May 29: Are we celebrating insecurity, hunger, killings, disunity? —Clerics ask Buhari

In less than 48 hours, the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari would have spent three years in office. Biola Azeez, Abiodun Jimoh, Collins Nnabuife, and Olaide Sokoya, in separate interactions with clerics, asked for their assessment of the Buhari government.

Having just a few minutes ago sworn on the Holy Book, I intend to keep my oath and serve as President to all Nigerians. I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody. A few people have privately voiced fears that on coming back to office I shall go after them. These fears are groundless. There will be no paying off old scores. The past is prologue.

“At home we face enormous challenges. Insecurity, pervasive corruption, the hitherto unending and seemingly impossible fuel and power shortages are the immediate concerns. We are going to tackle them head on. Nigerians will not regret that they have entrusted national responsibility to us. We must not succumb to hopelessness and defeatism. We can fix our problems.”

The above is an excerpt from President Muhammadu Buhari’s inaugural speech, when he took the oath of office on May 29, 2015. In the same speech, the president promised to tackle other such issues as unemployment, challenges relating to the economy, poor power supply, among others. Three years down the line, clerics share their views with TribuneChurch on how well much of these promises have seen the light of fulfillment.

 

Disunity has never been so pronounced –Opoola, Kwara CAN chairman

Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Kwara State chapter, Professor Timothy Opoola, who lamented division among Nigerians, especially on religion and ethnicity, called on the present administration to sit up.

“Disunity among our people has never been so pronounced as it is presently in the country. People are being divided along religious and tribal lines. Even in the hey-days of Boko Haram, it was not as bad as this. Just recently, I learnt so many people were abducted again in Kaduna. The killings go on almost a daily basis, and it had never been like this. As a result, people are divided along religious and tribal lines. Even the leaders can’t sit together to plan the way forward, because there is no peace. In the ruling political party, it’s infighting. I’ve never experienced such before.

“Look at the issue of Inspector General of Police and the Senate. It has never happened before. Even the fight against corruption has not been meaningful. Nothing has changed. There’s absolutely nothing to celebrate. Many are not happy with what they are made to continuously experience every day in their socioeconomic and political situations. Nigeria should make democracy work, because with the way things go, it can explode one day. Armed robbery, drug addiction, kidnapping, suicide, among youths, is as a result of unemployment. It should not be all about politics. They should address the challenges facing our nation,” he stated.

 

The grass-roots have not felt the impact of good governance –FCT CAN chairman

Reverend Jonah Samson

According the chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), FCT chapter, Reverend Dr Jonah Samson, “You are aware that Nigeria went into recession and in the course of time, indices showed that we are out of recession, but nevertheless, we still want the practical aspect of it, because it’s just theoretical. If you should go down to the grass-roots and relate with those who are there, they will tell you that up till now, the economy is still biting hard. When you look at the ordinary Nigerian, what are the evidences they will believe that government is reaching out to them?”

On security, he said: “When we look at the security of the nation, we appreciate the efforts in terms of fighting the Boko Haram, but it doesn’t end there. All over the country, we have challenges of insecurity. It is actually common with other nations, but what we are saying is that the government of the day should intensify efforts, because these incessant killings, brutality and wickedness of herdsmen is becoming unbecoming and that’s why you see all kinds of protest across the country.

“I want to say generally, on the aspect of corruption, even the international communities have given commendations about the fight against corruption, but what we are saying here is that the fight against corruption should not be selective, what Nigerians want is equal justice for all”.

 

It’s worth celebrating; it could have been worse –Pastor Salami


Registrar of the Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin, and a cleric with the Deeper Life Bible Church, Pastor Moses Olanrewaju Salami, however, expressed a different view, stating that the fact that the administration had spent three successful years, was worth celebrating.

