Buhari should prove Nigerians wrong with performance – Fasehun - The No.1 Infotainment blog

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Thursday, 14 September 2017

Buhari should prove Nigerians wrong with performance – Fasehun


Dr. Frederick Fasehun is the founder of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC). He speaks on the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration, the calls for restructuring and the fight against graft.
What is your take on the report by the National Bureau of Statistics that the Nigerian economy has eased past recession?
We do not know the basis for this pronouncement. But glowing economic statistics will not put food on the table. The harsh reality is that Nigerians are suffering and the government must put the machinery in place to tackle spiraling inflation, especially in food prices, pump price of fuel, cost of funds for industries as well as the beleaguered value of the Naira.
The call for the restructuring of the country has been prevalent, what do you make of it?
We cannot continue to do things the same way and expect different results. The Time has come for the government to face the fact that Nigerians have drawn the roadmaps for the country’s unity and survival through the 2014 National Conference. Its report provides the sine qua non, the irreducible minimum requirement, for the country’s peaceful coexistence; and its provisions should be implemented as a matter of urgency. Centralism is no federalism, it is dictatorship. This country is not by accident, we agreed to stay together. We didn’t give our independence to anyone. True federalism is democracy.
What do you make of the ongoing debate for or against Buhari’s second term?What is your assessment of the president’s performance since he returned from his medical trip?
Nigerians were apprehensive about the president’s health when he was abroad, we prayed for the restoration of his health in mosques, churches and traditional settings. Thankfully, he came back in good health, but we are now surprised that he is not governing Nigeria as a unit. We prayed together as a unit for his return to good health and we expect him to return that good gesture to every Nigeria. We are advising him that there is still time for him to do things the right way. We wish him well.
A pupil will be promoted to a senior class if he has done well in his present class. If Buhari has done well in the judgment of Nigerians, why wouldn’t you allow him to proceed? But Nigerians are not praising the present government; they are wallowing in poverty and dying like chicken. So, Buhari has not proven himself capable of holding the country from 2019. However, he still has up to two years to do that. If he has done that badly in two years, he can still do better in the next two years. So, he has a chance to prove Nigerians wrong that they have assessed him wrongly. So, I don’t want to speculate on his 2019 election.
What do you make of allegations in some quarters that the Buhari-led administration made some lopsided appointments?
When he (Buhari) first took power in 2015 and began his initial appointments, President Muhammadu Buhari demonstrated unbelievable insensitivity to Nigeria’s diversity, unity and Constitution by unfolding a list of appointees clearly dominated and monopolised by his Northern kinsmen to the alienation and disadvantage of other regions, especially the South-East.
For example, of the six security service chiefs Buhari has appointed, the North dominates with four appointees, to the South’s two, with the South-East, in fact, having none. By July 2016, President Buhari had appointed 47 Southerners and 75 Northerners into various non-ministerial public offices; again the South-East brought up the rear with 12 appointees, where Buhari’s North-West had the largest chunk 34 of political office holders.
Buhari continues this unhealthy trend of Northern domination and Southern marginalisation in the nation’s security institutions, and today the North holds firmly to the leadership positions of National Security Adviser, Inspector General of Police, Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Air Staff, Chief of Defence Intelligence, Director General, State Security Services, Comptroller-General, Nigerian Customs Service, Comptroller-General, Nigerian Immigration Service and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. Unfortunately, this far-from-nationalistic lopsidedness and Northern domination has been repeated in the recently announced directors for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
How can this so-called lopsidedness be corrected?
I align with other well-meaning patriots to ask President Buhari to immediately cancel the new NNPC appointments. Out of the 15 new directors, 10 (67 percent) come from the mostly Hausa-Fulani North, three are Yoruba, two come from the South-South and none from the South-East. President Buhari must urgently review these appointments to reflect Federal Character, failing which the Senate should bar the appointees from resuming in office. We understand that secret appointments into Federal parastatals like the NNPC, NPA and CBN and security arms like the DSS and EFCC have followed this trend, heavily skewed against the South in favour of the North. By making these Northern-dominated appointments, President Buhari has contradicted the letter and spirit of the Constitution he swore to uphold.
Today, the President treats Nigerians with different standards. The way he has portrayed himself since the inception of his regime, he has governed Nigeria with various shades of impunity, making some Nigerians more significant than other Nigerians, and one voting ethnic nationality more favoured than other ethnic voting nationalities.
Are you convinced about the government’s fight against corruption?
Impunity, as we seeing currently, is the precursor to corruption; and we have been fighting corruption since this government came to power. But what leaders and government say to the people of this nation do not confirm the leadership’s seriousness to fight corruption as obtains in other lands. Good leaders in other lands will say to their people what they mean and are not apologetic when challenged on their speeches because they mean what they say and say what they mean. PMB has said some things, some of
them electoral promises, that he has since reneged on, and some things he said have left Nigerians more divided and further overheated the polity. This open declaration, made with impunity, has inadvertently made one ethnic group superior to the other group, enabling them to declare what makes one ethnic group superior to the other, and thereby causing instability in the land.
Are you satisfied with the present state of our democracy?
This Republic has endured for the past 18 years, making it the longest this country has ever known. President Buhari must sustain the basic recipe for its longevity and survival: Past presidents placed the nation ahead of their primordial interests and origins. This is why up till today, the Yorubas blame former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the Niger-Delta vilify former President Goodluck Jonathan as failing to concentrate developments in their native zones . For these Buhari predecessors, it was the nation first. Conversely, today, we have a President whose body language, attitude, utterances, programmes and policies are skewed against ethnic groups that are not from his native North. The repercussions have been worrisome, and have provoked in people like the Reverend Father Matthew Hassan Kukah fears that the survival of Nigeria is more threatened under Buhari than under any other Nigerian ruler. And this comes with no surprise because Buhari is operating on a premise he enunciated at the US Institute of Peace.
When will the youthsof this nation take over from the older generation?
The youth of this nation have not been speaking and since you didn’t talk, you wont get anything. We have presidents all over the world who are young. If you don’t talk, we will not know that you are there. The youth must speak up because we are not feeling your presence. Chief Obafemi Awolowo founded a political party when he was under 40. Chief Bola Ige became the publicity secretary of the Action Group when he was 26. Papa Anthony Enahoro raised the independence bill when he was 26. But here you are, the youths, what has been your contribution to what is going on in the country.
Some of us have been in prison not because we wanted to die , but because we have a course that we believe in. We thought that things were done wrongly and we had to speak up. Should I still be speaking on your behalf at the age of 82? If you feel I should still speak on your behalf, then you are cheating me. So, come to Macedonia and help. It is up to the youths to take up the gauntlet and contribute their quota to the nation building. There is no legislation against the youths from pursuing elective offices, you must stand up and earn your place. Let me remind that participation in Nigerian politics is an open deal. So, we are inviting you to participate in the politics of this nation and play your part.

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