Buhari on track –Adesina
By Henry Akubuiro
Recently, the Buhari administration marked its second year in office. In this exclusive interview with Daily Sun at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Mr. Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, responds to questions on the midterm performance of the president.
Two years down the line, to what extent has the president delivered on his campaign promises?
If you are going to assess a government –or do any king of assessment at all –you often need to benchmark it against promises made. So, it is a good time to ask ourselves: what were the promises made? And how far have those promises being fulfilled? We cannot come with a definitive assessment of the government yet, because it is a four-year mandate. So, we can’t come with an assessment that is final. No! So, we ask ourselves: what are the promises the APC and President Muhammadu Buhari made before they came into power? Of course, they were three. The campaign was on three major planks: secure the country, fight corruption and restore the economy.
And two years down the line, I can confidently say that those promises are being fulfilled. The level of fulfillment will differ from one area to the other, but, definitely, they are promises being fulfilled. In the area of security, we know that one major aspect of security in this country is the war against insurgency. There are others like the Fulani herdsmen issue, kidnappings, armed robbery, and all that. We knew where the Boko Haram insurgency was when this administration came in 2015. Boko Haram was running riot round the country. The insurgency started in 2009 from the north-east; it crept into the north-west, north-central, Abuja and Kogi. From Kogi, it could have gone to south-west; and, from south-west, it could have gone to south-south. So, what else should be left of the country? That was the position as at 2015 May.
Don’t forget that after the inauguration of the president, the ferocity of bombings was serious round the country. It was as if Boko Haram knew a Daniel had come to judgement, and they wanted to show him what they were capable of doing. But, then, they saw that the president re-equipped the military, changed the leadership, and restored morale. And he went to different countries seeking help in terms of equipment, and, later, the military was in a position to take the battle to Boko Haram, and chased them out of north-central, north-west, Abuja and limited them to just north-east, and not just the north-east but three states: Adamawa, Yobe and Borno. Soon, Adamawa and Yobe were cleared, and Borno became the only hotbed, and not the whole of Borno but just within the Sambisa Forest. And by December 22, the last camp, called Cam-Zairo (Camp Zero), of Sambisa Forest fell to the military. So, there is a wide difference –just like the difference between heaven and hell –between the insurgency battle today compared to 2015. There is a wide difference.
So, why the difficulty in making sure that Boko Haram is totally decimated?
It is an asymmetric war. Those versed in the art of warfare say asymmetric wars are very difficult to win, because it is not a war in which you have a pitched battle and, when you decimate that opponent, you know that the war is over. You see how they [Boko Haram] are fighting it through sneaky bomb attacks. But you know that is reducing in scope and the success is also reducing in scope. Most times, you see that it is the bomber who is the only victim, so to speak. It is reducing in intensity and ferocity that we believe, one day, it will end.
So, it is only somebody who wants to be very unfair to this administration that will say that war is at the same level it was two years ago. You need to see how nightlife has returned to the cities in the north-east; you need to see roads that have been closed for three-four years now reopened and being used; emirs that ran away from their palaces and Boko H