By Godwin Obi
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A foremost end time messenger of the Gospel and General Superintendent (GS) of The Holiness Power Bible Ministry, Pastor Austin Udeoha, has called on the federal government and other prime movers in the nation’s political landscape to put machinery in motion to prune down cost of governance in the country , even as he reiterated that the present Nigerian economy cannot survive the cost of running two full time legislative chambers.
In this incisive chat, Pastor Udeoha carpeted the federal government’s lopsided appointments which favour the North against the South, and called for amendment of the constitution to expunge security votes for governors.
Pastor Udeoha however blamed Nigerian leaders’ inability to manage the country’s unity in diversity on the failure of the colonial masters to take cognizance of the diverse ethnic nationalities that make up the country before merging the North and Southern protectorates in 1914.
He remarked emphatically that before the North and Southern protectorates were amalgamated no Nigerians were consulted, not even to consider the interests of the various ethnic nationalities that were compulsorily brought together as a country. The clergyman whose church is popularly known as Operation Tikpoo (Meaning Operation Destroy Devils’ Works) called for the amendment of the Nigerian constitution to make looting of public treasury a life jail offence. He also speaks on fixing of oil refineries, banning governors from going to the senate after 8 years in office etc. Read on:-
Devolution of Powers.
Nigeria’s present constitution is the one that was handed over to us by the Military. How can the military who came by Coup write constitution for civilians? The military does not recognize the law, and so, the constitution should be amended, to address restructuring with emphasis on Devolution of powers. The centre carries a lot of powers and that is why too many people are attracted to the centre. Unless powers are devolved to the regions, the states will remain lazy, while the huge natural endowments are abandoned in the regions.
Nigeria is in dire need of state policing now. Police posting is wrongly made. You cannot post an indigene of Ogun state to Sokoto state when he knows no part of that state. It will be more result oriented if police officers remain in their own states where they master the terrain very well, and communication with community leaders and the indigenous people conducted in one language.
This country does not need a –bicameral legislative system whereby hundreds of legislators from House of Representatives and the Senate will gather at the chambers on full time basis. Legislators should be made to work on part time basis to reduce cost and their salaries equated with those of University lecturers.
Our political leaders should learn to reduce cost of governance. The Presidency has no need of keeping as many as 11 presidential jets, and at same time the governors and other political office holders maintain fleets of exotic cars.
Removing subsidy without fixing refineries
It is a deception that our leaders could not fix the refineries but they went ahead and stopped fuel subsidy. With this kind of carefree attitude, the incidence is largely borne by the masses through exorbitant increase in pump price – it is not wise to remove subsidy when they have not first built new refineries at least in each of the six geopolitical zones since they could not permanently repeal the old ones. If one man could build one refinery in Lagos, I don’t see why Nigerian government cannot build six refineries as they had promised to do.
Lack of 24- hours permanent power supply, which is not rocket science is killing businesses in Nigeria. I implore government to provide 24- hours’ power supply with prepaid meters to Nigerians before attempting to hike electricity tariff.
Security vote for Governors
The unaccounted security votes which the military created for the political leaders should be removed. It is deceitful and constitutes a waste of funds that would have ordinarily gone into public projects.
Prohibition of past Governors from going to senate after 8 years
It is a rape on national economy for one person to receive double gratuity and pension, yet former governors who are already receiving pensions and gratuities are allowed by our laws to go to the Senate after serving eight years as governor. This has to be expunged from our constitution because it is a setback on our youths.
Foreign medical treatment for political leaders
Over time, it has been discovered that because our political leaders could at will fly to Europe, America and Asia for medical treatment, they have abandoned our own medical and educational centers to the suffering of the poor citizens who cannot fly themselves abroad. There should be a ban to that, to prompt quick fixing of medical institutions in the country for use by all.
