PMB: In the Steps of Founding Fathers
By Afakirya. A. Gadzama
The legacies of President Muhammadu Buhari, despite frequent deliberate relegation by mischief makers, are only comparable to those of the founding fathers of the nation after independence. With the limited resources inherited at independence, solid foundations for growth and development were laid in all parts of the country. Political scientists of all shades of opinion are quick to point out that even the process of good governance and democratic culture had started taking roots in the country until the military truncated the political process. One must also note that infrastructural developments, although impaired by lack of funds, gained traction immediately after the civil war. As proof of this, most of the lasting legacies in the country especially in education, health and infrastructural development were to a large extent conceived and implemented by the country’s post independence leadership and after the civil war by civilian governments, especially the Shagari Administration. The country thereafter literally went to sleep, so to speak, during subsequent regimes until the coming of civilian rule in 1999.
It has to be pointed out that infrastructural and related developments that positively impacted the lives of the citizenry were to be witnessed again following the emergence of President Muhammadu Buhari as a civilian President in 2015. During President Muhammadu Buhari’s second return to power as President, the nation witnessed remarkable progress in virtually all sectors, but especially in the transportation and economic sectors. The petroleum sector, the mainstay of the nation’s economy under Engineer Mele Kyari in particular, has witnessed unprecedented growth and relevance in propelling development and growth in the country. Very noticeable is the confidence of investors especially foreigners that has continued to grow because of the stabilizing effects of the oil sector under Engineer Mele Kyari. Instructively, NNPC’s decision to fund strategic roads across the country is being hailed as a major innovation of the President Muhammadu Buhari government. In the agricultural sector, remarkable achievements are also being recorded in development of the small scale and anchor borrower schemes funded by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) all over the country. It must however be pointed out that some strategic agricultural initiatives of the government that would have positively impacted the lives of millions of people have been undermined by poor planning, inadequate consultations and politics. The failure of some of the President’s policies in agriculture could be attributed to incompetence of some of his appointees in handling some of the projects. The Buhari Administration Government can also be scored high in the health sector.
Notwithstanding the persistence of some security threats by insurgents, bandits, unruly herdsmen and incursions of Islamic State West African Province (ISWAP), even the most ardent critics of President Muhammadu Buhari who lack objectivity cannot disprove the reality of tremendous achievements of the Administration in restoring security to nearly all parts of the country, especially those previously under siege of criminal elements. It will be recalled that the North East and other Northern States were on the verge of being overrun by the insurgents, bandits and lawless herdsmen until the coming of President Buhari. It is very important that hoodlums behind nearly all forms of insecurity in most parts of the country have been substantially decimated. As a holistic strategy to manage the country’s security challenges, the Armed Forces, security and paramilitary forces have been given leaderships that can achieve their statutory responsibilities to the citizenry and the nation. What the country currently requires is decisively dealing with security threats perpetuated in political interests. Dealing with security threats that are persisting despite the change in strategies by the security forces is also desirable. The other potentially volatile issues President Muhammadu Buhari has skillfully managed are separatists agitations and those promoting violence in parts of the country. In effect, despite occasional threats, the political scene has remained substantially calm.
It should be pointed out that legacies are not built on superficial initiatives. The achievements must be lasting and impactful and in the interest of all people just like the building of railway tracks, health centres and the opening of roads and educational institutions that is now a continuous pre-occupation of the Buhari Administration. The President has definitely set the standards similar to those of the founding fathers by also inculcating transparency and accountability in public office in those holding positions of trust. Respect for the rights of the people is being made a critical requirement of even the security forces, among other illustrious legacies he is bequeathing on the nation. Nigerians are being assured there is light at the end of the tunnel, indicating bright prospects for prosperity, good governance and the importance of adopting the principle of governance being about serving the people and not self aggrandizement.
We believe everything must be done to consolidate and sustain President Muhammadu Buhari’s legacies as an enduring blueprint for Nigeria’s progress and development in the interest of the masses. The citizens without doubt need good roads, better health care delivery, power supply and good governance at all levels. All these are only possible in an atmosphere devoid of acrimony, injustice and insecurity. Nothing should therefore be done by anyone or group to distract the government especially with divisive tendencies as it is now beyond contention that the preservation of national unity and brotherhood is another legacy of the Buhari Administration that will stand the test of time and outlive the myopic secessionist agenda already facing extinction.
Afakirya A. GADZAMA OFR, mni
Chairman of the Board,
National Institute for Security Studies, Abuja.
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