A former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega wants President Muhammadu Buhari’s 60th Independence speech to go beyond talk to implementation.
The former INEC boss spoke on Thursday during a special edition of Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily to mark Nigeria’s 60th Independence anniversary.
“What is clear is that the speech carries quite a lot of the right things to be said on a day like this. But for me, the critical thing is not what is said but how it is followed up,” Professor Jega noted.
“I think it is important to reflect on the issue of what government needs to do to ensure that when you call upon Nigerians to take pride in Nigeria, there are certain things that encourage and help them to be able to do that.”
While admitting that Nigeria has come a long way in the past six decades, the former lecturer called for caution, insisting that the 60th Independence anniversary should serve as a time for reflection.
‘A Long Way’
“And also, there is no doubt that Nigeria has come a long way in the last 60 years but is also important not to be in a celebratory mood but more to use this period as a period of reflection and contemplation as to what we really want Nigeria to be in the next 60 years,” Jega explained.
Jega said although the country is facing several challenges, Buhari’s Independence speech should trigger those in governance to act upon what was said to inspire confidence in the citizens.
“The key challenge for the government and governance is how to act upon all those things that have been said in order to give people the confidence that really, we are prepared to make the journey of the next 60 years as a united country that we can all take pride in and we can all be happy that our fundamental needs and aspirations would be addressed and satisfied through the process of governance,” the former INEC boss, added.
A former Nigerian Minister of Education says President Muhammadu Buhari’s inaugural speech is loaded with action which Nigerians will want to see how it will be translated into action.
Giving her opinion on the President’s speech, Mrs Oby Ezekwesili, who is also the leader of the Bring Back Our Girls Campaign Organisation, told Channels Television that it was inspiring and loaded with action, which she said was one of the attributes of a good speech.
Her comments came just as President Buhari’s speech and decision to relocate the military command to Bornu State have continued to attract more criticisms.
Mrs Ezekwesili said all the attributes of a good speech could be found in Buhari’s presentation, but stressed that Nigerians would be expecting to see the President walk the talk.
“Progress has been made in recent weeks by our security forces but victory can not be achieved by basing the Command and Control Centre in Abuja. The command centre will be relocated to Maiduguri and remain until Boko Haram is completely subdued. But we can not claim to have defeated Boko Haram without rescuing the Chibok girls and all other innocent persons held hostage by insurgents.
“This government will do all it can to rescue them alive. Boko Haram is a typical example of small fires causing large fires. An eccentric and unorthodox preacher with a tiny following was given posthumous fame and following by his extra judicial murder at the hands of the police. Since then through official bungling, negligence, complacency or collusion Boko Haram became a terrifying force taking tens of thousands of lives and capturing several towns and villages covering swathes of Nigerian sovereign territory.
“Boko Haram is a mindless, godless group who are as far away from Islam as one can think of. At the end of the hostilities when the group is subdued the Government intends to commission a sociological study to determine its origins, remote and immediate causes of the movement, its sponsors, the international connexions to ensure that measures are taken to prevent a reccurrence of this evil. For now the Armed Forces will be fully charged with prosecuting the fight against Boko Haram,” he said.