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As Buhari Grapples With Socio-Economic Challenges…

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President Muhammadu Buhari and Senate President, Bukola Saraki

President Muhammadu Buhari and Senate President, Bukola Saraki

Only a few people will
disagree that President Muhammadu Buhari, is on the path of history.
Never in the history of Nigeria had an opposition party defeated the ruling party at the centre, as Buhari’s All Progressives Congress (APC) did to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on March 28, this year.
May 29, which was the handover date, therefore presented a unique opportunity for President Buhari to assert himself as the agent of change that his party promised Nigerians.
In his inaugural speech, the president said the change that has already taken place, is going to positively affect the psyche of the Nigerian populace as the new government settles down to unleash its developmental agenda.
“Having just a few minutes ago sworn on the Holy Book, I intend to keep my oath and serve as President to all Nigerians.I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody,” he said.
This is one statement Nigerians would certainly not forget in a hurry. To think that after donkey’s years of the winner of an election taking all, even if it meant putting square pegs in round holes, or asserting superiority at the least presumed provocation, everybody, no matter affiliations, would be carried along, is one change Nigerians would eagerly look forward to.
Many have already given various interpretations to the statement, which is naturally expected. But,in recognition of the aspirations of the founding fathers of the Nigerian state, and how the leadership had hitherto deviated to the detriment of the country, the President confirmed thus:
“They might have differed in their methods or tactics or details, but they were united in establishing a viable and progressive country. Some of their successors behaved like spoilt children breaking everything and bringing disorder to the house”.
Since a house in disorder implies various forms of filth infestation, that Buhari has recognized this as fact is indicative of his resolve to embark on a thorough clean-up. How he will achieve such order that has eluded the country for over half a century is one big task most Nigerians would want to know, even as they look forward to it coming to fruition.
A pointer to where the President is headed in this wise seems to have been what manifested in the 8th Assembly during the election of key officials that produced a Senate President from the ruling party (APC), and his deputy from the opposition (PDP). It also saw the minority party producing the Majority Leader.
The President also knows how daunting the task may be, but he is also determined to realise that it is not insurmountable because, as he sees it,”there is now a national consensus that our chosen route to national development is democracy. To achieve our objectives we must consciously work the democratic system.
“The Federal Executive under my watch will not seek to encroach on the duties and functions of the Legislative and Judicial arms of government. The law enforcing authorities will be charged to operate within the Constitution. We shall rebuild and reform the public service to become more effective and more serviceable. We shall charge them to apply themselves with integrity to stabilize the system”, he said.
If it is true that Buhari was sort, as the Commander-In-Chief, to prevail on the happenings at the 8th National Assembly to ensure that his party had its way, yet he decided to allow nature to take its natural course, it can only mean that he is determined to let democracy be.
Contrary to the expectations of the APC, and the orthodox populace, Buhari said although he would have preferred that he would have wished that the process initiated and concluded by APC had been followed, he had no option than to accept the outcome because due constitutional process was followed.This is another way of saying that he backsNigerians’ determination to have a truly democratic government, which was set in motion when they decided tovote for the opposition against all odds.
Having been able to instil this level of democracy thus far, and if the Federal Executive under Buhari’s watch will indeed observe Separation of Powers to the letter, and law enforcement will be according to the constitution, not minding whose ox is gored, Nigeria would be on its path to contending with notably established democracies like the United State of America.
Rebuilding and reforming the public service to become more effective and more serviceable, among other things, imply that it will not be politicised as it is today. That, as it was in the days of yore, Permanent Secretaries will not come and go with the government of the day, they will naturally ascend the position through service and hard work in the given Ministry.
In other words, the Chief Executive will not have the sole power to sack, transfer, or carry out any disciplinary measure against a Permanent Secretary. The reason being that having grown through the ranks in the Ministry, the Permanent Secretary, as the Head of Administration, has become a custodian of rules and regulations, as well as the administration of the Ministry. A quality which a neophyte politician could hardly have.
This also means that measures taken in the good old days to make the Civil Service an epitome of discipline and encouraged education and hard work will be taken seriously. Such measures include ensuring that public servants are encouraged to take education seriously knowing that there is a limit to which level long service can get them.
Ultimately, he noted rightly that “It is only when the three arms act constitutionally that government will be enabled to serve the country optimally and avoid the confusion all too often bedevilling governance today”.
No doubt this has been one aspect of governance that had always been given lip service by past governments, even after they had sworn by the “holy book”. But the new President was not done. The same thing, he said, will trickle down to all sphere of governance.
“Constitutionally there are limits to powers of each of the three tiers of government but that should not mean the Federal Government should fold its arms and close its eyes to what is going on in the states and local governments. Not least the operations of the Local Government Joint Account.
“While the Federal Government cannot interfere in the details of its operations, it will ensure that the gross corruption at the local level is checked. As far as the constitution allows me I will try to ensure that there is responsible and accountable governance at all levels of government in the country.
“For I will not have kept my own trust with the Nigerian people if I allow others abuse theirs under my watch”.
Towards achieving what the new party in power aims at, he recognises that it can only be achieved with the cooperation of key stakeholders in the country’s development.
“No matter how well organized the governments of the federation are, they cannot succeed without the support, understanding and cooperation of labour unions, organized private sector, the press and civil society organizations. I appeal to employers and workers alike to unite in raising productivity so that everybody will have the opportunity to share in increased prosperity.
“The Nigerian press is the most vibrant in Africa. My appeal to the media today – and this includes the social media – is to exercise its considerable powers with responsibility and patriotism”.
With the tonic for expected change having been swallowed following President Buhari’s declarations in his inaugural speech, and the hitherto impossible having taken place in the National Assembly, expectations are fever-pitch high. By the end of thePresident’s first 100 days in office, the horizon may be clearer.

