ACF, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Ask Buhari to Tackle Insecurity, Unemployment


Christopher Isiguzo in Enugu and John Shiklam in Kaduna

The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) and the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo have asked President Muhammadu Buhari to use the opportunity of his second term to create job opportunities and also address the frightening state of insecurity in the country, stressing that the insecurity and unemployment were gradually getting out of hands.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with THISDAY, the Deputy Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Mazi Chuks Ibegbu, also asked the president to ensure that Federal Character Principle was effectively reflected in his second term.

“The president must see the entire nation as his constituency. The idea of 95 per cent against five per cent must be done away with in the interest of the country,” Ibegbu said.

The organisation however noted that it was yet to congratulate President Buhari on his re-election because  the outcome of the election was still being challenged at the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal.

It therefore asked the tribunal to speedily resolve the matter “so that business of governance will not be hampered.

“Ohanaeze Ndigbo is conscious of the Election Petition tribunal. We advise the tribunal to discharge their duties with fear of God. On no account must they compromised or influenced by anybody,” Ibegbu noted

On his part, the Secretary General of ACF, Mr. Anthony Sani, asked  President Buhari to tackle insecurity, unemployment and consolidate on the fight against corruption in the next four years.

Speaking in a telephone interview with THISDAY in Kaduna, Sani noted that Nigerians have abiding faith in Buhari by re-electing him for a second term of office, adding that  the cannot afford to fail them.

“My expectations from President Buhari’s  second term is for the regime to deliver on its campaign promises which include consolidation of what was achieved in the first term by way of fighting insecurity and taming corruption in order to pave the way for the economy to be diversified away from over dependence on oil wealth,“ he said.

He added that “specificities, the regime should ensure there are enough number of trained and well equipped police personnel who can protect lives and properties of most Nigerians.”

He called for sustained improvement in management practices of tax collection, explaining that when people pay taxes they are more likely to be civil, patriotic and to hold public officers accountable.

According to him, “the legal corruption which allows public officers to collect salaries and allowances that are over and above what the economy can sustained should be looked into for express purpose of freeing resources for socio-economic development.

Sani said public officers should “deliver services that are commensurate with what they are paid and should not live far above the standard of lives of the citizens.”

He said further that “ex governors in the senate and in the cabinet should not collect double pay and allowances that are far above their contributions,“ stressing that “such practices lead to creation of undue inequality in the system and make politics to be the only industry in town and the shortest cut to facile wealth at the expense of productivity, hard work and integrity.”

He called for the  introduction of policies and programmes that will generate employment opportunities to the teeming youth.

“This cannot be over emphasised, considering unemployment is the major challenge in the economy.

Since most Nigerians have re-elected PMB, it means most Nigerians believe that despite some observed shortcomings in the last tenure that are natural concomitant of human frailties, the general belief is that the President is still the best who can take the nation out of the woods by way of reduction of austerity in the second tenure,” Sani said.