The year 2019 – partly because its an election year – in Nigeria’s political terrain was quite eventful. But much of this eventfulness will be overshadowed by the reckoning which is to come in the year 2020.
Next year will be the year that more Nigerians than it was precedented will wake up from their long slumber. If the economy does not improve drastically, to match the hiking population growth rate, more citizens who are unable to migrate might turn against the government.
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The stance that the Federal Government is also taking against activists may begin to churn out more self-appointed human rights activists who are opportunists. The more the country manufactures “martyr activists” like Omoyele Sowore, the more the people who will rise against what they perceive as impunity of the government.
But more importantly, the new tax policy which will take effect from January 2020 will very likely get more Nigerians politically active. Once the new tax regime which was signed into law in November takes effect and is being enforced, some citizens may revolt against the new taxes or move to get more involved in internal affairs of the Nigerian government – more than ever before.
Moreover, the drama between the political class will get trickier as the race for 2023 draws near. Gradually and systemically, attention could shift to the National Leader of the incumbent party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and others of President Buhari’s inner caucus. The tension may only widen the gorge, which already exists between the different factions within the party.
Recall that the role of VP Yemi Osinbajo as the head of the Economic Management Team got replaced by another committee recently appointed by the president. Some of Osinbajo’s aides were also sacked by the presidency when the president was away in the U.K in November while he refused to hand over the reins of the government. As Osinbajo is being vilified for a part of his godfather’s – Tinubu – effrontery, the duty of persons loyal to Tinubu – such as that of Babatunde Fowler who was just relieved of his managerial role as the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) – are being hacked off major roles at the top. The price which some of these politicians will pay for their ambition as 2023 approaches will begin to manifest from 2020.
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The political class will be having as much of internal squabbles as with the Nigerian masses come 2020. The executive and the legislative arm of government will be trying as many shenanigans with the public as possible. The judiciary may find itself dancing to the tunes of the executive government even more as they might face intimidation and blackmail.
Whether the APC survives and wades through the brimming internal struggle in 2020 or the opposition, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), dissipates political verve too quickly, the outlook of how more Nigerians fare politically looks more positive than negative on the long run. And this is why citizens will need to take the bull by the horns early enough in the coming year.
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