By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
As President Muhammdu Buhari took oath of office on Wednesday for a fresh tenure of four years, leaders of political parties have set agenda for the new government, specifically outlining what the President must do urgently to get the country working better. In this Special Report, our Correspondent, Ikechukwu Okaforadi writes on these perspectives.
ACCORD PARTY – President should form cabinet in two weeks
According to the National Chairman of Accord, Muhammad Lawal Nalado, the President must constitute his cabinet within two weeks into his new tenure. This he said is necessary because of the need to have a cabinet to sustain the good policies of the government, and as well bring innovative programmes that will address the needs of Nigerians.
Speaking further, Nalado said the President should appoint his Ministers and Heads of Agencies and Parastatals from among politicians. He cautined against the selection of his appointees from technocrats, arguing that it is only the politicians who mix with the people daily that can understand their challenges and how to tackle them.
Nalado, who is former chairman of Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC), further urged the President to invest more in the agricultural sector, saying it will not only create jobs, but will impact on the Gross Domestic Product, (GDP) of Nigeria. He also said there is need to create ranches in the northern part of the country through irrigation to address the herders/farmers clashes.
UNITED PEOPLES PARTY (UPP) – He should invest massively in infrastructure
In his suggestions also, the National Chairman of United Peoples Party (UPP), Chekwas Okorie, emphasized the need for the President to invest heavily in building infrastractures, including roads, and railways. This, he said, will revitalise the economy, and create more job opportunities for Nigerians.
Okorie, who also tasked the President to only appoint those who have integrity as members of his cabinet, said the selection of Ministers and Members of the Security agencies must be spread across the country to give a sense of belonging to every ethnic nationality.
He observed that in the last administration, the President appointed only those from his party, hence he advised that in his second tenure, members of the coalition of political parties that supported him for second tenure, should also be considered for appointive positions.
All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) – Buhari should overhaul security architecture
In his submissions, the National Director of Publicity for the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Ifanacho Oguejiofor, said the President should reform the economic structure of the country, to give greater control to the federating units, including States and Local Governments.
Oguejiofor also warned against policies that will create economic hardship among Nigerians and force citizens to commit suicide. The President should appoint smart people that will wear their thinking caps to salvage the country. Nigeria looks like where there is no security, hence kidnapping and killings.
The party charged the President to accommodate all the zones of the country especially in the security architecture of the country. The APGA Publicity Director also said that Nigeria cannot survive the delay of six months before formation of the cabinet as witnessed in the first tenure of the President.
To this end, he said that the cabinet list should have been on the President’s table waiting to be announced immediately after he takes oath of office. This, he said, is necessary because of the urgent need to jump-start the country, which he said is facing a stagnated economy based on all development indices.
National Rescue Movement (NRM) – Buhari should sign amended Electoral Act.
The National Rescue Movement (NRM) governorship candidate in Katsina state in the March 9 governorship election, Alhaji Abubakar Halilu Jikamshi, has pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the corrected amended Electoral Act before the end of the life of the 8th National Assembly on June 9.
The candidate and former FCDA Director said since the thorny areas, which the President had objected to, have been corrected, redrafted and harmonised by both chambers of the NASS, it behooves on the president to assent to it and thus set the country’s electoral processes on course ahead of the next general elections.
Jikamshi said it was necessary for the president to give assent to the passed bill before him because failure to do so before the 8th NASS winds down would automatically terminate all the efforts put to amend the electoral act.
“Besides, once the 8th NASS winds down without all passed bills before president being assented to by the president, it would mean that the Electoral Act as amended in 2019 would have died and it would take the 9th NASS to start the amendment processes afresh.
“Yes, the president’s reasons for not assenting to it the last time it was presented are acceptable primarily because the time was too close to the general elections and several things were needed to be altered were it signed into law.
“But now that the general elections have come and gone, those things which could have constituted hindrances then will not because we now have sufficient time to make necessary changes before the next election”, he said adding that it would be a disservice to jettison the passed bill completely.
Further, he also advised the president to step up the fight against banditry in the North, adding that unless the key elements behind the evil acts were brought to book it would continue unabated.
Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) – He should appoint other parties in his cabinet.
The National Chairman of Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), Breakforth Onwubuya, while advising the President on how to form his cabinet, said he should consider other Presidential candidates who stepped down for him during the 2019 elections for appointment as members of his cabinet.
According to him, some opposition political parties worked for the President’s victory, and now is his time to bring them into his cabinet to continue to work for his success. Onwubuya said further that the President should address the high level of insecurity across the country, warning that the country is becoming a ‘banana republic’ where life is valueless.
In addition, he suggested that the best measure which the President can adopt to address the insecurity in the country is to revive the economy through strategic investments that will grow the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the economy and reduce the gap between the dollar and naira in the international market. This, he said, will create jobs and stabilize the economy.
In addition, he advised the President to sack all the Service Chiefs and bring younger people with fresh ideas on board on how to tackle the insecurity in the country. He said also that the best legacy the President will leave for Nigerians is to overhaul the electoral system to allow for a credible and transparent system that will further entrench democracy in Nigeria.