The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, has faulted the speech made by President Muhammadu Buhari, following his return from London where he spent 101 days on medical vacation.
According to Daily Post, CACOL said the nationwide broadcast did not encompass the “holistic situation of our present situation and with due considerations for the divergence of opinions as far as moving the entity called Nigeria forward positively.”
The body urged the president to march his “words with actions” as that will demonstrate adequately to “Nigerians his commitment to his promises, for which Nigerians have ‘patiently’ waited to manifest.
In a statement by its Media Coordinator, Wale Salami, CACOL urged the president to take “bold steps” towards resolving the crisis of ASUU, health, power and recent attack of the anti-corruption campaign.
The statement reads, “We appreciate the frankness of his address to Nigerians as he steps back on the stage. The speech was clearly presidential but not necessarily all encompassing of the holistic situation of our present and with due considerations for the divergence of opinions as far as moving the entity called Nigeria forward positively.
“We must state unequivocally, that at the very background of the seemingly unresolved Nigerians situation is the very basic issues of socio-economic and political relations which appropriate the bulk of the commonwealth of the people to a tiny few. It is an arrangement that has been sustained and continues to be.
“Ethno-religious and other divisionist sentiments most of the time stem from that background of widened gap of inequality in socio-economic and political relations.
“It is amidst this whole melodrama or tragicomedy association with the president’s medical trip, from sympathy to outright hatred, criticisms and defense of recruited/un-recruited supporters, indifference to confrontations etc. that we find it expedient to throw up the salient issues bedeviling the country.
“Thus, as we welcome the president, we call on him to match words with actions that will demonstrate adequately to Nigerians his commitment to his promises, for which Nigerians have ‘patiently’ waited to manifest. Speechifying, sophism and rhetoric which spells uncertainty in terms of the country’s socio-economic direction is obviously intolerable. And this is because Nigerians have had the unfortunate history of being severally deceived and made to pass through avoidable pains by leaders who never put their real needs on the priority list in appropriating the commonwealth of society.
“Mr. President need not be reminded that the fundamental reasons he seem to have enjoyed popular support just like he was elected was for a government that will radically move the country forward positively from the rot that subsists in socio-political and economic terms as against the ‘days of the locusts’. That is what majority of the discerning and undiscerning Nigerians voted for and had patience for all this while.
“Stemming from the stark reality before us as Nigerians, we recognize the limitations of the mode of governance that subsist presently. The choice is actually that of Nigerians to determine whether this mode endures or not.
“Most pertinently, we state that it is the system; the super structure and managers of the present status quo that is wholesomely responsible for our collective, painful socio-economic existence which skews commonwealth in favour of an infinitesimal minority.
“Mr. President, need not be told that; the education sector (and with ASUU on strike); power, security and other essential social sectors remains in doldrums to a large extent. Neither should he be reminded that one of his most appreciated efforts, i.e. the anti-corruption war is under a fierce fight-back by brazenly championed by pro-corruption elements. These are the bold and apparent realities that most Nigerians want to see concerted efforts by government go into resolving.
“We hasten to disagree with Mr. President on the position that ‘Nigeria’s unity is settled’ and this is not from the perspective of ‘Nigeria must be divided’, but from the dialectic conviction that a democracy should appreciate the democratic expressions of the people which includes the right to self-determination. A thoroughly democratic government within its operations must necessarily respond to peoples’ agitations, differences etc. Within the core ethos of the doctrine of democracy. The rule of law, human rights, vibrant civil activities and un-variegated accommodation of divergent interest are keys.
“Once again, we welcome the president and wish him full recuperation.”