Governance: Nigerians should be patient with President Tinubu – Senator Akanbi - AMEBO NEWSPAPERS NG.


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Governance: Nigerians should be patient with President Tinubu – Senator Akanbi

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By Daniel Kanu 

Senator Rilwan Adesoji Akanbi is a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC). He represented Oyo South Senatorial District at the 8th National Assembly.

The astute politician and founder, Coalition Movement for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu (COMBAT), in this encounter with Sunday Sun, speaks on the Tinubu presidency, the need to give him more time for meaningful assessment, the challenge of insecurity and the IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu’s controversial detention, among others national issues. Excerpts:

President Bola Tinubu has been in office for not less than seven months now. So far, so what, in your assessment?

So far, so good. I am going to stand behind Prof Wole Soyinka in saying that it will be good to wait for one year if we must get a good assessment of his performance. You can see that there are so many policies on the ground, so many planning, but let’s wait for the implementation of those policies and the planning. At least, a year is fairly a good period to do an assessment.  Within a year, at least, a foundation must have been laid for the economy to start taking shape. Any assessment now may not be a fair one because for now things are still on formative stages, policy and planning stages. It is like when you are building a house, the planning matters so much. At the moment, so much huge planning is ongoing and there is need for time to enable the policies and plans get to certain levels of maturity. Not that one year is a maturity period, but it will provide a fair opportunity to make a better assessment as some policies may have started taking direction, and getting results. After one year, come back for an interview and then, my responses will be based on some results from the policy implementation actions taken. So, I can tell you now that so far all is well, looking at the ongoing massive planning. There is no way we will not harvest better results as the man on the driver’s seat (Tinubu) knows where the shoe pinches, he knows the problem and he knows what to apply in solving those problems. As you heard what he said on his 63rd independence anniversary message to the nation on October 1st. He has appealed to Nigerians to be patient with his administration and endure the present trying moment. I support the appeal, bearing in mind that he is not one that makes empty promises. He said reform may be painful, but that it is what greatness and the future require if a greater nation must emerge. President Tinubu asked Nigerians not to despair, but to keep hope alive as his administration will do all that is possible to put the country back in form. He has promised that our country will stand and will remain strong and that commitment to democracy and the rule of law remains the administration’s guiding light. He has promised of wage increment for average low-grade worker and many issues concerning all sectors of the economy.  They are working out the policies and planning strategies, so we need to wait for now. I share in his optimism because I know that he is not just making empty speeches or promises, but he is backing it with serious actions that will produce better results for our country. So, for now, I think there is wisdom in waiting for some time before embarking on any meaningful assessment.

But which areas do you thing that the government should focus more on, I mean areas of priority attention?

Let me be honest with you the economy before he came in was in shambles. Just identifying one particular sector is just like solving a multi-dimensional problem with mono-solution can’t work. The economy has to be overhauled wholistically. Picking or identifying a sector is like applying a mono-solution and it does not work that way. All areas need attention. We are talking about food insecurity, the cost of living, the decay in infrastructure, the decay in the education sector, the health care that is crying for help, high unemployment etc; so which sector will you leave and which one do you want to give more attention? So, all these require careful planning to an extent and you don’t ignore any. The only way you can affect in governance is to positively affect the wellbeing of the citizens. I know that this president can do so much, but I hope he will not be overwhelmed. 

What is your take on what is happening in Rivers State?

Rivers State is so important to Nigeria. Check the budget, the estimated barrels of oil expected is 1.7 million. This is like a tall order; we have not achieved that ever before. The highest we have had is 1.4 million barrel or 1.5 million barrel. So, Mr. President is wading in there because of the great importance, and crucial role of Rivers State to our economy. He needs stability there not because of Wike, the former governor or Fubara, the present governor. But also the lesson from Rivers State is that our governors when they want to install political godson, should no longer be desperate, but needs to exercise great caution on those they want to install as replacement for their third term.

What do you mean by third term. Please clarify more?

The third term is the term that the outgone governor will be ruling or controlling the godson outside office. Here, the predecessor, still runs the government, detecting, and directing those to be given appointments or how contracts are awarded, etc. They are outside the office, but monitoring, controlling all that the governor they installed will be doing. That is what is called a third term agenda and you ask, is it in the interest of the state or personal interest?

Most Nigerians thought that the issue of insecurity would have subsided or reduced to a great extent by now with Tinubu as president, but it seems there is even an escalation?

On a serious note, I think the president has to sit down to think on the architectural design of this country security-wise and see what needs to be done. All these medicine after death should be stopped.  The National Security Adviser (NSA) office must rise to the challenge too and see what best to be done so as to arrest this ugly situation in the orgy of killings and waste of innocent lives of Nigerians. There must be a constitution of team of intelligent crack Generals for the NSA to work with. You have to constitute a very intelligent team of retired generals and provide all it takes to ensure they work, cracking down intelligence and all that is needed to checkmate security. Ribadu was, I think a retired AIG, yes, he has been appointed, there is nothing wrong with that, but he needs retired generals, maybe like advisory committee that will not only bark, but bite, who will assist him or be added to whatever arrangement he already has on ground. They must critically look into the architectural foundation of the nation and then marshal out their strategies. You must have good security and secure peace for your development efforts to progress and be meaningful. I know President Tinubu will not just watch a continuation of insecurity which he inherited. He is an action man. He will do something different to tackle the evil. He will not let it destroy his plans to transform Nigeria to the benefit of all.

When you look at President Tinubu as being on the driver’s seat, where do you see Nigeria in the next four years as a country?

I know that President Tinubu has the ability and capacity as I pointed out earlier and he is a thinker, one who thinks outside the box, but salvaging Nigeria is not a one-man issue. He will make the best use of his opportunity to take Nigeria to a greater and better level. But he needs the support of Nigerians in this endeavour.

Most Nigerians thought that Nnamdi Kanu, IPOB leader, will be released in his last appearance at the Supreme Court, but that was not to be. What is your take on Kanu’s issue?

I am of the opinion that Kanu’s case is very complex, which has two dimensions -political and legal. How he can manage the two together is what will really matter. You know that legal is not emotional like the political, which is emotional. He should handle the two dimensions with great caution.

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