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REMINDER: In 2014, Saraki told Nigerians to vote APC out in 2019 if…
In 2014 Bukola Saraki, Senate President signed a pact with Nigerians on behalf of the All Progressives Congress (APC) that the party should be voted out in 2019 if it fails to deliver on its promises.
Saraki specifically promised that the APC would “tackle unemployment, insecurity and improve standard of living” in its first term in power.
“APC will sign a contract with Nigerians. If we fail to tackle unemployment, insecurity and improve standard of living in 2015 – 2019, VOTE US OUT,” Saraki tweeted on July 14, 2014.
Well, four years after, available statistics show that unemployment rate in Nigeria has risen, insecurity has heightened and the standard of living has worsened.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), unemployment in Nigeria stood at 18.8 percent as of the last quarter of 2017 from nine percent in 2015 and 13.4 percent in 2016. A total of 4.07 million Nigerians became unemployed between January and September 2017, the NBS report further revealed.
So, it is apparent that the APC-led administration did not record much success in tackling unemployment.
On the security front, though there has been considerable success in the fight against Boko Haram in the North East, especially with the release of some of the abducted Chibok school girls, a survey by the BBC showed that there were more Boko Haram attacks are on the rise, more in 2017 than in 2016.
According to the survey, the terrorist group carried out a total of 150 attacks in 2017, higher than the 127 attacks it mounted in 2016. Also, 967 people were killed by Boko Haram attacks in 2017, an increase from the 910 in 2016.
The security situation across the country appears to have worsened, no thanks to several attacks by herdsmen. In 2018, alone hundreds of lives have been lost to herdsmen attacks in Benue, Nasarawa, Taraba and Plateau States. Kidnapping and armed robbery have also remained rampant across the country.
Overall, it is unlikely that majority of Nigerians will agree that security situation in the country has been better off under Buhari’s administration.
On the standard of living in the country, figures from the NBS show that inflation rate currently stands at 15.90 percent, having dropped for 10 consecutive quarters, but food prices remain relatively higher than they were in 2015.
The Nigerian naira currently exchanges at N305 to $1 at the official rate, and up to N360 at the parallel market, even though government officials say this is as a result of the crash in the international price of crude oil.
But former President Olusegun Obasanjo put it succinctly in his special press statement earlier this year when he said: “Let nobody deceive us, economy feeds on politics and because our politics is depressing, our economy is even more depressing today.”
Buhari has declared to run for a second term in office under the APC, it is left for Nigerians to judge whether the party has lived up to the terms of the contract Saraki signed with them on behalf of APC in 2015, and to decide whether to vote the party out or not.