By Adekola Afolabi,
& Jimoh Ahmed
As Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu takes over from Muhammadu Buhari as the new President of Nigeria today, eminent Nigerians have charged the new administration to immediately hit the ground running by addressing critical issues bedeviling the country.
They asked Tinubu not to wait for too long to constitute his cabinet, because he rose to the presidency on the crest of rising popularity, based on his antecedents and disenchantment with the outgoing government of Buhari.
They, especially, want the new president to assemble his cabinet, though with caution and care, in a short period of time and not an elongated one.
According to them, with his reputation and track record, he already has a ready-made list of associates who have worked with him in his former political positions who are all capable of getting the desired results and taking the country to greater heights.
They, however, expressed confidence that the new President will not delay in assembling competent hands to form his cabinet, judging by his past record as governor of Lagos State.
Those who spoke with The Hope, include a chieftain of Afenifere, Chief Femi Aluko, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and immediate past Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Ondo state, Adekola Olawoye, Prof. Victor Olumekun, Prof Simon Ehiabhi from Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, AAUA.
Others are: Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) Chieftain, Ifedayo Akinsoyinnu Mallan Aminullah Kareem, a financial expert and an Ikare Akoko based entrepreneur and small scale industrialist, Otunba Ade Ogedengbe.
They said the new President should urgently revamp the ailing economy in the country, tackle insecurity, alarming rate of unemployment and other critical areas such as health, education and corruption.
They equally advocated for better treatment under the incoming administration in terms of good appointments and others, saying Ondo State deserves the best going by its contribution to the emergence of the new government.
Olawoye, who explained that Nigeria has been seriously wounded in the last eight years in all sectors of the economy under President Muhammadu Buhari, added that Nigerians have never had it so bad, just as he called on the new President to immediately hit the ground running and restore the lost glory of the country.
He noted that according to new law passed by the National Assembly and assented to by the outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari, the new President now has 60 days after his inauguration to name his cabinet members, thereby foreclosing the delay in forming cabinet.
“Tinubu is a technocrat. When it comes to selection and hunting for talents that will do Nigeria good and perform optimally and beautifully, Tinubu has a knack for it. He did it in Lagos State. He has so many of them in his kitchen and I believe he will do it again, God will lead him.
“Yes, as a nation, we are just like a pregnant woman; we are expectant. That is the position we are now. We are pregnant and the day of delivery shall be joyous. So, we believe the incoming President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu knows our problems, he should start from the day of his inauguration and let the electorate know the type of succour he will give us.
“We have been wounded seriously in the last eight years in the education sector, we have been wounded in the health sector, we have been wounded in the area of security. So, it has been a tale of woes. Is it the economy? We have never had it so bad.
“So, the priorities of the new administration should be security of lives and property of the citizens in line with the Provision of Section 14 of the Constitution, and job creation for the army of unemployed youths, because an idle hand is the devil’s workshop and a hungry man is an angry man. Tinubu should tackle unemployment headlong.
“The new President should reposition the economy, especially the strength of our naira vis-a-vis that of dollar, pounds, Europe, and others. Our naira has never suffered this kind of deadly blow like we witnessed in the past five years in the life of outgoing government.
“Now that Port Ondo has been approved by the federal government and the Akure/ Ado-Ekiti road has been flagged off, I will appeal that our bitumen should be given to us to manage and exploit, federal government should give us license to boost our economy”, Olawoye added.
On his part, a chieftain of Afenifere and former Commissioner for Information in Ondo state, Chief Femi Aluko, said he believes it will not take Tinubu much time to name his cabinet members because he already has good materials all over the country.
“So, by the grace of God, Tinubu will not have problem assembling his materials from across the country. I know he will assemble highly intelligent, skilled men and women as members of his cabinet. We saw how he did it in Lagos, so there is no problem about that.
“His government should give priority to electricity, education, road infrastructure, fighting corruption, unemployment, insecurity and so many other problems confronting the country,” he added.
Professor Victor Olumekun from AAUA, advised that the new president should hit the ground running immediately the National Assembly is convened, which should be within two weeks after his own inauguration.
The professor of Plant Physiology said that in selecting his cabinet members, Mr President should consider the professional background of each candidate and make sure that each ministry is headed by someone who is an expert in that field, saying, “one of the problems I had with the outgoing administration is that though they had enough capable hands, there were instances where an expert in a particular field was put in charge of another ministry that had no direct relationship with his area of expertise.”
Similarly, Professor Simon Ehiabhi from the Department of History and International Studies, AAUA described Asiwaju Bola Tinubu as an experienced technocrat who already should have his list of potential ministers.
Dr Chris Ofonyelu from the Department of Economics, expressed optimism that forming his cabinet should not be a problem for the new president, as it seems he is more prepared for the job than his predecessor, adding that Mr President would most likely bring more of technocrats on board, as well as consider merit and capacity as the basis in the choice of cabinet members.
For the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) chieftain, Ifedayo Akinsoyinnu Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu does not have to wait for too long to constitute his cabinet, because he rose to presidency on the crest of rising popularity.
According to him, the incoming president cannot afford to disappoint the masses, as the much -awaited ‘Messiah’.So he should appoint his Ministers within the first 100 days in office, from among the crop of top flight professionals who will add value to his mandate.
He said “he may wish to compensate some politicians, but they must not dominate the council.
He should try as much as possible to avoid appointing sycophants and uninspiring people into his cabinet.
“He may even go into our universities, research institutes, banking industry, to source for credible people. His priorities should be security, power and unemployment,” Akinsoyinu noted.
He further said that since Asiwaju Tinubu recorded massive votes in Ondo State, it will not be out of place, for him to help Ondo State in the area of bitumen exploration, which will be a major revenue earner for the country.
Mallan Aminullah Kareem, a financial expert based in Ilorin, Kwara State, while speaking with The Hope on phone said Tinubu has no excuse to fail.
According to him, judging from the fact that he is adequately prepared for the task of governance and his preparedness to usher in a renewed hope in the country, the period after his announcement as the winner of the election is enough for him to have penciled down those who will work for him.