By Udora Orizu
The Minority Caucus in the House of Representatives has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to accept the constructive criticisms of Nigerians calling his government out on its several failings in good faith, rather than engaging in endless blame game.
Recall that Buhari had on Saturday, while hosting the All Progressives Congress (APC) governors and chieftains after revalidating his party membership in his hometown, Daura, Katsina State, accused the Nigerian elites of constantly harassing his government.
Speaking to THISDAY, the deputy minority leader, Hon. Toby Okechukwu, said the President’s critics were not out to witch-hunt his administration, but to help him succeed and help the country achieve a more perfect union.
The lawmaker while insisting that Nigerians were telling the President the truth, also faulted what he described as the President’s penchant for comparing himself with past governments.
Okechukwu said, ”Nigerian elites are not interested in harassing him. We are merely stating the obvious. If you take the issue of insecurity in the country, for instance, Nigeria is more threatened today than it was five years ago. Boko Haram has not only spread to the North West, they are now in Niger State, temporarily dislodged from their lodge in Nasarawa and are presently camped around Nasarawa/Benue border, according to the Governor of Nasarawa State, Engr. Abdullahi Sule. This presupposes that they are spreading down South. He was also quoted as saying that they took care of 900 family members of victims of Boko Haram attacks. It is our expectation that having about 900 families of Boko Haram will help us to debrief these people to understand their modus operandi to strengthen the war against insurgency.”
”The President’s nostalgia with past governments since 1999 is completely unnecessary. He applied for the job and he presented a manifesto upon which he was hired in 2015 and 2019. He has not lived to the job application he made. So, if you are constantly going back and making constant reference to 2014 or 2015, then, why are you there in the first place?
”The business of governance is deliberate and it should be approached with prudence. It is up to Mr. President to make sure that his critics are put out of job by his performance. Mr. President should up his game to make sure he retires his critics by performing the tasks expected of you.”
The deputy minority leader, who also rued the level of division in the country, called on Buhari to ensure the strict observance of the rule of law by all the institutions, organs, and functionaries of governments at all levels, including the Presidency in order to enjoy favourable national and international ratings.
He said: ”Nigerians are feeling the pains. For instance, we never knew that under a President, who swore to uphold the Constitution and the laws of the land, replacing the Service Chiefs, whose tenures by law, practice, and convention, expired many years ago, would become a battle that citizens would have to win under ‘a man of rule of law’, and under a democratic government.
”The fault lines in the country are getting worse today and have even got to a point where criminals are first identified by their ethnic origins before you mention the crimes they committed, thereby setting every section of the country against the other. A bandit is a bandit.”