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Arch. Okogie to Buhari: Nigeria is static, no change

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“Our Change must change something. How could we continue to talk of change in a static system? How could we be talking of change when the same crew are governors, ministers, senators, and members of House of Reps?” – Okogie

The Archbishop Emeritus of the Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, Anthony Car­dinal Olubunmi Okogie on Sunday said President Muhammadu Buhari’s Government is turning into a one man show.

Okogie was speaking for the first time about the state of affairs in the All Progressive Congress [APC]-led government under President Buhari.

He inferred that nothing has changed under Buhari, except for the worse.

He further said that the country is gradually sliding into a police state with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC], the Department of State Security [DSS] being used to intimidate and harass Nigerians.

Read the statement in full below: 

“A lot of Nigerians are beginning to feel that Buhari is fast transforming this na­tion into a police state where the president, the Economic and Finan­cial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Department of State Secu­rity (DSS) rule the day, according to a statement obtained by Per Second News.

“What they say is given lurid headlines in the me­dia, and it seems to all that some of the defendants cum accused persons are being tried in the press with in­formation conveniently slipping into the hands of the press, presumably from the security agencies, even be­fore such people have been charged to court.”

“Unfortunately, democracy is difficult and this government must realise that democracy pervasively coloured with impunity, arbitrariness and highhandedness, cannot be used to fight and correct the financial impunity and reckless abandon of the previous administration, even if it is more difficult to do so; the rule of law must be obeyed and be the order of the day.

“If Buhari wants to leave a creditable legacy come 2019, he should retool the bureaucracy. For instance, the roof of the Central Bank is leaking water.

 “Governors, who arm-twisted Okonjo-Iweala into signing out our reserves held by Central Bank, are today ministers in the All Progressives Congress (APC) government.

“We are still talking about change and corruption when old things refuse to pass away! These political gimmicks can only car­ry away gullible or naive Nigeri­ans. President Buhari should beam his flashlight on policies and pro­grammes that will lift up the masses.

“A snail-paced and disordered methodology in governance, his apparent disdain for judicial authorities and decisions, a lost today and found tomorrow 2016 Budget debacle, and a rather rudderless and confused Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) with an unclear monetary policy strategy (inevitably increasing the economic uncertainties being faced by Nigerians), have set alarm bells ringing in my mind and in the minds of many discerning Nigerians.

“Our Change must change something. How could we continue to talk of change in a static system? How could we be talking of change when the same crew are governors, ministers, senators, and members of the House of Representatives? This is a cyclical devolution of power to the same people who are never out of power!

“What sort of change is the President talking about? When will the youth take over when even a governor does not take a bow and go? When shall we plan for the replacement of delinquent leadership? This is what constitutes change. Change is not changing from Jonathan to Buhari.”

“Change is behavioural and pervades all levels of society including the family, the church, the mosque, schools, market women and business men. When we talk of change, we talk of positive salutary, healthy growth and devel­opment oriented change that cuts across the entire gamut of the so­ciety.

“What sort of change is this that ignores the glaring unequal distribution of national income? It is absurd that the same government that is unable to pay N18,000 per month to the lowest grade of labour can afford to pay N1.8 million per month to anyone in the economy. Why must tax payers’ money be used to feed Mr. President and his family?

“Why must the tax payers’ money be used to buy brand new exotic vehicles for the legislature, judges, ministers and governors when they are heavily paid?

“Indeed, his perceived discordant relationship with the leadership of the Legislature has many naysayers chuckling and remarking that President Buhari’s government is heading into his comfort zone, a one man show.”

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