The inauguration of the incumbent President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (President Muhammadu Buhari) which took place in a low-key mode on the 29th day of May, 2019, was another hope- mantra for the citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. As at the inauguration of the President in the year 2015, the theme or agenda was ‘change mantra’. However, as much hope for change that Nigerians had at the inception of the first term of office of the President Buhari had, this hope had been dashed even before the end of the said first term of office due to a lot of factors that befell the administration. In that first term administration, the following were some of the encounters: terrorism (both boko haram and herdsmen attacks on local communities and the kidnapping of some chibok school’s girls and Leah Sharibu (some were released while more than a hundred are still in the den of the so called terrorists); harsh economic effects (especially on commodities and fuel price tag); unemployment; under-age terror (where children became tools for carrying of terrorist operations); kidnapping; armed robbery and other related criminalities; alleged disobedience to orders made by Nigerian courts of records; alleged legal tussle between the executive and the judiciary; among others. Though, the first term administration was without its positive impacts among which were fight against corruption; the unification of the accounts of the federal government and its agencies into a single treasury account; among others. Notwithstanding the advantages, it is no doubt from my observation that the system had been harsh on ordinary citizens who are the common men in the country and this must have been one of the reasons why the negative impacts of the first term have been more pronounced than its positive impacts. This paper congratulates President Muhammadu Buhari on his election and consequent inauguration to his incumbent office as President, Chief Executive Officer of the Federation and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and prays for a successful discharge of his functions in this last term in office with the support of God Almighty! Aamiin! Nevertheless, this paper’s aim is to make some recommendations to the President in those areas that I have viewed that there are needs for improvement for the betterment of the Nigeria and her citizens.
The first recommendation is in the area of promotion of democracy, social justice and rule of law. The President should as a matter of obligation and necessity pay attention to these three as they are the foundation of every developed civil society. The executive should respect orders made by court of law whether against the government and not only when they are in its favour. The case of alleged detention of Dasuki Gate and Al-Zakyzaky and his wife despite the prevailing courts’ orders compelling their release is a case for obedience by the executive arm of government. Government should also ensure that all Ministries, Agencies and Departments of government obey court’s orders too.
Also, the welfare of children across the federation should be given a rapt attention. When children are allowed to go into disarray, they turn out to be a great danger to the nation and their immediate community upon their growth into adulthood and in fact, this might be the cause of some of the criminalities we are experiencing in Nigeria today. Therefore, the federal government should implement the provisions of the Child’s Rights Act, 2003 and all State governments too should implement same within their State’s territory up to the local governments. I have studied the said Act and I am much more convinced that if this Act is implemented, Nigeria will improve. Government should also declare the May 27 Children’s Day Anniversary as a national public holiday across the federation in such a way that every parent and guardian keep relationship with their children as they join in the celebration. This I believe is in the best interest of Nigerian a child.
Access to more job opportunities for all citizens without discrimination in whatever form or way. Job opportunities should not be concentrated in one central or in the few influential individuals who are connected with the authorities that be. The country will hardly gain security where some few citizens feel that they are being marginalized and oppressed by government’s decision or decision. Government of President Muhammadu Buhari should also consider entrepreneurship as a way to engaging even participation of the youths in government and their self-economic empowerment and independence.
Government should improve in the youth employment in the governance of the country. The youth are formidable force in the development of the nation. Nigeria is a blessed nation with intellectual, talented and oriented youths. Nigerian government should be in search of these talented youths and those who have made the nation or and their community great by their selfless roles. Government of President Muhammdu Buhari should ensure youth’s participation in his government. Some youths should be appointed as part of his cabinet system, either as Ministers or as Special Advisers. However, the youths I am suggesting are not only children of the rich or children of those in politics but those based on the Federal Character without discrimination or favoritism.
Furthermore, the entire provisions of the Chapter II of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) on the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy should be implemented as a matter of obligation and necessity as the growth of Nigeria lies in their implementation by the government.
Respect and safeguard of the fundamental and socio-economic rights of citizens. The fundamental rights and socio-economic rights of every citizen are guaranteed in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and other international laws and protocols. The Federal government should make its utmost efforts in safeguarding these rights. Where citizens enjoy their protection, such government or administration will be a hero in the history of its people.
The fight against corruption is encouraged and government should step up in a dynamic way in putting corrupt individuals behind bars and recover the national loot that they must have embezzled. Corruption destroys the nation and makes ridicule of its development even before the international communities and no nation will ever grow under a corrupt leadership.
Public Servants’ emoluments and benefits should be ensured and guaranteed and it is in this way that government can enjoy the best of its workers or civil/public servants. Salaries, allowances, promotion, pensions, among other benefits are incentives that encourage a passionate sacrifice and discharge of functions and joy in serving and active performance of duties. Government should discourage any act that would result in industrial strike actions at all sectors of government including the educational institutions. Nothing should cause distraction to students from enjoying conducive learning environment and lecturers or teachers too should enjoy their wages before their sweats get dry. Rather than taking away these incentives, government should rather increase in these incentives. Our health sectors should be able to satisfy citizens’ health needs and the provisions of health laws should be implemented to the letter so that citizens will be able to survive their ailments.
Furthermore, welfare and security remain twin primary purposes of every government. Security of Nigeria as of moment scores zero under the first term of President Buhari from my personal assessment (though, I may be wrong) and the fears being experienced by Nigerian citizens in the hands of: terrorists, herdsmen, kidnappers (and one-chance), armed robbers, ritualists (and those stealing female pants); among other criminal elements are case studies. Government needs to boost its security checks and zero tolerance against criminality in the nation as those criminalities discourage investors to invest in Nigeria and it causes us embarrassment and setback in progressing economically, politically, educationally, among others. The clamor for State police should also be put into reality so that each State will be able to police security in the State in the interest of the communities.
Finally, it is the truth that President MuhammaduBuhari has a lot to actually offer his electorate who have despite the disappointment labeled against his‘change mantra’ agenda in his first term of office, by still voting him into leadership as a second chance which his government has metamorphosed into ‘next level’. And it is my belief that the recommendations made by this paper will be a way for President Buhari to begin regaining the people’s trust and the lost credits. I also believe that the system will definitely improve beyond the current situation if those recommendations made by this paper are put into practice with no delay. These recommendations should not be seen and or taken as politically influenced by political opponents rather they are my recommendations as a concerned citizen and a human and socio-economic rights activist.
Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria! Long live President Muhammadu Buhari! God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria! God bless Nigerian leaders! God bless Nigerian citizens!