Buhari’s govt massively fails its promises on economy, insecurity, anti-corruption – CHRICED
Nigeria is country currently hemorrhaging under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, and may suffer abrupt extinction if not immediately attended to.
The executive director, Resource Centre for Human Rights & Civic Education (CHRICED), Dr. Ibrahim M. Zikirullahi, expressed this fear at a ‘State of the Nation’ press conference in Abuja on Thursday.
He said “Nigeria is bleeding at multiple points. Debt pileup, unbridled corruption, and oil theft at an industrial scale have continued to ravage our economy and rob us of the benefits of rising crude oil prices.”
He added that “Banditry, terrorism, and kidnapping across the country continue to claim the lives of innocent Nigerians; communities are routinely attacked, displaced, and forced to flee for safety and abandon their livelihoods. Nowhere is safe in today’s Nigeria except the heavily guarded government houses. And no one is safe, only the heavily protected elected and appointed government officials, while ordinary Nigerians either hand over to God in prayers or resort to feeble self-help. Amidst this, this administration aggressively pursues an agenda to gag free speech and convert every voice of reason into an opposition and state enemy that must be vanquished.”
He said “CHRICED joins millions of well-meaning Nigerians to commend our gallant soldiers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in defense of this nation. Your sacrifice in defense of our sovereignty and democracy will never be in vain. We stand with the thousands of survivors of bandits and terrorist attacks, from Giwa local council in Kaduna, where 50 people were killed, to Tsafe local government area, in Zamfara state, where bandits killed about 200 people, to Lavun local government area in Niger State where terrorists attacked and killed innocent citizens in a coordinated attack across 13 villages.”
He accessed what he called the three-cardinal focus of the President Buhari’s administration; the economy, insecurity, and anti-corruption.
He wrote on the economy as follows:
“The sorry state of the economy, high unemployment, and the prohibitively high cost of living are markers of the economic woes of Nigerians as a result of the poor economic decisions of this administration. According to a recent report, Nigeria is still the poverty capital of the world. Over 40% of the total population lives in extreme poverty.
“According to the world bank, 1 in every 4 Nigerian live below a dollar per day. Unemployment stood at 33.3% in Q4, 2020; the 4th highest rate globally after South Africa, Angola, and Namibia. Youth unemployment is estimated at over 45%.
“CHRICED decries the government’s lack of concrete action to stem inflationary pressures that have driven the prices of food and other essential commodities and services out of reach of the average citizen. The environment is harsh, expensive, and unsustainable for businesses that attempt to produce or provide services.
“Epileptic electricity supply, high fuel costs for generators, multiple taxations, and the free fall of our currency, the Naira, have contributed to many small businesses’ demise. The government has remained aloof and passive in the face of these difficulties.
“The current level of insecurity across the nation poses the gravest threat to our country and our democracy. The military and para-military institutions are deployed across Nigeria’s 36 states and the federal capital territory for the first time. In the northeast, the deployment is tackling terrorism. In the northwest, the deployment is to tackle banditry and new forms of terrorism. In the north-central, the deployment is tackling terrorism, banditry, and communal, religious, and ethnic unrest among settler and indigene populations. In Nigeria’s southeast, the deployment is tackling secession, while deployments in the south-south and southwest respond to militancy and attacks on oil installations and kidnapping and robbery, respectively. Lives have never been so cheap in Nigeria.
Because the government is weak, criminal gangs are emboldened to take on the state and harm citizens. This inadequate response from the government appears to be what motivated the recent bold attacks by criminal elements on high-profile targets such as Kaduna International Airport and the train service. CHRICED strongly condemns the government’s poor, weak, and indecisive reaction to the wave of insecurity engulfing Nigeria and wreaking havoc on residents’ lives.