“It’s worth cerebrating. If one has successfully spent three years out of four years of an administration, I think it’s worth cerebrating because that’s already more than half of the four-year term. First, look at personal challenge he had concerning his health. That he has been able to overcome that, even as a person, in his family and as a leader of a nation, it’s worth cerebrating. The intention, I believe, of the adversaries is that there will be no peace. But by the grace of God, we’ve been able to have relative peace. We should thank God for peace. Institutions are running; even in Maiduguri, the centre of the problem, tertiary institutions are on and religious people are still meeting. There’s hope. As a pastor, I think we should give thanks and all glory to God because it could have been worse. It is better as we appreciate God. God can do more for us,” he stated.

 

It’s been three years of blessings and setbacks –Apostle Olopade

Apostle Ayodele Olopade

Apostle Ayodele Olopade of New Wine Apostolic Communion Church, Ibadan said: “Expectations were high when President Muhammadu Buhari was sworn in three years ago. The government of President Muhammadu Buhari made a lot of promises and the populace expected a lot from them. The performance of this present administration has been an admix of blessings and setbacks – blessing in the sense that at least corruption is being dealt with even though that has been a selective approach and target.

“In the area of security, Boko Haram has been subdued as many of the Chibok girls were released, yet the guerilla attack and bombing of public places continue. Then the issue of the herdsmen surfaced. The government has made some achievement in the area of agriculture, but it is not yet noticeable to the public. Prices of foodstuffs refused to go down.

“Although, the present government inherited a comatose economy from the immediate past administration, three years is enough to witness noticeable progress. They were not sufficiently prepared for what they met on ground. I would just give them 40 per cent.”

 

Pastor Bode Olojede

Unless we want to celebrate mediocrity and poor performance –Pastor Olojede

Pastor Bode Olojede, in his reaction, stated that the past three years were not worth celebrating for so many reasons.

“The Naira has suffered consistent devaluation. Foreign capital flight is on the increase, and the productive sector of our economy is comatose. Also, the nation has been fractionalised; insecurity of life and property is prevalent. Religious and ethnic inclination is evident in appointments, while the so-called fight against corruption is lopsided and inclined against opposition. There is subtle censorship of the media, and our image in the foreign arena is laughable, because we are inconsistent, just as all the promises made by the ruling party remained promises and no performance.

“The Christian is an endangered species under this government. Herdsmen are having a field day killing and destroying lives and properties. There is evident discontent amongst the populace. So much was budgeted for, yet no improvement in any sector of our economy. Education, health, industry, infrastructure development, security are all in a sad state. As far as I am concerned, there is nothing to celebrate, unless we want to celebrate mediocrity and non performance,” he opined.

 

When you’re hungry, do you celebrate? –Evang. Babalola

Head, Celestial Church of Christ, Kwara South, Kwara State, Evangelist John Babalola, expressed sadness at the situation of things in the country.

He said: “People in the corridors of power in Abuja and at all federal parastatals may say all things are well in the country. However, I and so many other Nigerians have not seen benefit of dividends of democracy in the past three years. I’m hungry. People are hungry. Salaries are not paid as and when due. You talk of experiences in the private sector, and you feel like weeping. Roads are not good. An example is that of Ilorin-Kabba road. Security of lives and property is threatened daily. You hear reports of crime everywhere.

“Lawlessness pervades the land. There is no rule of law. There’s no harmony among the three tiers or arms of government. Instead of working hand-in-hand, you see effect of discordant tunes being played for Nigerian masses to dance to. So, when you are hungry, what do you celebrate? Nigeria should practise democracy appropriately. I love democracy, but not like they are playing it here. Dividends of democracy do not reach the people. Until then, we can celebrate.

 

Pastor James Ademuyiwa

Govt has totally failed in providing security –Pastor Ademuyiwa

Senior Pastor, In His Presence Christ Tabernacle, Lagos, Pastor James Ademuyiwa, on his own, gave the administration a pass mark in the fight against corruption, but stated that some ‘sacred cows’ had been left out.

