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BREAKING: Afenifere, ACF, MASSOB lists what to expect from Buhari in 2020
A cross section of socio-cultural groups in Nigeria, Afenifere, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) and the Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) has given a number of their expectations of the government of the President Muhammadu Buhari for 2020.
THE group, in separate interviews with PUNCH, stated the performance of the Buhari administration over the past 4 and a half years had left loads to be desired.
Among the many areas enumerated for improvement by the Federal Authorities have been the rule of law, Federal Character, education, health and agriculture.
Speaking with PUNCH correspondent, Yinka Odumakin, the Afenifere’s National Publicity Secretary, acknowledged that the present administration had been characterised by unmerited appointments and disrespect for the rule of law, more of which he stated could possibly be anticipated in 2020.
Odumakin stated, “Odumakin said, “If the past four years have been anything to go by, we expect more nepotism in terms of appointments, concentrating every critical appointment in a section of the country. Don’t forget that he (Buhari) just promised some two weeks ago that he could now afford to be reckless.
“If they did all they could so that all major and critical appointments are concentrated in a section of the country, now that they can afford to be reckless, I would expect an overdrive of that to continue to happen.
“If the belated compliance to court orders on (Sambo) Dasuki and (Omoyele) Sowore is anything to go by, then there will be more suppression of fundamental liberties in the coming year because, as the economy bites harder, the situation becomes more unbearable and there is more reaction from the people.”
The spokesman to the Yoruba Apex group added that the $29.9bn loan request by the Federal Government might spell extra debts for the nation within the new year.
“From the way they have been pursuing the new $30bn loan they said they want to take, we expect that they will put Nigeria into more indebtedness this coming year.
Chief Ndubuisi Igwekani, MASSOB’s Spiritual Leader, however said that the Buhari-led government had proved that it did not have much to offer the Igbo.
He said, “I don’t have anything I’m expecting from this government. For a long time, we decided to work underground to know where we are heading to in this country and, at the end of the day, we have discovered that Nigeria as a nation has a lot of challenges and problems.
“The reason we are agitating for a separate nation is not because we lack the capacity or ability to struggle with other ethnic groups; it is that we find that each ethnic group has its own ideology. And for us to survive as a people, we need to look for what is the best for us.”
According to his statement, the Igbo have contributed so much to the prosperity of the nation.
He acknowledged that in each state of the Nigeria, the south-easterners have been present and contributed to the improvement of lives and economies.
“We lost some of our people in the June 12, 1993 election of Abiola because we wanted to forget about the past and forge ahead. It was not an Igbo man that annulled the election. And it was an Igbo man that conducted that first, best election that we have conducted in this country.
“Today, we talk about Buhari. What do you want me to contribute to this government? A government that never obeys the rule of law, the constitution or court orders; a government that is so tribalistic and under whose watch the Fulani (herdsmen) slaughtered thousands of innocent people.”
The Igbo leader noted that every Nigerian wanted to see in the government of Buhari was sincerity.
However Igwekani expressed disappointment in the President when it comes to regard for Federal Character, saying it was nothing to write home about.
“I am totally disappointed with the system. He said this is his last term, so he is ready to do anything. If a president can say this is his last term and he’s ready to do anything in this ‘next level,’ I have seen the next level of this term.
“I am not among the people who are calling for a revolution against the government. I believe that if the country cannot accommodate me and my people, the best thing is for me to seek self-determination by any means within the constitution. Self-determination and freedom of association are in the constitution.
“With what I see in this government, I don’t think they have much to offer, unless they want to do something outside of what they have done. But from (the first) four years till now, I have never seen this government being serious,” he added.
In same vain, Muhammad Biu, the ACF National Publicity Secretary, expressed optimism, saying the forum looked ahead to 2020 with hope and confidence.
According to statement made availed to Sunday PUNCH, Biu stated that, government in any respect was anticipated to provide special consideration to issues that might enhance the well-being of Nigerians in all respects.
“With the passing of the 2020 national budget, the Financial Bill and the amendment to the Production Sharing Contracts by the 9th National Assembly before the end of the year and the subsequent assent to the budget by President Muhammadu Buhari, Nigerians now look forward to its full implementation in order to bring about some succour.
“Most importantly, we expect improvement in infrastructure like power, transportation, diversification in agriculture to sustain food security and employment opportunities to our teeming youths, and also mineral resources exploration.
“While commending the National Assembly for the quick passage of the 2020 budget, we urge it to diligently and effectively perform its oversight function to ensure that all projects earmarked in the 2020 national budget are properly executed in the overall interest of Nigeria.”
On ongoing initiatives, together with the railway from Lagos to Kano, the ACF “strongly” appealed to the contractors to concurrently begin the rail line construction from each ends to make sure completion within the time-frame.
On the Federal Government priority of offering safety to lives and property, the forum stated it anticipated “serious dedication to vigorously sort out insurgency, banditry, kidnappings and communal clashes which have continued to have an effect on our socioeconomic and political growth.”
“In this respect, all necessary equipment and modern technology must be deployed in security operations, at the same time the welfare of military and other security personnel should be enhanced and promptly attended to.
“On the Federal Government fight against corruption, ACF expects synergy between the government, the judiciary and all agencies concerned with the fight to fast track all pending cases of corruption in order to make the fight meaningful.
“There should be transparency and accountability in all government business where performance is rewarded and corruption punished accordingly. ACF equally appeals for a change of attitude in the way we do business; war against corruption can only succeed with change of attitude and respect for our core values of honesty, fairness and trust.”
The group stated, on the state government stage, it anticipated enchancment within the health care system, education with excessive enrolment of pupils and college students in each primary and secondary schools to cut back the variety of out-of-school children, as well as extra instructional materials and certified academics.
“ACF also expects politicians at government levels to concentrate on providing dividends of democracy to Nigerians rather than overheating the polity with the 2023 elections.
“We equally call on Nigerians to cooperate and support the government’s policies and programmes for a prosperous nation,” he added.