2013: Making New Resolutions

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As the new year begins, individuals and nations across the world have made positive resolutions of various kinds. Some have set expected targets while others placed challenges that must be conquered, arising from previous years.

Being a sovereign state, Nigeria requires more than mere retrospection of the year 2012 with all its good, bad and ugly experiences. Nigeria and Nigerians ought to have resolved, by now, to do away with some bad habits that tended to hamper her quest for progress and instead, helped to ridicule her citizenry in eyes of the free-world.

In 2013, therefore, The Tide expects the Federal Government to do so many things differently, since it should have been clear, that solutions to such problems failed to meet the expectations of the citizenry, in the past year.

Top on the bill of such expectations is success in the war on terror and the security of lives and property. The Goodluck Jonathan Presidency should have realised by now that security situation is one of its greatest challenges. No army, no matter how strong can win both the war and the peace without a plan to earn the confidence of the people.

That seems to be the missing-link in tackling the increasing spate of terror-based attacks on public places in parts of the North. Government must, therefore, devise a work plan that wins both the support and confidence of the people and that may strengthen its intelligence gathering potentials.

As it stands, the ranks of most security formations, government agencies and even the media have been infiltrated by members of terror groups, particularly, Boko Haram and their international sponsors. That, has without doubt, unwittingly compromised the much needed commitment and precision in tackling systemic insecurity in the land.

Linked to that also is the avoidable politicisation of the security situation by the political class. To many in that category, victory over the terror groups would amount to success of the Jonathan presidency, and they have continued to do little in support of government except bad mouthing the administration forgetting that the same Boko Haram monster  could some day consume them.

Government should, therefore, change its tactics and form a bi-partisan coalition that not merely confronts the terrorists but also addresses the hopes, fears and needs of law-abiding citizens. Such reliefs should include support for agro-based pursuits, education, health, provision of potable water and electricity and basic infrastructure development, key among which must be better road and rail networks.

But perhaps the worst score of governments at all levels is the war against corruption. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) should put its acts together and pursue corruption-related issues in a more pro-active manner and help save Nigeria from the shame of being one of the most corrupt nations of the world.

The confession by the EFCC high Command of frustration in that regard should be addressed by the Federal Government in a manner that enhances success. Perhaps, the Commission’s request for special courts to be designated to ensure speedy hearing of graft-related cases should be re-considered by the Judiciary, if it will indeed make the required difference.

In 2013, The Tide expects more co-operation and not competition among the various arms of government: the Executive, the Legislature and indeed the Judiciary. With the timely passage of  2013 fiscal budget by the National Assembly, we expect the Federal Government to consider more proactive ways of budget implementation.

Very soon, the rains will set-in, therefore, key works on Federal roads and other infrastructural pursuits must be addressed in a timely manner so that the rains would not be excuse for inaction.

In 2012, a major source of friction between the Federal Government and both Chambers of the National Assembly was poor budget implementation. That should be avoided in the interest of the nation and the citizenry. Another, is the annoying implementation of various reports of inquiries, key among which is that on  Oil Subsidy Management Probe.

It is expected  therefore that the executive arm should ensure that none directly or indirectly fingered in the scam is left off the hook. There should not be any sacred cow in the recovery of all ill-gotten funds under that sub-head.

Now perhaps, is also an auspicious moment to admonish politicians against regularly heating – up the polity for phoney political gains. The election year is as far as 2015, therefore, it would be too hasty to commence unnecessary politicisation of virtually every issue of public concern and for such reasons fail always to strike a national consensus.

In 2013, we expect the political class to demonstrate better statesmanship, patriotism and indeed good citizenship, as no government can succeed without the co-operation, involvement, participation and indeed support of its well-meaning citizenry.

Now is the time to make such possible attitudinal change.