By Olayiwola Lawal
As Nigerians await the 29th May, 2023, presidential inauguration, the day set aside for the swearing-in of every democratically elected president since 1999, the hope of witnessing positive political, economic, and social changes in their lives is mixed.
The president-elect, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu also known as “BAT,” had promised Nigerians a better life during the presidential electioneering campaign, while he based his argument on replicating what he had achieved in office as a governor Lagos State between 1999 and 2007 in term of development.
Senator Tinubu’s track records cannot be erased from the politics of Lagos State, where he had successfully institutionalized his name as a political godfather to many politicians in Lagos and beyond. No wonder that he introduced the phrase “Emi lo kan,” meaning it is my turn, to the Nigerian political lexicon in the wake of the All Progressives Congress’s presidential primary election in Ogun State. Unlike the political phrase or slogan “O to Ge,” meaning “it is enough,” during the 2019 political campaign in Kwara State by the All Progressives Congress, which sent the Waziri of Ilorin and the former Senator President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Senator Bukola Abubakar Saraki, to political exile, the Emi Lo Kan did not resonate well with many Nigerians, particularly the youth, who are tired of the old politicians ruling the country. Other critics felt that the power to choose who becomes president should not be in the hands of certain politicians but the electorate.
However, there is no denying that Senator Tinubu is surrounded by creative and intellectually sound individuals that are champions in their respective fields. One of the questions on the lips of many Nigerians is: can BAT truly fulfill the promises made during campaign or is it like other promises made by politicians during campaign? The main challenges facing the incoming administration are security and the economy.
Over the past decades, Nigeria is faced with increasing crime rate, threatening the social and economic development of the country. The Boko Haram insurgency that began during late President Umar Musa Yar’Adua administration caught the national and international attention with its series of attacks on private and public properties, mostly in northeast region and occasionally north-central region, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Another association that poses a threat to the existence of Nigeria is the Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP), founded by Ibraheem Zakzaky. ISWAP activities are well known in Sokoto and Kaduna States. Aside from these, kidnapping and robbery, are reported on daily basis in the northern part of the country.
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) is another security threat to Nigeria State. The group, which was founded by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and Uche Mefor, aimed at actualize the creation of the Republic of Biafra. The Nigerian government proscribes and labeled the group as a terrorist organization/association on September 20, 2017. Presently the leader of the secessionist group Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has been arrested and facing different charges. Also, the agitation for the actualization of Odudu Republic or Yoruba Nation by of some Yorubas in south west region, couple with kidnapping and killings of some aboriginal on their farms by cattle herders who are used to open grassing practice.
Notable among the Yorubas champion self-determination for the region are Professor Banji Akintoye and Chief Sunday Adeyemo popular known as Igboho. The duo are presently in the Republic of Benin after the arrest attempt made on Igboho by the Nigerian government. All these and many more are security challenges that the incoming administration of Senator Tinubu will encounter after May 29.
Over the last four decades, the Nigerian economy has solely relied on petroleum. Though the country has benefited greatly from the product during its hay days.
Recently, the price of petroleum products has fallen on the international market, having ripple effect on mono-economy such as Nigeria. Also, the removal of subsidies on petroleum products and conflict between the Federal Government and Independent Petroleum Marketers of Nigeria caused an increase in the price of locally manufactured goods due to transportation. The development that made the Buhari administration to exploits other areas of the economy like agriculture, and mining for the sustainability and stability of the nation.
The President-elect should hit the ground running by formulating policies that will better the lots of Nigerians through concerted effort of result-oriented individuals that will be part of the government. The President-elect must recognize that, in order to address these issues, the nation’s current security challenges are distinct from those he faced as governor of Lagos State, which were mostly robbery, rape, and kidnapping.