Some Nigerians have advised President Muhammadu Buhari to tackle poverty and fix major infrastructures before the 2019 electioneering begins in earnest.

They also urged the president to reform the country’s security agencies and strengthen institutions.
The citizens gave the advice in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, on Friday in Lagos.
According to them, if these problems are not tackled before electioneering begins, the problems may linger.

The National Youth Coordinator of KOWA Party, Jude Feranmi, said there was the need for the Federal Government to carry out a painstaking reform of the country’s security agencies.

“There is a trend of insecurity that is building across Nigeria and our current security infrastructure can no longer tackle this menace with the inefficiency and brutality that characterised our security apparatuses.

“As I speak, Nigerians in the Benue region are leaving their homes for a place they don’t know, running from herdsmen; gunmen have already claimed lives in Rivers in this New Year.

“The first and most important duty of government to citizens which is the protection of lives and property is now at the lowest ebb.

“To tackle this deeply rooted problem, there is need for deep, and painstaking reform.

“If the Federal Government continues to fail in this task, especially in the penultimate year to the election, there may be crisis in the country,’’ Mr Feranmi said.

Dennis Aghanya, the Executive Director of Anti-Corruption Research Based Data Initiative, ARDI, said the federal government should embark on the construction of capital projects.

“With a year to the end of this administration, I want Mr President to massively pursue the construction of capital projects. Nigeria is very deficient in infrastructures.

“ When there are ongoing projects, the masses are engaged and there would be money in their pockets.

“ I also want him to consider paying most of the outstanding debts owe local contractors. The level of poverty among Nigerians is unbearable,’’ Mr Aghanya said.

On his part, Toyin Raheem, the Executive Secretary of Campaign for Constitutionalism and Human Rights, CCHR, said his desire was for government to reduce the poverty level in the country.

According to him, those working for Buhari as advisers and special assistants have been deceiving him and are not telling him what is truly on ground.

“The Federal Government should reduce the rate of poverty in the country. Nigerians are suffering, very hungry and angry.

“Policies of this government should be made to cater for the masses, prices of food are on the increase, purchasing power is reducing every day and jobs are being lost.

“The government should wake up to put an end to the suffering of the masses.

“Government should also take as a matter of mandamus to respect the rules of law and constitutionalism. Everything it does should be in accordance with the rules of law,’’ Mr Raheem said.

He appealed to the president to allow an independent body to conduct a survey on the rate of poverty to truly ascertain the level of poverty in the country.

He advocated for a paradigm shift in the policies of this administration to be people oriented or pro-poor.

Mr Raheem appealed to government at levels to make security and welfare of the people its major concern.

He said that the performances of the federal government this year would be the major consideration for Nigerians to make decisions about the 2019 elections.

NAN