Setting agenda for Buhari or Atiku
Sir: Primary elections have come and gone. We witnessed how money exchanged hands here and there among delegates in all the parties. There are vexatious issues emanating from the exercise which are being managed. All in all, candidates have emerged for the various elective posts. Of all the presidential candidates, only two stand out. They are the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari and the former vice president, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. Far be it from me to undermine the rest presidential candidates from the various political parties. They are also capable and qualified to lead this country.
Why I singled out the two men is that election is a game of numbers. The party that commands the highest number of supporters stands the chances of winning in elections. In Nigeria today, it is indisputable that the two parties the two men are flying their flags have the highest number of supporters and followership. Besides, the availability of large sum of money and the guts to appropriate it to achieve one’s ambition is another advantage they have.
However, it is pertinent at this stage to acquaint the man who will eventually win the presidential contest with what we want him to do for us. This is borne out of the fact that, in most cases, what the leaders want contrasts that of the masses who give them the mandate. In the western world, the leaders serve the masses while in our country the reverse is the case. The masses serve the leaders they sacrifice so much to put into offices. This is abysmal.
Corruption is still unleashing its venom in spite of the ongoing battle against it. There is no sector that does not exude the nauseating ordour of corruption. This must be erased from the system or brought to a minimal level. Ongoing cases of corrupt practices involving the high and the low classes must be brought to a logical conclusion and culprits brought to book to serve as a deterrent to other criminally-minded people. The money and property recovered from convicts must be made public and used judiciously to better the country. Nothing must be pocketed by a few persons again.
Slashing the salaries and allowances of political leaders and their too many aides is a must-do. We dissipate a whopping sum of money servicing our political office leaders while it is difficult to pay an average Nigerian worker who toils everyday eighteen thousand naira. The balance from this exercise must be used to develop the nation’s infrastructural facilities. Boko Haram and other forms of insecurity are still rearing their ugly heads. Ongoing militaristic war against Boko Haram must be intensified so that it will be a thing of the past. Kidnapping, assassination, armed robbery, herdsmen’s rampage and other forms of insecurity must be tackled.
The number of jobless Nigerians runs in millions. This is one of the precursors of crime and in order to checkmate this, jobs must be created for them. It is disgusting to observe that a country blessed with rich abundant natural resources should record such an incredibly number of jobless citizens. Infrastructural development must also be given priority. Electricity supply must improve and prepaid meter provided for all .We have the wherewithal to have good and durable roads. This must be included in the list of priorities. Most of the ones we have are mere deathtraps and we can’t continue losing innocent citizens due to bad roads.
We must have standard schools and hospitals equipped with the state- of- the- art facilities. This will prevent our citizens from travelling abroad to access such facilities. It will also attract foreigners into our country thereby boosting our economy. Last but not the least is that the ongoing battle against corruption must be extended to the educational sector where exam malpractice is the king. From primary to tertiary levels, it holds sway. It is now an organized crime, attracting so much money into the pockets of the criminals. The only difference between the corruption perpetrated by our political leaders and that of exam malpractice syndicate is that the former swim in billions while the latter swim in thousands. Exam malpractice must be erased from the system so that we can be proud of our educational institutions and their products.
I can’t exhaust all the items on the agenda today. This is the first phase. I believe that no honest and patriotic leader will denigrate the aforementioned points. We have the wherewithal to transform our dear country into an abode of pride and joy.
Udodilim Ijeoma, a public affairs analyst, wrote from Sapele, Delta State.