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News items that made headlines on Saturday, October 3

Fashola

Nigerians have expressed concern that the present administration was taking too much debt than necessary.

This came as a reaction over a statement credited to Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, that former President Olusegun Obasanjo should not have paid off part of the Paris Club refund to get debt relief.

Some however argued that Fashola would have been right if the debt was paid for in cash, adding that Nigeria could make an equal amount with the right infrastructure and policies over a few years.

EndSARS

There have been repeated calls for President Muhammadu Buhari to scrap the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) unit of the Nigeria Police, as Nigerians took to social media to decry the killings, extortion and kidnapping perpetrated by the personnel.

They said citizens now give account daily on extrajudicial killings or harassments by SARS.

A couple of others suggested that rather than scrapping SARS, its operatives should be moved to the North West and North East to help fight bandits, kidnappers and Boko Haram insurgents, adding that this would effectively triple the manpower currently deployed to the regions.

Nation-building

Some Nigerians seem to have different opinions on nation-building away from that of the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Abubakar.

Abubakar had in a recorded message to mark Nigeria’s 60th anniversary, urged Nigerians to make effort in the task of nation-building.

But those who reacted on social media said that ordinary people can’t be building and the leaders keep sowing seeds of discord by their actions and words.

They posited that nation-building in the Nigerian context can only be realistic with a top-bottom approach.

IBB

Former Nigerian leader, Ibrahim Babangida, has come under criticism for his statement: “We have a country, we must make it work” during an interview on Channels Television.

Reactions that followed the statement were unpalatable, with many referring to Babangida
as the architect of Nigeria’s underdevelopment, who squandered the country’s golden opportunity to be ranked among the comity of economically viable nations.

They said someone like IBB ought not to have commented on issues bothering on Nigeria’s development because he lacked the moral standing to do so.

Petrol price hike

A cross-section of Nigerians have expressed their displeasure over the continued defence of the hike in petrol price by the Presidency.

During an interview on Channels Television’s ‘Politics Today’, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Garba Shehu, questioned how many Nigerians benefited from low fuel prices.

The rhetorical question, which did not go down well with some, generated commensurate reactions on social media. They said though not everyone in Nigeria owns a car or a generating set, the price of petrol is a major determinant in the prices of goods and services, which affected everyone.

Few people, however, urged Nigerians to look beyond the immediate hardship, as the removal of subsidy would bring greater benefit to the masses in the long run.

Restructuring

The General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye has added his voice to the national issue of restructuring.

Speaking at a symposium to mark the 60th Independence anniversary put together by the RCCG and the Nehemiah Leadership Institute on Saturday, Pastor Adeboye said restructuring Nigeria must be done as soon as possible to prevent disintegration.

Reacting to the man of God’s position, some Nigerians lauded him for being courageous in telling the truth to powers that be.

They also urged other powerful clergymen in the country to join in the call for restructuring, since that’s what a good number of Nigerians have been asking for.

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