‘Buhari should forget about probe and focus on future’
Nigerians are not prepared to listen to any excuses. So for him to give any excuses, he has to be very frank.
Well, he has taken the first step by declaring his assets and that of his Vice-President. And we hope other state governors and their deputies would take cue.
And we also expect legislators, ministers and commissioners that would be appointed to do the same. And not only doing it but by making their assets declaration public. That is the only way Nigerians would see some levels of transparency.
That is the only way Nigerians would be carried along in the face of the challenges we have. We are aware that the economy is nose-diving and we are in the worse period of our economy after the civil war.
We are pretty sure that with the integrity of the President and his vice, they should quickly hit the ground running and ensure that the economy is brought back to a stable position.
Probing past administrations
I don’t want the president to belabour himself with the issues of probe. The judiciary is there, EFCC is there, ICPC is there, allow them do their jobs. Strengthen these institutions.
He should hit the ground running so that nothing distracts him, because if he concentrates on this issue of probe, he would spend the next four years probing and he would achieve nothing tangible.
So he should allow other government institutions to do their jobs. If there are people who are involved in fraudulent activities they should be brought to book.
Criticism of Defence relocation to Borno
In this country, there is nothing you will do that would be devoid of criticisms. That he is moving the operational center to Maiduguri, as far as I am concerned, is a welcome development. Take the fight to the war front; take the operational center to the war front. That does not mean that the center at the headquarters is gone.
Emphasis for the purposes of operational priority is there, so that you don’t unnecessarily get back to the headquarters for any form of approvals.
This is a war period, so we don’t have to joke with it. In fact, if there is anything more than the movement of the operational center to Maiduguri, let them do. And happy enough, he had been able to move out to meet with the Presidents of the neighbouring countries. That is telling you how seriously he takes the issues of these insurgencies.
So let Nigerians rally round the President, give him all the supports and cooperation he deserves rather than giving him this early criticisms.
Fuel subsidy removal
TUC is against removal of subsidy. But TUC is prepared for any form of engagement to address the issue. We strongly believe that you cannot allow a few cabals to hold the entire nation to ransom. There are certain people that are hiding under oil subsidy to inflict a lot of hardship on Nigerians. We want government to identify these people and punish them accordingly. Nigeria is an oil producing country. Nigerians deserve some kinds of subsidy for the oil that they are producing in their own country. And we hope that before government will even talk of discussing the issue of subsidy, they would have put the existing refineries in their own full capacities, and then make sure that dues that are due to those refineries are giving to them.
Appointment of ministers
The president should not take input from governors in the appointment of his ministers. I have never seen in this country where the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria goes to a state and dictate to the state governor, the persons to be appointed as commissioners.
They always have the opportunities to pick their teams, so that they can salvage or develop their respective states. So when it comes to the issue of the President, let them also give him the opportunity to pick the kind of team that will take Nigeria out of the woods. It is not an issue of party patronage now. It is an issue of salvaging the economy of this country. So if he picks people that would deliver country, let them allow them. That is a kind of policy that had gone with the PDP.
The constitution does not permits the state governors appointing Ministers for the President, just as the constitution does not permits the President to nominate commissioners for the governors. So please, let them operate within the laws, operate within the constitutional provisions and then deliver service to Nigerians.
Taraba’s debt burden
That is the challenge the new governor has to face. He has been given the mandate by Tarabans. So like I keep saying, there is no excuse. If you are not prepared for the position in the first place, don’t go in. And if you are prepared for the position, you should be prepared to face the challenges.
These are obvious tasks but we strongly believe that with his experience he should be able to address them. What he should do is bringing down the cost of governance by trimming the numbers of Commissioners and Advisers to appoint.
He should as well ensure that Ministries are streamlined and that emphasis is placed on Internal Generated Revenue.
That is the only way Taraba can advance. We are an agrarian state, so we hope that he would develop our agriculture potentials, he would develop our solid mineral potentials and see how we can also develop our tourism potentials.
If that is done, I am assuring you that sooner than later Taraba state would bounce back. Obviously he has a big challenge with the debt profile. But I strongly believe that the God that put him there would see him through.