- Urges Nigerians to engage govt constructively
By Shola Oyeyipo
The running mate of President Muhammadu Buhari during the 2011 presidential election and founder, Latter Rain Assembly, Pastor Tunde Bakare, yesterday reiterated his call for the restructuring of Nigeria as the most reliable way of addressing the problems confronting the country.
The pastor, who is the convener, Save Nigeria Group (SNG), who made the remark during a message titled: ‘The courage to do the right thing,’ delivered at his Akilo, Ogba, Lagos church, bemoaned a situation where about 27 states in Nigeria are said to be incapable paying salaries.
According to him, “Such a system of dependent, non-viable federating units is unsustainable.”
Talking about the economic hardship, particularly the issue of fuel price hike from N86. 50 to N145, Bakare said there was need for self-examination, which he said is more than the issue of subsidy.
“There is a call for a new geo-economic order. The call towards restructuring must be embraced while ensuring, through intelligent engagement, that the government is kept on its toes in delivering its promises to Nigerians.”
The preacher said the civil society, labour and the Nigerian people must come together to intelligently put the government on its toes as part of ways to addressing the subsidy issue.
“All hands have to be on deck to help a government that apparently genuinely seeks the welfare of the Nigerian but is faced with overwhelming challenges. This moment is not for the mobilisation of the citizenry in mass protest against an oppressive government but for all hands to be on deck to help a government that apparently genuinely seeks the welfare of the Nigerian but is faced with overwhelming challenges,” he urged.
He implored President Muhammadu Buhari and his All Progressives Congress (APC) to urgently do the needful to alleviate the sufferings of Nigerians and assuage the rage of the poor.
Bakare suggested that the government must have a communication system that will ensure that Nigerians are carried along implementing policies that impact on them.
According to him, such policies should be communicated transparently to the people.
Drawing inference from the petrol price policy, Bakare said: “Even if it is the first step in the process of deregulation, Nigerians would want to know what happens if market conditions, in particular, foreign exchange realities, mandate a further increase in pump price? Would we, at that point, revert to subsidising? These matters transcend mere ‘grammatical nomenclatures’ as the Minister of State for Petroleum has termed them. They are very important issues and Nigerians deserve clarity,” he noted.
He also added that as Nigerians “We demand effective, efficient and transparent implementation of the 2016 budget, particularly the capital expenditure provisions and the social welfare programme.”