‘Church must key into Buhari’s anti-graft fight’
View on governance under President Buhari
THERE is little we can say now about the government of President Mohammadu Buhari because since May 29 that he was sworn in, we have not seen so much except that he has been consulting here and there. He travelled to Germany, he has been to United States of America and he has also been to Cameroon and Chad, as well as the Republic of Benin. I want to believe that his reason for slowing down the system is because he is trying to assess the situation because the country he inherited from the immediate past government was highly distressed and the economy was in a comma. He needs to really assess the situation properly to enable him takes an informed decisions. I think he is trying to avoid falling into the trap. It is not that he has not been in government before but the state in which he met the nation, especially the economic aspect is very worrisome hence it would not be wise for him to rush to take quick decisions he might regret later.
President’s anti-corruption fight
I sharply disagree with those who are of the view that the President is low in his actions. He (Buhari) has to test the waters before stepping in otherwise he can get drowned. He has to assess what is on ground; he has to assess the level of havoc done by the past governments to our economy. Whatever he has gathered as information now cannot be compared with the information he had during his campaign, those information were hearsay now he is in government, he must assess the situation. For instance, he came back from America with an alleged list of those who have stolen from this country, this is part of it but the point is that if any one on that is list one of his allies, he has no reason to spare him or her.
Publishing list of people who stole public funds
In Nigeria people don’t have what we call values or morals again. For instance, we have seen a situation where people were jailed for corruption before and they regained freedom only for people to celebrate them. So I think we need to find another means of punishing people that will really affect them or appeal to their psychology.
For example, if you publish the list of those that have been found guilty of corruption, tell us the amount they have stolen, what they spent them on and ask them to come and defend how they got the money. All those involved should be brought out and their properties confiscated.
My hope is that those who confiscate the property will not turn them into their personal use. They should be put for sale to corporate organisations because you might find out that the same people whose assets were confiscated will turn out to use the names of members of their families to buy them.
Names of all those that evidence can be linked to them as having stolen from the commonwealth should be published, prosecuted and if found guilty be jailed. But if the government does not want the prisons to be congested, then they should be made to do community work, even if it is only for a day so that their names would be tarnished. Whatever measures Buhari’s government can put in place to reduce corruption and make corrupt people sober, I will prefer that he should do.
It is just a pity that we cannot say that what happened in Ghana in the days of Rawlings should happen, that will be too bloody (when some former Heads of state were executed).
Delay in appointing his ministers
I think it is good for us. Why it is good is that if he cannot determine the integrity of those names that were submitted to him, either from the zones, states or from the party, I think we should allow him to take his time so that at the end of the day a thorough selection would have been made. If (delay) will allow the DSS (Department of State Service) to do a better job in carrying out investigation on who and who should be in government, the delay is then welcomed.
Apart from that, I believe it is another means of saving money and we can see even at the state level now nobody is rushing to any House Assembly to submit names for appointments.
My fear is that if he is saying that the Permanent Secretaries (P.S) are doing the job, the P.S themselves are more dangerous than the Ministers, because they have been in the system for long, they know where the money could be stolen because there is no way a politician can steal without the aid of the bureaucrats. So having them there, he has to keep an eagle eyes on them.
On the National Assembly
It is hard for us to really believe that we have new cream of politicians at the National Assembly. It looks as if there is a recycling of the generals again, their qualities, their ideals and their ideas are of no serious difference from those that were there before.
Some of them are saying that their parties can not dictate the rules of the game to them, we believe that the parties have the manifestoes, they (party) gave Nigerians the idea of what they were coming to do and they gave us their candidates but these people (APC legislators) are now telling us that the party is not important to them, as if they have their own secret agenda. You don’t drop the party’s interest for your selfish interest.
I don’t know Gbajabiamila, but if he is the choice of his party for any position, I think it is obligatory for all the legislators elected on the platform of the party to accept him and allow him to occupy the position the party has slated him for, because in my opinion, the party is supreme.
The legislators who kicked against the party’s decision came in through the party, the party gave them the platform and they picked them to be the party’s candidates either by consensus or by election, how can they now say that the party should go and sit down at this moment. What they did borders on dishonesty and irresponsibility.
I think the way they formed the party (APC) is also a contributory factor to the crises, the party is a conglomerate of different parties. I think they have not properly fused together. It appears to me that some people are still protecting the interest of their former parties. If they want to continue running a mega party, they must obey the rules or if not let the party break apart and let everybody return to his or her previous parties, then we will know that there is no longer a mega party.
Roles of the church in governance
As a church it is our duty to pray for whoever has been elected as president of the country. Secondly, we must also perform our duties to the government as responsible citizens. For example, the Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosu has been going around recently to warn people against dumping of refuse on the median along major roads in the city. It is our duty as religious leaders to go back to the church and propagate this and other government policies to our members
Like the fight against corruption, it is our duty to tell the people that they should not defraud or be involved in any corrupt activity, if we can do that it will go a long way in reducing corruption in the country. The truth is that most of these government policies are not getting down to the grass root, but we are there on Sunday, every week and even during the week to pass to the people information about government’s activities, government policies, so that the people could be carried along.
I want the President to please do something about electricity in the country, he should either reverse the privatization of the National Electric Power Authority or he should raise a supervisory department to ensure that the new companies who acquired the national asset function well in the area of power generation and distribution.
Appointments made by the president
I am of the view that thhe appointments so far made by Buhari, including that of the Service Chiefs are in order, because you (Retired Service Chiefs) cannot serve two masters, they have served under the PDP (People’s Democratic Party) government and the, president could not vouch for their loyalty again. I think the main issue should rather be about the person’s qualification, will he or she be able to do the job, is he or she corrupt or not and not all these unnecessary foul cry that the opposition is making.