The expectations of Nigerians are high as Gen. Muhammadu Buhari assumes the mantle of leadership. Nigerians yearn for change at all cost, following the high campaign promises made by the new president. They expect his government to bring succour and put an end to the numerous problems the country is presently facing. Against this background, Saturday Vanguard went round to sample the opinions of prominent as well as ordinary Nigerians on their expectations 100 days from now.
Buhari must revive the energy sector – Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, lawyer
“Gen. Buhari should address the problems surrounding energy in this country as a matter of urgency. Power generation is critical to the development of this nation. He should break the cabal controlling the importation of fuel, diesel, candles, rechargeable lamps and other imports that benefit importers to the detriment of the Nigerian populace, and revive the entire power sector so that the generation, transmission and distribution companies should be totally working. By this approach, generator and diesel importers will also be encouraged to invest in the power sector and become game changers instead of frustrating his efforts.
“It’s a cross Buhari has to carry. He was at this for 12 years. He contested in 2003, 2007, 2011, so by now, he should have a roadmap for the solutions to all the problems in Nigeria. I believe it is not our business how he will deliver.
“During his campaign, he promised Nigerians 20,000 megawatts in four years which means, in every one year, we should have 5,000 megawatts. So, it is too late to give excuses. Our business was to vote for him as president, which we did; we are waiting for results.
“We want to enjoy adequate electricity as soon as possible. There must be power in every home, office, mosque, church, bank, school among others. We are not interested in how he will do it. Power is critical to the economy of this nation and it must be addressed. Imagine the kind of hardship the country suffered recently when the entire country was grounded. If there is no power, it is difficult to survive. One is practically incapacitated without power.
“He must also tackle corruption to a standstill by sealing up available means by which our money is being siphoned. Those who are milking Nigerians, dipping their hands into the treasuries of the nation should be exposed.
“The $20 billion that was allegedly missing should be verified. He must look into the system and fight the monster called corruption. Once the resources are available and not being stolen, building industries, roads, and reviving the power sector will be possible. The resources of the nation can take Nigeria to the next level.”
He should operate truly democratic government – Tony Uranta, human rights activist
“As a patriotic Nigerian living in Nigeria, it is in my enlightened self interest for President Buhari to succeed in keeping Nigeria a united, peaceful, justice-based country that prospers holistically and ensures the common good of all Nigerians. It is in the foregoing light that I join millions of Nigerians in welcoming President Buhari, even as I join millions more in wishing now ex-President Jonathan even greater heights.
“I will like to use this opportunity to remind the incoming president of the many promises he made to Nigerians, and what we eagerly expect within the first 100 days of his coming to office. We expect primarily that he will be able to stop the insecurity in the North-East once and for all. We also expect that he will radically transform the economy such that we will not have almahjiris in the North, beggars in the streets or anywhere else in Nigeria. And crime rate must be reduced generally, especially in the area of kidnapping, armed robbery and 419.
“Finally, I will not appear to be wishing him ill or to seem not to appreciate the enormous task ahead of him; we would expect that he would really and truly show us that this is a democratic civil regime coming in, which will be fully tolerant of the rights of civil society such as right of speech, right to information, right to association and other rights without, in anyway, becoming oppressive or intolerant.
“We wish him well. We hope that the press will still be vibrant under him as it was under the outgoing administration, and on that note, I say welcome President Muhammadu Buhari and we wish President Goodluck Jonathan the best and we look forward to him transforming himself into the leader of the African continent and black people worldwide.”
We expect transparency – Gani Adams, leader, Odua Peoples Congress (OPC)
“Within three months, he needs to sanitize the system. We expect transparency and he should shun corruption. We expect him to solve the problem of fuel scarcity and encourage private sectors to build refineries. Right now, Nigeria is faced with abject poverty due to lack of good infrastructure. He should revive our societal values. President Buhari should ensure that all the civil society groups are given 100 percent support. He should also look into the report of the national confab.”
He should address fragile issues – Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), lawyer
*Mr Olisa Agbakoba, SAN
“As soon as Buhari is sworn in, he should go to work. He should tackle fragile issues in the national system because there are so many fragile cracks that make the Nigerian system to be very weak and I expect these to be tackled by settling issues relating to constitution amendment, which will help to amend these cracks. He must reform our legal system.