“The administration of President Buhari passed in the area of fighting corruption, although they have left out some sacred cows, which are known to the world to be terribly corrupt; this has made their record of fighting corruption imbalanced and selective, and this shows that the government is not totally transparent.

“This government has totally failed in the area of security and protection of the lives of her citizens. The killing all around the country, especially against Christians, is a very serious matter that needs more urgent and heavy-handed attention; it is not acceptable. The administration of President Buhari is also not an all-inclusive administration; there is prejudice and tribal impunity with this administration.

“The president cannot claim to be presiding over the entire nation without bias and do such a thing. On the whole and putting this administration on an honest scale of assessment, I believe this administration is a complete failure and a disappointment. Nigeria needs a far better government than what we currently have, and my prayer is that God will give us such honest and genuine administration come 2019.”

 

Pastor Moses Olusola Ayoade

This administration is a complete disgrace –Pastor Moses

Pastor Moses Olusola Ayoade of Bethel International Reformation Centre of Destiny, expressed his displeasure with the present administration, stating that “My assessment of this administration is that it is a complete disgrace. All they promised before assuming office has not been fulfilled. Insecurity has remained high; power supply has been erratic; agriculture sector has not recorded much improvement; the Naira is not impressive compared to other currencies; and for the first time in my life, I heard a new language revolving around recession, rejection, dejection, oppression, and frustration. We pray God delivers us from bad, corrupt and visionless leaders, and help us to make the right choice in 2019.”

 

There’s nothing to celebrate — Reverend Evbuomwan

Reverend Martins Evbuomwan

Reverend Martins Evbuomwan, a cleric based in Benin, also said there was nothing to celebrate as it relates to the three years of the present administration.

“There is nothing to talk about this government. As in examination, I will score the Buhari administration five percent, because he is still living and we are also living. What are they celebrating? Is it the number of people killed, the hardship or number of people that have died as a result of starvation? If they try to celebrate it, thunder will come from heaven and strike them.

“It is just unfortunate that we do not have Prophet Elijah as of old again, who could have called on fire to consume them immediately. The administration has the capacity to destroy everybody, but it is God that did not allow it. God restrained them from carrying out their plans over Nigerians.”

ALSO READ: You are not doing enough —Clerics tell Buhari

 

If we cooperate with the government, we can still achieve much –Pastor Olugbenga

Pastor Adebayo Olugbenga, who stated that “all leaders need prayers as some unseen forces will not want them to succeed no matter how they try to improve economically, socially or politically,” in his assessment of the present administration, said: “The Buhari administration has come a long way to reduce the pace of criminality from what it used to be during the past administration. They have been able to deal with corruption, as well as sycophants roaming around the corridors of power.

“I am of the opinion that most state governments improved under this administration than their previous counterparts. A courtesy visit to states like Lagos, FCT, Rivers, Kwara, Imo, Osun, Ondo, Benue, Kaduna, Anambra, Delta, to mention a few, will lay credence to the fact that much collaborative efforts are being put up by the administrators of these states with the support of the federal might. If we all join hands in the implementation and execution of the various policies and programmes of this administration, with our continued prayers for the government, much will still be achieved.”

 

Enough of the blame game —Reverend Fr Okojie

According to the Assistant Priest at St. Luke Catholic Church, Kubwa, Reverend Fr Peter Okojie, the government had spent much time blaming the past administrations for misappropriating some fund without it (present administration) putting anything tangible on ground.

His words: “What is happening to this government is basically a thing of mediocrity, meaning that we do not want to go beyond the minimum. A few days ago, the president was blaming past administration for a power project worth $16 billion; it is good, but what have we achieved within the last three years? If we had achieved something with about $3 billion, if we have that $16 billion the past government spent, we would achieve a certain thing. With this, Nigerians will understand, but when you begin to blame the past administration, we will still remain the level of partisan politics.”


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