Unic Press UK: The calls on the incumbent Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, to shun the voices of All Progressives Congress (APC) apparatchiks and sycophants who have been inundating him with pressures to contest the 2019 Nigeria Presidential Election over their personal interests have deepened. The most recent striking demand yet that Buhari must quit the presidency in 2019 is from his own people – the youth of Northern Nigeria.
“The Arewa Youth Forum is worried about the mindless killings all over the country, especially those in Benue, Kaduna, Kwara and Rivers states. We are also worried that Nigerians had to go through the Yuletide with agony and pains because of the fuel scarcity which still persists into the new year with the Federal Government not having a definite roadmap to ending the malaise. As the apex body of youths in the 19 Northern states and Abuja with affiliates across the country, we see the re-election bid of Mr President at this point in time inhuman, uncalled for and an insult to the sensibilities of the suffering Nigerian masses. It was disheartening that when the president visited Kaduna State, black marketers were having a field day as many of the stations were closed and the people were buying fuel at over N350 per litre. This, we believe, is not good enough”, the AYF president, Gambo Ibrahim Gujungu, said in Kaduna on Friday, the Daily Post, Nigeria, reported.
Last month January, the former Nigerian president, Olusegun Obasanjo, joined the battle cry against President Buhari apparent interest in contesting the presidential election in 2019. In his message ‘The Way Out: A Clarion Call for Coalition for Nigeria Movement‘, Obasanjo (OBJ), who was a military ruler [from 13 February 1976 to 1 October 1979] and a democratically elected president who served from 29 May 1999 to 29 May 2007, acerbically attacked the All Progressives Congress (APC) and President Buhari. Obasanjo said:
“The situation that made Nigerians to vote massively to get my brother Jonathan off the horse is playing itself out again. It is no credit to the Federal Government that the herdsmen rampage continues with careless abandon and without finding an effective solution to it. And it is a sad symptom of insensitivity and callousness that some Governors, a day after 73 victims were being buried in a mass grave in Benue State without condolence, were jubilantly endorsing President Buhari for a second term! The timing was most unfortunate. One is nepotic deployment bordering on clannishness and inability to bring discipline to bear on errant members of his nepotic court. This has grave consequences on performance of his government to the detriment of the nation. It would appear that national interest was being sacrificed on the altar of nepotic interest. Let the administration and its political party platform agree with the rest of us that what they have done and what they are capable of doing is not good enough for us. Nigeria deserves and urgently needs better than what they have given or what we know they are capable of giving. To ask them to give more will be unrealistic and will only sentence Nigeria to a prison term of four years if not destroy it beyond the possibility of an early recovery and substantial growth.” (Obasanjo: January 2018)
Other strong voices that have cautioned President Buhari, asking him to quit the stage in 2019 include Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka, and eminent consulting engineer and the former presidential candidate of the National Conscience Party (NCP) Martin Onovo, and the former Governor of the old Kaduna State Abdulkadir Balarabe Musa. Obiageli Ezekwesili, the former Vice President of Africa at The World Bank Group and former Minister of Education in the Federal Republic of Nigeria, issued a RED CARD to President Buhari. The former military president Ibrahim Babangida, Dr Junaid Mohammed, Coalition of Patriotic Nigerian Professionals in the Diaspora (CPNPD) and Pastor Tunde Bakare strongly claim that the APC and Buhari poorly performed in governance.
“… our nation today remains in a very sorry state despite all the lofty promises and flowery speeches made by the ruling government of the All Progressive Congress (APC) at the inception of the Administration in 2015. The economy remains comatose, and in some sectors, particularly in industry and commerce, it is even getting worse. Monetary and fiscal management has continued to lack coherence and consistency, or even predictability and strategic planning. Unemployment, particularly amongst the youth, who constitute the bulk of our population, has assumed critical proportions and is now, for all practical purposes, a national emergency.” (Abdulkadir Balarabe Musa: December 2017)
“The main issue is that this APC-led government is ineffective and promotes monumental corruption. The All Progressive Congress (APC) is very corrupt. NNPC is a very corrupt corporation. And talking about corruption in the NNPC brings to the fore the recent scandal – the gross violation of due process in awarding $25 billion contracts. The Federal Government overseeing the NNPC is known for its lethargic approach to every problem, lax in handling even very sensitive or serious problems. To promote corruption, the four refineries in the country are deliberately set up in a way that does not restore their optimal refining capacity. This government is obviously very ineffective.” (Martin Onovo: December 2017)
“There is a wind of change in Africa, from Liberia in West Africa to the Republic of South Africa. Of course, major political problems do create opportunities. So, Nigerians must rise to solve the catastrophe created by the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), this APC-led government and this rudderless administration under Muhammadu Buhari. The ways forward include electing an intelligent young leader, a person with a proven record of addressing the State of the Nation, a character with no traces of impunity or corruption within Nigeria or outside its shores.” (Coalition of Patriotic Nigerian Professionals in the Diaspora – CPNPD: February 2018).
Nigeria – Economic Indicators & Other Information
- Consumer Price Index (CPI): The CPI which measures inflation increased 15.90 percent (year-on-year) in November 2017, illustrating a 0.01 percent points lower than the rate recorded in October (15.91). [National Bureau of Statistics, Nigeria]
- Gross Domestic Product (GDP): USD404.65 billion as of 2016. [World Bank].
- GDP per capita: USD2,175.67 as of 2016. [World Bank].
- Unemployment: “The unemployment rate increased from 14.2% in Q4 2016 to 16.2% in Q2 2017 and 18.8% in Q3 2017”, the country’s Bureau of Statistics said in its report ‘Labor Force Statistics Vol. 1: Unemployment and Underemployment Report (Q1-Q3 2017)’ of December 2017.
- Population: 185.98 million as of 2016. [World Bank].
- Life expectancy at birth : 52.9 years as of 2015. [World Bank].