By Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani), Executive Director, CISLAC
The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) welcomes the healthy and safe return of President Muhammadu Buhari to the country from a long but gracious medical leave in United Kingdom.
While we join the rest of the country to share from the spirit of the on-going jubilations to commemorate the President’s safe return, we are intrinsically inspired to remain focus and articulate contentious socio-economic and political issues awaiting the President’s prompt attention and decisive actions for secured, productive, peaceful and progressive nation.
We express unreserved worry over the recurring but unhealthy and divisive agitations for separation by different groups from respective geo-political zones in the country with growing threats, precarious verbal attacks and hate speeches which if not holistically addressed may pose grievous challenges to the peaceful-coexistence, unity and diversity of our beloved nation.
We are also worried by the growing social vices such as kidnapping, violent attacks and re-emerged insurgency in the country. We demand proactive strategies and appreciable actions by the President to secure lives and property of Nigerians.
We are concerned by the recent but dubious trend and development in the nation’s anti-corruption fight with the emerging threats and physical attacks on the anti-graft facilities and operatives by sponsored bandits, primarily to subdue or supress existing achievements and progress in the anti-corruption fight. We demand enabling environment for various anti-corruption mechanisms, strengthened and secured anti-graft institutions and their operatives for sustainable and progressive anti-corruption fight in the country.
While we are not unaware of the habitual menaces and dreadful impacts of the growing youth unemployment to the execution of the nation’s social, economic and political development planning, we call on the President for more practical and immediate efforts to address youth unemployment to complement the administration’s existing efforts to ensure progressive, productive and secured nation.
We are disturbed by the on-going unpleasant and hard-hearted development rocking our already underdeveloped and poorly funded tertiary institutions with resultant resurfaced industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU), and the potential consequence to the productive and qualitative lives of the Nigerian students and sustainable development of the country. We encourage the President on prompt political intervention to respect and honour Federal Government-ASUU agreements for well-funded, productive and uninterrupted educational activities in the country.
As constructive legislative-judicial relationship remains paramount to appropriate interpretation and implementation of pro-poor legislation, we call on the President to ensure more concerted effort with proactive measures towards strengthening legislative-judicial relationship for fair and judicious interpretation of laws without favour or intimidation.
The continued reluctance exhibited by the executive and legislative arms towards confirmation of some key appointments and re-appointments in the country remains our major concern that if not promptly addressed will frustrate the good efforts and resources hitherto committed to the fulfilment of the administration’s promises and mandates. With several appointments and reappointments germane to the fulfilment of the promises made during electioneering campaigns and critical to the attainment of change mantra are awaiting announcement and confirmation, we call on the President to build healthy executive-legislative relation and fast-track confirmation of key appointive and re-appointive positions to ensure accelerated delivery of the administration’s agenda.
We as well call on the President to uphold full-fledged implementation of the 2017 budget; timely preparation and presentation of 2018 Appropriation Bill to the legislature and ensure such reflects the citizens’ expectations and aspiration to resuscitate the poorly funded social sector of the economy, giving cognizance to the dwindling donors’ resources in the country.
While we congratulate members of the executive, legislative and judiciary arms on the President’s return, we urge all well-meaning Nigerians and the media on active participation in, continuous support and encouragement for the political stability, democratic and governance process in the country.