it is apparent, is fast becoming a pyrrhic victory with the renewed wave of attacks by the insurgents on soft targets. Are you sure you have fulfilled your promised to us.
Initially the military made some gains, recovering lost territories. But the honeymoon did not last long. Boko Haram regrouped and carried out vicious attacks, overrunning military posts and killing security operatives.
In the area of poverty, to be honest without misleading, under your leadership Nigeria is experiencing awful scenario in both security and economy challenges remains the biggest obstacles detailing and diminishing your credibility and your past records of service.
In a nutshell, you have been doing great in some areas while you have levity hands in some areas. But whatever the case may be you have not fulfilled your promise to us excellently as we all hoped for.
Nobody is prefect, as the saying goes. I actually intend to remind you the promises you made to Nigerians before and after 2015 elections which ushered your administration. Leadership, as you are aware is a responsibility bestowed on you by God and as a Muslim you know that you will account for every deed and activity you engaged in under oath as a president before Almighty Allah.
Besides, Northern Nigeria is facing serious insecurity threats such as kidnappings, robbery and banditry in Kaduna, Niger, Sokoto, Katsina and Zamfara States. Herder-farmer clashes erupted across some central states, leading to the killing of hundreds and displacement of thousands.
We all heard our courageous and outstanding achievements of Police Special Forces of Nigeria Police Force backed by helicopters have attacked Ansaru terror group camp in Birnin Gwari forest in Kaduna State, killing over 250 of Ansaru members who had been mobilising and terrorising Nigerians.
Just recently many prints and electronic media quoted you , Mr President during launching of Nigerian Air Force Helicopters at the Eagle’s Square in Abuja as saying:
“I promised to put an end to Boko Haram insurgency, kidnapping and other forms of criminalities that have bedeviled our country during my inaugural speech as president.” Has Mr President achieved his promised to Nigerians? Still Peoples are dealing with a fresh set of security challenges.
But Baba always keep looking other ways and despite knowing one of your responsibility is to protects the lives and properties of your subjects and also must be secured. First of its kind, Baba straight from Adidis Ababa landed in Maiduguri Airport to sympathise with peoples and government of Borno over Book Haram attack which killed 30 peoples and burnt down trucks and vehicles along Auno just 25 KM to Maiduguri. Whatever happened remains history.
Baba you assured us that you would lead from the front and return Nigeria to its leadership role in regional and international efforts to combat terrorism and I will quote you:
“Let me assure you that if I am elected president, the world will have no cause to worry about Nigeria as it has had to recently; that Nigeria will return to its stabilising role in West Africa; and that no inch of Nigerian territory will ever be lost to the enemy because we will pay special attention to the welfare of our soldiers in and out of service, we will give them adequate and modern arms and ammunitions to work with, we will improve intelligence gathering and border controls to choke Boko Haram’s financial and equipment channels, we will be tough on terrorism and tough on its root causes by initiating a comprehensive economic development plan promoting infrastructural development, job creation, agriculture and industry in the affected areas. We will always act on time and not allow problems to irresponsibly fester, and I, Muhammadu Buhari, will always lead from the front and return Nigeria to its leadership role in regional and international efforts to combat terrorism.”
The question remains: what transpired between then and now? President Buhari’s promise was to ensure effective and adequate security of lives and properties. Nigerians believed in him based on his status as a retired General, a position he did not pick from the ground, and have experience in military conflicts having been at warfront during the country’s Civil War.
In fact PMB is war veteran and also proved his military tactics especially as GOC 3rd Motorized Bridget when Chadian forces invaded Nigeria’s land in the Borno State. Buhari used the forces under his command to drive them back. This is enough for Him to tackle insurgency and high rate of crimes in control.
Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened. It is a complete treachery of the role the state should play to its people. The first order of the state is to protect lives of citizens and the inability to fulfill this constitutional provision is indeed the saddest of all. Mr President you have many capable hands around you, sir, listen to them and engage them. Ignore other and keep paying them if only for charity, but please secure us.
Gaskiya, I am not a regional or ethnic bigot but not happy the way Mr President’s aides insulted peoples with genuine passions or expressing their views on sundry issues affecting Nigerians and the country at large with all sorts of names. Mr president, you may recall that Northern votes secured your first and second term. Northerners will raise voices in their demands that your administration need to secure the region. Rewards their loyalty. Your popularity and massive support behind you has been badly ruptured. Going to markets, shops and stalls one will hear and see the pains peoples are going through because peoples believe that the administration appeared helpless in finding solutions to insecurity as well as poverty in the North.
Just recently Northern Elders Forum raised voices that the administration of President Buhari appeared helpless in finding solutions to insecurity as well as poverty in the country. Your Special Adviser on Media and Publicity insulted them for expressing northerners suffering but Nigerians never heard him insulting Southwest elders but now have the audacity to insult people left, right and centre simply because he is drunk with power from you. Mr president, remember that your own peoples are those that will receive and accommodate the President when you are done with power; we are the ones to be with you long after those in the palace today have deserted you for new greener pastures.
If Mr President and other Nigerians reflect on his 12 million poor masses and now repentant supporters and some other elite in the likes of Prof Ango, Dr Hakeem Baba Ahmed and many more in the NEF were PMB’s loyal troops through thick and thin and have never abandoned him even in defeat. These are PMB’s supporters since he joined politics 2002 from the All Peoples Party, the All Nigerians Peoples Party, the Congress for Progressive Change when he unsuccessfully ran for the office of president of Nigeria in the 2003, 2007, and 2011 general elections, to the All Progressive Congress.
Mr president, understand that the issues they raised are real and each and every Nigerian except those that are within the corridors of power share these concerns. Even you as our Commander in Chief claimed not to be aware of our insecurity situation until the likes of NEF raised the red alarm.
Find people who are good, honest and knowledgeable enough to represent your vision, and who can be trusted with huge responsibilities. You need to trust more.
Sir, you have to keep trusted people under closer watch. You have to be tougher on security threats and those who fail to exercise responsibility to protect citizens. You have to be tougher on corruption, on insecurity, on selecctive employments, poor health facilities, etc. which may require that you isolate this debilitating scourge from politics. Believe me, what you do from now on as leader will determine whether this nation will be strong enough to deal with challenges of the future, or it will go under because its cumulative problems have been left unattended to by its leaders.
Mr. President, you said your second term will be harsh. I understand that you softened your language later. To be honest, I wish you had stuck tough, because tough is what you have to be. Nigerians need PMB to be hard on yourself and those around you.
One of most important qualities of a leader include integrity, accountability, empathy, humility, resilience, vision, influence, and positivity. While management is about persuading people to do things they do not want to do, while leadership is about inspiring people to do things they never thought they could.
It really cast doubt in the mind of Nigerians looking at the US intelligence estimates, there are between five to six thousand core militant Boko Haram fighters and Nigeria army has some six thousand officers and a whopping 150,000 soldiers.
The Nigerian Air Force, one of the largest in Africa, consists of about 15,000 personnel, has aircrafts including 12 Chinese Chengdu F-7s, 3 JF-17 Thunder Multirole Fighter, 13 Dassault-Dornier Alpha Jets, 12 Embraer EMB 314 Super Tucano, Helicopter gunships, armed attack drones and military transport aircraft. In 2020 annual Global Firepower review Nigeria is ranked 42 out of the 138 countries.
Dukawa can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.