New Telegraph

Ethnic Leaders Divided Over Tinubu’s Performance

As Nigerians and the administration of President Bola Tinubu, gear up for the first anniversary of the Renewed Hope agenda, ethnic nationalities are divided over the impact of the administration on Nigerians.

While some of them have praised the President Bola Tinubu-led government, others have condemned it, saying there is nothing to cheer as Nigerians are worse off than they were last year as the cost of living is heading north daily. In its reaction to the issue, the pan-Yoruba socio-cultural and political organisation, Afenifere, stated that the near-one-year administration of President Ahmed Bola Tinubu has been momentous.

In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph, the National Publicity Secretary of the organization, Comrade Jare Ajayi, said that President Tinubu took over the leadership of Nigeria at a time when the nation was facing unprecedented challenges in socio-economic, socio-political and security challenges. The socio-economic aspects are reflected in the high costs of living and shrinking businesses, among others.

He said: “The socio-political aspect could be seen in how, up to the mounting of the saddle by Asiwaju Tinubu as President, the country was divided so much into ethnic and religious lines. The security aspect of the challenges was signposted by the rate of kidnapping, banditry and sundry other terrorist acts, which pervaded the country. “Combating these challenges required taking bold decisions and bold steps. Tinubu was not hesitant to do either. His first major policy declaration that ‘subsidy on petroleum was gone’ set the tone. Since then, there seems to be no letting-off as seen in some other steps being taken. “Without a doubt, some of the steps are having great impacts on the polity. But the biting economic situation in the country seems to dwarf the perceived or even potential gains inherent in these steps.”

Also, Ajayi said that Tinubu’s administration is however, not shying away from confronting the challenges. But more still has to be done to bring lasting relief to the people-bringing down prices of commodities and services that are skyrocketing and enhance security the more. The Afenifere spokesman expressed optimism that the second year of Tinubu will bring the much-desired relief to the people and put the country on the path of positive developments.

His policies have impacted negatively on Nigerians – ACF Speaking on behalf of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), the National Publicity Secretary, Prof, Tukur Muhammad – Baba, said that the policies and programmes of President Tinubu have affected the people negatively. He said that the policies of the present administration have put many Nigerians in a difficult situation, saying that the recent outcry against the Cybersecurity levy was an indication of how the people feel about what is going on in the country. Professor Muhammad-Baba listed three key policies that had mostly impacted on the lives of all Nigerians, namely the subsidy removal, liberalisation of the exchange rate and the increase in the electricity tariff. He, therefore, posited that many of the policies of the present administration were unpopular because of the hardship that came with it.

He said: “Most of the policies of the present administration have impacted on Nigerians negatively. Let us look at the three major ones. There is the withdrawal of fuel subsidy which has put a lot of people in dire straits, in difficult situations due to the rising cost of goods.

“The second one has to do with the liberalisation of the foreign exchange market; the dollar especially, by allowing the Naira to float, which has also negatively impacted Nigerians.

“The latest in the series of withdrawals which has to do with the electricity tariff; that it is very negative; it has impacted on the life of the people and as you can see, the reactions of the people to the proposed cyber security levy.” Muhammad-Baba explained that, the “way Nigerians across the board reacted will show you how unpopular a lot of policies of the present administration are.”

Also speaking about the political situation in the country, the ACF Spokesman said some of the political situation in the country needed the decision of the President, adding that as Ministers; the President has what it takes to call his cabinet members to order. He also said the inability of the President to call the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Nyesom Wike, to order, has fueled insinuations that “they are the instigators in the situation.” He noted that on the “political scene, we are yet to see much impact because there are a lot of political decisions that the president is directly or indirectly responsible for which is affecting his government negatively. For example, what is happening in Rivers State, where he allowed one of his ministers to interfere. I used the word allowed because since he is a Minister of the Federal Republic under the President, the President can call him to order. “But it looks like it is either the President is unwilling or as some people are suspecting, they are the instigators in the situation.” On the judiciary, he said: “Let us also say that if the President moves against what people taught was the judicial interference in the election results of Kano, Plateau and other places. If he did interfere, then, it is good because it stopped a potential crisis.

But he could do well in that area to call his minister to order regarding the situation in Rivers. Apart from these areas, I think one year is too early. We will wait to see.” …yet to fulfill campaign promises Also weighing in, the National Publicity Secretary of Ijaw National Congress (INC), Izonebi Oyakemeagbegha, said that the promises that President Tinubu made during his campaigns were yet to be fulfilled. He said: “The Dollar exchange is still very high.

Some persons will say that it has come down. What we are assessing is when he came on board or before he came on board, what was the exchange rate? Unfortunately, some persons are mentally indolent in such a way that they see a reduction of exchange from N1700 to N1400 and people will say the Dollar has come down but where did we start?” He continued: “The insecurity is still the same if not worse; we have not seen any improvement.

The infrastructural development, we have not seen any significant improvement. “If he had said as president that by 2025, the refineries would work, insecurities would be overcome, unemployment challenges would be overcome, youths would be meaningfully engaged, and then it would have been good. “We are tired of the ordinary promises. Let us begin to see things happen. Let us say for this particular period, these things have been done for the Niger Delta people; this has been done for the South East people. That is when we can be comfortable.

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