President Muhammadu Buhari last week assigned his ministers to the various ministries and charged them to assist him in making life better for the generality of Nigerians in his second and final lap of governance.
And as the ministers settle down for business, lawyers in the country have demanded an improvement in governance in President Muhammadu Buhari’s second term.
Reviewing the performance of his administration in his first four years as a democratically elected president especially on his three-point agenda of security, economy and fight against corruption, the lawyers who spoke with Saturday Vanguard concluded that the president has not met his campaign promises to Nigerians in his first term.
Nigerians are disenchanted—Jideobi Johnmary
While appraising President Buhari’s achievements in his first term, a constitutional lawyer, Mr. Jideobi Johnmary, said: “On security, in assessing the performance of the President, we have to remind ourselves that the primary duty of any government is security of lives and property of the citizens.
Buhari’s policies have failed —Chukwueke Esomchi
Another constitutional lawyer, Chukwueke Caroline Esomchi said: “Buhari has also failed to deliver on his second promise to tackle the country’s economic woes. Unemployment has risen dramatically from 8.2 percent to 23.1 percent since he took office. In Lagos, Nigeria’s economic hub, it’s virtually impossible to find anyone who has a word of praise for Buhari’s economic policies. To be fair, Buhari did inherit a state treasury plundered by kleptocrats and an oil-dependent economy at a time when global prices of crude oil were plunging. His election pledge to diversify the economy and strengthen local production was a step in the right direction. But his policies have failed.
How has the rule of law fared under Buhari?—Abiodun Salawu
Similarly, Mr Abiodun Salawu, an Abuja based lawyer, said: “It is normal for any politician to attempt to portray his or her administration in a good light, however, it is for the citizens to give the verdict.
The questions to ask are these: are people faring better now than before? Has the standard of living improved or worsened? How many people have died within the last four years, including soldiers? Has the spate of kidnappings abated? In terms of the anti-corruption war, how many cases have been successfully prosecuted in courts and convictions secured?
The govt has failed totally on security—Gbenga Ojo
In his own contribution, Mr Gbenga Ojo, a senior lecturer at the Lagos State University argued that insecurity has got to a frightened stage. He said “what is more infuriating is that of the herdsmen, I mean ordinary herdsmen. They have taken over the entire country.
It appears that even the military has no clue at all. It is disgraceful and shameful. Gen. Danjuma raised the alarm sometime that government officials were giving logistics to the herdsmen. Are they really fighting corruption?
Our economy has declined irretrievably —Mr Evans Ufeli
Another lawyer, Mr Evans Ufeli, Executive Director, Cadrell Advocacy Centre, believed that the president misdirected himself when he made that proclamation on democracy day that his administration has made progress in the areas of security, economy and the fight against corruption.
In Nigeria, under Buhari, insurgency has deepened its operational attack on innocent Nigerians, herdsmen killing has grown astronomically, kidnapping has increased incredibly and banditry has been added to the socio-economic vices plaguing the Nigerian State.
The government appears to have zero understanding of the solutions to the problem hence it keeps deploying troops to quell the security challenges when all it needs is to address the educational deficit, poverty, inequitable distribution of the common wealth and the welfare of the people. Corruption is still endemic under this administration and this goes unchallenged.
Four extra years of nepotism, religious bigotry, ignorance of economics —Destine Tankon
Human Rights lawyer, Mr Destine Tankon, described President Buhari’s claim of having made solid progress in economy, security and fight against corruption as laughable.
Nigerians were being killed with impunity and the economy has fared as bad, from one of the fastest growing economies in the world and the biggest economy in Africa, to the poverty capital of the world.
No visible sign of progress on security —Prof Ernest Ojukwu
In his own estimation, a member of the inner bar, Professor Ernest Ojukwu, said “there have been some successes recorded by Buhari administration on the subject of security and corruption but more could be done. It is true that on security, criminals need only one success and the government needs many successes to be applauded, but the reality on the ground shows that our country even needs more than many successes to record progress on security.
The ordinary citizen does not need to be reminded and directed to where to find evidence of this progress. If there is progress, it would be obvious to everyone whether he is an enemy or friend. Right now there is no visible sign of progress on security.
Buhari has done well, We should play our part for the betterment of the country —Kayode Ajulo
Nevertheless, another constitutional lawyer and human rights activist, Mr. Kayode Ajulo, deferred in his opinion, insisting that President Buhari has performed creditably under the prevailing circumstances.
He said: “You will remember that during the electioneering campaign of 2015, those were the three key issues the President promised to address, and from the given circumstances we can say that he has tried. First, let me pick the one that nobody can fault him on, and that is anti- corruption. You can see that at least we are no longer paying lip service to anti-corruption war in this country.