By Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa
PMB’s 3-point Agenda is facing very strong challenges from all sides. The President said his focus was going to be on the Economy, Corruption and Security. On coming to office, he promised to make the economy bouyant( including making the Naira to be equal to US dollar). He was going to fight Corruption to a standstill or indeed kill corruption before corruption killed Nigeria and lastly to restore Nigeria’s security and make it a safe haven for all. Recently we interrogated the ‘doing well’ of our economy and concluded that though the economy is recovering from recession, it is not yet doing well as unemployment, underemployment, misery index and poverty rate have worsened. The misery caused by the persisting fuel scarcity is unrelenting,afflicting more of the poor and rural dwellers.We have advised a single minded commitment to the implementation of the Economic Recovery & Growth Plan( ERGP) and a full deregulation of the down stream petroleum sector. Great urgency is demanded before politics and electioneering derail the economy further.
Last week we drew attention to the corporate governance failures that have put a question mark on the anti-corruption stance of PMB’s government. No man with conscience and who fears God will not be bewildered by the ‘Mainagate’and other corporate governance breaches that have seemed to occur in a regular manner, including the biased and lopsided appointment of people from PMB’s catchment to top security and political offices, to the utter neglect and exclusion of some other areas. I am hoping that this government has a full understanding of what corruption means. It is not just taking of bribes or stealing of Public funds. ‘Mainagate’ is a perfect case of corruption- abuse of processes, procedures & office. Pure and simple! And just incase this government does not have a full understanding of the global definition of corruption, the Corruption Perception Index ( CPI) for 2018 just released by the Transparency International ( TI) indicated that Corruption perception for Nigeria has worsened despite all the brouhaha on anticorruption by the government. This is not to say that this government has not tried to fight corruption. It has, but the apparent failure of the integrity test on a number of issues has blighted most of the other efforts.
The abduction of over 100 girls by BokoHaram from Government Girls Science School in Dapchi, Yobe State last week has completely erased any achievement of this government in the security realm. It is bewildering how a defeated Boko Haram can drive its convoy of vehicles into the town of Dapchi and abduct so many of our girls and drive away without any resistance from our security forces. This embarrassing incident which has been rightly called “a National disaster” by the President raises a few questions. First, what happened to our security forces in Dapchi? Were they absent or were they asleep or were they overpowered? Second is, how come we left the premises of a girls secondary school unprotected after CHIBOK? Does it mean, we learnt no lessons or is this a crass display of incompetence by government- State and Federal? Third is, what happened to our intelligence gathering apparatus? It is possible to claim difficulty in gathering intelligence regarding the operations of female suicide bombers, though with the regularity of their operations these days,gathering intelligence about them should no longer be that complicated for a standard intelligence team. But then, to organize such extensive raid as we saw in Dapchi last week must have taken weeks of planning and reconnaissance by Bokoharam operatives. It was no mean operation and any minimum listening post would have dictated some signals that would have alerted our security men.
This whole thing is really frightening and distressing. If our school girls in a region swarming with all kinds of security forces and to which so much National funds are being dedicated can not be protected from this brazen assault, then nobody is safe in this Country anymore. To be true, the security situation in this Country seems to be getting out of hand. Boko Haram, despite being defeated and flushed out of the Sambisa Forest remains deadly, continuing to terrorize the North East. In the whole of North Central and parts of the South East, South West and South South,the Militant Fulani herdsmen are murdering people everyday, destroying farms, sacking villages and rendering many homeless. Now the North West we thought was relatively safe, has recently come under heavy assault by marauding bandits who recently invaded two villages in Zamfara State, leaving scores of People dead and homes destroyed. I am told, the Zamfara Killings have been going on for sometime now but was either underreported or was overshadowed by the Boko Haram and the militant herdsmen.
In most of the South, kidnapping for ransom has become like a normal trade, just like ‘419’ had become a norm until the coming of Nuhu Ribadu’s EFCC. Ritual killings have also spiked in many parts of the South and criminals seem to be multiplying in geometric proportions. I really do not know what is promoting this level of insecurity in the Nation. Whatever, it is the primary responsibility of Government to find out why, deal with the issues and make the Nation safe. Right now, there seems to a siege and many people feel quite unsafe in Nigeria, much more than they ever did in recent history. Thus it seems that PMB’S 3- point agenda seems to be unravelling. That calls for a sober reflection of his strategies and tactics. May be a major change is desired. Unfortunately time may be another constraint but we are praying.