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‘Buhari’s Government Must Implement Programmes That Will Benefit The Entire Country’

30 May 2015   |   3:44 am
A Chieftain of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Ralph Obioha, spoke to LAWRENCE NJOKU in ENUGU on what Buhari government should do about the challenges facing the country. Excerpts.


Do you think that President Buhari has the capacity to tackle the myriads of problems bedeviling the country now?
THE truth of the matter is that we must face the reality that Nigeria is broke financially; the economy is in shambles and these ills have manifested recent times. Anybody who envies President Buhari is not being fair to him. Buhari has the capacity to lead the country effectively, but there is a caveat to it- that all Nigerians irrespective of position, religion or tribe have a role to play for it to be possible.

Buhari is not God that could turn a Nigeria that is at the moment being placed under his charge. It is a herculean task for him, and to turn things around today in Nigeria will require a credible amount of wizardry and the question everybody has asked is, where do we really start? I believe that the starting point should be to cure the sick judiciary and to move on to the issue of economy. The economy is in shambles and from here we move on to the corruption everybody is talking about.

The level of corruption in Nigeria today is vulgar. It is part of the greatest drawbacks that the country is suffering from.

Corruption breeds impunity. Take the institution of police for instance; it has been reduced to personal guards for private and government individuals in this country for which about 85 per cent of the police force is committed in guarding house wives as government officials.

Look at the Customs which has become a private control of a mafia; there is fuel subsidy which is a massive corruption on its own. All these I believe haven’t gotten solutions and I have confidence that only Buhari has courage to look into it.

He should return the police to where they belong-community policing to guarantee security of lives and property. He should scrap the fuel subsidy and get back to legal oil marketers. We should put a stop to these leakages that have gone on in the past 20 years in Nigeria. There has to be a total revamping and overhaul of how things are being done in Nigeria.  Electricity supply has become a difficult
problem in Nigeria.

The fuel scarcity being experienced across the country now is a something that Nigerians may not want to experience again. I believe that Buhari has a lot on his menu and expect him to come with tough decisions that will restore Nigerians’ confidence in government otherwise we may not have stability in the country.

What about the complaints by the APC that Buhari took over government that was in tatters?
How can anybody say that Buhari is complaining too much; there can never be enough complaints about the goings on in today’s Nigeria. It is an opportunity to point out many things that can be put in the domains of Nigerians to know that we are only beginning to go through a belt- tightening situation in the country to reverse the rot and debts which the country has descended into. It will be very difficult to correct these rots and that is for anybody who wants to be sincere.

The money is not there. The oil prices have gone down than what it used to be, repeatedly because of our expenditure profile, Nigeria is broke and everybody is asking about all these recurrent expenditure.

We are not in any working condition. We have become a non-productive set of people that consuming as if there will be no tomorrow. Nigeria at a point became the largest consumer of Champagne in a society where there is no hospital that can treat the critical mass not to talk of the elite; a country that cannot boost of any of its universities as one of the top in Africa. My repeated and recurring demand on

Nigerians is that we really need to face the demands and everybody should make a contribution.

Do you have hope that the epileptic power supply will be address under Buhari’s administration?
The truth of the matter about power is that the idea of putting the terminal gas of about 600 kilometers is not well thought out.

Gas facilities should not be situated many distances away from where that gas is coming from. We must all look at Nigeria as one entity and this idea of believing that you are balancing things and putting facilities away where they are more economical to sustain and maintain should be discarded. I would say that there should be a change of thinking for some of these strtegic things for the country.