By Levinus Nwabughiogu
Two things were uppermost in his mind during the electioneering campaigns: to stamp out the twin vices of insecurity and corruption and then evolve a virile economy that would create massive employment. These were his campaign promises and he was very unequivocal about them, asking Nigerians to vote for him. Eventually, they did and he won the election. With every every gusto, he has pursued the agenda.
Sworn in on May 29, President Mohammadu Buhari set to work almost immediately afterwards in his own way. First, he visited the Niger Republic. Then Chad Republic, the G7 meeting in Berlin, Germany, the African Union Meeting in South Africa and the Republic of Cameron.
One thing informed his participation in the meetings: finding lasting solution to the menace of insecurity occasioned by the Boko haram insurgency in Nigeria.
Besides the issue of security, the Buhari administration has vowed to stamp out corruption. And there are signs that he had begun the fight in earnest although many say actions are yet to follow his words.
There are criticisms against the government that one month after, president Buhari is yet to get the government properly working as he is yet to appoint ministers.
It is in the light of this that Saturday Vanguard sought the views of some Nigerians on whether the government can be said to have charted a direction after its first 30 days. Read the views of some Nigerians on that.
Buhari’s government has kicked off well – Hon. Shuibu Philips, Member House of Representatives representing
“One of the most notable achievements of the Muhammadu Buhari Government so far is the major and apparent shift in the philosophy of Government from a culture of obstructive knee-jerk and reactionary response to national issues. “We now see an emerging trend of calm, calculated, methodical well-thought out and progressive response that is tailored not just to calm issues in the immediate but to apply future – conscious, people – centered and sustainable solutions.
“We are also witnessing a rebuilding of our institutions through the policy of allowing civil servants and staff of Agencies to function without political interference but with a complete and total adherence to the rules and regulations governing MDAs
“It is also now beyond rhetoric that we have a president who “belongs to nobody but is for everybody.” This is so as non of the key party functionaries can boast of influencing any decision or Appointment by the President. Appointment and Decision making are now based on merit. This again is a welcome development.
“At a more specific case by case basis we can see that, in the area of fighting Insecurity, the president has brought together an iron – cast coalition of nations within Africa and across the globe as partners in the fight against Boko Haram.
He has also secured the support, trust and backing of this countries in the fight through his diplomacy visit to Germany for G7 meeting and the neighboring countries of Chad and Niger. It should be recalled that the previous Government of GEJ failed to do this.
“The President also released the sum of 21 billion Us Dollars as part of Nigeria ‘s financial commitment to the mission of the Multinational Task Force on Boko Haram.
“The President also showed decisive leadership by insisting that Nigeria should lead the fight by not just appointing the current commandant of the MJTF but also that the Leadership should not be rotational on a short term basis but extended so as to provide for long term planning.
“The President also secured a $5 million Dollars Grant from the US Government in support of the fight against insurgency. “The relocation of the Command center to the theater of conflict in the North East as well as redeploy of soldiers on “Road Block Duties” to areas where they are more needed. These are commendable steps.
Security is president Buhari’s number priority – Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President
“It is about security. That is his number one campaign agenda and he is living up to it. He has concentrated all his energy trying to put together a credible response to Boko haram terrorists. And this has taken him to the neighboring countries. He has met Defence Chief, the Service Chiefs almost week. He has also taken this to G7, also to the African Union. He has been trying to form a massive alliance, a massive response to the Boko haram terrorists.
“Besides that, he is also restrategizing for the economic revival of the country and the coming of foreign investment, again using the platform provided by the G7 and the United States of America. And then, you can see that he has started making moves about the recovery of the stolen billions of dollars by some Nigerians that are recoverable. So, he is actually working without making so much noise on the fulfillment of his election promises.
“Nigerians have a choice to make. What is their priority? Is it appointment, security or even better economy or do they want a corruption free environment? That is the thing. For the president, appointments are not the key issues for him now. That is very clear from his action. The most important thing is to get the job done. And he is working.
“As it is now, is there any lacuna? Are you thinking there is any gap that is not being covered by the bureaucrats? There is nothing that is not being covered. The Permanent Secretaries are part of the meetings. No body is saying that it is not important to make political appointments. He will make appointments.
As he has said himself, he wants to scrutinize the names and make the right appointments. He doesn’t want to appointment one today and make changes in tomorrow. Given this war for the recovery of stolen funds, that will have implication for the people who are going to be appointed.
If he appoints you today and may be in the drive to recover money, you are implicated in the millions you have stolen, he will fire you. But it is not good that you even find such people in government. That’s why he is taking his time to make the right decisions.” On Buhari’s decision to steer clear of the politics of National Assembly Garba Shehu said this:
“Well, with the event of today(Thursday’s fracas in the House of Representatives), I don’t know whether he will continue to be silent. But I know that as of two nights ago(Tuesday) when he met with the governors, they were the ones who advised him to remain silent, that they would handle it. But with what we have today, I don’t know if the governors will not advise him to come in. I don’t know.
Nigeria already working under Buhari even without political appointees – Hon. Ogbonnaya Nwuke, member of 7th House of Representatives from Rivers States
“I think this president came on board at a time of great challenges for Nigeria and in truth in under one month, he has had to grapple with an economy that is completely in shambles and a country whose national security is threatened seriously and he has had to deal with the issue of falling oil prices.
The fact that even foreign countries are lending support to the efforts of this administration to recover the money some people in Nigeria have stashed away in foreign accounts. It shows confidence in the ability of this administration to really pursue anti corruption posture.
“But above all in under one month, we are seeing the turn of the refineries which were starved many years back of crude and which were declared almost moribund and in under one month we are talking about these refineries working again.
We are also under one month talking about a government that is shopping for diplomacy with its Neighbors in other to receive some form of cooperation that will see Boko haram contained. The countries are not acting independently on their own but all countries working together. And I think that that is very salutary.
“And we have spent so much money in the past on the importation of all things including commodities that can be grown at home and this has led to huge waste and it is under this administration that the CBN is now saying that Nigeria will stop to import what they can produce. This will encourage local production.
“What really surprises me is the fact that the president is not making too much noise about it since he came to power and it shows a man who has become increasingly matured, a man who has clear understand of this mission.
“I want to believe that the names of political appointees may have been secretly forwarded to the security agencies and that the president has not announced names does not mean they are not working on them. Now, take the National Assembly for in instance which should screen those nominees.
Even if the list is ready now, the National Assembly appears not to be ready to receive it because of what is going on on that platform. But I think the president is taking his time. He doesn’t want to make any mistakes. So, Nigerians should give him time.”
President Buhari has taken active steps to end insurgency in Nigeria—Hon. Victor Ogene, member of 7th House of Representatives from Anambra State.
“Many Nigerians felt that upon the inauguration on May 29, President Mohammadu Buhari would wave a magic wand and 16 years of maladministration would evaporate but as it were, some active players like us on the political scene knew that was not going to be because first you must work with facts and figures.
“The nation has an economic crisis whereby states are not able to pay even salaries. He had also met with the governors and they are determined to find solution to that. By the mere fact of his emergence, certain people who had illegally taken money out also indicated willingness to return some and he had also given his word that he would embark on a recovery process of some of these looted funds. So far, so good.”