“Secondly, he must tackle the economy agenda of the country that has given credence to unemployment and poverty. He must do that by blocking all the leakages. 25 percent of our budget goes into the National Assembly. People should live on low profile. These will safe funds which will be used on meaningful things.
“Thirdly, he must remove oil subsidy, which has led to corruption, then introduce modular refineries so as to have it across the country. He should block all the loopholes in the power sector. He should also diversify the economy. Right now, we are solely dependent on petroleum and that was clearly shown in the recent fuel scarcity. We need new energy policy that does not depend on petroleum. The maritime sector is another area which needs attention. There are a lot of expectations by Nigerians and we hope that the president will live up to them. He needs to re-define the education policy, especially in the area of university and vocational qualifications. We should look into solar energy. Another problem is to decentralize the affairs of the country.”
We need light, petrol and good cabinet – Declan Okpalaeke, journalist
“There should be long term course but short term measures. He is taking over power at a period when the country is perhaps at his lowest ebb. Everything seems to be collapsing. Petroleum has a huge effect on the economy; there is no fuel, no gas, no kerosene. There is crisis in the country. His first 100 days should concentrate on finding immediate solution to the immediate problems in the country. He should ensure that there is free flow of essential things that will make life bearable for Nigerians; ensure that there is adequate petrol in the filling stations; ensure that even though we are not generating enough power, that what we produce is adequately distributed whilst he plans to find permanent solution to it.
“He should ensure that he gets the right people into his cabinet. People whose integrity and credibility are not in doubt. If the right people are not in place, his noble ideas will be rubbished.”
He should keep all his promises – Martin Onovo, Action Congress (AC) presidential candidate
Mr Martin Onovo
“As a matter of integrity, President Buhari needs to keep the promises made during his campaign. He needs to control corruption and that is not done in one night or 100 days but the direction can be set in one month.
“We need to get power, otherwise the economy will not survive. He must not give us excuses that we have heard in the past. There must be fuel. Security must be in place. The Nigeria Police, which is the first point of security, is in a terrible mess. These are underlining critical requirement for national productivity. The idea of depending on other people to feed ourselves is one indication that no matter the number of private jets we buy, we are still very poor. We need to contribute significantly to feeding ourselves. The country needs the right education for brighter future. The fact is that there are a lot of emergencies in all the sectors.”
The structure of change must be defined – Ladipo Johnson, legal practitioner
“The type of leadership he will be providing will dictate the level of his success. He needs to stabilize the country as quickly as possible. The structure of the real change we are clamouring for should be established. People must be accountable. Although it is usually very difficult to get result in the first 100 days, he can set good examples. Once that is done, Nigerians’ orientation will change; civil servants and politicians will know that it is not business as usual. But until he gets there, he wouldn’t know those priorities begging for attention.”
Expose the rot in governance – Paul Okoroafor, lawyer
“We believe President Buhari is highly disciplined. Now is the time to prove it. As a democratic president, we are looking forward to having a transparent government. There must be enforcement and implementation of policies. We expect that he will be able to expose some of the rot in the power sector. We pay so much yet we don’t have light. He should check why there is total darkness in the country.”
We need good road network – Foster Nwosu, businessman
“I am afraid that the Nigerian system may discourage him from being transparent. I will like him to work on electricity. I believe that if there is light, Nigerians will survive. He should also create an environment where our young people can explore different job opportunities. We need good road network as well.”
End fuel problem – Emma Okechukwu, trader
“We are hoping that as soon as he is sworn-in, fuel problem will be a thing of the past, hopefully paying for fuel at the rate of N87 per litre. And we also hope there will be constant light.”
Change must manifest – Emmanuel Anyebe, scientist
“Change must manifest in every facet of the country, especially power. We need light and it must be permanent.”
He should end corruption – John Paul, surveyor
“He is the sixth democratically elected president since 1960 and we thank God for having a man like him at this time. He is a man we all know for his zero tolerance for corruption and he also has a very good military experience. Right now, he is the right man both for his experience and also for his fight against corruption. I want him to end corruption and insurgency. The incoming government should draw up policies that would alleviate poverty in the country. Buhari should cut down the cost of governance because it is killing this country.”
My expectations are high – Ugochukwu Alaeto, motorist
“My expectations are high. I expect that fuel scarcity and epileptic power supply will be addressed. We are waiting for the change he promised during his campaign.”