‘Don’t saddle Buhari with mundane issues’
FORMER Minister of Finance, Dr. Onalapo Soleye yesterday said that national stability, discipline and collective support for the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, would determine the success of the incoming government.
Soleye who served under the military regime of Buhari/Idiagbon (1983-1985) said those three factors would lead to eradication or reduction of corruption in the country.
He however noted that Buhari might not be able to achieve much “if Nigerians saddled him with mundane and petty issues. The expectation of Nigerians is so high that he can’t afford to reduce himself to petty issues of position sharing.
“As a former military officer, I believe he will handle the issue of appointments with tactics and integrity, putting the interest of Nigeria’s first.”
Speaking during an interaction with journalist recently, Soleye commended Nigerians for voting according to their conscience in the last general elections which he described as a successful exercise “in which Nigerians spoke with their votes and chose their leaders into various elective offices including the office of the president.”
He said the elections also put to rest the much talked about disintegration of Nigeria as a country, adding “Nigerians must appreciate the personal contribution of the out-going President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan who conceded defeat even before it was concluded, which to an extent, doused tension across the country.”
Commenting on the significance of the elections, Soleye said, “I don’t know what lessons the elections had taught Nigerians, but personally speaking, it has shown that there is a limit to which we can rely on the media, including the so called social media.
“The media hype on the elections was so high that you will think Nigeria was going to collapse. To God be the glory, the elections have proven pessimists wrong that the media could speculate, create tension, but Nigerians would make up their mind on how to move the country forward.”
On what Buhari must do to succeed, the former finance minister said, “If he (Buhari) wants to succeed in office, I suggest that he starts by addressing the inability of many state governments to pay workers salaries. Ordinarily, one may want to say that it is not the Federal Government that is owing them, but he should not forget that he is the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”