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.Nigerians tired of leadership failure, looking forward to new Nigeria – Obi
.Senate President urges Nigerians to remain resolute in defence of national unity
.As I-G orders adequate deployment of officers nationwide
By Adekunle Adesuji
President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja has enjoined leaders at all levels to provide good leadership and ensure the active participation of the citizens in governance.
Represented by the President of Senate, Ahmed Lawan, Buhari made the call at the 62nd Independence Day Special Juma’at prayer at the National Mosque, Abuja, which had a Public Lecture with the theme: “Shura: The Islamic Foundation of true Democracy.”
”As leaders we owe it a duty to provide good leadership and going by the topic today of Shura, good leadership can be better achieved with consultations.
“It can also be achieved through collaboration and partnership between leaders among themselves and between leaders and those that are made,” Buhari said.
According to him, in the type of democracy practised in Nigeria, it is necessary for those that are led to participate in governance.
Buhari added: “At that level, participation is for the citizens to be consulted and even where they are not consulted, they can advise to make their views known.
”To show their preferences for making their lives better and leaders are under obligation to listen.
“Therefore, the theme is apt and is coming at a time when by the grace of God, in February 2023, Nigerians will go to the polls to elect new set of leaders.
”But the issue that I think is central is to how we reach there. The day is a long time.
“They say in politics, but I also think in governance between now and then, those of us who are at the moment at the saddle of leadership are supposed to continue to remain focussed.
“They should also consult widely as to what we have been doing and make it better,”Buhari said.
The president was also optimistic that “everything will end well by the grace of God.”
Earlier, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, Sultan of Sokoto and President-General, Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, called for a critical evaluation of the implementation of the Nigerian democracy.
Abubakar III observed that the system of democracy the country was practising was developed and nurtured in a European setting and values.
He said that the introduction of western democracy had raised a number of problems arising largely from the facts that western European democracy still has no roots in the sociocultural development of Nigeria.
The Sultan said: “It is important to take a total evaluation of the implementation of democracy in our society to do a cost benefits analysis.
”This will allow us to actually know its true value and see what aspect suits us and what doesn’t suit us.
“Since we are supposed to be a free people who have gotten our independence some 62 years ago.
”I am hereby worried about the erosion of our values that fuelled the unprecedented levels of corruption in our society, all associated with democracy.
”It is important not to lose sight of the points. We are in a contemporary time and there are societies that do not practice western democracy.”
Abubakar III said that some countries like China do not practise western democracy, but they were striving, adding, “their economy is growing and going higher and higher.
”But we know in the world today the economy everywhere is bad so is Nigeria also part of the world. But the countries that don’t practice western democracy have been doing very well.
”And so we need to look at how we can also manage our own democracy peacefully and inline with our values and traditions.”
On his part, Mr. Boss Mustapha, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), said if the principle of Shura was followed it would create an opportunity for dialogue.
Mustapha said that this enhances ethic communication, while promoting national cohesion and identity.
”This will go a long way in stemming intertribal, communal and ethic suspicions, animosity, aggression and conflicts,” Mustapha said.
In attendance were the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello and the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
Others were the First Lady, Mrs Aisha Buhari, former Zamfara governor, Sen. Ahmed Yarima, Minister of Water Resources, Alhaji Suleiman Adamu and the Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, among others.
However, the Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi, has stated that many Nigerians are already tired and frustrated with the leadership failure that has continued to burden the country for many years, saying that the coming election presents a ray of hope to the people for a New Nigeria, if things are done correctly.
Obi made this known in his Independence Day Message to Nigerians. He regretted that at 62, Nigeria has nothing to celebrate; rather, it continues to struggle under the weight of corruption, bad governance, insecurity, worsening economy, abuse of office and all manner of ills. He lamented that each new day in Nigeria, instead of heralding progress and development, the people, already weakened by poverty and hardship, are further burdened by new forms of societal malady.
