Salient issues to consider on 2019 presidency

road signs, economy, Nigeria, October 1: third force, presidencyThe die is cast between the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the oppositions for the control of power, particularly the central government as this tenure wraps up. However, the titanic battle will likely be between APC and the major opposition, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on account of its widespread, viable and visible structures across the nation as a former ruling party. As usual, the masses are inundated with campaign promises. While the APC candidate, President Muhammadu Buhari, presented a ‘Next Level’ package to the people, his PDP counterpart, former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, offered ‘Making Nigeria work again’ bundle.

As for the two giant forces, their scorecards are straightforward. Crude oil boomed during PDP administration, unlike in the present APC regime, and would have substantially, realistically advanced the nation if judiciously managed.

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During the period under examination, despite the fact that crude oil brought huge wealth to the treasury, corruption impeded its impact. Logically, Buhari has achieved more even with less oil revenue. Beyond the crude oil revenue’s sustainability, the present administration has, in its three-and-half years in power, proved a remarkable point; that Nigeria can become a great nation even without oil revenue but prudent management of the internally generated revenue.

Suffice to say that Buhari’s ‘Next-Level’ is logically, empirically realistic putting into consideration these trajectories. As for PDP’s ‘Making Nigeria work again’ package, practically, it is tough to examine the means to achieve them.

The axiom is seemingly mere rhetoric as Nigeria indisputably failed as a nation under PDP’s watch, which it admitted. On the purported restructuring, it is easier said than done. The truth is that absolute restructuring is impracticable due to progressive developments in the polity.

Above all, the 1999 Constitution vests legislative powers of the federation in the National Assembly and not the Executive, hence, the onus to substantiate the means. As Soviet statesman, Nikita Khrushchev said: “Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build bridges even when there are no rivers”. Thus, let us scrutinise all campaign promises notwithstanding.

Carl Umegboro, United Kingdom

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