JUNE 12: Nigeria’s feats amid shortfalls
The military government of General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida inadvertently made June 12 historic for Nigerians; it symbolizes oppression, injustice and tyranny against the masses. By the annulment of June 12, 1993 presidential election presumably won by late Chief Moshood Kasimawo Olawale Abiola, the military’s insistence to control political power was finally brought to an abrupt end albeit the presumed winner lost his life in the struggle to reclaim the mandate. In tribute, the Federal Government reserved June 12 annually as Democracy day with public holiday alongside other remarkable compliments. Without a doubt, the country has not achieved much generally when measured by the number of democratic years. However, measuring from 1999 that military men finally handed over, June 12 inadvertently drew a line between two distinct eras; dark ages and renaissance period. The latter is a democratic government through universal suffrage. No doubt, the dividends of democracy are still not fully realized; nevertheless, there are, empirically green lights.
The first civilian administration after military era, which was led by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, recorded some progresses by establishing essential government structures and other agencies which are fundamental. No doubt, they weren’t as effective today but establishing them was a step in the right direction.
Thereafter, Goodluck Jonathan’s administration which succeeded after a brief stay in power by late Umaru Yar’Adua, came with a number of outstanding policies like the BVN, Treasury Single Account (TSA) and others which were conceived albeit unimplemented. However, the squandering, looting and diversion of public funds that became the order of the day overshadowed the positive initiatives.
From 2015 when President Muhammadu Buhari was first elected, the structures and policies on ground have been substantially activated and under implementation for service delivery. Similarly, most irregularities and abnormalities became history. In particular, countless abandoned uncompleted projects scattered all over are receiving cogent attentions and remarkably, people are beginning to have confidence in the judiciary, which is fundamental in any thriving society.
Of course, it is undeniable that these reforms tightened the economy but gradually, it is bouncing back to true, consolidated and enduring greatness. Therefore, the nation has good reasons to celebrate these trajectories and progresses despite insecurity and the fact that the masses in the streets have not been directly affected. With the structures being improved and continuously running expediently and effectively, without a doubt, jobs will be robotically created and the economy will proficiently be stimulated for common good.
But imperatively, government must invest more in education as nonchalant attitudes to the sector some decades ago birthed the insecurity of the present times. The education system needs to be restructured to realistically meet the contemporary needs beyond mere certificate display syndrome.