New SGF, Mustapha, at Aso Rock, takes oath today
From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa and Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, has said Nigerian elite are frustrating the anti-corruption war and drawing the country backward.
Osinbajo also said corruption, tribalism, religion and other parochial tendencies are stumbling blocks to a new Nigeria that would compete with the best economies in the world.
The vice president spoke in Igbogene, Bayelsa State, yesterday, during inauguration of the state’s 10,000-seater Ecumenical Centre
Osinbajo, who was represented by Aso Rock Chaplain, Pastor Seyi Malomo, noted that Nigerians must be ready to deal decisively with corruption as it has affected all institutions in the country.
“Permit me, then, to make a concluding submission. It is my view that Nigerian elite, political, business, religious regardless of our faith and ethnicity; they think alike. They are driven by largely similar motivations. The elite are usually self-centred, selfish and unprepared to make the sacrifices either in service or self restraint those leaders of successful communities or nation must make. Playing the religious or ethnic card when necessary so that the masses can be happy is grossly cynical and difficult. They are in government, in the Legislature, Judiciary and the Press. These are those who come together to commit corruption. It is my respectful submission that, to build a new Nigeria, we need a new tribe, a tribe of men and women of all faith, tribes and ethnicity that are committed to a country run on high values, values of integrity, hard work and justice and love for the country.”
General Overseer (Worldwide) of the Redeemed Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye commended Governor Henry Seriake Dickson and the state government for building the ecumenical centre for Christian religious functions.
Meanwhile, newly-appointed Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Gida Mustapha, has vowed to join President Muhammadu Buhari’s fight against corruption, insecurity as well as efforts to revive the economy.
He spoke to State House Correspondents after a closed-door meeting with president Buhari at Aso Rock, shortly before he left for the All Progressive Congress (APC) National Executive Council (NEC) meeting.
Mustapha was named SGF on Monday, after Buhari sacked Babachir Lawal and former director general of the National Intelligence Agency, Ayo Oke, for corruption.
He will be sworn in before commencement of the Federal Executive Councl (FEC meeting, today..
Asked what Nigerians should expect to see differently from the SGF office, he said, “Well, I’ll wait until the oath of office is administered on me. Once that is done, I’ll now begin to take briefings from the office and begin to chart a roadmap. Is always not too fashionable to begin to talk about an office you have never occupied. That will be being too presumptuous and I wouldn’t want to do that at the moment. I will want to step into the office first.
“But I have a general picture of where we should be going, and I can assure you that my responsibility is that of coordination and ensuring the implementation of government policies as generated. Nigeria is not in lack of information and policy formulation, sometimes is the synergy of those policies for the purposes of attending the goal that has been lacking, and I think those are some of the things that I am going to bring to the office.
“We need an emergency acceleration to get out of where we are, and I can assure you that Mr. President is focused on the three-pronged approach to take his government to fight corruption, diversify the economy and also the other aspect of security. We’ve done so much in the area of security. Even the diversification of the economy so much has been achieved.”
Mustapha spoke on the agric policy of the administration, saying if all hands are on deck, the country will begin to feed itself.
He said, “There are no poor farmers in Nigeria again. Honestly, for anybody that is able. We can deploy our hands and our energy to growing our agriculture.
“I have been speaking to some of the governors, they are doing remarkable work with the Anchor borrowers grower scheme and other schemes that are coming up. I believe that if we can do that consistently for a number of years we’ll get out of this quagmire. Because a nation that cannot feed itself has a long way to go in terms of institutional and industrial development.
“So, like I said I will not be too quick to say what I am going to do in office, but I have a general picture. Mr President has cast the vision, all of us that are appointees of government have the singular responsibility to ensure that we run with that vision. He has made it plain and whichever vision that has been made plain for those that are being charged with responsibilities we are supposed to run with that vision to ensure that at the end of the day the dividends of democracy is delivered to the people of Nigeria.
“We went round and campaigned and sought for their mandate, freely they gave us and it behoves on us charged with responsibilities to ensure that we do not disappoint them. The expectations are great out there. You live with families and you know the expectations of families. You live in communities, you know the expectations of those communities. You live in geographical jurisdictions and you know the expectations of those people. But we’ve come at a time when the resources are very very lean, in some cases not available but I believe with prudent management as being put in place by Mr. President we’ll be able to navigate these very difficult terrain and at the end of the day every Nigerian will have a smile on his face.
“We are not promising heaven on earth, but we can move our people from this state of squalor in which they are to a state where there will be hope, there will be expectations. And hope does a lot of things, because your desire for living for tomorrow is to rekindle back hope. And if there is hope that things will be better, the people of Nigeria are very understanding people and I can assure you that they will continue to give this government the kind of support that will require to push the nation ahead.”
The SGF said his meeting with president Buhari was full of humour and jokes.
He said, “The President in his normal candor and humor just cracked jokes and he was in very high spirit. I was pleasantly gladdend in my heart when I saw how robust and how uplifting he is in his spirit and in spite of the enormity of the fact that he has to deal with navigating the affairs of this nation. But he looked in-charge, quite calm and calculated, and the beauty about it is that his recovery process has been very very remarkable, is just a miracle and I just want to thank God for that.”