By Henry Uche, Lagos
Following President Muhammadu Buhari’s New Year message, Senator Femi Okurounmu, among others, has reacted to the presidential address, saying Nigeria is sick and that neither of the country’s two largest political parties, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC), can fix it.
The ex Alliance for Democracy (AD) senator, who represented Ogun Central from 1999 to 2003, made the remark in the new year via a Zoom call to the AIT morning broadcast of Kakaaki from the United States, where he added that healing for Nigeria would come in the form of a new breed of young people who would steer the affairs of the country going forward.
According to him, Nigeria would go from bad to worse should either the ruling APC or the opposition PDP continue to rule the country, stressing that a new political party made up of new persons with viable and feasible ideas is needed to lead the country to the desired destination.
The former Ogun senator added that national unity is not feasible where nepotism, tribalism and favouritism thrives.
‘The country is sick and we need healing. The crop of politicians we had from 1960 to 1966 is needed now. More importantly, we need to go back to the twelve states General Yakubu Gowon created. Thirty- Six are too expensive to manage. Let the youth be given the opportunity to lead,’ he stated.
Still reacting to the President’s speech, the Secretary-General of Anglican Consultative Council, Idowu Fearon, charged political leaders to think nationally and lead by example.
The bishop who spoke via Zoom from the United Kingdom on NTA, maintained that for there to be unity in the country, the actions of the President must be geared towards benefiting all Nigerians. He said that Nigeria needs agile and tactical service chiefs to handle the security challenges of the country.
‘For unity to prevail, the President must think and act rationally and include young people in the scheme of things,’ he stated, adding that ‘the youth are no longer patient, so the federal and state government must do their bidding.’
Reacting, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, who spoke on NTA, said that the intention of the President was good and that Nigerians should trust him. ‘Nigerians must take the President serious this time because he has come now out fully. So, let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and see what he will do. When Mr President talked about re-energising, reorganising and revamping the security architecture, he meant it. Nigerians should expect better days,’ the presidential aide said.