President Jonathan yesterday pleaded with Nigerians to endure the hardship expected to come with fallen price of oil.
Ceteris paribus, this is a good piece of advice but Nigerians are looking forward to practical example. Available indices show that this is still lacking in the present leadership.
Mr. President is not leading us by example if it is true that he still wants to buy a new aircraft. The presidency has explanations to render to tax-payers if it is also true that the proposed aircraft will be the fourth since he took office in the year 2010. Why must President Jonathan buy four aircrafts in four years? Is the president walking his talk?
The presidency also owes Nigerians explanations if it is true that friends and associates donated staggering sums of money amounting to millions at the launching of Mr. President’s campaign fund for the 2015 elections which netted N21 billion.
Nigerians are worried that the presidency allowed huge donations contrary to Section 91(9) of the Electoral Act which disallows donations higher than N1 million.
Equally nauseating is the sum of N215,635,713 allegedly set aside in the 2015 budget for foodstuff and catering equipment for the presidency. Does the presidency replace equipment every year? If so, is the presidency enduring? If the answer to the last question is ‘No’, President Jonathan has no moral right to ask Nigerians to endure. The buck stops at his table and he must lead by example.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) charges the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to be awake to its responsibilities. INEC must ensure that the rule of law prevails. We are disappointed that INEC did nothing even after the disclosure of the huge donations which violated the rules.
In conclusion, MURIC demands that no new aircraft should be purchased by the presidency. Redundant and frivolous expenditure in the 2015 budget should be struck out. We must demonstrate discipline in budgetary matters if we want to survive hard times.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)