According to our correspondents who went to town to sample the views of Nigerians, the issue of national stability, growing the economy, job creation, power stability, security and many others must not be taken lightly by the Buhari regime, reports Peterclaver Egbochue, John Shiaondo, Makurdi, Abioye Olarewaju, Ilorin, Francis Moses, Paul Yovo, Yakubu Wuyep, Jos, Emmanuel Ukudolo, Edem Edem, C/River and Blessed Adjekpagbon
Mr. Yiljap Abraham, (Hon. Commissioner of Tourism and Hospitality under Jonah David Jang)
General Muhammadu Buhari is coming for the second time, he came the first time unprepared with the pre-requisite training he has as a soldier very unceremoniously. Now, he is coming more prepared in a ceremonious manner and very lucky too but at the time that Nigerians are now yearning for change in the system. He is coming to inherit all the challenges now better prepared and I believe he is a very humble person than he was when he came as a military head of state. I will urge him to be tolerant to all categories of people with their diverse opinions. We should also be prepared and people are too much in a hurry to see reforms. He should move the country forward and that is the greatest expectation of Nigerians. The leaders at the state and Federal level have to make this sacrifice of moving the country forward. He must address the issue of corruption headlong. Buhari should pay serious attention in the area of insecurity, electricity, job creation for the youths.
We expect that his government would take measures to work on the power sector, which is very critical to national development.
Mrs. Sarah Yusuf, (Plateau state Commissioner for Women Affairs and Rural Development)
Nigerians should understand that elections have come and gone, so there is need for us to look beyond the elections and demand our leaders to address the issues that would bring the unity of this great country. Nigeria remains the same with its political, socio-economic, religious and ethnic crises need to be tackled headlong . We the electorate should therefore focus on key issues that would direct our leaders on how to move the country forward after May 29th. People are still asking the same question since 1960 on poor governance. I hope and pray that both the incoming president and the governor will continue from where we stopped and continue to give the people of Plateau state and Nigerian the best. My expectations are that Buhari should learn to tell Nigerians the truth by saying things they way they are, they should not deceive Nigerians. I am calling on the incoming government to speak the truth and nothing but the truth from the bottom of their hearts. Let them make Nigerians understand the true picture of the situation in the country. I call on Nigerians to unite and love one another by living in peace with everyone.
Comrade Femi Aborisade, (Human rights lawyer and labour activist.)
Never in my about 60 years existence as a human being have I seen Nigeria being subjected to so much distress, agony, sorrow, pains and pangs as the Jonathan administration brought Nigeria to its knees. The incoming ruling party at the centre should learn from the electoral defeat of the PDP. If the APC continues the neo-liberal economic programme of the PDP, which includes privatisation, Public-Private-Partnerships (PPP), etc, the APC will suffer a greater defeat and humiliation on the long run. The resources of Nigeria must be used for the welfare of the downtrodden that are in the majority.
Barr. Viginus Okonkwo
The handover of President Jonathan to Muhammadu Buhari, marks another transition from an ending regime to a new one, which is in tandem with the tenets of democracy all over the world. My expectation is that Muhammadu Buhari, should be able to take over from where his predecessor stopped. I expect him to look at some of the good policies on ground initiated by Jonathan and possibly improve on them and move on. This is one area new governments taking over from their predecessors have not done well. They jettison the policies of their predecessors and start fresh ones sometimes for selfish reasons. This usually occasions waste of resources and it is the citizens that are the taxpayers that are usually at the receiving end of this vicious cycle. Nigerians expect a new lease of life with priority to security of life and property, which is the basic responsibility of government. Nigerians expect that insurgency which has claimed lives in the last few years should be tackled headlong. Nigerians expect that the standard of living of an average Nigerian should improve significantly. Above all, Nigerians expect that the promises made to them by the incoming administration during the campaigns should be fulfilled. Nigerians already know the promises. Well, the new administration has not taken off. By the time they take off and unfold their strategy, Nigerians would be able to assess them and benchmark it with what they have already promised Nigerians. I would not want to speculate for now until it takes off and their direction becomes clearer. Nigerians are in a haste to reap the dividends of democracy. There is no time to waste. I pray that God will give Buhari and his team the grace to take Nigeria to the next level.
