By Vincent Uba
It is with a deep sense of concern, love and passion for security, unity and development of our country that I feel the need to bring this message across to Nigerians at this critical time in our nation . Recall that at the time it was predicted by some people in United States of America that Nigeria would disintegrate and possibly cease to exist by the year 2015. But God felt otherwise and enthroned a man as the President of Nigeria, to doggedly work, not only to sustain the unity of Nigeria, but also ensure it did not cease to exist, and today we are in 2019.
Recall also that at the time our country was witnessing intense terrorism with Boko Haram terrorists wrecking havoc, killing, maiming citizens and taking over towns and villages, God gave us a man who together with his vice and team led concerted and sustained military onslaughts against the Boko Haram. Today, not only has the destructive activities of Boko Haram been diminished, the towns and villages hitherto captured by them have been recovered and the people who fled their homes have returned.
Even though the gains made in the routing of Boko Haram were being lost by the killings perpetrated by herdsmen, the situation now is that of relative peace and calm all over the country as the so called Fulani herdsmen killings has been curtailed considerably.
Recall that at the time the price of crude oil, the mainstay of the Nigerian economy, started to fall from over $130/barrel to below $38/barrel that later propelled the economy into recession, occasioned by accumulated poor economic indices of successive administrations. God gave us a man with the qualities of prudence and financial discipline, who deployed these qualities to tackle the effects of this steep fall in crude oil price and consequently wriggle out of recession in a record time while some countries like Venezuela are still struggling with the worst economic crises.
Recall also that at a time this country was almost at the verge of implosion as a consequence of years of impunity in governance, bribery and corruption, which prompted the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria to compose two sets of prayers (prayers against bribery and corruption in Nigeria and prayer for Nigeria in distress) being said at every Mass, God in answer to the prayers chose a man generally acclaimed by Nigerians and non Nigerians alike as a man of unequal integrity who is averse to corruption, to lead the nation.
No sooner had this man emerged as the president than he swung into action to deal with corruption head on. Today this vigorous fight against corruption by the Buhari administration is yielding positive results as those who were known to have looted the treasury are not only being unmasked and prosecuted, but such looted funds are being recovered. Briefcase businesses that usually thrived on the fraudulent subsidy claims, government contract papers and laundering of looted funds have been eliminated and sundry drainpipes of the economy being plugged.
It is no longer business as usual as government parastatals and agencies now remit funds due to the federal government via the Treasury Single Account (TSA), instead of multiple bank accounts that made it easier for funds belonging to federal government to be diverted to private accounts for private use.
As we all already know, the poor state of our economy today could be linked to the triple problems of insecurity, corruption and the effect of drastic fall in the price of crude oil, made worse by the destructive activities of Niger Deltaelta Avengers at the inception of the current administration.
The emergence of President of Muhammadu Buhari and his vice, Professor Yomi Osinbajo, in 2015 was a divine intervention as we know that God who is all knowing does not err. Suffice it to say that President Buhari and Professor Osinbajo have God’s given mandate to rescue and sanitize this country from the effects of the problems enumerated above.
Not withstanding the terrible state of affairs, this administration has brought about disciplined and prudent management of the nation’s scarce resources, pragmatically addressing the problems of the already battered economy. This can be attested to by the way the real and manufacturing sectors are being strengthened. The ban placed on the importation of a number of products has resulted in the revival of hitherto moribund indigenous manufacturing companies.
We are witnesses to wind of revolution happening in the agricultural sector with a resultant reduction in the importation of rice and other agricultural products. There is indeed a manifest commitment to the diversification of the nation’s economy away from crude oil. We see today, massive infrastructural development with the construction of hundreds of thousands of kilometres of roads, construction and completion of rail lines across all the six geopolitical zones of the country. The second Niger bridge is no longer a project on paper for political campaigns, but has now become a practical reality as its construction is practically ongoing.
In the area of power generation and distribution, we have not had it so good in terms of availability of power in Nigeria’s history. There is tremendous improvement in power generation and distribution as against what prevailed in the past when over $16 billion was spent with nothing to show for it.
We wouldn’t have imagined that in the last three and half years, there wouldn’t have been fuel scarcity, especially during festive seasons. Yes, no fuel scarcity for the past three and half years that President Buhari has been in power. Don’t forget what we were used to before May 2015 in terms of fuel availability.
In spite of the unrelenting attacks, campaign of calumny, insults, lies and all manner of negative propaganda across the social media directed against the President Buhari, he has remained focussed in carrying out the sanitisation and growing the economy of this country.
It is pertinent to recall that no sooner had President Buhari assumed office than he was confronted with health issues, which at some occasions kept him away from the country for several weeks. This provided for some people, the opportunity to vilify him and wished him dead. But God made him recover to bounce back to good health, looking even fresher . Those who wished him dead were thus put to shame as they are going to be put to shame again after 16th February, 2019.
For the past three and half years, Mr President has been contending with forces who want to pull him down to create the impression of non performance. The national assembly under the leadership of Senator Bukola Saraki and Rt. Hon Dogara is not left out in this game of pull-him- down syndrome. How else would you describe a situation where the budget is presented in November of a particular year only for it to be passed in September of the next?
In spite of all that, President Buhari has been resolute in his principle of non- interference with the legislative functions. This is the man severally branded a dictator prior to the 2015 election, who now turned out to be the most democratic in contrast to the previous elected presidents. He is a humble president not given to vengeance and witch hunting. He is soft spoken, accommodating and not given to hate speeches and character assassination.
It is my view and the views of many other Nigerians that there is No Alternative To Buhari-Osinbajo to completely lead this country out of security and economic crises and make it stronger after May 2019. Of all the contenders for the presidential seat, none is a match to him. It is very sad and unfortunate that those who led us to the unfortunate situation we face today have now ganged up, united and conspiring to come back .
Yes they have flocked together as birds of the same feather to squander the over $45 billions in our foreign reserve and reverse the gains we have made so far, to drag our country further down economically. Recall that it was only $29 billion left by PDP government in 2015. It is, therefore, our patriotic as well as our civic responsibility to passionately alert everyone of the grave danger of allowing the hawks to come back again. We can not afford to go back to our vomit.
Our dear president and his vice are tackling the problems that were brought upon us for over 16 years running, just like a loving father will administer bitter pills to heal his sick children. Nigeria as it were is sick and receiving painful treatment. We must be patient and give President Buhari our unalloyed support. Let’s not expect that our country that has suffered for over 16 years maladministration would be remedied in three and a half years, knowing that it is easier & quicker to destroy than to rebuild. Let us galvanize support and mobilize to vote President Buhari again on this rescue mission of our country and move our dear country to the next level.
Vincent Uba is the National Co-ordinator, “No Alternative To Buhari-Osinbajo 2019” (NATBO 2019 ).