By Tonia Johnson-Peters
VIEWPOINT IN BRIEF
The right choice
The road to President Muhammadu Buhari’s first term victory was not easy, so also, attaining a second term would come with its challenges, but surely, his chances are good. Even when the gang-up against Buhari as an opposition candidate ahead of the 2015 election was stiff and hostile, he clinched victory. Now that he is at the helm of affairs and the election coming as a referendum on his performance, it is difficult, if not impossible for an opposition to defeat him.President Muhammadu Buhari display a sign for 4+4 to join Legislators who supported his re-election bid as he addressed a joint session of the National Assembly for the the presentation of the 2019 Appropriation Bill at the National Assembly, Abuja. Photo by Abayomi Adeshida 19/12/2018
As it is the world over, where democracy is the order of the day, the game is determined by number. People seeking political offices are expected to woo the electorate by canvassing for their votes during campaigns and making promises. For an incumbent, it is a time to showcase his achievements and justify why the people should trust him. It is also the time for the opposition to deconstruct the leadership so as to make them unattractive to the electorate.
In the build-up to the 2015 presidential election, Buhari was a victim of many orchestrated attacks targeted at making him unsellable. On the other hand as well, the All Progressives Congress (APC) went all out to label former president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan and his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) incapable of leading Nigeria to the Promised Land.
Buhari was however a more vulnerable victim of character assassinations. At the peak of the campaigns, attacks against him were quite disturbing especially, considering the individuals from whom they came. But at the end, the rest is history. Buhari did not only win the election, he has remained hale and hearty till just some few days to his re-election.
Another election is here and President Buhari seeks the votes of the Nigerian people to return to power for another four years and there have been some well-orchestrated campaigns designed by the opposition to manipulate the minds of the undiscerning members of the public and prevent them from voting for Buhari as they did in 2015.ALSO READ: You’re a great enemy of Nigeria if . . . Afegbua tells Nigerian voters
Having worked well with Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, a pastor and professor of law, no one is saying he intends to Islamise Nigeria. Again, in an unprecedented manner, no one has come out to accuse Buhari of benefitting from any proceed of corruption. So, the tactics are changing and new issues are being raised.
After going through some health challenges that are likely aggravated by the rigours of his work and came out stronger, some of his haters have gone to town with the slogan that he has been body-doubled by some Jibril from Sudan. Isn’t that ridiculous? But it is the extent politicians go to reduce the chances of their opponents. Despite the achievements and obvious prudence he has introduced into the management of the nation’s financial resources, the PDP, which looted the common patrimony of Nigerians for 16 years is now on the fringe and making frantic efforts to return to power on the grounds that the Buhari-led APC has not performed well.
So, the question to ask now is, does Buhari deserve a second term or not? Has he and the APC, fulfilled all righteousness to deserve the people’s mandate for another four years?
In answering this question, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Labour and Productivity, Senator Abu Ibrahim, who is also the Chairman, National Committee, Buhari Support Group (NCBSG), during a National Consultative Forum of NCBSG in Abuja, urged Nigerians to pay close attention to the achievements of the president that are borne out of unquenchable passion to make Nigeria attain its full potential.
The Katsina South lawmaker is strongly of the opinion that President Buhari has worked tirelessly and selflessly to put the economy back on track.
He pointed to inflation, which has been on the downward trend generally for more than a year; the manufacturing sector has seen consistent growth in output through investor-friendly policies; the agricultural sector has not only put millions back on the farms and making money, it has moved the country closer to self-sufficiency in food production.
The ease of doing business initiative has seen a boom in micro, small and medium scale enterprises and engineered renewed foreign investment interest in the country’s economy.ALSO READ: Atiku’s endorsement splits Ohaneze Ndigbo
He said high-impact social investment programmes have engaged hundreds of thousands of youths while small scale businesses are receiving soft loans to boost their businesses.
According to him, Buhari’s prudent management style has seen the country’s foreign reserves approach $50 billion for the first time in many years, while pursuing social investment and aggressively executing infrastructure development projects in the maritime, power, railways and road sub-sector.
The projects abandoned in the years of surplus earning, he said, are now being successfully executed with less income in testimony to President Buhari’s love and dedication to the country.
The senator said President Buhari has shown exemplary aversion to the plundering of the country’s collective patrimony and has given pertinent organs of government the free hand to reign in the monster of corruption that has blighted the national psyche for decades.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has said repeatedly that President Buhari deserves a second term because, in the past three and a half years, he has impacted positively in the lives of Nigerians.
His main argument in favour of his boss is that the president has leveraged his integrity and acumen in managing, both human and material resources, to reinvent governance.
Pro-Buhari commentators believe the country would make an informed choice between going back to the era of inefficiency, looting, decay in infrastructure and the era of integrity, when the economy is being revived and insurgency is being tackled. They are even the more confident that Nigerians know the difference and would make the right choice when the election comes.