By Chioma Gabriel
Former Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi has joined other men of goodwill in wishing Nigerians a productive 2018.
In his New Year message made available to the press, Obi urged Nigerians and her leaders to focus their energy on improving the economy. In his words: “Over four million Nigerians lost their jobs in 2017 and the unemployment rate increased from 14% to 19%. We also witnessed non payment of salaries, contractors and suppliers all over the country all of which should be worrisome to us.”
The former governor said the situation called for a declaration of state of emergency on the economy.
Obi also prayed to God to grant Nigerian leaders at all levels the wisdom to take right decisions and make sacrifices that would let the country remain focused even when facing the vicissitudes of the time.
He also called on those in authority to see the challenges nations are facing as an opportunity to approach governance from entirely different perspectives, which, according to him, should include drastic cut in the cost of governance and prudent management of resources for public good as well as savings for the future.
In a related development, President General of Ndigbo apex body, the Ohanaeze chief, John Nnia Nwodo has urged President Muhammedu Buhari to use the new year to remedy all the short comings of his administration by running an inclusive government.
Nwodo said that the President should embark on a deliberate policy to bring all Nigerians together as one great political family.
In his New Year message, the Ohanaeze leader said the state of the nation could be better than it was last year and it is the responsibility of the President to put things aright.
Nwodo said that while it’s not arguable that democracy remains the best form of government for the country, there is ample room for improvement and the new year provides an opportunity for the ruling party.
Ohanaeze said that the clamour for the restructuring of the current political structure should be given due attention in the new year as it remains the best option for a lasting stability of the country.
He also noted that the hardship Nigerians are going through especially in fuel scarcity are avoidable if only square pegs were put in a square holes to man critical sectors.
“The persisting cases of fuel scarcity even after such high hike from N87 per liter to N145 makes it imperative that the problem of the country requires fundamental solution like restructuring of the system.”
“Let us use the new year to address critical issues with a view to finding lasting solutions to them rather than the current surface scratching of the problems.
“If we must tell ourselves the plain truth, this country is not working as it is and we just have to face the challenge squarely by moving for restructuring.”
Nwodo urged Nigerians to try and appreciate the enormous contributions of Ndigbo in the socio political and economic development of the country.
In a similar vein, a chieftain of All Progressives Congress, APC, and a 2019 presidential aspirant of the party, Chief Charles Udeogaranya has appealed to Nigerians to show more patriotism by resolving to be part of the project of building a better country for the children of the country.
He also urges Nigerians to remember Nigeria and our leaders in prayers always, even as he made a case for a better leadership by the youth in 2019 if Nigerians vote him into power.