For those who thought President Muhammadu Buhari is getting bugged down by age or ill health, especially in the wake of his recent 10-day vacation, they may have to think again.
The president upon his return from vacation where he also treated a persistent ear infection has made a number of policy moves that reflect stern and bold moves to assert his control over the polity
He has returned seemingly re-invigorated and itching to deliver. These recent changes will no doubt reflect on the nation’s economy, affecting a great number of people.
These are the bullish steps Buhari has taken that seem to cast doubts on critics’ take that he is confused or clueless:
1) First thing he did on his return to Nigeria was to suspend the tenure policy in the federal civil service, a move that is feared is aimed at trimming the huge number of workers on the federal government’s payroll.
The tenure policy, introduced by late President Umaru Yar’Adua in 2009 sets a four-year tenure, renewable only once for permanent secretaries in the Federal Civil Service in line with the 1999 Constitution.
Federal Directors are also beneficiaries of the scheme which prescribes 60 years of age and 35 years of service for mandatory retirement. Civil servants have already commenced protestations against the policy.
2) On Tuesday, the government announced the appointment of a new Inspector-general of Police in acting capacity, in the person of Ibrahim Idris, a former AIG in charge of Federal Operations, Force Headquarters. The appointment of a new police boss from Niger State is seen as a smart move by Buhari to balance the quota system for which he had been slammed severally. Idris has promised effective community policing.
3) On the eve of his return, his government made a major economic move by throwing the nation’s currency to market forces, a move that has received wide acclaim from the organized private sector and holds great promise for Foreign Direct investment. Though still responding to vagaries of the market place, it is believed that the naira will gain grounds in the coming days.
This move is quite significant because President Buhari had always insisted that his government would not officially devalue the naira.
He had repeatedly stated that previous devaluation had never done the country or its citizens any good.
4) Resident doctors who embarked on a strike action on Monday to protest against what they said were poor welfare packages, were kicked into the unemployment market.
The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole issued a circular directing chief medical directors (CMDs) and medical directors (MDs) of FG tertiary health institutions to occupy the vacancies created by resident doctors who have “abandoned” their programme.
It directed them to “replace all the doctors that have withdrawn their services, with others from the pool of applicants”, to fill the gap.
5) The governor of Ekiti state, Ayodele Fayose is no doubt feeling the heat of a rejuvenated Buhari.
Previously, the outbursts of Fayose against Buhari and his style of governance goes unreplied, but not so anymore, as the federal government seemed to have done a rethink, and is now turning up the heat on Fayose.
Already, his accounts have been frozen by the EFCC, and his recent outburst on Aisha Buhari has been countered with a strong lashing from the presidency, which hitherto had paid deaf ears to Fayose.
6) The tempo has also been turned up on the pending prosecution of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, for alleged forgery of the Senate Standing rules used for the election into their present positions.
The case which had come to light last year, and slowed down, suddenly picked up pace, with the Attorney-General of the Federation dragging both men to court.
A summons pasted on the Senate notice board directed both men as well as the outgoing Clerk to the National Assembly, Alhaji Salisu Maikasuwa; and the Deputy Clerk, Benedict Efeturi, to make themselves available for the case, coming up on Monday next week.
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