President Muhammadu Buhari has said that his re-election campaign will focus on the scorecard of his administration in the key areas of security, economy and the fight against corruption.
Backstory: Speaking during a Christmas visit by residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) led by the FCT Minister, Mohammed Bello, Buhari said that the three overarching issues were still relevant to the country as they were before he came into power in 2015.
Buhari said, “Very soon we will go to the geopolitical zones to remind the people of our promises in 2015 on three fundamental things: security, economy and the fight against corruption.
“Unless we secure the country, we cannot manage it properly. That is why shortly after I was elected, I went to Chad, Niger, Cameroon and the Republic of Benin to seek their support in the fight against the insurgency.”
The President also reassured Nigerians that his administration remains committed to tackling kidnapping and banditry in addition to finding a lasting solution to the conflict between herders and sedentary farmers.
He said to the group, which comprised various religious, political and traditional leaders, that his administration has done more work with fewer resources in agriculture, infrastructure, and social investments.
Buhari also pledged that he will continue to do his best to recover what rightly belongs to Nigeria, guided by the rule of law and respect for constituted authority.
The FCT Minister, while congratulating the President for an eventful year with remarkable achievements, said: “we in the FCT are your flock and we know you will continue to lead us to the Promised Land.”
The Primate, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, who spoke on behalf of the Christian community, expressed appreciation for the President’s good health and urged political and religious leaders in the country to take a cue from the FCT and replicate the religious harmony between Christians and Muslims.
Bottom Line: Although the president says he intends to campaign on his scorecard in those three areas, his subsequent comments at the meeting sounded as though he had not spent four years already. He wants to re-run his 2015 campaign of promises. That may be difficult to sell this time. Available economic indices from GDP to employment numbers show a decline from four years ago. Insecurity situation remains dire from herders-farmers clashes in the Middle Belt to insecurity in states like Zamfara. On corruption, indices like that of Transparency International also show a decline. That’s why Buhari cannot just afford to “remind” Nigerian of his promises, he has to show them measurable impact.