Nigeria, under the watch of President Muhammadu Buhari has been struggling with many challenges despite his promise to leave it better than he met the country. Seven years and some fraction of months have passed since he was sworn in as the democratically elected president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, yet the story has not changed. The intriguing thing is that, this long tortuous seven years’ journey has not yielded the desired result as all sectors of our national economy, politics, social infrastructure are bleeding, just as religious acrimony appears to heighten under a government that is seen to favour one religion over the other.
Things are better imagined as Nigeria remain fragmented along ethnic and religious lines with the tacit support of the Buhari administration through lopsided appointments into sensitive positions. Insecurity has been the order of the day even as the ruling APC alleged faked Bishops and priests who purportedly endorsed the Party’s Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket ahead of the 2023 poll. It’s all deceit. To put it succinctly, the centre can no longer hold. This is so because every single day brings sad stories and tales of woes which continue to rage unabated. The recent declaration by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on media and publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, that the presidency has tried its utmost best in rescuing the Kaduna bound, abducted train passengers still in captivity for over three months, is a clear testament that more troubles are in the waiting and that, the Federal Government is helpless in tackling insecurity.
Again, that the government did not play any role in the latest release of one of the train abductees who regained freedom last week, according to a report monitored on Channels Television, also calls for soul searching. Perhaps, this is the only country in the world where terrorists threatened to kidnap a sitting president and one of his governors without being hunted down immediately. This may be because they know our weaknesses in and out, having dared the convoy of the president and escaped without being apprehended. Even after that threat video on the life of the president went viral, still, no action has been taken to flush out the marauders from their hide out, instead it is innocent citizens that are victims of the misrule and are living in perpetual fear. The fact that despicable things are happening and no one is held accountable has caused serious desperation in every area of our national life, especially in the political circle, where the struggle is very intense and even dirty at the moment.
The show of shame displayed by unknown bishops during the unveiling of the vice presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Kashim Shettima in Abuja, further revealed how low the country has descended, and how disrespectful some people are to God who created them. This kind of ugly development, strange as it is in the history of the country, is a joke carried too far. This further raises the suspicion of everyone about the agenda of the government and the fate of the country, politically, after the current administration would have exited office. The fake bishops and those who hired them did not act in the best interest of the people. After all, what is the business of bishops when political parties are unveiling their candidates? Sadly, this desperation if not checked may prove too costly to manage.
We believe that Nigerians have gone through hard times under the APC government. We also know that the people are well aware of what they are going through on daily basis. Now that a process of electing new set of leaders for the country is in the offing, we want to caution that politicians should desist from playing on the intelligence of the Nigerian people who can no longer be taken for granted even as the 2023 general elections beckon. From the look of things, it may not be business as usual because the people are now aware of their rights, and that their votes would count this time around.
…On the reintroduction of the Water Bill
The controversial Water Bill that was rejected by the eighth Assembly, from grape vine has been reintroduced again, and this time through the back door for eventual passage. No one knows why Mr. President and his foot soldiers are keen on having this bill passed before he leaves office against the wish of the generality of Nigerians. We call on both the Lower and the Upper Chambers to reject this bill. Democracy is all about the people, because the people are the employers of the government. So what the people don’t want should not be foisted on them.
Therefore, reintroducing this water bill and lobbying for its passage again, when the country is going through serious challenges on all fronts should not be contemplated at all. Government should concentrate more in solving the unending terrorism problems, free the abducted train passengers and other captives across the country, address the lingering ASUU strike, the fuel scarcity, low foreign direct investment, worsening foreign exchange crisis and above all, prepare adequate grounds for free and credible elections, and other sundry issues affecting the country. This obnoxious Water Bill should be rejected by the present National Assembly and consigned to the dust bin of history. Nigerians don’t want it at all!