President Muhammadu Buhari last week declared his intention to bequeath to future generations a country they would proudly call their own.
We also tracked two other stories that triggered public discourse from the seat of power last week.
1. Buhari’s desire for future generations
President Buhari had during the burial of the slain Nigerian Army officer, Brig-Gen. Dzarma Zurkushi, and seven other soldiers held in Yola, Adamawa, on November 26 promised to leave behind a better Nigeria for future generations.
He said: “My desire is to bequeath to future generations of Nigerians a secured and safe place in which each, and every child will be able to ventilate their aspirations and live in peace and tranquillity.”
No one will begrudge the President for sharing his vision for Nigeria. But the question many will ask Buhari in response to his promise is if he thinks his government has laid the solid foundation for the future development of the country.
As his time in Aso Rock gradually winds down, the President will do well to address the most pressing problems, especially insecurity, unemployment, and poverty that are dragging Nigeria towards the fringes of a failed state.
Two other talking points
2. Security on Abuja-Kaduna axis, others
President Buhari on November 25 directed security agencies to intensify surveillance and patrol along the Abuja-Kaduna expressway and others across the country.
Disclosing this to journalists in Abuja, the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, said: “The President has directed the police and other security agencies to intensify surveillance, patrol, and pursuit of criminals, it’s not only about Abuja-Kaduna, but throughout the country.”
Buhari’s directive to security agents is like a belated soup that was served cold. Why did it take the President this long to respond to the needless loss of precious lives on the major highway that is close to the nation’s capital?
The harrowing experience of road users plying the busy highway shows the current state of affairs in the country where bandits and other abduction-for-ransom syndicates reign supreme.
This calls to question the usefulness of security personnel stationed at different checkpoints along the expressway:
Are they committed to their duties?
Have they been compromised by the bandits, as alleged in some quarters?
Are they provided with the necessary tools, and incentives to tackle the bandits?
These are questions begging for answers by the authorities.
3. Osinbajo’s social dialogue talk
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on November 24 stressed the need for the government to engage the citizens on governance.
Osinbajo, who stated this when the outgoing United Nations Resident Coordinator in Nigeria, Edward Kallon, paid him a farewell visit said: “You cannot avoid engaging with the people in such a way that you are trusted, and on an ongoing basis, people should see that you are committed enough to their concerns… So, a social compact is crucial.”
Osinbajo’s submission is well-tailored. No government can have a meaningful impact on its citizenry without engaging them. This is because engagement will enable the government to feel the pulse of the nation and resolve conflicts without the use of force, and know how best to serve the people.
Many Nigerians have expressed concern about President Buhari’s attitude in this regard, having shown himself insular after refusing to engage Nigerians on issues that concern them.
With the Vice President appearing to show a better understanding of the subject, should he not do well to persuade the rest of the leadership team to imbibe what is right?
In fact, if there is any time that the Federal Government needs to engage its citizenry, it is now that the country is confronted with various challenges pulling it backwards. Whether Osinbajo will rise to the challenge remains to be seen.
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