Editor’s note: President Muhammadu Buhari returned to Nigeria on Saturday August 19 after spending over 100 days in London to treat an undisclosed ailment. But since his broadcast on Monday August 21, many Nigerians have expressed mixed reactions over the president’s speech.
In an article sent to NAIJ.com, a corps member serving in Enugu state, Moshood Muhammed, writes an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari and lists five things the president must urgently do.
Your Excellency, With high hope of a better Nigeria, which my colleagues and I have committed ourselves, we welcome you back to the country. Permit me, your Excellency, to on behalf of all serving corps members convey our views on some critical issues to you via this very platform. I hope it gets to you.
There is no doubt that news of your return was delighting; it has and will in the days to come ensure political stability. Though, the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, who stood in acting capacity, did try his best to ensure the smooth running of government.
This, you must have been told and it is obvious. Yes, he did try. Now that you are back, there is a need to urgently look into serious issues demanding attention. Attending to these issues in timely manner will in no small measure douse the rising tension in the country.
The issue of restructuring, the call by some certain Nigerians for self-determination, the ravaging insurgency in the North-east and militancy in the South-south as well as the loathsome activities of the nomadic Fulani herdsmen across the country are some. Hate speech, which has sadly become a national code, to some, is a result of perceived marginalization and disappointment in the state of affairs.
They feel if their views would no longer be entertained, they should reach the Aso Villa in some other manner. Going by the recent happenings, it is important we consider the dangers of such utterances and the failure to address the concerns of such people. Mr. President sir, one of the reasons that got you elected was your hard stance against corruption and insecurity, especially the spate of Boko Haram insurgency.
Two years down the lane, we have heard of the improvement on the both sides, but, Nigerians, I must say are not fully satisfied with regards to your administration campaign against the aforementioned agenda. On insecurity, the ‘technically defeated’ Boko Haram insurgents’ onslaught has been technically reinvigorated.
In fact, some arrested terrorists, whom were released in exchange for the Chibok girls were believed to have appeared in a video, which showed the kidnapped lecturers of University of Maiduguri, during an attack on an oil exploration released by the group recently.
Asides this, killings and maiming in that region is again on the rise. Sir, this clearly shows that the carrot and stick method may not give the desired result. It is my honest opinion that hard stance is taken against the unrepentant evil merchants. Nigerians really want to see the end of Boko Haram. On corruption, many revelations have come out through the media and the efforts by EFCC.
But, we would not do well enough if justice is not served on those who have personalized the commonwealth of Nigerians for years. Nigerians demand prosecution of all corrupt elements, without exception. While you were away, sir, the National Assembly adopted some certain provisions of the Nigerian constitution for amendment. Now, the bills have been passed, Nigerians await your judgement on some of the new legislative frameworks.
We would want no further delay in this regard. Before you traveled, the committee of investigation you constituted against the suspended duo of Secretary to Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal and Director General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ayo Oke, have completed its investigation and the report was meant to be submitted a day after you left. Nigerians are eagerly awaiting the report and your position on these cases.
Currently, ASUU is on about a week long strike while students of Ladoke Akintola University, Ogbomoso, Oyo state, have not been in school for months. The list is endless. Our education system needs serious attention.
The highest investment a government can make is not in bridges, roads and dams, but, in human development. Similarly, consideration should be given to issue of increment in salaries of our parents in civil service. The last has not been heard of the committee set up by your administration in this regard.
And to be sincere, things are not what they used to be years ago when the current minimum balance was announced. It is widely rumoured that cabinet reshuffle is imminent.
May I urge you Mr. President to put capability beyond familiarity or politics? Like I argued with an Igbo friend yesterday, leadership is not an easy task, especially when it comes to serving wonderful people like Nigerians, yet, a choice of what becomes of your administration can be made by solely you.
Importantly to serving corps members, I must commend the government for ensuring our monthly allowance of #19, 800 is regularly paid. Sir, I do passionately appeal that you consider an increase in the “allowee”, to reflect current reality. Prices of commodities are exorbitantly high.
Also, a reform of the scheme will in small measure aid the betterment of the programme as well as corps members. If perhaps there is a reason Nigerians, youths especially are still united to some extent today, NYSC has played a prominent role.
Hence, it needs government attention and support. As corps members and youths, we have pledged to Nigeria; it is important the country pledges to us. We #Standwith9ja, our interest and future should be important to government at all levels.
We would not want Nigeria to fail us. Finally, it is our belief that you will overcome challenges of leadership and successfully pilot the affairs of this country to a greater height expected of you.
While I pray that Almighty God help you, endeavour to building strong institutions that can take care of needs of ordinary Nigerians, including good healthcare facilities. May God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria!
Moshood Muhammed, a youth corps member currently serving in Enugu state
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and not Students Nigeria
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