As often the case, in 2014, a year to the end of Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GEJ, administration, Nigeria’s political system was characterized by, among others, preparations for general elections at various levels of government. To an extent, the preparation redirects government’s attention and limits its achievement/project undertaken at that moment, and increase cash flow in the circulation.
With a year to the end of GEJ tenure, his priority was not just to conduct peaceful election, but also foremost on his mind was to be returned as Nigeria’s president. These two goals, at the expense of project undertaken, were worth considering and crucial at that moment. While peaceful election and transition birthed good image and attracted positive global attention among world leaders like Barrack Obama, David Cameron who were then president and prime minister of the United States,US and of the United Kingdom, UK, respectively who lauded GEJ for the feat and congratulated Muhammadu Buhari for the victory, security of lives and properties, winning the election would avail him the prospect of completing any project undertaken.
Expectedly, in GEJ’s bid to achieve these goals, there was efficient cash flow orchestrated by the federal government. This was the period Nigeria economy was adjudged the biggest in Africa. Although there was claim the country economy was built on borrowed fund at that moment, which was later attributed to the emerging trend of economic imbalance the Nigeria is currently suffering under PMB and APC government.
Following the peaceful election and transition, PMB emerged Nigeria next president in 2015. For PMB, PDP and the entire Nigerians, it was a landmark feat! It shows the strength of democracy in Nigeria.
Given his victory and assumption of office in 2015, PMB has been the Nigeria president for close to three years. For the more than two years he has spent, the experience has been a mixed fortune for Nigeria. In terms of achievement, PMB has been able to resolve security issue significantly; Boko Haram has been brought to its kneel; more than 150 of the abducted Chibok girls were rescued, the menace of fulani herdsmen is currently been tackled, IPOB and its leader, Kanu have been silenced through operation ‘python dance’.
In spite of these tremendous achievements recorded under PMB, especially in addressing security issue, the country is faced with economic imbalance owing to low oil price, recession, inflation, low dollar/naira exchange rate, high unemployment rate (4million recently reported unemployed), poor state of medical sector which has seen many Nigerians, especially PMB travelled abroad for medical attention, and recently, fuel scarcity.
Based on the glaring critical situation of the country,one would expect the present administration under PMB to ultimately address it all to ensure conducive atmosphere for all Nigerians, but with a year to the next general elections, it is not farfetched that the government will concentrate high resources not only to prepare for 2019 elections but also to aid PMB victory. In view of these impending goals, foremost on the minds of Nigeria is what the future holds for Nigeria.
However, as much as it is important for government to address security issue, economic. imbalance, unemployment, fuel scarcity, it is also of greater importance the government prepares for peaceful conduct of general elections at various government levels come 2019.
Also, in the face of various challenges the country is faced with, which all need immediate attention from the government, as Jordon Spark sings’one step at a time’, it will be best decision on the part of PMB to first address these widely spread social and economic issues, which among others, has diminished Nigerians purchasing power, increased their expenses while wages and salaries remain the same. If this is done, it will serve as morale booster for electorates to come out massively come 2019 election.
Unemployment and social vices can be easily reduced to bearable minimum if economic and social issues are addressed.
By Kazeem Yekinni
Kazeem Yekinni, a real estate consultant, contributes this piece from Lekki, Lagos State.