By Chukwudi Enekwechi, JP
It is true that there are isolated cases of insecurity pervading the landscape of Nigeria presently, and expectedly the opposition Peoples Democratic Party has jumped on them to castigate and malign the President Muhammadu Buhari administration
In reality however it is easy to observe that while the country is grappling with these challenges, the root causes and foundation for the Frankenstein monster was laid under the sixteen years that the Peoples Democratic Party reigned supreme in the land. Before the emergence of President Buhari’s administration, Boko Haram was running amok, not only in the North East, but actually extended their nefarious operations to the Federal Capital, Abuja, Kogi and Kaduna States. The Buhari administration was able to push them back within a short time and today they are marauding only on the fringes of Lake Chad and the surrounding communities.
Similarly, there has been so much hue and cry about the country’s debt profile, but the true position is that while the PDP borrowed to steal, without any visible results, the President Buhari administration has been borrowing and committing the funds to visible infrastructural projects such as railways, roads, airports, housing and power. For the avoidance of doubt Nigerians will be the direct beneficiaries of these projects.
Perhaps Nigerians need to question the PDP on how they deployed the loans they sourced while in office and the locations of projects on which they were utilised. These issues have become germane considering the propensity of the opposition party to always lay the blame of the country’s derailment at the doorstep of the Buhari administration. It is therefore mischievous to raise issues about the state of the nation and its perilous state without recounting the role of the Peoples Democratic Party in bringing us to the crossroads.
While the PDP mouthed invectives against the President Muhammadu Buhari administration in the area of economy, Nigerians can attest that apart from the teething challenges of Covid19 which affected our way of life, agriculture had been substantially revived under the Buhari government, hence we now have Nigerian rice being produced in the nooks and crannies of the country. Also the process of accessing fertilizer for farming has been liberalised and curbed of the inherent corruption in the system and the result is enhanced farming activities in the country.
It is an indisputable fact that the primary goal of any government is to work for the security and welfare of the greatest number of people in the society and this is what Nigerians are getting under the Buhari administration, unlike the PDP era when government was an exclusive preserve of the elite and their cronies.
They are on record to have wasted several billions of dollars on the purchase of elusive arms to fight terrorism. As a matter of fact huge amounts of cash were ferried out of the country all in the name of buying arms for internal security. Now, under the President Buhari administration a straight –forward approach has been adopted with the government-to-government arms supply. Of course this does not leave any room for government officials to fritter away the funds earmarked for arms purchase.
On the economy, it can be recalled that it was in tatters under the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP)as the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was in a loss of 4% in the last three quarters of 2014. However this downward slide was reversed immediately the Buhari administration came on board. As the PDP leadership continues to play the ostrich on Nigeria’s debt profile, Nigerians cannot forget in a hurry that the humongous debt overhang of $63 Billion was accumulated over a period of five years prior to Buhari assuming office in 2015. The administration of President Buhari has only acquired a $24 Billion debt which are all tied to several life-transforming infrastructural projects across the country, whereas PDP cannot pinpoint any project to which the loans they obtained were channelled.
Additionally, while the PDP reigned, 27 states in the country were unable to meet their statutory obligation of paying salaries, until President Buhari came to the saddle and provided them with a N614 Billion bailout. It was this lifeline that helped to rejuvenate the economy that was already distraught as at May 2015. Again the Buhari administration made available the Paris Club refund of $1.1Billion to the States and all these measures in no small measure stimulated the economy and Nigerians heaved a sigh of relief.
From the foregoing it is obvious that the driving motive for the Buhari administration is the well-being of the citizens, as opposed to the self-serving motivations of the past PDP administrations. In the recent history of Nigeria no government has paid more attention to the needs of the common people more than the Buhari administration, and this is another area where the President Buhari administration deserves credit.