‘If Buhari fails on promises, change will be the answer’
• 60 CSOs to monitor new govt
FROM more than 60 civil society organisations across the country came yesterday a message to the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, that the change he promised should include ending long years of deceit of Nigerians by politicians.
Essentially, the civil groups urged Buhari to brace up to the expectations of Nigerians from his leadership as they would hold him to the promises he made to the electorate while campaigning.
Briefing journalists in Abuja on behalf of the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room, the Executive Director of Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC), Clement Nwankwo, noted that Buhari’s campaign promises led to the people voting for him, therefore, it will be in his best interest to deliver on his promises.
“Let no one make mistakes about this: we will keep a close eye on the incoming government. We will closely monitor the government. Expectations are high, and if the government fails, change will automatically be the answer.
“We will hold the new government to account. Buhari must come out with specific steps he will take to end corruption and impunity in the country.
“Situation Room also congratulates Buhari and urges him to chart the course of steering Nigeria away from its present economic and political crises to the path of recovery,” Nwankwo said.
According to him, the president-elect would be assuming office against a background of several challenges, including socio-economic downturn, rising poverty, insecurity and insurgency, unprecedented corruption and declining infrastructure. “The President-elect should take steps to re-unify the country and heal the wounds of a very divisive campaign largely fought along ethnic, religious and regional lines.
“We urge Buhari to work for the common good of all the Nigerian people, especially the poor and vulnerable sectors of the population,” he said.
The civil groups promised to continue its work in defence of the democracy and human rights of all Nigerians and would hold the in-coming government to account, in line with constitutionally guaranteed rights and internationally recognised standards of good governance. They congratulated the Nigerian people for turning out to vote during the elections.
According to Nwankwo, the election represents a victory for democracy and the right of the people of Nigeria to determine who rules them. “The Nigerian people showed a determination to exercise their democratic right despite several logistical challenges, delays and attempts by some politicians to frustrate the process.”
The groups commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for conducting a credible election despite the challenges encountered. They urged the commission to address all the hiccups that characterised last Saturday’s election as it prepares to conduct the April 11 governorship and Houses of Assembly elections.