Posted by Rafiu Ajakaye | 30 May 2017 | 993 times
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari hit two years in office on Monday amid 57% approval ratings, with the administration acknowledging challenges of fixing an economy in recession, slow prosecution of corruption cases and conflicts in parts of the country.
A nationwide survey by prominent civic group Buhari Meter, which tracks the president's campaign promises, showed above-average ratings for the administration across various sectors especially security (54%), corruption fight (52%) and reflating the economy (46%).
According to the report, 57 percent of the sampled population approved of Buhari’s job performance in general.
“However, there are clear regional differences observed in the President’s approval rating. While the North-West (85%) and North-East (66%) regions constitute the majority of those who approve of his job performance, respondents from the South-East (72%) and South-South (60%) regions make up those who do not approve his performance,” the report said.
The administration credited itself with crushing Boko Haram militants, including rescuing millions of its captives and returning at least 106 of the 276 schoolgirls abducted under the previous government, as well as saving some $587 million in special accounts at a time of low oil prices.
Buhari, 74, was sworn into office on May 29, 2015 after he defeated the then-President Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Hit by low oil prices and the hostilities in the oil-rich delta compounded by poor savings, the economy plunged into a recession in the second quarter of 2016, leading to job losses and inflation bred by plummeting value of the naira.
The president’s health has also deteriorated in the past months. He is currently on a medical vacation in London, with opposition calling on him to step down.
In an anniversary speech on Monday, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo said the administration had done well but acknowledged that a lot more needed to be done especially in fixing the economy and restoring peace in the delta and central Nigeria where clashes between herdsmen and farmers had ratcheted up tension.
He called for support, and patience, from the public whom he admitted had been through pains in the past months because of the harsh economic realities, adding however that the worst phase was now behind.
“The most important thing is that we are on the right path, and we will not deviate from it, even in the face of strong temptation to choose temporary gain over long-term benefit,” Osinbajo said.
Opposition PDP said the situation in the country had worsened under Buhari, although it called on Nigerians to pray for his health recovery.
“Nigerians have never been this hungry in their entire lives as seen in the last two years except during the Civil War. The Federal Government under the PDP created 500,000 jobs per annum for our teeming unemployed youths,” the party said in a statement.
“Since the [All Progressives Congress] APC-led administration took over, more than 4.5 million people have lost their jobs instead. The security situation in the country today has worsened with the rampaging herdsmen’s attacks killing innocent and harmless people unabated and sacking communities,” it added.
Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Center (CISLAC) told Anadolu Agency the country had seen a reinvigorated fight against corruption and commitment to strengthen security under Buhari.
“However there is a long way to achieve commitments and promises made by this administration. The economy and the living conditions for Nigerians are rather difficult and poor unemployment rate, poor health condition and education have not improved,” CISLAC chief Auwal Musa Rafsanjani said. (Anadolu Agency)
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