Does Buhari Second Term Smell Nice? By Koye-Ladele Mofehintoluwa

The election is settled and after it comes governance. Of course, the leading loser, candidate of the People’s Democratic Party has headed to the courts (or has threatened to do so) basing his loss on being rigged out alongside electoral malpractice and so the elections in a sense may not be settled. However, pending the determination of his suit by the courts, the elections are settled. Most observers agree on the near hopelessness of the suit but urge him to go ahead in order to strengthen our democracy.

What 2019-2023 holds would always be out of the scope of anyone to accurately foretell because even our Prophets/Imam and Pastors have been demystified in the business of making predictions. “Thus saith the Lord” went wrong severally in the last election. From the ‘governotorial’ level (apologies to the President) to the Senatorial and Presidential, the predictions did not materialize. 

However, there are strong indications from visible premises that the next 4 years would be very much like the past 4 years. If difference would be envisaged, it would be coming off the back of say different candidates holding the elective positions or that the election results reflected radical difference. Largely across the country, it is a recycle of leadership who have just held power or who are staging a comeback after a while. What difference does one possibly expect?

The Presidential election has returned for a second term the President Muhammadu Buhari and his Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo. While the President appears more healthy and his speech has become more clear than it used to be, the fact still remains that there may be need due to his age for further treatment at the expense of government. The Ministerial cabinet is yet to be constituted but already, those lobbying for Ministerial appointments are not much different from those presently there.

The programmes of the Buhari administration in the first term that are expected to bring Next Level are really not there to see. The railway appears like the only major project which would generate much functionality or add to the economic structure by making transit cheaper, safer and faster. 

In the different areas of governance, the expectations of Nigerians does not reflect much optimism with everyone already back to their normal lives and the political discussion has begun to die down. For the next 4 years, citizen interest in politics and how they are governed will drop considerably low till there is another electoral season.

Insurgency and herdsmen crisis which require to be tackled have not been completely eliminated. Thus, while one is not a prophet of doom., the lack of serious approaches to these issues which will ensure they stop is absent. 

The herdsmen crisis is not envisaged to stop soon as the cows will still need to graze and the farmers would still need to plant and the conflict would be unavoidable. What has the government done on this issue that will ensure it stops?

The Boko Haram insurgency on the other hand has become doused to an extent. However, it is not coast clear and the allegations that war profiteers are delaying the extermination of the sect so they can continue to get money may be very valid. 

The budget for defence will drop considerably low should Boko Haram be defeated or exterminated and adding two plus two to make four, or adding four plus four, if soldiers at the front complain of not being well treated, it means the Defence budget is being pocketed somewhere. This is Nigeria.

The economy does not show much promise as the conditions are largely the same. Dependence on oil may have started reducing but Nigeria is still in a situation where any slight that occurs in the international crude oil market will reflect on the economy in huge terms. 

The approval of 30k minimum wage has still not materialized with the discussion still ongoing and a Governor even advising his successor not to pay it because it is the manifesto of another party. ASUU does not appear completely pacified and they may pull the shock at anytime to complain on the conditions of education in the country.

The problems for which restructuring became a loud cry have still not been addressed and so far nothing has been restructured nor does it appear like anything would be. Restructuring gathered a lot of momentum towards the last election. However, the noise has fizzled away while the complains are still there.

Technological advancement or even innovation in the areas of science and technology remains a myriad. The Nigerian government has refused to sponsor scholarship and research and the contribution of Nigeria to the international body of knowledge and science continues to wane. 

While Nigerians who travel out of the country manage to record huge success in the areas of technological development for humanity, there is still the concern that our Universities are caught up in the past dropping low in international ranking and what innovation can be expected from the learning, teaching and research conditions?

The politicking for 2023 and principal offices in the Senate and National Assembly has already begun in earnest. Suggestions are already being made for who would contest for what and yet there has been no concern shown towards the life of average Nigerians whose country continues to remain the poverty capital of the world. Nigeria seems to exist merely for the purpose of political activities.

With a lot of states still having their elections inconclusive and the attendant violence in the last elections, one merely wishes that more trouble is not to be envisaged in the polls yet to be completed. 

While the APC seemed to say they are ready for a Next Level. Which can be translated as an advancement on the hardships of the first term. One wishes it happens. But where are the pointers that much difference would happen between 2019-2023?

With the exception of the anticipation of a working Nigerian refinery belonging to Aliko Dangote which may lower the price of PMS and other fuel products, one does not see what should really make Buhari second term smell nice(to borrow from Twitter trend) in terms of upgrading the lives and standard of living of the Nigerian masses.

Daily across this country, more and more are becoming hopeless. Immigration is becoming the hope of the brightest minds and a lot are either about to leave, have already left or plan to leave. The dust poor continue to hope for more. A lot of the rich are also not laughing as in all sincerity, some polices of the Buhari regime such as the Treasury Single Fund have taken corrupt wealth out of circulation. 

It is not a prediction of doom. Only a mere search for the foundation on which development is intended to be laid. What has been done that will make the next four years better?

Koye-Ladele Mofehintoluwa writes from Obafemi Awolowo University. He is a Law Student. A Civil Rights Activist. A Public Policy and Economic Analyst. A public commentator, Legal opinion contributor and Opinion essayist with several reputable print and online media such as Premium Times (Campus Reporter), Sahara reporters, Lawyard.NG and several other outlets. He can be reached on 

[email protected] 

Twitter @Koye_tolu 

LinkedIn: Koye-Ladele Mofehintoluwa


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