From Clement Adeyi, Osogbo
FORMER Head of State General Yakubu Gowon has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to salvage the country’s economy and rescue it from imminent collapse.
Gowon spoke at Ile-Ife Health Caravan and award ceremony organized in honour of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi, who was conferred as the Royal Ambassador for Hepatitis Advocacy in Nigeria.
Responding to questions after the award ceremony, Gowon urged Nigerians to cooperate with government, saying that Federal Government was doing everything possible to resolve the economic challenges.
When asked to suggest solution to Nigeria’s economic challenge, Gowon said: “Let the authority find a way out of the current economic crisis. The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, has been telling us what they have been doing to get the economy strong again. She said all will be well by September. Let’s wait till then.
“I have left government for a long time, so I may not really know what the problem is. The current administration should do whatever it can to solve the economic challenges. Those in authority should find a way to restore confidence in citizens and the nation at large by fixing the economy,” he said.
The elder statesman wondered why the issue of budget padding became the order of the day in Nigeria, saying such never occurred during his administration.
He urged government not to allow anyone found guilty of budget padding go scot-free.
“If that is true, and if anybody is doing that, the person should be checked and stopped to ensure that such does not occur in the future.
“We didn’t do it during my time. We had Chief Obafemi Awolowo in-charge of our finance during my time and he taught us to survive without borrowing. Budget padding should stop, there is no point doing that,” he said.
The Ooni expressed delight on the award and called on Nigerians to cultivate the habit of celebrating good leaders.
On her part, the Executive Secretary of Seham, Princess Adepeju Hameed, explained that since the formation of the foundation, the rate of Hepatitis has reduced in Nigeria.
She noted that the Ooni was given the award to deepen the awareness on the disease and its control.