Former military dictator, General Mohammadu Buhari, served a notice of a troubled nation on the brink of disaster to her leaders Wednesday, as the Supreme Court dismissed his objection to the election of President Goodluck Jonathan in the April presidential election.
Mr. Buhari said he will abide by the courts’ decision, but warned that Nigeria “is in an emergency,” with the current level of corruption, violence and unemployment, and that “law and order can break down anytime.”
The remarks appeared grim, but pointed for a nation that is grappling with an unprecedented scale of bomb attacks and militant clashes, just days after a devastating Christmas Day bomb attacks claimed scores of lives.
“Those in charge of the country should be warned that promises and sweet words are no substitute for practical action,” he said.
Mr. Buhari, whose scathing criticisms of the April elections was blamed for the deadly riots that swept though parts of the northern states with nearly over a thousand killed, said the government must this time act, if the nation is to be saved from collapsing.
He denied in yesterday’s statement, read after the ruling of the Supreme Court, that he was the mastermind of the April riots.
He suggested measures that must be taken immediately.
“To avert the looming chaos in the New Year, immediate steps should be taken to drastically reduce the cost of governance in the three tiers of government. Salaries and especially allowances should be drastically reduced; security votes should be abolished – not increased as the 2012 Budget has done.
He continued, “Votes for the Armed Forces, Police and Security Services should be transparent and accountable; foreign travel and estacodes should be stopped for at least six months other than for the Presidency, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and medical emergencies. Government House expenses in all the states should be drastically reduced, foreign travel suspended for a while.
The National Assembly should give a lead in reducing their allowances substantially and stopping their foreign travels. These savings should be applied to education, infrastructure and agriculture with emphasis on youth employment through meaningful and practical emergency programmes.
Only when that is done, he said, with the backing of all Nigerians, that a stabilized nation would then reconsider its country’s structure under a “calm and unemotional atmosphere” and hopefully, may come to a better form of government to see Nigeria through the next 50 years.
Mr. Buhari warned that “the public will see through any cosmetic or token gestures and will not tolerate a continuation of the status quo.”