The spokesman for the Northern Elders Forum, Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, has advised President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to focus on fighting corruption in the country.
Speaking in an interview with The Punch, Baba-Ahmed said fighting corruption is very important because it is the root of insecurity, societal corruption, and the erosion of values as Nigerians.
He said if President Tinubu can curb corruption from the processes and operations of the government and from the lives of Nigerians, he can solve the problem of insecurity in a year or two.
The NEF spokesman, however, expressed hope that Tinubu will be able to bring in some bright people who will give him some good ideas on how his government will tackle corruption.
He said: “Fighting corruption! Please note that I didn’t say fighting insecurity but fighting corruption because corruption is at the root of our insecurity; societal corruption, the corruption of our values as a people, and the corruption of all the agencies that are supposed to be fighting insecurity.
“If you drastically remove corruption from the processes and operations of the government and from the lives of Nigerians, you can solve the problem of insecurity in a year or two. Insecurity is a problem, so I will have to list it among the priorities.
“Addressing poverty is a very serious problem; finding ways to improve inclusion – the elections have polarised the country very dangerously – so, we are in a very terrible situation because our last elections polarised the nation more.”
“The elections opened up a Pandora’s box that we have never seen in this country. I am hoping that Tinubu will be able to bring in some bright people who will give him some good ideas on how we can de-escalate this.
“So, inclusiveness should be prioritised. The new administration must find a way to make all parts of the country have a stake in the government.”
Baba-Ahmed said the country needs fresh and new ideas to manage the economy, stressing that the Tinubu administration should pay close attention to the impact of liberal economic policies.
He said: “We want fresh and new ideas in the management of the economy. The administration should pay very close attention to the impact of liberal economic policies.
“Poverty levels are very high, and sometimes we tend to think that ideas alone can solve problems, no! You need to pay very close attention to the state in which people live.
“Not all people are beneficiaries of liberal economies. So, the poor are already really under a lot of poverty. Insecurity has compounded it. And the last thing you want to do is to create a hostile citizenry.
“So, the President needs to be very careful and to take very informed policies in the management of the economy so that even if he doesn’t radically liberate the poor, he also doesn’t radically impoverish them.“