What was missing from President Bola Tinubu’s New Year’s Day broadcast to the nation was sacrifice. Yes, he admitted that the economy was tottering when he took over on May 29, 2023, and he has had to make difficult decisions that have been telling on the Nigerian people, and has resulted in an inflation rate of 28%.
But where is his own sacrifice? And that of his government? It is not enough for him to ask us to play our parts. We must first see that the government is living up to its commitments. When a country faces economic challenges, the leadership cannot expect the people to make sacrifices without first making them.
What I expected to hear from the president was, for example, that: All jets in the Presidential Air Fleet have been sold except two. All foreign travel by public and civil servants have been embargoed, except where they are strictly in the national interest, and must first be approved by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, if they are civilians, or the National Security Adviser, if they are military and paramilitary personnel. All Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government are hereby directed to purchase made-in-Nigeria goods and services exclusively, and it will be a dismissible offence for any MDA to patronise a foreign good or service where there is a Nigerian alternative. The Legislature and Judiciary are advised to take the same course. Forthwith, the Federal Government shall not participate in sponsoring, subsidising, or supporting pilgrimages, whether by Muslim or Christian pilgrims. Religion and pilgrimages are a personal exercise, and the only time that the government shall play is to regulate the processes to make them orderly. All military and police personnel performing non-essential duties, as well as those who retired in the last ten years, are hereby recalled to active duty and shall be sent to Plateau, Zamfara, Niger, Benue and other security hotspots to end the carnage in those places and ensure that there is security of life and property for all Nigerians.
Finally, the Federal Government, under my leadership, shall operate under a low profile, and any overt or covert acts of exhibition of wealth are not to be tolerated and shall be met with punitive measures.
If the President’s New Year’s message had taken steps along the lines above, then he would have become a national hero and disarmed all his political opponents, as well as mobilised the nation behind him. But it is not too late. It is not too late. I wish all Nigerians a happy New Year and pray for our leaders at the Federal, state and Local Governments that God may give them the wisdom needed to fulfil their duties properly.
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