Pastor Femi Faseru is the arrow head of Kingsway International Christian Church (KICC) Lagos. The IT expert turned pastor spoke about the state of the nation.
What advice do you have for the electorate?
Firstly, I think we should all pray that there should be peace in our land. That elections would go smoothly without violence, we should all pray that the leaders that will emerge from the election will be leaders who are God fearing, they will be leaders who have the heart to do good for the people. Leaders who will be selfless, who will go all out to roll up their sleeves and work for our nation to come back to the place where our economy will be good, where the future will be bright and the citizens will be excited about the nation that we call ours. I will encourage everyone to go out and vote, I will encourage people to vote for the person that they have conviction will do well for Nigeria. They shouldn’t sell their votes; they shouldn’t be intimidated to vote for someone they don’t want to vote for.
Some people are clamouring for restructuring and others say the country doesn’t need that, what is your take on that?
I think at this point in time, the issue of restructuring should not be emphasised in the next two to three months. We have elections coming. I think our focus should be on this election. Those who emerge should have the responsibility to take Nigeria to where they believe Nigeria should be, whether on the path of restructuring or as it is right now, some sort of adjustments. But definitely, there is a lot of work to be done on Nigeria as it is. I don’t think that restructuring on its own is what will solve the problem; I think our problem is deeper than that. Though , if restructuring is what they think can help as part of what will help, lets elect those who are going to speak for us, those who are going to represent us, I think that is very important at this point in time.
Minimum wage, what’s your take on it?
I believe the minimum wage should be higher than that the 27,000 being proposed, but when you look at our economy, you also look at the affordability of the government to make good their promise. If you say that it should be more than that, fine but, is government able to pay? So we really have a challenge in our country, we have a challenge where government are not able to generate as much as they should so that they can do what they need to do for their citizens. Election is coming; I hope they are given opportunity to actually understand the manifestos of the parties, having looked carefully at the competence of those who want to govern us, if they have the capacity to be able to generate enough. We need them to be able to give enough to the citizens. Much more is deserved by the people who work for the state but also, I hope the state going to generate enough to make the commitment.
What is your take about this administration?
Buhari’s administration three and half years gone. Firstly, a lot was desired when the government was coming in. These people thought the messiah had come, down the line, I’m not sure that is what the case is. As a pastor, someone who has the direct relationship with Nigerians on people who come to our church, I’m not sure the governance is the governor of the people. Our hospitals have not improved, go to LASUTH, go to LUTH, educational problems are yet to be resolved. Lagos Ibadan express road that I use all the time, three and half years it’s still not been completed. Three and half years for whatever reason, I think we desired much more from this administration than what we had gotten. There are excuses why they hadn’t given as much as they should. Though one is confused when they are saying to us that they have kept their promise and I wonder what that is, when I hear that. There should not be an excuse for you not doing what you should do. I believe maybe they have done the best they could, maybe they have done the best they could under the circumstance but a lot of an average man on the road has not improved. The lot of our currency has not improved. Three and half years ago, it was 199 but today it is 360.
Did you watch the presidential debate, any comment?
Yes I did. Brilliant people, Fela Durotoye, Moghalu, and Madam Oby Ezekwesili, who has now stepped down from the race. So we had people who spoke intelligently. We had people who try to dissect the challenges of our country and also in their own view what could be done. I think it was healthy. It was a shame that the other two parties were not there. They saw it as a contest but it wasn’t a contest between themselves , it was a platform where they will enlighten the nation, the citizens about what they thought about the challenges of the country and how the country can come back to where it suppose to be. I think it’s healthy, it also give voters the opportunity to say I believe in this person, this person is able to do this.
What would you say about the CJN saga?
I have been following the controversy following the suspension of the CJN. I’m not a lawyer but I have been listening to lawyers. On the government side, they are saying it’s not the government that is suspending the CJN that the government receives an order to do that. There are a lot of technicalities around it. But one thing I know is that it’s not the way to go, when we have few weeks to the election, the presidency needs to ensure that the atmosphere is conducive for people to believe that we are going to have a free, fair and also a peaceful election. And such controversy at the eleventh hour I think should be avoided. The issue can still be dealt with but why now, we need to have an environment where we all are looking forward to casting our votes.