“After 62 years of independence, we are still experiencing constant collapse of our national grid, as many as 7 times in a single year; our universities have been shut for 8 months; our inflation rate is at an all time high, as more than half of the population are battling extreme poverty; insecurity and violence are occurring at an alarming rate; oil theft is carried on with impunity and in all fronts – the nation bleeds,” Obi lamented.
He observed that any further slip into retrogression will make the nation uninhabitable for the people. He noted that many Nigerians were looking forward to the 2023 election because it presents them an opportunity to put an end to the leadership failures of the past and usher in a new and productive Nigeria.
“The time has come for Nigerians to rescue their country from the clutches of failure, rascality and corruption that have held it down for long. That is the true independence Nigeria needs. We need independence from economic brigandage, tribal and religious disunity, poverty and unproductivity, poor quality education etc. The coming election in 2023 should be strictly based on competence, character and integrity for us to make progress in the country,” he said.
Obi restated his readiness to move the nation forward, if elected, saying: “I stand by my resolve to move the nation forward, from consumption to production, from sharing formula to production formula. With this, we can build the New Nigeria of our dreams. Fellow Nigerians, let us take back our nation and build a better society for ourselves and our children.”
Meawhile, the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan has urged Nigerians to remain resolute in the defence of national unity and promote fairness, justice and peace.
In his message to Nigerians on the country’s 62nd Independence anniversary, Lawan said the National Assembly would “continue to work for good governance and to strengthen our bond as a nation.
“The Almighty God in His infinite wisdom brought us together in our diversities. He has also preserved our Union despite the challenges that we have encountered in nation-building and socio-economic development since our Independence in 1960.
“I salute fellow Nigerians for the resilience of our faith in our country in the face of those challenges.
“This precious faith in Nigeria and the lessons we continue to learn from our errors and triumphs will help us in building the great and prosperous nation that is our desire and destiny.
“On this day as we remember the labour of our heroes past, I urge us as a people to remain resolute in the defence of our unity, the pursuit of national prosperity and the promotion of fairness, justice and peace for the benefit of all our people.
“We have subscribed to democracy as our preferred form of Government. We should therefore nurture it patiently for the development of our country and the good of the present and future generations of our people.
“On our watch, your National Assembly will continue to work for good governance and to strengthen our bond as a nation.
“It is with these objectives in mind that we have passed many critical laws in the ninth Assembly. Some of those legislations had defied passage for many sessions. But we broke the jinxes, passed and got them signed into law.
“As we approach another election cycle, I implore our political actors to carefully weigh their words and actions towards ensuring peaceful electioneering as well as free and fair polls, in line with what is clearly emerging as a legacy of this Administration. We should be issue-based in the campaigns and avoid hate speech and violence.
“We are proud that we in the ninth National Assembly have provided the nation with an electoral law that has tremendously strengthened the electoral process. The law will make our votes count and promote confidence in the credibility of the process.And we shall continue to support the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to deliver credible elections.
“Our Armed Forces and other security agencies have, in recent times, made encouraging progress in the fight against insecurity in our country. They need the support of us all to sustain the tempo and up the game in their patriotic efforts, until security is restored to all parts of our country.”
However, the Inspector-General of Police (I-G), Mr Usman Baba, has ordered the deployment of adequate personnel nationwide, ahead of the Oct. 1 Independence Day celebration.
The Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, said this in a statement on Friday in Abuja.
Baba said the order was to provide protection for citizens, critical national infrastructure and ensure the success of all activities lined up for the independence celebration.
The police boss said the deployment was also to prevent any untoward situation throughout the period and beyond.
Baba had directed Strategic Police Managers, comprising Assistant Inspectors-General of Police (AIGs) and Commissioners of Police (CPs) to ensure high visibility and confidence boosting patrols.
He urged the senior officers to ensure that the patrol covers the venues of the celebrations, residential areas and other public places to prevent infiltration by hostile elements and ensure a peaceful celebration.
The I-G pledged the unalloyed loyalty and dedication of the Nigeria Police to safeguard the sovereignty of the country and combat crimes and criminality to ensure the safety of the citizenry.
Baba enjoined Nigerians to cooperate with the police and other security agencies, for improved security management at various public gatherings during the celebration.
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