Multiple crises in the land
I am amazed that up till now the armed herdsmen that have killed Nigerians in their thousands have not been declared terrorists while a mere agitating armed-less IPOB members were tagged terrorists. For me, this does not suggest actions of government that guarantees equality for all. This poor sense of judgment in serious matters affecting the nation makes many think the government is biased. Cattle-rearing is a private business of the cattle owners and so, government should not be involved in how cattle are ranched. There are lands everywhere, if a cattle owner wants land he should buy a parcel of land from the owner just as other businessmen and women acquire lands for various businesses in all parts of the country.
It is unfortunate that political crisis in Nigeria has never assumed this dimension since 1960; where the nation is characterised by divisions. The development in the political space casts fear on the sustainability of our democracy.
Cracks In Nigeria
The unprecedented upheavals in the land were caused by the lopsided appointments by federal government. When people saw that all the sensitive positions in government institutions-the Army, Navy, Air force, EFCC, INEC, Civil defence, Immigration, Customs, the Police etC, are headed by people from one tribe and one religion, it bottled away their sense of belonging to one Nigeria. So, if Mr. President had balanced his appointments like his predecessors did, the anger in the land wouldn’t have been so pronounced, and people wouldn’t be bothered by the seeming suspension of federal character principle in the government appointments.
Making sensitive appointments a prerogative of only one region, as well as retaining service chiefs who are supposed to have retired does not show seriousness amongst our political leaders. There should always be equity for all ethnic nationalities in all standards.
Dependence on Oil – problem of Nigeria
Nigeria’s former leaders failed to manage oil proceeds. If the Oil proceeds were well managed by our former leaders ours would have been a leading economy in the world.
But like the Bible warns: Because sentence against evil work is not executed speedily, it makes more people go into sin (Ecclesiastes 8:11). Our Problem: Moshood Abiola’s presidential election was truncated; that led to his death. Yes! June 12 has been declared Democracy Day but what has been done to those who truncated that election?
Another problem is too many drama in the country. The drama of the NDDC and the EFCC- everything has gone into voice-mail. If that kind of thing had happened in China, heads would have rolled. Setting up committees is used to divert attention and criminals who should have been in jail or executed living like kings. He that killed must be killed but in the name of Human Rights, despite capital punishment nothing has been done to killers and corrupt politicians as is done in China. Political leaders should be able to pass it into law – to execute corrupt politicians or life imprisonment without option of fine. If 30 politicians have been executed like in China, nobody will be proud to steal public funds.
Appointment of Judges
President should be stripped of the power to appoint Judges, to preserve the sanctity of electoral process. This is because there had been instances where tables were turned down because of obvious corruption, making public confidence in the judiciary so much in doubt.
If it is impossible to produce a new constitution, let our leaders revisit the 2014 constitutional conference and implement the aspect of its recommendations that can move Nigeria forward.
It is sad that former President Goodluck Jonathan made no serious effort to implement the salient aspects of that report, even though it was produced at the twilight of his tenure.
Too many check-points in the South
It is worrisome that more military men and the SARS in particular were drafted to Southern Nigeria with less crime rate than the North that is ravaged by insurgents. The activities of security agents must be put on check to avoid abuse as we witnessed with the SARS operatives in the Southern Nigeria.
Appeal to Human Rights Groups/NLC
It is imperative that issues of public interest are the kind of ones that the NLC, TUC, Human Rights Organizations and Civil Liberty Organizations will always fight for, to bring government to their knee, and not issues of personal interest.
Need for prayers for Nigeria
As a man concerned about eternity, I was privileged to discover that God knows about the killings in both the North and South, hence the need for prayers for this nation. The southerners are paying for the blood they wasted during the Civil war and the North paying for the blood of innocent people they wasted in the North. Emergence of BOKO Haram is a divine avengement of the blood of innocent Nigerians.
Goodwill message to Nigerians
Democracy is not practised in Nigeria. Let Nigerians use their PVCs well and vote for new politicians with the zeal to develop and unite this nation. The recent annihilation of Southern Kaduna people and the herdsmen’s killings of innocent Nigerians without being arrested should be roundly condemned by all Nigerians.