Last Saturday, President Muhammadu Buhari was sworn-in as Nigeria’s new leader. In this piece, IHUOMA OKOCHA captured Nigerians’ feelings. Some Nigerians also bared their minds to her about what they want the president to do for the country as he settles down in office
Nigerians have been basking in the euphoria of having a new president in the person of President Muhammed Buhari. The new president was sworn-in last Saturday at the prestigious Eagle Square, Abuja. Thousands of Nigerians and foreign visitors thronged the venue to witness the colorful ceremony.
The coming of President Buhari means a lot to Nigerians. They now expect that the new administration will bring about numerous changes and development in different sectors of the country, after all, “Change” is the party’s campaign watchword.
Our correspondent went round the streets of Abuja to gather opinions of Nigerians on what they want President Buhari to do for the country. From electricity, salary, infrastructural development matters, Nigerians want the president to get down to business immediately.
Responding to the question of what he wants the new administration to do for the country, Aghogho Vincent, a secondary school student, stated that she wants the president to change the trend in which male teachers molest female students. She also added that she wants him to change the negative trend by the officials of the Power Holding Company who impose bills on consumers, including billing them for power they do not consume. “Why are they billing us for power they haven’t supplied or that we haven’t consumed? The world knows that we don’t have light in Nigeria. Why should we be paying for power when they know too well there was no power supply for that month?”
Mike Sam said all he wants the president to change is the rate at which the poor are getting poorer and the rich are getting richer. He stressed that the gap between the rich and the poor are widening day after day, adding that it was unbecoming. “Buhari should implement policies that are favourable to the masses”, he said.
An apprentice at a fashion designing centre who simply gave her name as Mercy commented that she wants the president to make power supply available 24 hours of the day to enable people do their work. She added that “if there is no light, there will be no work and money will not be available”.
On her part, Elizabeth Oden added that “people that learnt one skill or the other should be encouraged and assisted. People that have handwork should be given sewing machine, generating set and dryers to assist them and equally employ graduates that have nothing doing”.
However, Gloria Bassey lamented that a lot of people cannot go to school since they cannot afford tuition fees. She therefore urged the president to make education free to enable every Nigerian child, including the vulnerable to acquire education. Also, she said he wants a change in the petroleum sector, in her words.
“I want the fuel issues to be completely resolved. He should make fuel to be consistently available”, she said. According to a corps member, Julius Eigbiremonlen, there is a need for a change in the monthly allowance of corps members and in the rate at which they are retained after their service year.
“I want increment in our allowance from N19,800 to at least N35,000, because within a month, we spent the whole money on transportation and we are left with nothing to feed on and take care of other needs. Secondly, it is not encouraging that when service year is over, we go back home to our parents’ house, eating their food instead of being retained in the organisations we served” he said.
A respondent who wants to remain anonymous remarked that he does not believe in General Muhammadu Buhari because he thinks that the president cannot change anything. “I do not believe in him; he is not a magician. He strove to win the election just to achieve the aim of returning power to the North and for their selfish interest”.
Babangida Shaibu opined that he wishes the president revamps the power sector, educational sector and tackling of corruption. He emphasized that if corruption issue is properly trashed, then every other thing will follow suit.
He further affirmed that he wants restructuring in the academic system, for education to be free from primary to tertiary level. This corresponds with the opinion of Abdulhamid Ibrahim who expressed regret in the shutdown of secondary schools which he said has been a setback in their academic endeavours. He therefore urged Mr. President to do everything he can to see that teachers are called back so that the students can go back to classes.
Dauda Sanni, decried the lack of water in some parts of the Federal Capital City, especially Kubwa. He pleaded with the president to dig boreholes for them.
Contributing to the issue, Femi Olotu, is of the view that the new government should focus more on employment opportunities in the country.
“Youths should be mobilized and employed to stop them from roaming the streets and end up forming insurgent groups in the society. When they are employed, they will have something doing to help themselves and the society at large”.
Usman Shehu suggested that poor academic system, insecurity, lack of justice, epileptic power supply among other numerous problems should be addressed. “For several days, we have seen light in his area. This has forced me to go to school with rumpled uniform”. It is clear from the foregoing that Nigerians expect so much from the new administration of Buhari. But how long or fast it will take him to meet these needs will be revealed by time.