Immediate past Executive Governor of Bauchi State, Malam Isa Yuguda has urged Nigerians to give support to the economic vision of President Muhammadu Buhari which he said urgently needed the collective prayers and patience of all citizens in order to solve Nigeria’s several problems.
The former governor stated this in a New Year goodwill message to Nigerians titled: ‘2016: Nigeria on my mind’ which he posted online yesterday before an interview with a private journalist and blogger, Emeka Kanu Nwakpa.
He said the tough economic situation in the country today is likened to a pain from a deep wound undergoing comprehensive therapy. According to him, the wound is bound to bleed while it is being thoroughly washed with the necessary chemicals and disinfectants in order to bring about a speedy healing and effective therapy.
“What is happening today is like when you want a deep wound to heal quickly, you need to wash it thoroughly with the necessary disinfectants and chemicals. It pains as it bleeds. But the gain is actually in the pain, especially where there is an assurance that what we are doing is right. It is only a temporary pain. This is the stage we are in the country now and it calls for deep patience and understanding of all citizens,” he said.
According to him, some nations that are today’s super powers had also gone through similar tough situations in their developmental trajectories. They made it because they supported their leaders by prayers, patience and total patriotism.
“We can discern clearly that President Buhari is trying to make things work. His clarity of purpose is as unmistakable as his sincerity. Nigerians should try to be patient. Take for example the situation in the oil sector where it has not been possible to dismantle the cartel in that sector in the past. You can see that the man is poised to do something about it. Of course, it can never be easy. The common man should enjoy the resources of this nation”, he said.
He added: “Everybody has a critical role to play in the ongoing nation-building process including those who served in whatever capacity in the past. Our present political office holders need to accommodate the opinions of former public office holders for the collective benefit of the country. It is not everybody who once served that is corrupt. This mindset should change,” he said.
He argued that it is practically impossible for all the immediate past 36 state governors to be corrupt, pointing out that many of them left behind legacies of excellent conduct and transparent stewardship. He expressed fears that if the trend of public denigration of past leaders continued unchecked, it would lead to a situation where sincere and genuine people would no longer be interested to serve the nation.
“On a very personal note, I did my best while in office but some misguided elements went on social media platforms to discredit me unjustly and ignorantly, accusing me of what I did not do. I leave them to Almighty Allah’s judgment. I served my people and my country to the best of my ability and conscience. I love my country. We have no other country we can call our own”, he said.
Waxing philosophical, Yuguda said he had the rare privilege to serve the nation meritoriously in the private and public sectors, starting from his humble post-degree days in the early 1980s as a young professional banker/investment analyst to the late 1990s when he rose to the zenith of his career as managing director of leading commercial banks in the country.
“Thereafter, it took the benevolence of Nigeria and its good people to enable me serve my country again at higher levels as a two-time federal minister for five straight years and as a two-term state governor for eight unbroken years, without blemish. I am grateful for the rare opportunities but I am also not unmindful that it is not yet Uhuru for my dear country. I am however certain that with Buhari, the road to our freedom is here. Nigeria shall be free”, he intoned.
The former governor also commented on the widespread speculations of economic recession in the country, saying that he and some of his former colleague-governors saw it coming especially when at the beginning of last year the former Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala announced publicly that she was borrowing to pay the salaries and wages of federal workers, a development he said gave the impression that the country was bankrupt.
“It stands to reason therefore that President Buhari inherited an economy in dire straits which means that we have to be patient and give him all the necessary support as he gradually confronts the problems to take us out of the woods. We should understand the global trend, the entire global economy is in a recession, Nigeria is part of the global economy, we are not insulated from the global economic recession”, he said.
“The main lesson for the country now is to do everything possible to move away completely from our over-dependence on a mono-product economy to fund this year’s budget. The 2016 budget, to my mind, attempts to do just that and we should all support the drive. It is a step in the right direction”, he said.
He maintained that time had come for all well-meaning Nigerians to close ranks and stamp out social vices such as insurgency, terrorism, kidnapping, armed robbery, religious intolerance, electoral violence and political intolerance.

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