Ajibola urges urgent measures to stem slide in economy
FORMER Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Bola Ajibola (SAN), yesterday described as “cosmetic and window-dressing” the recent salary cut by some state governors and the reduction in the alleged jumbo allowances of National Assembly (NASS) members.
In his opinion, governors and federal legislators need to effect a drastic reduction in their spending to save Nigeria from “capitulating under the stress of financial crisis.” Ajibola told newsmen in Abeokuta, Ogun State, after this year’s Ramadan Lecture, organised by the Islamic Mission for Africa (IMA), which he founded, that their action was not enough.
The lecture, tagged “World Peace: Islamic Injunctions and the Roles of Muslims,” had in attendance such personalities as the Secretary-General of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, Chief Imam of Egbaland, Sheikh Liadi Orunsolu, and Imam of Islamic Centre for Dawah and Research, Dr Ibrahim Mustapha.
According to Ajibola, “they are just still scratching it, it is cosmetic and window-dressing. They should reduce the whole thing drastically and whether they like it or not, it is bound to come.”
The former minister noted that the reality of the drop in oil price at the international market and refusal of the oil cartel to buy Nigeria’s crude would force the nation’s ruling class to drastically reduce their excessive spending.
He regretted that a majority of Nigerians are wallowing in abject poverty while their leaders and the political class “display excessive wealth and opulence,” warning that failure to urgently address Nigeria’s present precarious financial situation would see the nation’s currency become worthless and further escalate inflation.
“The situation (worthless naira) will soon come to reality because what we have been selling is oil and if nobody is buying the oil again – if the cartel makes up its mind not to buy from us again – we shall definitely be in problem,” he said.
“We shall go from that top down to the end of our time because there will be nothing left again. We will be left with confetti – the paper that is worthless and then you will find that you want to buy a loaf of bread for N1 million because it is just an ordinary paper. It will be a sad thing.
“Unless we stand up and do something now and reduce the extravagant spending by all these politicians to the barest minimum, we will get into trouble and the trouble is gradually rearing its head.
“We must have seen the escalation of gangs of robbers going about disrupting places – in Lekki, Ikorodu, Ijebu-Ode and places like that. It will get to a stage when people will now start to take the laws into their hands.”
Ajibola also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to decisively tackle the violence by the Islamic terrorist group, Boko Haram, with “military and political solution.”
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