President Mohammadu Buhari has on Wednesday night, during his first Presidential Media Chat since assumption of office on May 29, 2015 provided a roadmap on his administration through several questions put across to him.
Prominent among the issues addressed by the President was his anti-corruption drive which prominently formed the basis for his preference to lead the country despite the plethora of eligible full-bloodied civilians all over the nation.
Colossally, he stated that he takes responsibility of his ministers adding that anyone among them proved substantially to be corrupt will not only be shown the back door but unfailingly will face the wrath of law. He overtly explained that the ex-NSA’s prosecution was based on discoveries on treasury looting and therefore neither political nor personalized.
On the Chibok girls, Buhari also gave insight stating that the hunt is not yet over until the missing girls are found, though admitted that he cannot certifiably establish that the innocent girls are still alive since no person from the dreaded camp has come forward with a contrary position. In the same vein, the President remarkably touched on the proposed payment of stipends to vulnerable Nigerians adding that strict criteria would be put in place to ensure that the fund is judiciously spent on the target population accordingly.
On the state of the economy which he admitted may not be too healthy at the moment, President Buhari specifically put the record straight by stating that his administration has taken adequate measures in on that and therefore enjoined Nigerians to be patient assuring that there will be cause for celebration by the end of the first quarter of 2016.
Indeed, I equally think the President was accurate. The basis of my convergence is that until the budget is approved for implementation for a new administration, the government is technically inactive. On the other hand, it wouldn’t follow where the same government is in office.
This I supposed contributed majorly to the unusual delay in the constitution of the Federal Executive Council by the President knowing that until the budget is passed in the coming year, the newly-inaugurated ministers’ respective blueprints would remain mere proposals, hence early inauguration would create more deficit on the public fund since once inaugurated, all allowances and entitlements as statutorily provided for such offices would be running at the detriment of the economy.
Incontrovertibly, to maintain these offices including their respective aides cost a lot of money. The major disadvantage of democracy is that it is too expensive to run and if wisdom is not adequately applied as adopted by the President, avoidable losses would regularly occur.
However, on the fate of the Pro-Biafran activist, Nnamdi Kanu who is currently in the custody of the Directorate of State Services, DSS, I think and solemnly advice the Federal Government should be lenient to handle the matter as one of the political tumults that would usually occur in any multi-ethnic society like Nigeria. Specifically, this is where I think there is error.
According to Samuel Taylor Coleridge, “advice is like snow the softer it falls, the longer it dwells upon, and the deeper it sinks into the mind.” The unrelenting position of the government leading to filing of fresh charges against Kanu, though rationally a security measure should not go beyond that to thwart further crises in the polity.
Kanu has been in detention over treasonable felonies following his agitation for a sovereign Biafran state through his IPOB. He was earlier discharged by the Federal High Court, but held on fresh charges.
No doubt, under the Criminal Code, Laws of the Federation, his actions could reasonably demand for the charges slammed on him by the federal government. However, it could at the same time dangerously amount to further marginalization of the south-east geopolitical zone putting into consideration that similar actions had taken place in the past in other geopolitical zones.
It should be recalled that during the previous administration of Dr.Goodluck Jonathan, the Oduah People’s Congress, OPC took to the highways in the south-west particularly along the busy Ikorodu road destroying properties in support of Jonathan’s re-election, but went scot-free. Similar incidents had also severally occurred in the North through Arewa Youths and others groups in the geopolitical zone, as well as in the Niger-Delta regions. In all these mentioned, there were resolved as political issues and all charges against them withdrawn.
In other words, the federal government should also consider the present uproar as a political issue by releasing and dropping all charges against all the Pro-Biafran agitators in detention in the spirit of fairness and equity, however when convinced that the freedom would not be at the expense of the breach of the public peace. Importantly, he should be released to the prominent leaders of the south-east geopolitical zone including Chief Emeka Anyaoku, Dr. Alex Ekwueme, Prof Ben Nwabueze and some of the state governors. Government will at the same time unveil its plans towards redressing some of the injustices and imbalances in the polity that could be held as reasons to embark on such a dangerous move. That, no doubt, would bring to his cognizance that a sensitive issue as secession deserves a concerted thoughtfulness and consultation with all the stakeholders.