This newspaper’s reading of recent visit of a number of high profile players to Aso Rock Villa, the seat of federal power in Nigeria as the eve of a major policy has been confirmed correct. The Federal Government is, finally and formally, seeking emergency powers from the National Assembly. The emergency powers is on the economy rather than the security dimension feared by Intervention in its inference but the economic emergency might be a prelude to a series of efforts aimed at rejuvenating running Nigeria by the Buhari Presidency. The country’s security situation is widely believed to be as bad as the economy. The story as crafted by Intervention and published on Sunday, August 21st, 2016 went as follows:
Speculations Galore Over Visitors to Nigeria’s Seat of Power
What might be that major decision about to be taken by the Nigerian government over which senior citizens have been trooping to the seat of power in the country? Villa watchers have counted no less than six of such visitors in less than a month as to think that the country is on the eve of a major policy announcement. The question is which policy?
Among the high profile visitors are former president Olusegun Obasanjo who told journalists at the end of his last visit that he had messages for the president from trips he had undertaken; immediate past president, Goodluck Jonathan on August 3; Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka on August 11th, followed by Tunde Bakare, the incumbent’s running mate in 2011 presidential contest, Yakubu Dogara, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and General Abdulsalami Abubakar, former Head of State on August 18th. While former president Obasanjo might be considered a regular visitor to the Villa since Buhari’s return to power last year and, in fact, all other presidents since he left power in 2007, Jonathan, Soyinka, Bakare and Abdulsalami have not been in the Villa openly of late.
The visits comply with the major fault lines in Nigerian politics: former heads of state versus non – former heads of state, north – south, Christian – Muslim; military – civilian but it excludes gender.
There have been speculations about the visit of the prominent individuals. A key one relates to probing of Goodluck Jonathan over suspected linkage with the Niger Delta Avengers but there is no knowing if that is the reason for the visitors. Only Abdulsalami hinted about exploring peace.
But Soyinka and Abdulsalami mentioned domestic and international issues as the subject of their visit. On the other hand, Obasanjo, Bakare and Abdulsalami pleaded for patience with the Buhari regime, with Bakare describing it as too early and too soon to judge the government. Obasanjo expressed the confidence that Buhari would not disappoint, although he said this much later after his visit to the Villa.
The Buhari government confronts a myriad of problems, ranging from insecurity, particularly the Boko Haram insurgency in the North East, the resource nationalism insurgency in the Niger Delta, farmers – herdsmen clashes and overall rise in criminality across the country; resistance to the regime’s anti-corruption war and oil price fall and associated economic crunch. Which one of these problems the government might be about making a momentous move is the issue in question. Lai Mohammed, the minister for information told Daily Trust, the Abuja based daily that an investigation of the immediate past president had been making the rounds for too long that it could be subject of a probe.