Events that will greatly impact on 2018
Some events and activities around the country will certainly impact on this year. Already, even as early as the first week, some of these events and activities have started manifesting and becoming topical across the country and are likely to go the full circle as the year progresses.And their impact on the polity and different sectors cannot be over-emphasised, as there would be far-reaching effects.This is just as the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) and Nigerians from different walks of life have expressed their expectations from government, with the hope that this year would be better than last year, despite all the current challenges.
Buhari’s Second Term Bid
The second term ambition of President Muhammadu Buhari will surely be an issue this year.His decision to seek re-election, which is his right, despite the issues of his health challenges, is one topic that would linger as the 2019 general elections approach.
Already, the President has started oiling his second term bid with the reported reappointment of Minister of Transport, Chibuike Amaechi, as director general of his campaign.In the last few weeks, there have been rumours and underground campaigns for Buhari to seek re-election, with the President still refusing to be categorical on the matter.
But with the latest development, Buhari has obviously thrown his hat into the ring.Not only would his seeking a second term truncate the presidential ambitions of many politicians in his ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), it would also put paid to the dreams of many others in the different political parties.
But unlike in 2015, the President faces a more uphill task of convincing skeptical Nigerians about his ability to continue and surmount the stark realities on ground.
Many believe that to make any headway into his ambition, Buhari needs to rejig his cabinet to improve overall performance of government in the respective sectors.His critics believe the administration has been lack-lustre and needs more verve to silence his more critical opponents.With many expectations yet unmet and promises unfulfilled, the President would need a breath of fresh air and new hands to assist him steer the ship of state.Some Nigerians have accused some ministers of lacking initiative and zest to move the country forward. In short, it appears long overdue.
Osun, Ekiti Governorship Polls
The Osun and Ekiti governorship elections holding this year would go a long way in determining the footing of APC and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Southwest, and by extension, Nigeria.
It is going to be a signpost of what might unfold in 2019. Having lost Anambra State and a foothold on the Southeast, the APC would be looking to consolidate in Osun and take Ekiti, the only non-APC state in the Southwest to solidify its hold in the zone.
IF there is one thing Nigerians would hope it never surfaces again, it is fuel scarcity. But that might never happen, as the ugly trend is likely to recur this year.
With the way and manner the issue was handled by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the government, the respite might be momentary, unless the issues of local refining and appropriate pricing are squarely addressed.
The simmering agitation for an upward review of the current minimum wage is one matter Nigerian workers and the Labour movement are likely to take government on this year.The dwindling purchasing power of the average Nigerian, both in the private and public sectors, calls for a review of the minimum wage for workers are likely to increase this year.
Badoo, Boko Haram, Fulani Herdsmen Threat To Peace
By Maria Diamond
The lingering security crises involving Boko Haram insurgency, Fulani herdsmen, as well as Badoo cult group, especially around Lagos and Ogun states, have already crept into the New Year and are likely to remain dominant.
According to last year’s Global Terrorism Index, Nigeria experienced about 80 per cent drop in the number of deaths caused by terrorist attacks, compared to 2016, but despite this drop, the series of crisis and attacks last year have proved that the Boko Haram insurgency still lingers.
Each suicide bombing and attack on remote communities in the northeast contradicts the declaration of victory and defeat of the insurgents by the government.The criminal activities of Fulani herdsmen in parts of the country, especially Benue State, have indeed continued into the year, with recent attacks claiming the lives of over 20 persons.
This has and might remain a major security challenge in the country, as thousands have been killed and many exiled from the home and communities, while the federal government seems to lack the will power to tackle the menace.
There have been speculations on the true identity of the herdsmen. While some said they are undercover Boko Haram members, others believe they are herdsmen from other West African countries with easy and unhindered access to Nigeria due to the porous border.But most worrisome is the cost and sophistication of the weapon the marauders bear, including AK47 and high-calibre machine guns, which many believe they cannot afford without external assistance
The bizarre and notorious activities of the dreaded Badoo cult group have sent many to their early graves, while others have fled their places of abode, especially in Ikorodu area of Lagos and environs. The renouncement of cult membership by about 500 youths at Imota in Ikorodu gave way for jubilation of victory by security personnel who declared an end to Badoo killings. But that was short-lived, as the group renewed its attacks soon afterwards.
It is hoped that the recent arrest of one of its leaders at a shrine in the area would curb its nefarious activities.Already, these security issues have stared Nigerians in the face again this year.
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