The Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Dr. Doyin Okupe, has advised the Federal Government against the use of force in response to the agitations in some parts of the country.
He suggested instead that President Muhammadu Buhari initiate a constructive process of addressing the grievances.
In an open letter addressed to President Buhari, made available to journalists in Abuja on Sunday, Okupe said history had shown that when agitations were real and genuine, they would eventually be resolved; either positively or negatively.
He described the agitation for a sovereign state of Biafra, restructuring and resource control as products of genuine fears born out of actions and inactions of government that needed to be addressed.
While noting that the recent broadcast of the President upon his return from medical vacation did not help to calm frayed nerves and provide hope for the country, Okupe said if Buhari must leave an enduring legacy for himself and his administration, he must widen the scope of consultations nationally and be prepared to adopt new approaches in this rapidly changing world.
On the fight against insurgency, Okupe advised the government to deploy additional 20,000 troops in the North-East within 90 days as well as leasing of fighter jets from friendly nations as a way of bolstering the fighting power of the military.
This, he said, would ensure that the war did not prolong beyond the lifespan of the Buhari administration.
He added, “This administration has a maximum of 16 to18 months of rain-free period for active construction.
Government must carefully select one or two major road projects that can be completed within the next 18 months in each geopolitical zone.
“In the South-West, the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway is the star project and it can be completed within 18 months. In terms of funding, government may either borrow or revert urgently to the financial model of PPP that existed prior to your administration’s takeover. Similar projects in the three geopolitical zones in the North can also be identified and executed within this same period.”
While rejoicing with the President on his recovery and resumption, Okupe said Buhari should use the rare opportunity offered him by God to show gratitude and turn the nation to the Creator through a declaration of days of thanksgiving in churches and mosques across the country.
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