-Tasks Buhari on restructuring, electoral reforms
By Adewale Sanyaolu
The National Association of Seadogs (Pyrates Confraternity) has bemoaned the state of affairs in Nigeria as it celebrates its 60 years of Independence.
The NAS Cap’n, Mr Abiola Owoaje, in a statement titled ‘Nigeria at 60: Not yet time to roll out the drums’ stated that the Independence Celebration has over years “deteriorated into a jaded and hollow observance”
Owoaje who recalled the great accomplishments Nigeria made in the early years in the area of agriculture, medicine and education decry “the fall of a great and promising nation, from that glorious past to the present abysmal state, as we mark her 60th Independence Anniversary.”
According to him it is a sad commentary that in Nigeria “almost all if not all, indices of development have been on a progressive decline, to the disappointment of both Nigerians and the international community.”
Owoaje while pointing out that the sorry state of the health sector in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic as an example of the tragedy that has befallen Nigeria listed corruption in its endemic form and insecurity as some of the challenges facing the country.
He said the current administration has triggered Nigeria’s very fragile fault line and turned what were manageable lines of friction and disaffection into huge chasms and craters of distrust and hate.
“It’s time in power has thus far been characterised by the ignoble trio of insecurity, divisiveness, and crippling poverty, with swathes of territory under the stranglehold of either murderous terrorist insurgents or marauding herdsmen leaving an apparently unending trail of tears, sorrow and blood”Owoaje added.
He therefore urged the political class to use the occasion of the Independence Day to reflect on “where we were and where we ought to be” adding that “Nigerians, who are among the most enterprising and industrious people in the world, deserve a constitutionally restructured country where a level playing field is created for every citizen to prosper based on natural talent and expertise”
The statement read in part “That obvious wastages arising from the unwieldy size, perks, and other emoluments of political office holders be slashed forthwith in order to make politics a call-to-service and not an easy route to the selfish acquisition of filthy lucre;
“That the security of lives and property of Nigerians, which is the most paramount constitutional raison d’être of every government, is prioritised with sincerity. In this vein, the Federal Government should immediately change the security architecture of the country as it is obvious the present managers have run out of ideas.
“That the fight against corruption is approached with an altruistic sense of purpose by moving beyond glib utterances in campaign manifestos to ensuring the institutional reforms that will empower the relevant agencies and make them enduring, independent organs of State;
“That the electoral system reforms are pursued with more urgency and vigour in order to engender confidence and increase participation by the electorate. We particularly call on President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the Electoral Amendment Act 2018 as it concerns electronic voting, into law when it is next brought before him again from the National Assembly.”