Ahead of the February 25, 2023 critical presidential election and subsequent elections in March 2023, Nigeria’s President and Commander-in-Chief, Muhammadu Buhari, addressed the country he has been in-charge of since 2015.
First, as a legacy note and transition speech, retired General Buhari’s efforts on Thursday, February 16, 2023 were inadequate. They lacked useful connection between the current suffering of Nigerians and an uncertain future of the embattled country! Especially, with the elections and Buhari’s countdown to exit the presidency of Africa’s largest economy and demographics.
Second, it is a continuation of the peripatetic swing from one pillar to another post! The basket of familiar excuses was a familiar reach for Buhari on the Naira scarcity palaver, banking fiasco, financial and economic issues, the escalating political killings, attempted assassinations, criminal violence and threats ahead of the general elections.
There was no coherent fiscal policy. The Naira will be impacted further.
Third, the flurry of forces, fiercely armed ethnic and transnational footsoldiers of several causes and jihadisms have effectuated multiple shades of regional disruptions. And, along the way and around their communities left ruinous, catastrophic consequences. Their level of impunity and geo-political impositions on the sovereign and territorial boundaries of Nigeria have been expanding.
A litany of issues, known and unknown State persons/groups bestriding and bedeviling Nigeria’s political economy and existential daily grind for an overwhelmed majority of Nigerians have remained and or become deepened and complicated by the evident limitations of the retired soldier Buhari who has given his best in the service of Nigeria.
Those background factors and realities lead to my timely position that: With Peter Obi, I think a Better Day is possible for Nigeria from this 2023 presidential election. Especially, taking a non-sentimental assessment of the ancient and modern complexities facing today’s Nigeria.
Plus, the requisite energy, technological vision, developmental competence and accountable capacity to productively lead Nigeria out of the complexities of the problems it is still facing.
As I stated here in my weekly column on USAfricaonline.com and ThisDay (Lagos) on February 9, 2023: “Some of these challenges are complicated by the seemingly endless incompetence of the Buhari presidency — a presidency of small things, of petty malice and ancient grudges, of crass nepotism and clannishness, of moral corruption and assorted inequities, of impunity and incapacity!”
On Thursday September 1, 2022 in Houston, Texas, I had a one-on-one USAfrica interview with Mr. Peter Obi, the disruptive leader of the popular movement also known as “Obidients”.
Obi’s engagements and agenda for Nigeria’s renewal are clearly rooted in the domestic expansion of production and local empowerment working in synergy with the global, trans-continental leverage of the Nigerian diasporans.
Obi has a bold, responsibilities-driven vision for Nigeria, a country in the clutches of exploding crises, murderous impunity and crippling, partisan incompetence of the leadership of the country of 220 million people.
Economic development can only take place in an environment that is harmonious , in such areas as its politics, religious relationships, socio- cultural interactions and inter-ethnic dynamics.
Sadly, in Buhari’s Nigeria, some Nigerians are more equal than others. It is not the way of modern systems and progressive societies. It is especially remarkable that for the second highest position in the very influential and important U.S Treasury department, Biden did not only pick an African-American he chose a Nigerian-American, Adewale Adeyemo. There are hundreds of others at other levels of corporate and governmental leadership.
Overall, the catastrophic failures of the APC-led Buhari presidency: from personal to economic insecurities, from ancient nepotisms to naked divisive religious and ethnic preferential treatments, daily killings across all the zones/regions of Nigeria, the scandalous drop of the value of the Naira, the murderous visitations of known and unknown gunmen have altered many of the geo-political assumptions of the past 20 years.
For the February 2023 presidential election, I think that Peter Obi is the game-changer with realistic vision and strategem to move Nigeria and Nigerians forward. Yes; a better day is possible — with Peter Obi!
•Dr. Chido Nwangwu, author of the forthcoming 2023 book, MLK, Mandela & Achebe: Power, Leadership and Identity., is Founder of the first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper on the internet, USAfricaonline.com, and established USAfrica in 1992 in Houston. He has appeared as an analyst on CNN, ALJazeera, SKYnews, and served as an adviser on Africa business to Houston’s former Mayor Lee Brown. Follow him on Twitter @Chido247