Now That Buhari Has Gotten What He Wants…

History was made yesterday, 11th of June 2019 as leaders of the 9th National Assembly were elected on the floor of both Houses.

And so after all of the politicking and meanderings, it is now time for all to get to work. While congratulating Ahmed Lawan and Femi Gbajabiamila who both won the number one seats in both Houses respectively, the Special Adviser to the former Senate President on New Media, Bamikole Omishore had a word for the President which indeed possibly reflects the mind of many Nigerians also.

He congratulated the newly sworn-in President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, while calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to end the blame game and get to work.

Omoshore, minutes after Lawan’s swearing-in, posted on Twitter, “Wishing Senator Ahmed Lawan the very best as the President of the @NGRSenate of 9th Assembly.

“With the President now having his candidate as the chairman of (the) National Assembly, I pray this will bring an end to excuses and blame game and Nigerians can get dividends of democracy.”

He tweeted: ”Wishing Senator Ahmed Lawan the very best as the President Of the @NGRSenate Of 9th Assembly. With the president now having HIS candidate as the chairman of National Assembly, I pray this will bring an end to excuses & blame game and Nigerians can get dividends of democracy.”

Saraki’s senate presidency was embroiled in controversy beginning with his emergence in June 2015 against the wishes of his then party, the All Progressives Congress, and Buhari.

The former Senate President defected to the Peoples Democratic Party on July 31, 2018.

Back in 2015, much of the blame was heaped on the outgoing administration of President Goodluck Jonathan. Whether the actions of former President Goodluck Jonathan or the well-oiled propaganda machinery of the APC should be blamed for their gargantuan promises during the campaign, we probably cannot really tell.  There was constant whining and repeated references to crude oil prices of the last and previous 16 years. Again the party as well as President Buhari probably fell on hard times when Saraki manipulated the electioneering process, dazzled the ruling party and got elected as Senate President.

All that has apparently changed now. The President has won his re-election, the tension on who becomes Senate president and Speaker of the House of Representatives is clear now and everyone expects that it will not a blame session again as usual.

Agreed, Buhari has done well in two areas: the anti-corruption drive and partial containment of the Boko Haram terrorists whom it says have been technically defeated. He must have equally learnt in the past four years that it takes more than personal integrity of the leader to lead a country just as body language can only do so much. The president would do well to remember that his work as a leader is cut out for him in three ways: attracting talents, selling his vision, and synthesizing different points of view before arriving at a conclusion.

Just yesterday, global rating company, Fitch Rating, yesterday, affirmed Nigeria’s rating at B+, stable outlook, saying that President Buhari’s second term will be marked with implementation of piecemeal reforms and slow progress in tackling impediments to economic growth.

The company also projected further widening of the federal government’s deficit spending and total debt to 3.8 percent and 28.2 percent of the nation’s the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2019.

Fitch also projected that Nigeria’s GDP growth rate will hover around 2.2 percent for the next two years, below the 10-year average of 4.2 percent. In a statement released yesterday announcing its latest rating on Nigeria, Fitch said: “Nigeria’s ratings are supported by the large size of its economy, a track record of current account surpluses and a relatively low general government (GG) debt-to-GDP.”

However, against these advantages, the agency further stated: “This is balanced against poor governance and development indicators, structurally low fiscal revenues and high dependence on hydrocarbons. The rating is also weighed down by subdued GDP growth and inflation that is higher than in rating peers.

“Nigeria will continue to experience a sluggish recovery driven by the rebound in oil prices and the expansion of services. “Fitch forecasts GDP growth to average 2.2 percent  in 2019-2020, below its previous 10-year average of 4.2 percent and the current ‘B’ median of 3.4 percent.

While commenting on the outcome of the general elections and likely impacts on policy formulation and implementation as well as the nation’s economic growth, Fitch  said: “The 2019 general and gubernational elections passed relatively smoothly, despite technical disruptions and episodes of violence.

“The incumbent Muhammadu Buhari won a second term and his ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) regained its majority in both chambers of parliament.

“This could facilitate policy implementation, but weak party discipline in parliament and frequent disagreements between the presidency and legislature point to a continued high risk of delays to parliamentary approval of key legislation.

As it stands, we are on the threshold of history and Buhari must realise that Nigerians will this time around entertain no excuses again, he has gotten what he wants and the belief here is that both Houses will now work in unison with the executive in order to ensure a smooth running of the nation. No more will we have the stalemate experienced in the passage of yearly budget as the case was in the previous four years and so it is expected that everything will henceforth be fast tracked.

The onus is on the President now to prove to Nigerians that the duo of Saraki and Dogara were actually partly to blame for the slow pace of implementation of policies before now.

It will indeed be unfortunate if four years from now, Nigerians still cannot point to concrete and tangible ideals the Buhari administration has been able to put forth.

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