By Emmanuel Afonne
A political pressure group, No Alternative To Buhari-Osinbajo 2019 (NATBO 2019), has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to be firm on his actions to keep the country united even in the face of daunting security challenges.
NATBO made the call in a statement issued by its National Coordinator, Mr Vincent Uba, on Saturday noting that no president who swore to protect the sovereignty of his country would allow his country to disintegrate.
Uba said that the president must not be distracted from the good work of fighting to protect lives and property of the citizens, relentless war against corruption and building a strong and enduring economy.
He noted that the group, having objectively and critically analysed Buhari’s administration, had no option than to pass a vote of confidence in it after rating it highly in terms of governance performance.
“Our conclusion is based on what the administration met on ground in 2015, together with the major global crisis of oil glut in 2016 and the current COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
The NATBO coordinator urged those aiming to distract the president through clamour for restructuring, constitutional amendment or referendum to channel their cases to the National and State Assemblies who were elected to represent the people.
Uba noted that the legislature was the right organ of government to look into the appropriateness or otherwise of such agitations as the president would be the last person to fall for clamour for session or self determination.
“The president of the country has no hands in this and so should not be dragged into considering these agitations.
“Nigeria has witnessed, as never before, all manner of agitations and clamour for self determination or secession.
“The administration has witnessed negative criticisms, most of which are based on half truths, selfish political motives and propaganda in the most crude form.
“Judgment of President Buhari’s performance has not been based on comparative cost analysis, but rather has been on deceptive and warped grounds.
“A fair and just judgment of Buhari’s performance should have taken into cognisance what he met on ground at inception in 2015 and the global oil glut of 2016 as well as the current COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is laughable and ironic that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) administration that enjoyed oil boom throughout its tenure, mismanaged same and ran the country aground is at the forefront of the criticisms,” Uba said.
According to him, the PDP that could not use the enormous resources available to it to nip the Boko Haram insurgency in the bud has now turned round to criticise the present government of not being able to defeat banditry.
NATBO wondered how anybody would rate a government that mismanaged the country’s economy for 16 years in times of boom, better than a government that is using meagre resources to keep our economy going in times of gloom.
According to him, critics run to the exchange rate for comparism.
“But the question is, what was the price of crude oil, the mainstay of Nigerian economy and determinant of availability of foreign exchange in 2015?
“Also, at what capacity in terms of volume was Nigeria producing the crude oil then, compared to what it produces now?
“The critics tend to forget in a hurry the time fuel scarcity used be the order of the day, with the people confronted by excruciating long queues at petrol stations, making them to buy a litre of petrol for as much as N250 to N400 in the black market.
“At some point, Nigerians wished that they paid high price if the fuel was readily available.
“The same critics are closing their eyes to constant availability of fuel now where people will enter the petrol station and buy with ease.
“The same critics forget in a hurry the epileptic power supply and the attendant crazy billing system that we almost became used to before Buhari came to power.
“They close their eyes to the now improving power supply and deliberate effort by the present administration to metre households, in the attempt to check crazy billing,” Uba added.
He also listed rail transportation, massive infrastructural development of roads and housing across the nation in spite of the meagre financial resources and massive support for agricultural development as part of the administration’s achievements.
The NATBO coordinator also listed the soon to be commissioned second Niger bridge as another landmark achievement of the present administration. (NAN)