 

Soibi Max-Alalibo

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Eid-El-Maulud: Northern Govs Charge Muslims To Live In Love

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The Northern Governors Forum has congratulated Muslims in Nigeria on the occasion of Eid-el- Maulud, charging them to live in love.
The chairman of the forum and governor of Plateau, Simon Lalong,  felicitated with the Muslims and gave the charge in a statement by his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Dr Makut Macham,  yesterday in Jos.
According to the statement,  the special occasion marking the birth of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, is a reminder of his teachings of love, forgiveness, peaceful coexistence and humility among others.
It further said that the failure of humanity to practice love is what has given rise to selfishness, violence, intolerance, religious bigotry, ethnic hatred, corruption, high crime rate and wickedness in the society .

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Group Cautions Against Boycott Of Anambra Poll

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The Global Initiatives for Anambra Needs (GIAN) a pressure group, has cautioned the electorate against boycott of the Nov. 6 Anambra governorship poll.
Mr Francis Okafor, Director of Publicity, GIAN, made the call in a statement on Tuesday in Awka.
Okafor urged the State Government to work with security agencies to ensure adequate security in the state before, during and after the election.
He appealed for calm and enabling environment for the people to come out in their numbers to vote during the election.
“We must make the electoral process credible, so that our state can know peace that supports development.
“Anyone who has the interest of the state at heart should resist any call to boycott the governorship election.
“Boycotting the election will amount to shooting oneself in the feet and such situation could create room for unchecked rigging of the election.
“All hands must be on deck. Our people should not only cast their votes for the candidate of their choice, but also wait behind and insist that the process goes on without corruption or disruption,” he said.
Okafor urged the electorate to resist vote buying and selling to ensure a successful and credible election.
“As a people,we must work against the new political trend of vote buying and selling.
“It is a minute trading that gives away our four years of freedom from various ills and vices. We must resist it, “ he said.
Okafor also urged residents not to be distracted by the gale of defections among politicians in the state.
“Most of the defection is about personal interest and materialism and not in the interest of the masses or the development of the state,” he said. 

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PDP’ll Win 2023 Presidential Election -Diri

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Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State is confident that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would win the 2023 presidential election because “Nigerians are waiting for the party to take over” at the centre.
The governor also boasted that PDP governors are the best performing governors in the country.
A statement by his Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Daniel Alabrah, quoted the governor as saying that the opposition party is poised to win the 2023 presidential election.
Diri also advised party members to remain steadfast and united to ensure that the PDP returns to power in 2023.

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