President Buhari: Time to decide

President Buhari: Time to decide

By Ayodele Fagbohun
Recently, the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal handed down an historic verdict in favour of the sitting president, Mohammadu Buhari .

The five justices of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal were unanimous in their extra-ordinary verdict in a proceeding which lasted over eight hours.

The petitioners; the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar failed to prove their case beyond reasonable doubt.

The presiding judge, Mohammed Garba, read the lead  judgement and unhesitatingly threw the whole thing into the dustbin of history, without giving thought to awarding cost against the petitioners. This is quite magnanimous and unprecedented.

It is an unassailable fact that the electorate and judiciary are in unanimity to renew the electoral mandate freely given to President Buhari/Yemi Osinbajo under the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2015 for the second term in office.

President Buhari should charge forward and take major decisions against certain individuals and corporate bodies that apparently abuse their positions  to defraud and steal the nation’s treasury.

All the economic  felons – the immediate past administrators, their cronies, the indicted past state governors and others in the top echelon of government – must be arrested, punished and the looted properties confiscated by the government.

The proceeds should be promptly utilized for public good. President Buhari must be more aggressive to repair the battered image and remove the badge of corruption deliberately fixed on Nigeria by some condemned individuals and rascals that run the political affairs of the country at various theatres of operation.

They all deserve to be called upon to account for their stewardship in bringing the economy into ruins and the nation into odium, ridicule and contempt in the eye of international community.

There must not be any sacred cow in serving justice to whoever errs; no matter the status or how highly placed.

Corruption must be tackled headlong, scorched to the root and be annihilated if Nigeria must survive corruption. The bane of the economy should be fought and be defeated fair and square lest Nigeria exists merely on a piece of cartography.

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President Buhari/Vice President Yemi Osinbajo should without further delay kickstart an ethical revolution, make a clean sweep of age-long corruption and reckless permissiveness and quickly restore the dignity and pride of the nation as a giant and cynosure of  the entire black race.

The xenophobic attack on Nigerians residing in South Africa is not only unthinkable and most unfortunate but a blemish on our nation. President Buhari must work assiduously  to grow and galvanize our economy to the level of providing for the material well-being and welfare of the citizens. I hasten to say that only then can we be of great succour and relief to fellow African immigrants within our gate.

I must tell Mr. President that the nation has  incredible potentials, if well harnessed and husbanded, to meet the needs and yearnings of our people and fellow Africans looking for greener pasture and desiring to take up the nationality of our beloved Nigeria.

It is an irony of fact that President Buhari is a former military head of state after a putsch that ousted the President  Shehu Shagari-led administration of the defunct National Party of Nigeria (NPC). In his much- orchestrated anti-corruption war to rid the nation of indiscipline, graft and profligacy, Buhari,  ably assisted by the then Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters, late Major General Tunde Idiagbon tried to undo the monumental wrongs of financial squandermania when the axe fell.

Enter the self-styled military president, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, who put paid to the fight against corruption and in its place cleverly institutionalized corruption as a way of life in Nigeria.

Another opportunity came knocking at the door this time around of democratic dispensation. We must re-open the arsenal for deploying the weapons of anti-corruption crusade to put the strangulated economy in good shape for the maximum advantage of the people shortchanged and traumatised by the harmful and destructive effects of misgovernance over the years.

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It is an irony of history too that the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), in power for upwards of almost two decades, failed to fix the economy and provide job opportunities for the teeming youths. Its leadership was power drunk and debauched.

What is worse? PDP’s leadership is now crying wolf where there is none, embarking on frivolous, puerile and lousy criticisms; going on social media to  seek puny relevance, having lost spiritual contact with the very people fraudulently deceived and  hood-winked for decades of crass  misrule while in office.

Look at the cavalier  and irresponsible manner the leadership of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) handled former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, while on trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).

Onnoghen was eventually blown out of office by the gale of overwhelming evidence against him. And PDP suffered aggravated loss of image and integrity for aligning with Walter Onnoghen, because it gave tacit approval to corruption charges leveled against the embattled former  chief justice.

However, the former CJN should be commended for saying the truth, admitting that he forgot to declare his assets. We must not forget that  Onnoghen was once indicted by the Justice Kayode Eso panel. No sane person can impugn the virtue, probity and integrity of the erudite late jurist, Kayode Eso.

On this note, I have no choice than to accuse PDP of illegitimately and violently stealing the people’s  mandate,  unlawfully presiding over the affairs of the country in a democracy for 16 years running.  PDP should be reprimanded for having the temerity to have shown affinity and preference towards an indicted civil servant to continue in office as chief Justice of the federation.

This obviously portrayed PDP as a political party not morally fit to canvass for votes across the country and should be prescribed forthwith.

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What we are saying in effect is the soul that sinneth shall die. It is high time the police and the anti-graft agencies and commissions are given free rein to track down financial culprits and economic saboteurs and carry out their onerous assignments in the best global practices.

The Buhari administration should muster enough courage and grit to marshal the required personnel who can key into the progressive programmes that will lift the country from morass of corruption, disease, squalor and naked poverty.

In this connection, the vexed issue of minimum wage to be appropriately called living wage must take high priority of this administration, for it is  sheer inhumanity to man for any responsible government to dillydally  and politicize a vital issue like a living wage.

As a first citizen of the country with a presidential clout literally of life and death in the constitution, President Mohammadu Buhari should take the momentous decision and bridge the provocative yawning gap  between the rich and the poor through redistribution of national wealth and resources. It should promote the existence of a middle class, and wipe out the unjust iniquitous inequality across the country.

What is sauce for the geese is equally sauce for the gander. The resources of the nation can afford a living wage both for the workers and pensioners. They can also recruit more hands to run the depressed economy and to ensure justice, happiness, industrial peace and harmony in the country.

Nigeria is at the crossroads. President Buhari must be more proactive and alive to his responsibility of bequeathing purposeful governance. He must ruthlessly stamp out corrupt practices wherever they may rear their ugly heads, and not to treat with kid gloves the powerful coterie of economic vampires and treasury looters in our midst. They must all be exposed and severely punished to serve as deterrent to others. The time to take some expedient decisions in the national interest is now.

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