Incredibly, the terrorists behind these attacks are publicly daring and taunting the authorities, just as they have continued to threaten to kill passengers abducted during the train attack. Many families are mourning the loss of their loved ones, just as the families of those kidnapped languish in suspense, unsure of their loved ones’ fate held captive in the criminals’ den. Additionally, there have been multiple reports of terrorists marrying off women they abduct if their relatives cannot pay the millions of Naira requested as ransom. This is the situation in Shiroro Niger state, where gunmen reportedly threatened to marry off a 21-year-old lady taken from a community in the state unless her parents paid a N1.7 million ransom. There are numerous other instances like the one above, indicating a complete breakdown of security across the country. These atrocities point to the government’s failure to fulfill its primary responsibility of protecting lives and property. This failure is exacting a high price on human lives. Nigerians are fed up seeing their countrymen and women murdered, kidnapped, and dehumanized daily.
“While our gallant soldiers have continued to do their best, it is clear that we must do a lot more, and urgently too, to stop the terrorists and bandits, and kidnappers from gaining the upper hand. Unfortunately, President Buhari has continued to admit that the administration is overwhelmed. He must, however, prove this claim or resign honorably. As the father of the nation, President Buhari has a constitutional responsibility to protect every Nigerian and resident in this country. His appointees share in that responsibility and are accountable for every needless death.
“At CHRICED, we believe that Nigeria is blessed with enough experienced men and women that can provide expertise to overcome this existential threat to our nation. The President must show commitment by weeding out those appointees that have demonstrated a total lack of ideas and bring in intelligent, experienced hands that can help the administration overcome the multiple points of insecurity and drivers of insecurity in our nation.
The executive director said the Buhari administration celebrates the triumph of corruption. He wrote:
“Just when the fight against corruption appears to be finally spreading among Nigerians and development partners, President Buhari announced a pitiable, politically-informed state pardon for two recalcitrant former governors, Joshua Dariye (Plateau State) and Jolly Nyame (Taraba state). This ill-advised pardon is the biggest revelation of the deception fed by this administration to the Nigerian people in its anti-corruption promises.
“It is on record that the two former governors never cooperated with the government throughout the investigation and prosecution. On the contrary, they did everything possible to frustrate the investigation and prosecution. It is to the credit of the hardworking staff and leadership of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) that the country eventually secured a conviction for these two felons.
“It is, therefore, disappointing and condemnable that President Buhari decided to reward unrepentant offenders with a state pardon. This act is a total disrespect of the pardon power of the President. It undermines the anti-corruption investment and risks by all anti-corruption advocates and institutions. It is shameful that the attorney-general of the federation, Malami, has once again allowed this shameful action to happen under his watch. It is even more shameful that President Buhari failed to show leadership and decorum and shield the exalted office of the President from such ignominious action. The President’s action demonstrated contempt for the international community and donors who have invested heavily in this government’s anti-graft campaign; denigrates the support of civil society organizations. It is a waste of the millions of Naira and hundreds of person-hours invested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)’s hardworking and dedicated investigators to prosecute the case.
“Furthermore, President Buhari’s use of his prerogative of mercy in a destructive manner is the final nail in the coffin of the government’s ostensibly anti-corruption battle.
“However, CHRICED commends anti-corruption institutions and oversight bodies that continue to live above partisan politics. The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) recently released a report detailing its monitoring of Zonal Intervention Projects, commonly known as Constituency Projects, for the fourth quarter of 2021. The findings revealed many types of corruption and how such behaviors jeopardize ordinary persons’ rights to high-quality essential social services.
“Several incidents of faulty execution of schools, rural roads, cottage hospitals, and empowerment initiatives were highlighted in the report. CHRICED applauds the ICPC for its commitment to ensuring that public funding for constituency projects are used wisely and honestly. CHRICED urges the ICPC to follow up on the report’s clear incidents of corruption by either ensuring that the contractors return to the site or refunding what they have embezzled from project funds. In addition, the agency should vigorously pursue lawmakers who converted constituency projects into their personal property as a deterrent to others while hoping that the President will not pardon those convicted.”
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