Seven months after taking over government, the Muhammadu Buhari administration has succeeded in achieving only one out of the 222 campaign promises made to Nigerians, according to a report by Buharimetre, a civil society monitoring report tracking the implementation of the president’s campaign promises.
The report, which covers the activities of the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government from May 29 to December 31, 2015, observed in its assessment that the achievement was in the area of the fight against corruption, even though a lot was still left undone in that regard.
“PMB has only achieved 1 out of the 222 tracked promises, which constitutes 0.5 percent of the promises,” Buharimetre reported.
“ More so, it reveals that while the government is taking action to achieving only 27 (12.2 percent approximately) of the tracked promises thus ongoing, 194 electoral promises are still ‘Not Rated.’
“ The latter constitutes 87.3 percent of the tracked promises.”
The electoral promises not rated, it says, is because there is “no tangible related activities being implemented.”
The 2015 report is the fourth on the series of report on the assessment of the performance of President Muhammadu Buhari and the governing party, the APC, on the delivery of its 222 electoral promises.
The report examined and focused on issues around insecurity, the economy, oil and gas, corruption, agriculture and social sectors, with emphasis on the environment.
It also provided useful insights into the current state of key sectors as a way of establishing the basis of measuring outcomes.
Assessing the fight against corruption, the report noted that there had been visible efforts to combat corruption since the inauguration of the present administration, naming the arrest and prosecution of some notable persons and the efforts to recover looted funds.
“PMB anti-corruption efforts have been commended as a step in the right direction,” the report noted.
“ Positive opinions in this regard are due to the possible positive impact of the efforts on development and democracy in the country.
“However, the government has been accused of politics of selection in the fight against corruption. A delay in the prosecution of the accused people has been a major criticism of the government. Moreover, while the government has shown unmatched commitment to curbing corruption, such effort should be institutionalised.”
The report observed that one of the promises of the current administration was to strengthen the capacity of anti-graft agencies, particularly EFCC and ICPC, by guaranteeing their prosecutorial and financial independence as well as security of tenure.
“Despite the fact that the anti-grant agencies have shown renewed efforts in the fight against corrupt practices, there has been no effort by the government to amend relevant laws to guarantee their independence in these areas,” states the report.
“Moreover, nothing has been done to enact the Whistle Blower Act, as promised by the administration. We believe that through these interventions, the performance of anti-graft agencies would not rely on the personality and political will of President Buhari, but rather the campaign against corruption would be institutionalised and thereby would extend beyond the current administration.”
While stating that it was aware of government’s commitment to fighting corruption and blocking leakages in both the civil service and the oil and gas sector; and exhibiting a strong political will to fight corruption irrespective of who is involved, Buharimetre observed that the fight against corruption must not be devoid of strict adherence to the rule of law.
“In the last few months, several of the people accused of corruption have been detained against the law, which stipulates that all accused must be brought before the court 48 hours after arrest,” it stated.
“Some people granted bail have since been re-arrested and detained. The fight against corruption must be pursued in line with due process and never in abuse of the law.
“It is also imperative for the government to acknowledge that the fight against corruption should not be confused as sufficient to address all governance challenges in the country.
“Essentially, fighting corruption is and should remain one of the policy priorities of government but not the only overarching intervention necessary to strengthen governance, especially in a country like Nigeria where democracy is still transitioning.
“The campaign against corrupt practices should simultaneously exist with interventions such as social provisions that could discourage people from engaging in corrupt practices, and to a large extent, galvanize support for the campaign. This may also help institutionalise the anti-corruption process in the country.
“ Allegations of perceived bias continue to be made against the PMB administration in several parts of the country. For instance, the South Eastern part of the country continues to claim marginalization on the part of the government.”
Although, Buharimetre noted the efforts of the Nigerian military in the fight against Boko Haram insurgency in the north east of Nigeria and to ensure security in the entire country, it said the rising wave of violent crimes such as armed robbery, kidnapping, militancy in the Nigeria Delta and the activities of Biafra separatists groups were posing even greater danger to the security of life in the country.
The report acknowledged the achievements in decimating the capabilities of Boko Haram insurgents in the North East and the reorganization of the entire structure in the anti-terrorism project, but noted that the sect continues to display strong resilience and shocking adaptability.
“Members of the group, who formerly travelled in armoured personnel carriers (APCs), now ride horses, motor bikes and bicycles to carry out their nefarious activities,” said the report.
“ These range from poisoning water when fleeing villages and adopting soft target attacks using suicide bombing, executed mostly by young girls.
“The insurgents have also carried out attacks in Nyanya and Kuje, on the outskirts of the capital city, Abuja.”
It faulted the government’s responses to the increasing number of internally displaced persons whose living conditions had become life threatening.
The report also underscored government’s failure to officially unveil its accountability plans for resolving the Boko Haram insurgency.
“This may be partly because the problem is not Boko Haram alone. Amnesty International recently issued a report titled Stars on Their Shoulders, Blood on Their Hands indicting the Nigerian military for its wanton killings in the war against the insurgency,” it said.
“The ICC-OTP has also established eight possible cases of crimes against humanity in relation to the North East of Nigeria. This includes six possible cases against Boko Haram and two possible cases against the Nigerian security forces.”
The report also drew attention to the fact that the remote and immediate causes of violent extremism are still very much alive in the polity.
“There are smaller, less popular Islamic radical groups present in several parts of Northern Nigeria,” says the report.
“For instance, Yanlabaiku in Kebbi state is preaching against Western education and Westernisation, and Niger state is pervaded by different radical Islamist groups. Most of these groups live in seclusion, preaching and practicing radical Islam.”
It also cited armed banditry which had continue to terrorise rural communities, rustling cattle, raping and abducting women and girls, killing people and committing highway robbery and thus increasing tension in Northern Nigeria.
Also citing the Biafra struggle, the report noted that the state approach, and particularly the security sector approach in handling the conflicts remained a cause for concern across the country.
“There are fears that if the IPOB is not properly managed, it may degenerate into a low level insurgency, further compounding current security challenges,” it said.
“Soon after the security agents clampdown on the Biafra separatist movement, there were reports that the Nigerian Army, in preventing an alleged attempted assassination on the Chief of Army staff, General Buratai, killed twenty Shia members in Zaria.
“The Shia are said to have put up barricades and blocked the road to be used by General Buratai. The Army went to the sect’s enclave Husainiyyah, the residence of sect leader Ibrahim Zakzaky in Gyallesu, and the DarurRahma mosque, where many unarmed people were killed.
“Human Rights Watch (HRW), has alleged that no fewer than 300 members of the Shia sect were killed and secretly buried by members of the Nigerian army,” the report stated.