Comrade Rasaq Olokoba (COSEG Secretary- general)
For Buhari to get it right and for Nigerians to be able to further show patriotism and support is for him to quickly address some of their pressing needs like the power sector, followed by the question of subsidy. If we must run subsidy at all, we must run genuine subsidy. Subsidy where we have 10,000 tonnage of oil coming into Nigeria but it is escalated to transform into 400,000 barrels of oil is not ideal and no country can develop with that. Why are our refineries not working, including the security? What are we doing about state police? So these are the things the rest of the world has that make them appear as if they are human beings from another planet. Simple governance should not be mystified again, governance is about the simplest form of administration in the world. So the era of giving our president time to consolidate is over. Buhari has attempted to become the president four times, and during this period, he should have gotten his manifesto ready. So he has to roll out his programmes immediately and start putting smiles on our faces. Again, the taking and handing over from the outgoing party to the incoming party should also be handled carefully. These transition committees are in no way a probe panel. But the way it is being handled, the incoming administration handled that committee as if it is a probe panel. Their role is not to probe the out going government but to ascertain the extent and the level of governance. For instance X,Y,Z of money was raised as subsidy, how much of this money has gone to the oil market, how much is still in possession of government as a remittance? The era of wasteful spending are over, where you duplicate offices in all the institutions and departments. In our country today, there are serious duplications. Mention any department, you have 36 commissioners running it, you have senior/ junior ministers, you have senate committee on them, you have House of Reps. committee on them and we have over 500 government Parastatals, if you don’t change this kind of structure, there is no how Nigeria can ever move forward.
Comrade Linus Okoroji (President/ Founder, Humanity Services)
I listened to Buhari in one of his speeches, and he promised to assemble competent Nigerians to manage his government and I think that is the focal point. If he can actually assemble competent and patriotic Nigerians to manage the affairs of Nigerians, that would go a long way. Another point is looking at the issue of corruption in Nigeria. Corruption is endemic and it has cut the root of this country. It is important that he must reduce it because I know it is not possible to stamp it out completely. He should take a critical look at our economic policies. Nigeria has continued to use those economic policies based on World Bank and IMF conditionalities of 1983. He must develop policies that will be indigenous and yet workable. Anthony Osuagwu (Building Engineer) The incoming government should not forsake all the good transformation agenda of the outgoing government. He should try as much as possible to actualize them. Nigerians expect a government that is corrupt-free. The President-elect should have a listening ear to good advice, no autocracy. I wish he should surround himself with people of good morals no matter their tribe or political ideology. Based on how we know Buhari as one who doesn’t tolerate nonsense, I believe he will achieve more than the outgoing government. What Nigerians need now is patience, and with God’s help, Nigeria will get to a greater height. God bless Nigeria.
Engr. Adedeji Doherty (Lagos PDP Chief tain)
The new government will be good for the country but they should continue from where Goodluck Jonathan stopped. They should also do what the people wants; better road, light, generally good governance.
Segun Adewale, (Senatorial candidate of the PDP for Lagos west in the last election.)
I am not expecting much from the new government because the problem of Nigeria is the people. Even if they bring an angel to lead us, we will still have the same problems.
Gani Tafiq (Lagos PDP Publicity secretary) We pray Nigeria will get better but I know the country cannot be better because it’s like old wine in new bottle. I’m not excited about it.
Peter Chieshe, (Benue-born Pharmacist cum industrialist)
The outgoing administration of President Jonathan would have performed better if he were able to handle the security situation the time it started. The basic problem of President Jonathan was his inability to tackle the Boko Haram insurgence right from the beginning. He allowed the situation to drag and the problem distabilised his government. A lot of fund meant for development of the country was committed into fighting Boko Haram and this retarded development. However, he was able to record some achievements in the power sector, agriculture, health as evidence in the fight against Ebola amongst others. For the incoming Buhari’s administration, we want him to tackle insecurity and the issue of unemployment. We want stable electricity, good roads, improved heath sector, education amongst others. These were the reasons Nigeria was looking for change. The change has come and we want it to be real change, a kind of change that will put smiles on the faces of the common Nigerians.
Dr. Bem Meladu (Former Commissioner of Information in Benue state.)
Expectations for the incoming administration are very high. Just as I have already said we are expecting the best from the incoming administration especially to continue with work started by previous administrations. Mohammadu Buhari, has been known for his principles and we think that he is the right person to rid this country of corruption. Corruption is what has pulled Nigeria backwards. Take for instance, the issue of oil subsidy, which is now causing problem in the oil sector. President Jonathan had proposed complete removal of subsidy knowing full well the corruption in that area. He was wrongly opposed but the truth is now gradually coming out. We are expecting the incoming government to find a solution to this. We also expect that if the previous administration had failed in some areas, the new government should fill the gap left in such sectors taking into cognizance that if they failed, they could be reprimanded but if they succeed, the people will appreciate them.
Alhaji Ibrahim Zubair(former Chairman of Posters and Almanac Printers Association of Nigeria,)
I expect Buhari to do everything he promised Nigerians during his campaign. He should not renege on one single one for any reason. He should however be careful about political prostitutes that are surrounding him. If he allows them to misadvise him, Nigerians will not forgive him at the end of his tenure. He should also carry everybody along and even take good advice from those who did not vote for him, because at the end it would reflect in his positive achievements no matter who gave him the advice that would make his tenure successful. The mistake most of our politicians make is that of refusing good advice from their critics, while listening to misleading ones from their so-called loyalists and party faithful.
