The Federal Government and indeed all citizens of Nigeria have been advised to tailor their actions towards the development and growth of Nigeria. The advice was given in separate interviews by a former Minister of Education in the Sani Abacha regime, Alhaji Dauda Birmah, and Leonard Umunna, a bishop and founder of the Bible Life Church.
Birmah, who also was a former presidential aspirant on the platform of the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), noted that some of the actions and inactions of government have fallen far below expectations of the electorate that voted them into power.
“When we talk about governance, there are three distinct arms that make it to happen. There is the executive, the legislature and judiciary. Look at the attitude of the Executive; it seems to focus on fighting corruption- the corruption that took place before they came to power and they seem to close their eyes to what is going on in the present dispensation. The legislature on the other hand is populated by many who are corrupt from the past regimes and they are just hiding their heads, making sure nobody touches them. They were part of the corruption that featured in the past. The judiciary also on its own has terribly soiled itself. We are in an unfortunate situation. A few people in government are cornering the commonwealth. Now, others are trying to join them for the purpose of looting; it is not about service. They have no remorse for what they do,” he said.
He also lamented the level of hatred in the polity, saying that some Nigerians delight in spreading falsehood against others simply because they don’t like their faces.
Citing instances of offensive episodes that are capable of precipitating war, Umunna, a cleric, said, that there are too many actions and inactions of the government that could engender strife in the polity, insisting that only positive action could rescue the country from the mire of hopelessness into which it has slipped.
“If you look at the case of Benue killing, it is enough to lead to war; if you look at the lopsided appointments and what people are saying that it appears that some parts of the country is totally marginalised; if you take into cognizance the level of poverty in the land; deprivation, youth unemployment and insecurity, you will know that these can lead to war. If you look at what led to the civil war or some other skirmishes we have had, it wasn’t as fierce as what we have now.
“Again, if you look at the things that were responsible for military take-over of government in Nigeria in those days, they were not even as serious as what is happening now; Maybe, the military has been well checkmated, added to the fact that the military rule is no longer tolerated anywhere by the international community otherwise what is happening here is enough to cause war. Nigeria is pushing towards war in different directions,” Umunna said.
The observations were in tandem with the views canvassed by Olusegun Obasanjo, a former president, in a 13-page letter he wrote to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Meanwhile, Olisa Agbakoba, a former president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and Maritime lawyer, has said that he was ready to ensure that power was wrested from those who had misused it.
Reacting to the Obasanjo letter to the President, The Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) said he was sufficiently angry like many other Nigerians at the way level of incompetence of those at the helm of affairs in the country.
“Nigerians are very angry; they are angry. Are you not angry? Myself I am very angry. I am sure that if you get all Nigerians and ask them if they are angry, they would tell you that what I am saying is very correct. Look at the killings in Benue State, not a word from government; no petrol; unemployment; bad roads everywhere. Government is not being pro-active, that’s why Obasanjo said they have failed. The country has failed. It needs to be rescued. It is sad that in every sphere of activity; in any sector, government has no clue. It has failed. So, if we do not do anything about it, very likely either the PDP or APC will still take power in 2019 and it becomes a recurring decimal, and we don’t want that. We have to confront it. We must do something about it than to stay and be grumbling,” Agbakoba said.