Mary Nnah writes that as part of their expectations this year, some citizens whose opinions were sampled, are clamouring for respect of rule of law and human rights, good governance, optimum attention to security of lives and properties, among others
Mr. Silas Udo, Barrister and Chairman, Immigration Lawyers Forum, Nigeria
The year 2019 was eventful year. The most challenging was the several abuses of human rights in both individuals and the judiciary. The manner and procedure employed by the federal government to force the former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Justice Onnoghen, to leave office remains unacceptable by Nigerians.
The invasion of the court room to re-arrest Omoyele Sowore was the most uncivilised approach of the government in searching for justice. Much as the executive arm of government is allowed by the constitution to be in control of the state security operatives, the constitution never empowered them to use those security forces to molest the citizens or the judiciary at will.
The government must improve on the human rights record because it adversely affects our citizens outside the country. Even the closure of the border was unnecessary since we all know that Nigeria is yet to produce sufficient food for her teeming population. Even if we do, the border closure does not befits our status as the giant of Africa.
Again, the approach to Boko Haram solution was weak in 2019. Government should be able to overcome Boko Haram threat in 2019 by any civilised approach including negotiation, settlement or foreign assistance so that government can then move to real democratic governance.
On achievements, l commend the federal government on the prompt intervention to protect our citizens abroad especially those in South Africa and Lybia. The action of the government was highly celebrated.
On minimum wage, though the salary adjustment was below expectation, but it is one of the bold steps of the federal government in 2019 since the precious administration clearly avoided it. It is worthy of commendation.
On the expectations in 2020, government should embark on policies and programmes that can willingly encourage payment of tax as against tax imposition. The time is overdue for social welfare schemes whereby some categories of citizens can receive free and quality medical treatment, monthly allowance for unemployed housewives, employment and empowerment for Nigerian youths . I also expect good road network, affordable food items and food security and general peace in Nigeria.
Chief Philip Ndubuisi, Umeh:
This New Year is remarkable as the beginning of a new decade and a major milestone for us as a nation as we shall be marking the 60th anniversary of our nation as an independent country. On the other hand, 2019 was remarkable for the simple reason, among others, that we had our national and state elections which ushered in a new civilian democratic government from a previous civilian government. So we can proudly claim that our democracy is being sustained, albeit with its imperfections.
However, we must acknowledge that the year 2019 had its high and low points. We can easily recall that the Rule of law in Nigeria suffered a major setback in 2019 as the executive branch unleashed several attacks which impacted heavily against the Independence of the judiciary and the regular maintenance of law and order.
There were minor and notable cases of refusal to obey court orders particularly with respect to the release on bail of persons in detentions as well as various debts owed by government and some of its agencies.
At the national level, a new trend is beginning to play out in the use of unlawful exparte orders of the code of conduct tribunal to remove and intimidate public and /or judiciary.
Pastor Olaonipekun Kolawole
Let me starts by giving thanks unto the Lord; the Bible says in the book of Ephesians 5:20. Giving thanks always for all things unto God. For whatever happens this year either negative or positive I give thanks unto Him for the word of God says all things works together for good for them that love God. Romans 8:28.
The year 2019, the nation Nigeria has not done too bad be it government organisation or an individual because for whatever we went through, it’s as a result of the contribution of all of us.
In 2019,it was known to all that, there was famine in the land due to many factors numerous to mention, sicknesses everywhere, joblessness, insecurity, fear of unknown, kidnappings, bad policy and many other challenges facing us as a nation. There is no respect for the rule of law of which may likely lead to anarchy if not carefully managed.
Like I said earlier, in 2019, the closure of border has really helped some individual and companies to look inward on how to improve on their livelihood and this has led to positive result.
This year, for us as a nation to move forward, I will implore us all to face our call, I mean our assignment as given to us by God. As a clergy, let us face the business of preaching the good news and praying for our nation Nigeria, let the government from the executive face the execution of government project and security as enshrined in our constitution, legislature and judiciary let them do their work as laid down in our constitution, let there be separation of power, let journalists also do their part in reporting factual and accurate news.
Above all, in whichever office we find ourselves this coming year let us have the fear of God before taking any decision and be our brother’s keeper because one day, the day shall break and you shall give account on how you made use of that power in your possession.
Manish Rohtagi, Business Head Simba Group, Nigeria:
The key focus for all stakeholders must be employment generation. The year 2020 will be a great of great hope, higher achievement and year of growth for Nigeria. The current government of Nigeria is putting all the pieces of puzzle together to make things work.
The year 2020 will be critical for balancing between employment generation and implementation of few new policies. The focus for year 2020 will be agricultural development, industrial development and manufacturing with banking backed by CBN supporting all of them in balanced way.
At Simba, 2020 is a year dedicated to our dealers, vendors, bankers and staff. Our efforts in 2020 are to ensure that all our stakeholders become part of our growth story and they grow as well with our growth.
What we want to see, federal and state governments must look at adding more employment opportunities and our products can play an important role in empowering the youth of the country. If government can provide collateral free loans for all our products, millions of employment opportunities can be generated in the year.
At the end we wish lots of prosperity to the nation and its citizens and hope to see policy makers’ involvement in poverty eradication by focusing on empowerment for below poverty line population.