Arch Bishop Okojie rips Buhari's government, says it's never been this bad
The Archbishop Emeritus of Lagos Archdiocese, Anthony Cardinal Okogie, issued a wake-up call to the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
In an open letter to Buhari, he minced no words in saying that the administration has so far disappointed Nigerians in many fronts.
He specifically accused the administration of insincerity and insensitivity to cries of hunger in the country.
Okogie said that Nigerians not only hunger for food but also for good leadership, peace, security and justice.
His words: “Last year, when you assumed office, the chant of 'Change', your campaign slogan, ushered you into the Presidential Villa. Today, cries of 'hunger' could be heard across the length and breadth of our vast country. Nigerians hunger, not only for food, but also for good leadership, for peace, security and justice. This letter is to appeal to you to do something fast, and, if you are already doing something, to redouble your effort.”
According to the Archbishop emeritus, “This letter is to appeal to you to do something fast, and, if you are already doing something, to redouble your effort. May it not be written on the pages of history that Nigerians die of starvation under your watch.
“As President, you are the chief servant of the nation. I therefore urge you to live up to the huge expectation of millions of Nigerians. A stitch in time saves nine.”
The cardinal said that Buhari and his party, the All Progressives Congress, promised to lead the masses to the Promised Land.
He said that although it was not an easy task to lead, the President during his campaign offered to take the enormous task of leadership.
The cardinal stated, “Nigerians are waiting for you to fulfill the promises you made during the campaign. They voted you into office because of those promises. The introduction of town hall meetings is a commendable idea. But in practice, you, not just your ministers, must converse with Nigerians. You are the President. You must be accountable to them. The buck stops on your desk. Even if your administration has no magic wand at least give some words of encouragement.”
He said that the President should instruct his ministers to be sincere and polite at the town hall meetings, adding that their sophistry would neither benefit Nigerians nor the President.
“Mr. President, if you want to leave a credible legacy come 2019, in all sincerity, please retool your administration. Change is desirable. But it must be a change for the better. Let this change be real. Change is not real when old things that we ought to discard refuse to pass away,” he added.
Okogie said that the President must take a critical look at his cabinet, policies and programmes of his administration.
He added, “You will need to take a critical look at the manner of appointments you have been making. It is true that commonsense dictates that you appoint men and women you can trust. But if most of the people you trust are from one section of the country and practice the same religion, then you and all of us are living in insecurity.
“The Nigerian economy has never been in a state as terrible as this. You as the President, you are like the pilot of an aircraft flying in turbulence. Turbulent times bring the best or the worst out of a pilot. We can no longer blame the turbulence on past administrations. You know quite well that some of the officials of your administration served in previous dispensations. Blame for what we have been experiencing is in fact bipartisan in character.
“The entire political class needs to come together, irrespective of party differences to acknowledge its collective guilt and to seek ways of saving the sinking ship that our country has become. This cannot be done if some officials of your administration demonise and alienate members of the opposition.”
Okogie said that if a large portion of the blame for the present situation was to be laid on the doorsteps of the entire political class, the search for solution must involve everyone.
He said, “That is why no one should be alienated. All hands must be on deck.
“This is the time to revitalise moribund industries, reinvigorate our agriculture, make our country tourist and investor friendly, and enable our young men and women to find fulfillment by contributing to the common good.”
See full version of Okojie’s letter in our opinion column