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‘God brought Buhari to salvage Nigeria’


Adeyemi Ikuforiji

Adeyemi Ikuforiji

Adeyemi Ikuforiji is the immediate past Speaker, Lagos State Assembly. He spoke on the performances of President Muhammadu Buhari’s first year in office and the change agenda of the All Progressives Congress (APC). SEYE OLUMIDE reports

Buhari’s performance after one year in office
In the first place, it would be wrong to say Nigerians do not have the right to be worried about the high cost of living and the rate of poverty, unemployment and poor power supply coupled with the hike in fuel price. These are so because if you take into consideration the circumstances that led to emergence of President Buhari and the APC change mantra, one would understand why many Nigerians went to the polls in 2015 to vote the former ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) out of government. There was no hope for the country at all under the former government it was the hope and aspirations injected into the people by the APC’s promises and seriousness then that brought about the change that we are talking about today. If not for the support of Nigerians we wouldn’t have been in government anyway, so I believe that the people who voted us into power have the right to complain if things are not easy for them one year after

What is important is to bridge the communication gap by carrying the people along and explaining to them the short and long-term benefit of the government policies, which the Ministry of Information and other government officials and the rest are not relenting on.

To me President Buhari’s one year in office has been one with positive developments. The President came in at a time the nation was drifting and slipping; I believe the President has addressed that situation. His administration has brought back the culture of discipline into the polity as well as the fact that his sincerity is not in doubt.

It is obvious that quite a number of Nigerians are groaning because of the dire economic situation, the problems were inherited over a long period and solution to them cannot come overnight.

Things had become really bad before Buhari came into office.  Within a few months of his presidency, the price of the major product that we have, which is the crude oil, dropped significantly to about $20 per barrel.

So, it would not be out of place to say that President Buhari is divinely chosen. The reason is if any other person had emerged as president with the type of characters we have had as leaders in the recent past, then all hope would have been lost.

I believe the hardship Nigerians are experiencing will be for a while but the president and his team are working assiduously to arrest the situation.

Challenges of Fulani herdsmen crisis
I will also appeal to Nigerians on the need to join hands with the government to build this country together in the area of security. Every administration has its peculiar challenges. If we look back from the period of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo till today there had been one major security challenge each of the administration encountered. In this instance, Buhari inherited the Boko Haram crisis from the past government and suddenly the Fulani herdsmen crisis surfaced but if we collectively join hands and support the government, Nigeria will definitely overcome it.

Solution to epileptic power supply
I don’t want to proffer armchair solution.  I am not in the system, so there is a limit to what I can say as to what the actual problem is but I believe those who are there have seen it and they are working round the clock to find a lasting solution to it. The Minister of Power was my governor and he performed excellently well during his tenure. So, I believe the President who appointed him to oversee Nigeria’s power sector believes he has what it takes to find a lasting solution to it. It is difficult for me to sit here and say this is what should be done. What I know is that it is very embarrassing to us as a nation to still be where we are 10, 20 years ago as a nation in terms of electricity. In fact, we are even worse off today than we were 25 years ago.

Issues of fuel subsidy
I still stand by the fact that government, either directly or indirectly must create an enabling environment for private investors to come into the system.  More local refineries should be built for us to process our crude oil for our domestic use. I don’t belong to the school of thought that expects manna to drop from heaven.  There are no two ways about it; we need to restructure this economy. We need to face our problems squarely and effectively tackle them.

A look at Ambode’s performance
As a former Speaker of Lagos, I make bold to say that Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s performance has been wonderfully excellent.  He has performed creditably well to the admiration of Lagosians and his party, the APC. In fact, if I am to assess him today, I will score him very high. The transformation he has carried out in Lagos has been extraordinary. The reason for this is very clear. It is because he is well prepared for the job. I don’t believe in average performance. I like achieving outstanding results and the honest truth is that, I personally did not foresee Governor Ambode doing as much as he has done in the last 11 months.

He has really surprised me positively. He is going into the nooks and cranny of this state to bring development closer to the people and he is tackling issues headlong like a true leader should do.  The most surprising thing is that he is doing all this without making noise.  He is not bragging, making empty noise or using the media to bamboozle the people about what he has done.

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