Mr. Ebun Adegboruwa (Human Rights Lawyer,)
Our expectation of the coming APC regime is very high, we expect that the incoming government of Muhammadu Buhari, will give priority to three major issues, firstly is power, according to his covenant of 100 days with Nigeria, the APC and Buhari have promised that within the first eight months, to provide expect 6,000 megawatts minimum which will come to eight hours of electricity per day, we expect that one, it is not negotiable. We expect that by the end of December, this government must perform on that one because power is very critical to our economic lives, it is critical to our social lives, journalists, lawyers need it, pastors, mechanics, even universities, firms, and banks need it. Without power, we cannot do anything. After that is corruption, the President promised that he was going to set up a special agenda to block every means by which our resources are carted out, to probe every means by which our oil is being stolen. Every means by, which our leaders are plundering the treasury. If he was able to block corruption within the leadership of this country, there will be more resources to tackle infrastructures, like roads, aviation hospitals, education, every other thing will fall in place. So, that is important, politics should no longer be the most lucrative business in Nigeria, everybody should go and face their profession, let service be a matter of patriotism and selflessness, not for what you can gain. After that it is insecurity because even if the nation prospers, even if there is power and there is insecurity, there will be no peace, the President has promised to set up a special task force to tackle the insecurity in the North-east. That has to be done very urgently, once he has done that, he should be able to tackle militancy in the Niger Delta, he should also be able to tackle the problem of kidnapping and crime. Without these things taking place, any promise of change will just be political gimmick. When the president has been able to do this and the manifesto of the APC. According to the manifesto, there will be free education, free health care and there will be an airport in every state of the federation. Not less than 3, 800 kilometres of highways not local roads to be tarried, so we are going to hold them accountable to all these promises so our expectations of this government are very high.
Mr. Charles Obanor, (the National Coordinator of Voters Mobilization Initiative)
The major areas I am looking forward to seeing his campaign promises to come to fulfillment as soon as possible include the power sector, unemployment, agriculture and a host of others. I want him to change Nigeria economically to the status of countries like Malaysia and other emerging former Third World countries that are presently carving a name for themselves in agricultural development and exportation. He should be careful of sycophants who would want to play regional politics to undermine the interests of other areas. He should improve on the areas that President Jonathan has done a lot already in. Such areas include the railway transport system, education and roads rehabilitation amongst others.
Pastor Site Felix Okeleke, (General Overseer of Action Project Ministry, Ketu)
Buhari should not allow some mischievous people in and outside his party or administration to derail his good plans for the nation. He should use his position to promote religious tolerance and warn self-appointed disciples of Jihad to maintain peace otherwise they could make him loose focus and end up a failure worse than any other civilian President in the country. Peace is the ultimate thing every society needs to grow. Without peace, chaos and suffering would rule the day if he allows sycophants to penetrate his positive thoughts for the masses. I also expect him to imbibe the legacy of promoting nomadic and western education like the outgoing Jonathan/Sambo’s administration. He should not look down on any of the good programmes that his predecessor is leaving behind for him. Jonathan built many nomadic schools in the North to encourage many Northern youths to embrace learning. He should intensify efforts in making sure the classrooms are not left empty and useless. He should also encourage reading culture that was seriously and personally encouraged by our outgoing President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan. In promoting learning not only in the Northern parts of the country, he should make sure the lives and property of teachers and students in the terror-prone areas of the North are well guarded henceforth. His administration should also support Literary and intellectual creativity by Nigerian authors. With these, and many other positive ideas from well meaning Nigerians, I think he would be on his way to making history as the first Nigerian President that achieved so many things he promised the citizens. Posterity will judge him based on whatever he does in his tenure, that is why he should not allow sentiments and ethnic bigotry to sway his decisions in doing things that will favour the citizens living in any part of the nation.
Alhaji Lasisi Deji Raji, (former Staff of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation)
As you can see today, things are not working well, salaries are not paid and there is crisis everywhere in the energy, transportation and water supply. There is no magic wand anybody can apply except for the head to be disciplined. Once discipline is injected into the system, every other thing will fall in place and there would be sanity in the country.
Akogun Iyiola Oyedepo, (Kwara State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP)
I don’t believe that Buhari’s Government can do much given the composition of APC and given the fact that 60% of the party members were those that left PDP at one time or the order, why the rest were made up of the merger parties. The Party was made up of 25% members from the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN and 15% from the Consensus for Progressives Congress midwifed by the President-elect. If you say PDP is bad and the party constitutes 60% of APC, what magic can APC then perform in that circumstance? Buhari may be powerless, after all, outside the APC; you have people who were responsible for destroying the economy along the line. Obasanjo left the power in comatose, railway was dead throughout his eight years tenure and he transferred the rot in the national carrier in bad shape. Obasanjo, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida and General Abubakar Abdulsalami whom he said have run out of gas were still the one dictating, Buhari can achieve not much.